Story of Paduk (1)

Date: 12/08/2019 | Source: Uriminzokkiri (En) | Read original version at source

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The national children’s paduk contest and the national amateur paduk competition took place in June at the Taekwon-Do Palace in Pyongyang.

More than 270 children and 90 amateurs selected from each province competed in male and female individual, mixed doubles and team events, divided into A, B and C grades according to age group. The participants flaunted their skills in the seven-day contests.

“Like all creations made through human evolution and advances in civilization, paduk, or go, also has a deep historical root.

“It is said that paduk originated from ancient Koreans’ outlook on the universe. Paduk tools were used for astronomical and meteorological observation in the ancient times, when they mainly led a settled life and agriculture took a considerably larger portion of their life than hunting. Judging from it we can say that paduk had been played in the earlier period, says Kim Ji Won, section chief of the Folklore Research Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences.

Paduk is a board game in which two players compete with each other, placing white and black stones on the board in turn to encircle the opponent’s stones and capture territory.

The people at the time thought that the flat board symbolizes land, its four corners indicate four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter and 361 handicap spots, or intersections, made by drawing vertical and horizontal lines mean a year.

They called the centre of the paduk board “Chonwonjom”, or the centre mark because the land is the centre of the universe. They also said the round stone means the round universe and the black and white stone colors, day and night according to yang and yin, or the positive and the negative.

Many historical records related to paduk in Korea date back to the period of the Three Kingdoms. Here goes a story. Around 427 To Rim went to Paekje to help Koguryo’s advance into the south and curried favor with the King by dint of his high paduk techniques. Availing himself of this opportunity, he persuaded the King to squander national funds on building palaces. As a result, Paekje began to decay and at last was defeated in the war with Koguryo, losing much territory. The story tells that paduk was prevalent and its skills were high at the time.

Korean paduk was spread to Japan in the period of the Three Kingdoms, exerting great influence on its development in the neighbouring country.

Paduk was also widespread among the people in the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392). Historical records say that Kwak Hui Bun, Jo Jong Thong and others of Koryo made a paduk playing tour of the neighbouring country in the mid-13th century.

In the period those who excelled at paduk were called “kuksu” (national masters).

In the period of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910) reference books on major motions and tricks of paduk were published, increasing public interest in it.

Paduk is a sport peculiar to the Korean nation which has been made by the Korean people with creative wisdom and talents and carried on generation after generation.

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