Yut Nori, along with the six-holed bamboo flute Tungso and sword dance, was included on a list of intangible cultural assets posted on the official website of Heilung-chiang province, where ethnic Koreans living in China are concentrated.
The popular Korean game was recognized as provincial cultural heritage, not at the national level. However, speculation mounts that the move might be part of China’s attempt to nationalize the Korean traditional asset.
The Chinese government recently asked each province to compile a list of cultural assets that can be included on the national cultural heritage list. The Korean government has yet to confirm the news.
“I haven’t heard anything yet. I am still waiting for relevant reports,” an official from the Cultural Heritage Administration was quoted as saying.
Yut Nori, a traditional board game played at family gatherings on traditional holidays, has been widely embraced as part of Korean culture. The popular game is known to have originated during the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC – 668 BC).
In 2011, China also designated the Korean traditional song Arirang a national cultural heritage under the pretext of protecting the culture of minority groups in China.
By Ock Hyun-ju, Intern reporter