A set of Korean dominoes from Seoul (Plate 9 [left]) in the National Museum is made of ivory and numbers 32 pieces.
They measure 3/4 by 7/16 by 3/16 inches, and are marked with incised spots arranged according to the Chinese system.
The "one" and "four" spots are painted red and all the others black, and the "one" spots are much larger than the others and very deeply incised.
[Page 522] The Koreans call dominoes kōl-hpai (Chinese kwat p'ái), "bone tablets."
A more correct name is said to be ho-hpai, (Chinese U p'ái), "barbarian tablets." This latter name is also applied to a special game.
The 32 dominoes are paired as shown in Plate. 6, those of which there are two being mated with each other, and those of which there are but one with reference to the sum of the slots, but not in the manner of the Chinese series. (Plate 5).
The pieces receive the same names as those of the dice throws of the Korean game Ssang-ryouk, " backgammon," viz:
1-1, syo-syo (Chinese siú siú), "smallest"
1-2, tjoui-hko (Chinese shü pi), "rat nose"
1-3, syo sam (Chinese siú sám), "small and three"
1-4, păik să (Chinese pák sz'), "white and four"
1-5, păik i (Chinese pák' ng), "white and five"
1-6, páik ryouk (Chinese pák luk), " white and six"
2-2, tjoun-a (Chinese tsun á), "superior two"
2-3, a sam (Chinese á sam), "two and three"
2-4, a să (Chinese á sz'), "two and four"
2-5, koan-a (Chinese kun á), "sovereign two"
2-6, a ryouk (Chinese á luk), "two and six"
3-3, tjyang-sam (Chinese ch`éung sám), "long three"
3-4, sam să (Chinese sám sz'), "three four"
3-5, san o (Chinese sám 'ng), "three and five"
3-6, san ryouk (Chinese sám luk), "three and six"
4-4, tjoun-hong (Chinese tsun hung), superior red"
4-5, să o (Chinese sz' ng), "four and five"
4-6, să ryouk (Chinese sz' luk), "four and six"
5-5, tjoun o (Chinese tsun 'ng), "superior five"
5-6, o ryouk (Chinese 'ng luk), "five and six"
6-6, tjoun-ryouk (Chinese tsun luk), "superior six"
Dominoes are regarded as a vulgar game in Korea. They are used in gambling houses and are not much played as a social game by the higher classes.
Last update January 31, 2010