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'Sport of kings' begins new reign of popularity

By Li Yingxue | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-11-21 07:52

Jackie Wang in action, playing the sport she fell in love with a couple of years ago. CHINA DAILY

The historic section follows the traditional Chinese format, with vertical text. In contrast, the modern section adopts a contemporary style, with horizontal text. The historic section divides polo cultural heritage into four periods. Jackie Wang thinks that, as one of the most representative sports in ancient China, polo has great historical significance.

"We hope that this book will help the world better understand the sport and culture of polo in China, and provide a historical and cultural impetus for the revival and development of the sport in China today," she says.

The family has studied a great deal of historical material, academic works, research papers and articles on polo in ancient China, and received assistance from well-known historians of the sport.

"There are many ancient Chinese polo artifacts owned by individuals that are not found in museums. As science and technology progress, in the future, more polo artifacts will be unearthed. There is still more historical material waiting to be discovered," Jackie Wang says.

Wang Guohua is well-versed in the stories behind each image, many of which have involved arduous journeys to track down the precious historical materials.

For example, there are photos of Tang Dynasty (618-907) bronze mirrors with polo motifs that are held in the collections of various museums.

During one expedition to Tianjin, Wang Guohua stumbled upon a Japanese book about a polo-themed bronze mirror in Luoyang, Henan province.

He was able to confirm that the mirror is kept at the Luoyang City Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, but is no longer on display due to damage. "This finding expanded the book's collection of mirrors to five," he says.

Additionally, Tang Dynasty bronze mirrors with polo motifs can be found in private collections and at auctions. "However, due to the lack of reliable excavation and archaeological data, they have not been included in the book to ensure accuracy and authenticity," Wang Guohua explains.

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