NPC deputy: Promote time-honored Go culture

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-05-21 15:29
Li Guowei, a deputy to the National People's Congress, introduces the local culture of weiqi (Go chess), a board game in China, in Baoshan city, Yunnan province, May 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

As China's two sessions has started this week, Li, an inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage of Yong Zi, proposed that the culture of weiqi, or Go chess, should be promoted internationally.

Yong Zi is name for the exquisite chess pieces made in Yongchang (now Baoshan) in Yunnan province. The craft has a 500-year history. According to the records of Xu Xiake, a Chinese geologist from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Yunnan was described as the very place to produce chess pieces and Yongchang’s were the best.

However, production stalled due to wars in the area in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Some of the craft techniques were lost during this period. At present, a factory in Baoshan can produce high-quality chess pieces after years of study in the traditional crafts. Yongchang chess pieces are made from a blend of Baoshan red agate, Huanglong jade, jadeite and amber.

The craft of making Yongchang chess pieces has been listed as provincial intangible cultural heritage in Yunnan.

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