Cuju 蹴鞠


Dublin Core


Cuju 蹴鞠


Sports, Entertainment


“Cu” means to kick, “ju” refers to a type of leather ball filled with feathers, and Cuju means "kick the ball with foot". The Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), Cuju was not only the recreational activity of the general public, but also an important means of military training. At the same time, cuju games were made more uniform with the establishment of rules.


Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD)


Chinese Shuttlecock


Fist-sized ball



Crafts Item Type Metadata

Crafting Methods

Nets would be tied to posts to form goals while the ball was stuffed with feathers.


Feather, Net, Fabric

Usage and Application

It is used as a form of entertainment and military training.

Interesting Facts

Historically, there were two main styles of Cuju: zhuqiu and baida.

Zhuqiu was commonly performed at court feasts celebrating the emperor's birthday or during diplomatic events. A competitive cuju match of this type normally consisted of two teams with 12–16 players on each side.

Baida became dominant during the Song Dynasty, a style that attached much importance to developing personal skills. Scoring goals became obsolete when using this method with the playing field enclosed using thread and players taking turns to kick the ball within these set limits. The number of fouls made by the players decided the winner. For example, if the ball was not passed far enough to reach other team members, points were deducted. If the ball was kicked too far out, a large deduction from the score would result. Kicking the ball too low or turning at the wrong moment all led to fewer points. Players could touch the ball with any part of the body except their hands, whilst the number of players ranged anywhere from two to ten. In the end, the player with the highest score won.



“Cuju 蹴鞠,” CCCH9051 Group 64, accessed June 22, 2024,

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