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How well do you know about China's Traditional Sports-Jiju

Publish date:2020-9-7   Pageview: 525


  Damaqiu, called Jiju or Polo on Horse, is a sport to hit a ball with a stick on the horseback.

  In the history of China, polo came to its summit in the Tang dynasty.

  The ball was made of a kind of light and hard wood, which was as big as a fist, empty in the centre and painted outside with vermillion or colors.The top of the stick used then was a shape of crescent moon.The court was a rectangle, which sometimes had a goal in the middle or two goals on two ends. The goal was made of wooden board,and in the middle was a one-chi-in-diameter hole with a net attached.Two teams would be in the competition, and the one who stoked more would win.

  Most of the emperors in the Tang dynasty loved Damaqiu, of whom Tang Xuanzong, Li longji, loved it most.It is recorded, that in the year of 709AD—the third year of Jinglong during the reign of Tang Zhongzong, the Emperor watched the match between the Imperial team and the Tibetan team.The Imperial team suffered a series of defeats, which made Tang Zhongzong very angry.In order to save the face of Tang Zhongzong, Linzi Prince Li Longji formed a new team including another three imperial descends at once and competed with the Tibetan team of ten players.Li Longji dashed around in the seemingly empty court, and the four-player team swept the victory. Even the Tibetan Minister praised his skills greatly. After Tang Xuanzong came to the throne, he still stuck to playing polo and even forgot to hold court sometimes.Not only did he play the ball, but advocated developing this sport in the army.He once issued an imperial edict in 747AD, considering polo as“a plan to dispatch troops” and “terribly necessary”,and ordered to spread it is the army. Hence, it became common in the army.

  During the Tang dynasty, not only was polo popular in the palace and the army, but it was widely accepted by scholars.The sport of polo developed further when it came to the Northern Song dynasty.Special rules were made in the reign of Song Taizong. Neverthless, it declined on the whole.Just at that moment, women polo tended to be thriving.It started in the Tang dynasty, but most of the women players then were girls in palace, who were slim and small.

  It was impossible for them to ride horses to play polo, so a method of playing it on donkeys was invented.

  Women polo was much more popular in the Song dynasty. The women players in the same attire as men not only played on the donkeys but on the ponies’ as well. Polo was also played in the Yuan dynasty, which was slightly different from that in Tang and Song dynasties.First, the polo in the Yuan dynasty was a soft ball made of leather, but not wood. Second, it had its own characteristics in the playing method.Because the leather ball was soft, the excellent players could pick it up with a stick, hit it continuously in the air and ran directly toward the goal.

  It was still popular in the Ming dynasty. It is recorded that Zhu Jing, Ming Chengzu often went to the East Garden to watch polo show. Information about it in the Ming dynasty is little. It completely declined in the Qing dynasty.It was hardly seen in the centre of Ancient China except in certain minorities, such as the Mongolians and the Tibetans.

  Modern polo is an offical sport in the world competitions, which is quite same to the Jiju in ancient China.However, modern polo originates in Europe and has nothing to do with the Chinese traditional Jiju.It was invented in India by the British colonists and then introduced to Europe, America and some other countries.