An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Touhu yijie 投壺儀節

Jun 18, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Touhu yijie 投壺儀節 "The social ritual of dart-throwing" is a book on the game of dart-throwing that was very popular in classical China between the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) and the Jin period 晉 (265-420). Darts are thrown into different vessels, for instance, a vase with a very slim neck to which two tubes are attachted on both sides. The author of this book was the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Wang Zhi 汪禔. It was finished in 1527 and assembles all information on this kind of game from old texts.

Figure 1. Illustrations from the Touhu yijie 投壺儀節
Arrangement of the hosting place (right). Situation of darts thrown into a pot called "inclicing darts" (yigan 倚竿, left).

The short Touhu yijie is divided into 12 chapters and provides a whole overview of this ancient social ritual that is already described in the Confucian Classics, namely the Liji 禮記 (ch. 37/40), and the Da Dai Liji 大戴禮記 (ch. 78). In comparison to older texts, Wang Zhi adds ten new features.

The Touhu yijie is included in the series Yimen guangdu 夷門廣牘 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成.

Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 410.