Jiju | Ancient Chinese National Ball | Ancient Chinese Culture

Jiju


Jiju, the early form of polo, is a kind of sports in ancient China. It was once regarded as the national ball in Tang Dynasty (618~907).

Its history can date back to the period of Han Dynasty (202BC~220). It was viewed as the perfectly acceptable sports during the period of Tang Dynasty. In Liao, Jin, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties (907~1644),it became one of the most popular sports in ancient China.

In Tang Dynasty, even emperors loved Jiju very much. Among them, Li Longji was the most famous one. When he was 24 years old, he organized a team to fight against foreign teams. Finally, Chinese team won the championship. That was historically the first victory in the international Jiju competition. The competition gained wide attention and many people loved Jiju since then.

The players of Jiju usually rode a horse to strike a ball with a long stick. With beautiful surface pattern, the ball was as big as a fist and was made of special timber, making it light and withy. Players from two teams would try to strike the ball into a hole. The player who succeeded in doing that would win a goal for his team. The team with more goals would win the competition.

The competition of Jiju was usually held in the imperial court or military troops. In Tang Dynasty, the main purpose of this sport was to train cavalrymen. However, most of the time in history, it was a popular entertaining activity. Pictures featuring the sport can be easily found in ancient Chinese paintings and murals.

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