Monday, November 30, 2009

Cricket Cage

While killing time before a photo shoot, I strolled into the East West Center Gallery on the UH campus. This little wooden cage caught my eye. The plaque said: "Cricket Cage, Wood, 20th Century. Cricket cages originated in China where collecting and training crickets to fight has a long history." I imagined someone's prized cricket in this cage wearing a boxer's robe, shuffling around , swinging right crosses, left hooks and uppercuts into the air.


I found the following info online:

Cricket Culture in China encompasses a 2000 year history of both singing insects and fighting crickets. Under the Song dynasty (960 - 1279 A.D.), cricket fighting flourished as a popular sport. Such activity was still flourishing during the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911), when the Emperor's family, city residents or village men and scholars, all collected crickets feverishly every summer.

A big body, big jaws and a black face are the standard of excellence for a cricket. But to find a good one is not easy. Fu Cun, who has 20 years experience of cricket fighting, said when he went out to catch crickets he often waited in the field a whole day for the right one. The way a cricket is raised is also crucial. "I feed my crickets a special food combining corn flour, wheat flour and apple pieces," said Huang Huoyong, a stall keeper at the Xizang Nanlu Flower and Bird Market. For especially excellent crickets, calcium tablets or ginseng might be added to strengthen their bodies and hone their fighting abilities. Huang said in the current cycle of cricket fighting, it is quite common to hear such stories: for some men, the adored creature who shares their bed each night is their champion cricket rather than their wife.

You can find more info at China Culture.org.

12 comments:

Randism said...

oh man, that last part is just FrEaKy!!! yuk! anyway, the picture of the cage is awesome; so clear; nice warm colors. speaking of crickets, did you watch the movie "balls of fury"? it's one of my favorite comedies of all time. in it, there is a really funny scene involving the chinese master's prized cricket....

SW said...

Your comment reminded me of the Disney cartoon Mulan. My friend had just bought a bunch from the pet store to feed her pet praying mantis..bet she didn't know crickets were prized in ancient China...also, nice lighting on the shot..

George said...

Interesting posts you have here ... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often.
George
from ginseng photos.

jalna said...

Thanks Rand, I like the feeling of the color warm colors too. "Balls of Fury" hah? Sounds funny already. I'll try to check it out the next chance I have.

Shun Wah, your friend has a pet praying mantis?!!! I'm so scared of those things.

Thanks for dropping by George. I kinda do spend too much time working on my blog, neglecting my housework, but I enjoy it.

Erick said...

Cool shot, cool cage! But where the crickets?

K and S said...

wow! informative!

jalna said...

Hahahaha, Kat, not as good as your sacrifice leaf!

RONW said...

I'll take your word for it all.

Betty Townsend said...

Seeing your photo of the cricket cage, I thought of the movie "The Last Emperor". The little boy who became Emperor has a pet cricket. Interesting facts about the cricket.

Dd said...

Ever see the movie The Last Emperor....the first words he spoke...."cricket"

jalna said...

I know Ron, can you believe how they care for their prized crickets, and I read that they normally live only about 100 days.

Didi, funny how three movies got mentioned in this post. . . Balls of Fury, Mulan and The Last Emperor!

jalna said...

Betty, I think I better check out that movie too!

Erick, they died.