Another specimen in the Sultan's collection, called at Johore, kong poh (Chinese t'ung pò), "current treasure," furnishes an explanation of the name pò.
It consists of a wooden die (Figure 15-A), with a face 11 inches square, and three-fourths inch thick, which fits into a brass box with a broad base (Figure 15-B ).
A wooden cover (Figure 15-C) fits over the box. This die is not spun, but is concealed in a bag which accompanies it, and there adjusted by the gamekeeper.
The face of the wooden die is carved with the characters t'ung pò (Figure 15-A), on one side in the ordinary, and on the reverse in seal characters, the character t'ung being painted red, and pò white.
The inscription t'ung pò, "current treasure," occurs on the face of all modern Chinese coins (Figure 15-D), and the common name of the game is evidently derived from the character pò, which occurs on this block.
Last update January 31, 2010