Tuho was played in the old days by high-ranking officials of nobility at royal banquets during Chosun dynasty (1392-1910) and earlier. Long red and blue arrows are thrown into a tall cylindrical vase from a certain distance, and the person getting the most sticks into the vase is declared the winner. Old literature says that there were strict regulations on the size of the vase and the length of the arrows, but today anyone can play with simple sticks and a wide-mouth bottle
A game derived from ancient divination rituals, Yutnori is enjoyed by people of all ages and is traditionally played during the New Year season. It may be played by two people or two teams pitted against each other, and requires four round wooden sticks about 20 centimeters long, with one flat side. The game board may be drawn on cloth, paper or on the ground, and each team has four markers. The object of the game is to move one's four markers completely around the square diagram of 20 dots before the opponent can do so. Diagonals of nine dots provide short cuts towards home dot, from which markers can exit. A player's move is determined by a toss of the Yut sticks. These are the possible move; Mo, a five dot move, all four sticks fall convex side up; Yut, four dot move, all sticks fall flat side off the floor, Geol, three dots, three of the four fall flat side off the floor, Gae, two dots, two fall flat side visible; and To, one of the sticks falls flat side visible. A toss of Mo or Yut entitles the player another toss and two tosses may be divided among all the player's markers. In one variation of the game, black dot is marked on the flat of one dot. If To occurs (one flat visible) with, the spotted stick, the player moves backward one dot. If marker lands on a dot occupied by opponent's marker, the player takes another turn and the opponent's marker must go back to the beginning and start over. If player's marker lands on a dot occupied by one of its own, both may move around together on single toss of the sticks.
The girl's game, similar to Western Jack, is traditionally played with small round stones, but these days plastic and rubber Gonggi are mass produced. There are numerous versions of the game. The most common version is played with five Gonggi. The player throws a Gonggi straight up in the air, picks up one of them on the ground and catches the tossed one. In the fifth play, the player must place all five on the back of the hand, throw them into the air and catch them in her palm. Points are determined by the number of catch.
Paeng-i chigi is a game which young boys enjoyed on ice flat ground in winter. It is played by spinning a round wooden top, Paeng-i on its pointed end. With a stick called Paengichae, attached with a short length of hemp twine of knotted cloth, spinning top is whipped along to keep it running and to guide its path. The child whose top spins the longest is the winner, but sometimes one who wins is the one who knocks another boy's spinning top to the ground with his own.
It is a game where a person kicks a Jegi, a Korean shuttlecock somewhat like a hacky sack. Jegi is formed by wrapping coin firmly with paper or cloth strips until it is the size of a fist and has a multi-tassel tail. It is enjoyed mostly on Lunar New Year's day by boys and young men, but it can be played any place and any time if the weather is fine. This game is played separately by each person in a group, or by an entire group in a circle. When each person plays separately, the rules for kicking the Jegi are usually agreed upon in advance by the players. The Jegi can be kicked with one foot or both feet. Standing on one leg, players keep kicking Jegi into the air with the insole of his free foot. The winner is an agile player who keeps the Jegi in the air with a greatest number of the kicks.
It is a game in which two players alternately place white stones and black stones on a Budukpan, a kind of checkerboard with 19 horizontal lines and 19 vertical lines. The Badukpan, usually made of wood, is a square board about a hand-span thick, with four legs or sometimes without any legs. On a Badukpan, there are 361 intersecting points where the 19 horizontal line and 19 vertical lines cross. Each intersection can become jip, captured territory. A match consists of two players alternately putting one Badukal at a time on one of the intersecting points according to various rules, until the winner, the one who has more jip, is clear. In cases when there is a wide difference of proficiency between two players, the poorer player is allowed to put out as many pieces as is appropriate to the gap in proficiency between the two before the match begins. During the game if some pieces of the opposing side are surrounded, the player can remove the surrounded Badukal. The place once occupied by the opposing Badukal becomes the player's jip and the Badukal which have been taken from the opposite side are used to fill up the opposing side's jip after the match is over. At the end of the match the two players count the number to find out who has the most jip. Even before the game is completely finished, the loser usually admits defeat, if the difference in the number of Jip, which two parties have taken till then is so great that the possibility of a reversal is unlikely. By playing Baduk, you can appreciate the beauty of human life and experience joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure although indirectly. How you move one stone can be a breakthrough for victory or a blunder ruining the game. As there are innumerable ways to place your stones, one needs to be extremely precise and logical to be prepared for all the possible moves of the opponent.
It is Korean chess, played on a board of 10 rows and 9 columns (also called files or aisles). While similar to chess, the game is easier to play than Baduk. The Janggi pieces are usually made of wood in round flat shapes and are inscribed with Chinese characters. In Janggi, two players each play as one of Han or Cho kingdom, which historically struggled for supremacy in ancient China. The pieces for Han are painted in red and the ones for Cho are in blue. The red characters are written in the regular square style, while the blue ones are in cursive style making it easy to distinguish one from the other. The sixteen pieces that make up one set for a player may be categorized into three groups according to their importance; the biggest is called the Jang or Wang, which is the king. The middle sized pieces, which come in pairs, are Cha, Po, Ma, and Sang. The smallest pieces are Jol or Byeong, and Sa. There are five Jol or Byeong's and two Sa's. The pieces are line up in fixed positions at the beginning of each game. When the game starts, they are called Mal. The objective of the game is to checkmate the enemy's king with the moves of the pieces according to the rules. Before making a move, one should always think about offensive and defensive strategy to protect the king.
