Ancient paintings depict Chinese forerunners of Olympic sports
The Olympics originated from ancient Greece, and many different sports are covered. However, many modern Olympic sports can be traced back to ancient China. By looking at these ancient paintings, we can trace their evolution.
Cuju: origin of modern football
The painting by Huang Shen depicts Zhao Kuangyin, the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty playing cuju with his brother Zhao Guangyi, the following emperor, and other ministers. [Photo/Artron.net]
Cuju was an ancient Chinese competitive game involving kicking a ball through an opening into a net, and reached the height of popularity in the Tang and Song dynasties.
Zhao Kuangyin, the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty was a big fan of cuju, along with his brother Zhao Guangyi, the next emperor, and they always played cuju on the pitch together.
[Photo/The Palace Museum]
The earliest record of female cuju players can be traced back to the Han Dynasty. We can see from the paintings there were girls with their hair up, waving their long sleeves and looked chic while playing cuju.
Up to the Tang Dynasty, female players prevailed at the royal court, as emperors enjoyed watching football games. At that time, various skills were widely used in playing cuju, mainly serving as entertainment.