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  Shuttle Cock
 

Shuttlecock

The first known version of jianzi was in the 5th century BC in China. The name Ti Jian Zi (chin.: tījiànzi 踢毽子), means simply ‘kick shuttlecock’ (‘ti’ = kick, ‘jian zi’ = little shuttlecock). The game is believed to have evolved from Cuju (chin.: cùjú 蹴鞠), a game similar to football that was used as military training. A lot of famous generals in the Chinese history used this game in order to relax and exercise their troops.  Over the next 1000 years, this shuttlecock game spread throughout Asia, acquiring a variety names along the way. Jianzi has been played since the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), and was popular during the Six Dynasties period and the Sui and Tang dynasties. Thus the game has a history of two thousand years. Several ancient books attest to its being played. Since the Song Dynasty (960-1278) the game was renamed to Jianqiu (chin.: jiànqiú 毽球), from the Chinese word for “arrow” that sounds precisely as the word “shuttlecock”.

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