A Research on the Gambling of Chinese and Western Sports Architecture Culture


This essay studies the connotation and character of Chinese sports architecture culture as well as its blending of nationality and cosmopolitan via studying literature materials, using theoretical analysis and so on. We found that traditional Chinese sports architecture culture is extensive and profound with great national traits. Under the circumstance of globalization, our traditional culture has gone through the conflict and assimilation of western culture due to their advantages in politics, economy, military and global influence, yet this may provide us an opportunity to adopt latest western conceptions of sports architecture culture and blend it with our conventional ones, to promote the development of traditional Chinese sports architecture culture.

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Tao, Y. (2017) A Research on the Gambling of Chinese and Western Sports Architecture Culture. Advances in Physical Education, 7, 311-318. doi: 10.4236/ape.2017.73025.

1. Introduction

As the famous philosopher and educator Confucius says: “The etiquette system of Zhou dynasty is fully developed on the basis of Xia and Shang dynasty, it’s so thorough and perfect” (Wei, 2003) . The “etiquette system” as referred to in Chinese “wen” means culture, which has been gradually changed with the interaction between Chinese and western culture, and is reflected in the Chinese phrase “wen hua”. The connotation, civilization, cultivation, and domestication indicate that culture should be placed in a certain lifestyle. Raymond Williams, a cultural historian believes culture has different meanings in different times. By the end of 19th century, the meaning of culture has extended to a whole lifestyle covering material, knowledge and spirit, so we can see that culture is actually a complex of various human activities and material wealth knowledge properties and spiritual wealth based on them. Therefore, sports architecture is definitely part of the complex.

Sports architecture reflects the cultural connotation and social psychology with material image as the carrier, and it also exists in our social life as a unique cultural form. With the rapid development and application of science and technology, the world being closer, sports cultures with different features of different nations and from different regions are able to blend with each other enriching the connotation of sports architecture culture. Sports architecture reflects artistically its interaction with sports culture, its values, and the pattern of physical activities and conveys the unique cultural characteristics.

Cultural antinomy is a game in the culture field. It describes such a state in culture activities: culture is the product of practical human activities; different cultures interact with each other along with the communication of human beings. In the process of the interaction, various cultures have different characters and features due to their distinct formation and development, thus the interaction becomes a mixed state of exchange and collision, communication and confrontation. Under the influence of development law of culture and all kinds of human factors, different cultures take corresponding strategies in the culture games to marginalize other cultures’ value of existence, expand their own living space and accomplish the exuberance and prominence of their own in order to be dominant and in a superior position (Ren, 1996) . With the deepening of globalization and international competition, world cultural antinomy will be more intense in the days to come.

As a tendency of historical development, globalization starts at the economic field. Economic globalization has been recognized as a historical phenomenon, and its consequence will inevitably influence the social culture and the related area including sports architecture. Therefore, in the globalization process of sports architecture, we should fully understand Chinese tradition sports architecture culture, dialectically analyze the communication and confrontation of tradition and globalization of sports architecture culture, absorb the theory of western sports architecture, promote the essence of our traditional sports architecture, all of which will produce positive effects in increasing the cultural tastes in the design of sports architecture and showing its culture charm.

