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Monday, January 23, 2012

Korean Folk Games

Seollal is the moment to share together with families, a big day with 3 days day off in Korea, discussing about Seollal, something comes up on my mind. Folk cultures in Korea which one of them is Korean folk games. When I visited Korean last year, I saw various of Korean folk games held in Lotus Lantern Festival, that was so interesting! what I saw on that festival, some Korean folk games were typical as group player which played at least with 2 players. You can not play alone, you have to join in group while playing. It's interesting parts! I can feel the "all for one and one for all" philosophy in Korean folk games. I thing I would have to try all of them someday. Let's check this out, some of Korean folk game samples which I haven't written on the previous article. Another Korean folk games can be seen on :

바둑 Baduk
Baduk is a Korean folk game in which two players alternatively place white stones and black stones on a Badukpan, (a square wooden board which contains of 19 horizontal lines and 19 vertical lines) and Badugal (baduk pieces which the black ones are made from stone and the white ones are made from shell).

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This folk games looks similar as a chess in Western cultures and usually played with elderly man. Baduk has its opening strategies and tactics but players can become quite strong knowing no more than a few basic patterns. If you play this game, you can appreciate the beauty of human life and experience joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure even if indirectly. The consequences of moving one piece might give you accidental delight, or it might make the situation unfavorable and make one bitter. It completely resembles life. Baduk may reveal a player's character. It often happens that an impatient player moves a badugal in a hurry only to lose the game. In this sense baduk is effective for calming a quick temper. Parents are also teach baduk to their children from the early age to develop good sense and concentration skills, baduk also can helping people who haven't known each other to get closely while playing this game. If you want to know more about baguk game, you can check

장기 Janggi
Janggi is similar with chess also and easier to play than baduk. It is played with a board contains of 10 rows and 9 columns. and the pieces are made from wooden round flat shapes and inscribed with Chinese characters. The object of the game is to checkmate the enemy king with the moves of the pieces according to the rules.
It is one of the most popular Korean game which occurred around the end of the Silla Dynasty and at the beginning of Goryeo Dynasty. This game is favored as an intellectual game which requires reasoning, asscociation of ideas and mental understanding of the opponent.

고누 Gonu
is an game contains a game board which can be made from a drawn paper and pieces of wood or stone used for markers. Played with 2 players which each player has 4 pieces. One plays as the black pieces, and the other plays as the white pieces.

투호 Tuho
Introduced in the early period of the Three Kingdoms, this game is playing by two persons, throwing each 12 pieces of blue or red arrow into a jar from a certain distance, usually 90 centimeters away from the jar.
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The person who puts more arrows into the jar wins the game. In the past time, this games were played in the royal court or upper class houses.

공기 Gonggi
played using 5 or more small grape-sized colorful pebbles and one of favorite game for children and young age. This game requires hand-eye coordination, quickness, planning skills and patience.

Number of players: 1 or more
How to play. There are five levels.
Step 1 The first level you toss down the fives pieces on the ground. So that they are in front of you randomly.
Step 2 Then you select one (piece A) to be the one piece that you toss into the air. You only use one hand for this game.
Step 3 As you toss piece A into the air you pick up one of the other pieces with the same hand, as piece A is still in the air.
Step 4 Then catch piece A before it hits the ground while you have the other piece you just picked up in your hand. * modifying to make it more difficult/easier: To make it more difficult keep all of the pieces in your hand as you try to pick up each of the pieces one by one. For beginners after you pick up a piece you put it on the side and then go for the next one.
Step 5 When you have all five pieces in the palm of your hand you toss them and flip your hand over to try to get them to all land on the back of your hand.
Step 6 After it is on the back of your hand you toss them again and try to catch them in your palm. The number of pieces you catch is the number of points you get. Step 7 The second level you need to pick up two pieces as piece A is in the air instead of one. And then repeat steps 3-6
Step 8 Third level you pick up three pieces and then one or vice versa it does not matter. Then repeat steps 3-6
Step 9 Fourth level you pick up four pieces and then repeat steps 3-6 Other rules: - You are not allowed to move the pieces on the ground to group them up or make them easier to pick up - you are not suppose to touch any of the other pieces on the ground other than the one you are trying to pick up - when the pieces are on the back of your hand you are not allowed to adjust them to make it easier to catch back into your palm

차전놀이 Chajeon Nori
Originated from Andong, it is a Korean folk games played by large groups of men.

그네타기 Geunetagi
is a swing ridding and playing by women. The role of playing is swing higher as you can.
Video credits :
Go (Baduk, Weiqi) Opening Tips For Beginners uploaded by BadukChannelAmerica
How to Play Janggi [장기] - The Rules of Korean Chess uploaded by fduniho
Rachel - Tuho uploaded by bitne008
How to play Gonggi uploaded by songkuk
Gonggi uploaded by 1108all
Chajeon Nori (차전놀이) - The Juggernaut Game of Andong uploaded by ivgotamouse

An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture

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