Different pieces move in different ways. For instance, Po can jump along any straight line, horizontal or vertical, but it always need a single piece in front to use it as a bridge. However, this bridge may not be another Po. Jol or Byong can only advance one step either straight ahead or sideways, but cannot retreat. Cha can move straight following the lines on the board. However, unlike Po, it cannot jump over any other pieces. Sang moves in a very unique way. It takes three steps in total, one step either horizontally or vertically, and then two diagonal steps at once, while Ma first moves one cube either horizontally or vertically and then one step diagonally in an outward direction. The king and Sa can only move inside the 3 x 3 fortress called the Gung in the center. When a trapped Wang has no other position to move to, it is checkmated. When one player finds the opportunity to capture the enemy's king, he calls out "Jang-i ya" to indicate that the king is in check. Then, if the opponent can make a countermove by escaping from or blocking the attack, he responds by saying "Gun-i ya". Sometimes, spectators watching the game give tips to assist the weaker player not noticing an attack he or she must defend against, and can often upset the opponent as his clever move has been revealed. Janggi is not a form of amusement just for the two players but for the whole group watching the game. It is one of the most popular Korean games.
Ssangyuk is a board game meaning "Double Six". It was enjoyed on holidays such as New Year's day during Joseon dynasty. The game has a long history traced back to Western India, according to the ancient Chinese book Miscellanies in Five Books (Wuzazhu). In Korea it is said to have been played since the Baekje Dynasty (BC18-AD660). Before Joseon, however, the game had mostly been played by people of the upper class who could afford that luxurious board and dice. The players moved their pieces according to the roll of their dice. A 6-6 roll was believed to ensure a victory.
Archery has been a popular sport among the Koreans since ancient times. The learned elite of Joseon, or the literati, considered it to be as important martial art that they had to learn and practice. They believed archery was good not only for physical and mental discipline but also character cultivation for virtuous men. They enjoyed archery on hunting excursions, and villages held archery contests for young men of the literati class to increase friendship and harmony among them.
Ssirum or Korean wrestling
The two rivals lightly bind their right legs with a cloth, knell down facing each other, the right hand grasping the loins (waist band) of the opponent while the left hand holds the end of the cloth on the opponent's thigh. At the signal to start, the two rise and begin to pull and push each other, struggling hard until one falls on the ground and is beaten. The one whose body or and touches the ground first is regarded as being defeated.
It is a teeter totter, a folk activity which women enjoy on festive days. It is mainly played on lunar New Year's Day, but sometimes on Dano, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month or on Chuseok, the Korean Harvest Festival day. Neolttwigi is similar to a seesaw bag or a sheaf of straw. Sometimes a third woman sits on the middle to deep it from moving the wrong way. Next, two women get on the ends. One jump up and comes down on one end of the board, at which moment the other springs up in turn. Likewise, when the latter comes down, the former will jump again. Whoever loses her balance and falls off the board loses. When women enjoy Neolttwigi as entertainment rather than a competition, the two players can coordinate themselves very impressively. The beautiful and lively appearance of women who are playing Neolttwigi gaily and energetically skirts and pigtail ribbons waving, excites and pleasure all the spectators.
Kite flying has long been popular for Koreans, especially during the New Year's season. It was customarily on Daeboreum, the first full moon of the lunar year, to write one's name, birthday and the phrase "Bad luck begone, good luck stay", on the kite, and let it fly away in the hope of ensuring good luck throughout the year. Those who flew kites after Daeboreum were considered ill-bred.
Tug of War
Juldarigi is a Korean tug-of-war game in which two teams try to drag a thick rope to one side or the other. It is the biggest of the team games. Though it differs from region to region, it is usually enjoyed on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Traditionally, if is very important to make a good rope for the contest, so players begin to collect rice straw at each house beginning one month before the date. The rope varies in size by region, from 0.5 to 1 meter in thickness and 40 to 60 meters in length. Each team makes one rope, and they connect the two into one. One rope is called the male and the other the female. The heads of the two ropes wounded like a noose. The head of the male is made small, while the heard of the female is made as wide loop so that the former can go into the latter easily. Then, a log is inserted into the loop in the male end to prevent the ropes coming apart. Players are divided into the eastern part and the western part or the upper horse and the lower horse when playing Juldarigi. It has been believed that there will be a good harvest if the team holding the female end wins the game. When a gong is stuck, each team does its best to pull on the rope. With cries and shouts vibrating in the air, all the players grasp the rope tightly. As the game requires team play, each leader controls his own team by waving a flag. The winner is decided by the amount of rope dragged across the midpoint.