Korean Traditional Games

Games are a part of most cultures. The games may differ depending on where you are. In some countries a game can be anything from chasing a ball around a field, a puck around an ice surface or driving a little white ball into a hole barely big enough to contain it. Games can also be as low key as a board game with fake money around the kitchen table or spelling words with little wooden tiles. The Korean culture is no different. Games are very much a part of this culture. Most of the games here are like games in a lot of developed countries, which involve gathering oneself around a computer screen or a TV . Traditional games can still be found if you know where to look.

One of the places to experience a couple of these traditional games is at Namsongol Hanok Village. Here you can try your hand at Tuho and Paeng-chigi.

(Photo courtesy of my father)

The object of Tuho is to throw arrows into a canister. Pretty simple concept, but not always as easy as it may seem.

Eventually you do get lucky or skillful and hit the money shot.

Paengi-chigi is a variation of something most of us have played with as children – spin tops. These spin tops are wound up with string and then let go. In order to keep the tops from falling over, they are then hit with a thin leather strap.

This game can become a two person game when one participant tries to knock over the other participant’s spin top with his own. That I haven’t seen in person, but it does sound like a fun activity.

Games can be found in all cultures and many have advanced throughout the years. In the end the main objective to playing any game is to have fun.

What games did you play as a child?



6 thoughts on “Korean Traditional Games

  1. Fun games with fixed, but essentially arbitrary, rules seem to be a universal attribute: something which almost defines us as human beings. It’s a strange characteristic we all share.. really, quite puzzling..

  2. The game we loved to play was Baseball, and of course your Dad Loved Hockey. We didn’t have computers back then, so we spent most of our spare time in the great outdoors.

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