Korean Polo(擊毬)

Headword

격구 ( 擊毬 , Gyeokgu )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Summer > 5th Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer JungHyungho(鄭亨鎬)

Gyeokgu (Kor. 격구, Chin. 擊毬, lit. ball striking) is a traditional sport similar to modern polo in which players mounted on horseback drive a mogu (Kor. 모구, Chin. 毛毬, lit. wooden ball) into a gumun (Kor. 구문, Chin. 毬門, ball gate) using a bat called a jangsi (Kor. 장시, Chin. 杖匙, lit. stick-spoon).

This sport originated in Persia, but came to Korea via Tang China (618-907) where it became very popular. In the beginning of the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), gyeokgu was played exclusively by members of the royal family. Towards the middle of the period, military officials were also allowed to join the game. By the end of the Goryo period, the game gradually turned into a major event at the Dano Festival (Kor. 단오제, Chin. 端午祭, the fifth of the fifth lunar month) where both aristocrats and commoners could participate. During the Joseon Period (1392-1910), the sport entered the list of subjects for the military examination held by the state. It later gave rise to the origins of the folk game called jangchigi (Kor. 장치기, lit. bat striking).

The ball is typically made of wood and lacquered with red pigment even though silk balls existed. The bat is composed of a one-meter-long rod with an oval-shaped piece of wood at one end with a hole at the center. The game is divided into two types: one type played by mounted players on horses, and one played without using horses.

Korean Polo

Korean Polo
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Summer > 5th Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer JungHyungho(鄭亨鎬)

Gyeokgu (Kor. 격구, Chin. 擊毬, lit. ball striking) is a traditional sport similar to modern polo in which players mounted on horseback drive a mogu (Kor. 모구, Chin. 毛毬, lit. wooden ball) into a gumun (Kor. 구문, Chin. 毬門, ball gate) using a bat called a jangsi (Kor. 장시, Chin. 杖匙, lit. stick-spoon).

This sport originated in Persia, but came to Korea via Tang China (618-907) where it became very popular. In the beginning of the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), gyeokgu was played exclusively by members of the royal family. Towards the middle of the period, military officials were also allowed to join the game. By the end of the Goryo period, the game gradually turned into a major event at the Dano Festival (Kor. 단오제, Chin. 端午祭, the fifth of the fifth lunar month) where both aristocrats and commoners could participate. During the Joseon Period (1392-1910), the sport entered the list of subjects for the military examination held by the state. It later gave rise to the origins of the folk game called jangchigi (Kor. 장치기, lit. bat striking).

The ball is typically made of wood and lacquered with red pigment even though silk balls existed. The bat is composed of a one-meter-long rod with an oval-shaped piece of wood at one end with a hole at the center. The game is divided into two types: one type played by mounted players on horses, and one played without using horses.