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15-Year-Old Chinese Emperor Criticized for Excessive Ball-Playing

Salience Noteworthy
City/State/Country: China
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Youth

Ching Tsung was the new Chinese emperor at the age of 15. "As soon as he could escape from the morning levee, the young Emperor rushed off to play ball. His habits were well known in the city, and in the summer of 824 someone suggested to a master-dyer named Chang Shao that, as a prank, he should slip into the Palace, lie on the Emperor's couch and eat his dinner, 'for nowadays he is always away, playing ball or hunting.'" The prank was carried out, but those prankish dyers . . . well, they died as a result.



Waley, Arthur, The Life and Times of Po Chu-I, 772-846 [Allen and Unwin, London, 1949], p. 157. Submitted by John Thorn, 10/12/2004.

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Do we know what Chinese "ballplaying" was like in the ninth century?

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Submitted by John Thorn


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