2. The Connotation and Characters of Chinese Traditional Sports Architecture

The rudiment of Chinese sports came into being since Xia dynasty, the first slavery dynasty in Chinese history, thus sports areas and simple sports buildings appeared along with the sports. Influenced by the self-sufficient peasant economy and highly autocratic social and political system, ancient Chinese sports architecture gradually present its distinctive style. In the proceed of communicating with minorities in the border areas and constantly absorbing foreign form of sports architecture, traditional sports architecture had developed a lot and had formed its distinctive culture character. First, the material culture of traditional Chinese sports architectures is manifested as providing space for traditional sports, especially for those leisure sports aimed at self-cultivation, it is also shown as satisfying technical means and engineering methods for these sports activities. For example, in Song dynasty, Chui wan is a kind of sport in which people use stick to hit the ball on foot, which is similar to today’s golf. There are various complex technics and tactics in this sport and the court is required to be changeable and regular. Secondly, the spiritual culture of Chinese traditional sports architecture is originated from spiritual and cultural values of Chinese ancient sports. In the history of Chinese ancient sports, warrior education oriented by sports can be traced back to Xia, Shang, Zhou dynasties; During the Warring States Period, Qin and Han Dynasty, there emerged a form of sport whose main content is leisure and entertainment, and main value is oriented to maintain health and relax mind; leisure sports became popular from Jin to Tan and Song dynasty. However, ancient Chinese sports developed slowly and tortuously since Ming and Qing dynasties. When we look back at the history of Chinese traditional sports, we can draw a conclusion that traditional sports which is full of entertainment character and regional features has injected sports spirit into traditional Chinese sports architecture culture. The spatial environment and regional feature of traditional Chinese sports architecture showed typical features as follows.

2.1. Emphasizing the Pursuit of Spirit Rather than Material Accomplishments

The unique social culture in ancient China has bred a distinctive sports architecture culture. As ancient Chinese people connected sports with philosophy and add philosophical concepts such as yinyangwuxing, the Eight Diagrams, the Daoist vitality and so on into sports activities, they regarded sports as an important means to adjust human balance and train their moral characters. Ancient Chinese sports architecture, such as courts for Tsu Chu in the Eastern Han Dynasty and grounds for practicing martial arts in Song Dynasty, contained the items, standards and rules of sports, yet it attached more importance to the spiritual goal of physical training and yinyang balancing. Therefore, ancient Chinese sports architecture pay more attention to the pursuit of spirit rather than material composition.

2.2. Emphasizing Entertainment Game Rather than Competition and Confrontation

As ancient Chinese sports architecture and areas mostly located in entertainment places, such as “Washi”, which provided citizens and soldiers with an environment for amusement, the architecture gradually lost its feature of competition and thus making sports less competitive and more entertaining. On the other hand, the feature of amusement in ancient Chinese sports is the main reason of the combination of sports architecture and entertainment places.

2.3. Emphasizing Natural Environment Rather than Man-Made Buildings

Sports in ancient China emphasize sports ethics and regimen philosophy, most sports pursue for emotional sustenance. Just like the sports itself, sports architecture lacks independence and was always attached to other forms of social culture. Consequently, the sports architecture became optional and gradually formed a style of emphasizing natural environment rather than the artificial configuration. For example, when polo was popular in Tang Dynasty, the court of it was just a few-step-long plain ground in front of the audience hall. This place is optional and natural, indicating that ancient Chinese emphasized the inherent value of sports rather than the material environment as well as the idea of combining sports fields with natural environment. It reflects the philosophy that our body is a part of nature and we should adjust our physical condition according to the change of nature. In spite of the fact that this produced a positive effect in some sense, when compared to western normative and rational sports fields, ancient Chinese sports architecture and fields are still lack of specification (Do, 1998) .

3. Communication and Blending of Eastern and Western Sports Architecture Culture

In the long-term evolution of history, two most representative sports cultures came in to being in the world. One is the oriental sports culture which includes the sports culture of China, Japan, India, Islam and so on. The other one is the Western sports culture which includes ancient Greek and ancient Rome. As a branch of sports culture, sports architecture culture had a tendency of converging in ancient times as a result of living environment, cognitive ability of nature and simple production mode. However, this showed people’s common view of human relationship and the relationship between human and nature. Therefore, although there are differences in the shape of the building and its value orientation, Eastern and Western sports architecture culture still have a lot in common. Both have gone through a development process closely related to production and practice, and have been improved with the development of religion, entertainment, military and education. Besides, there is a long history of development from the Stone Age to the Metal Age. Thus it can be seen that similar production modes and living environment will definitely lead to similar form of human culture. What’s more, human’s common view of modern civilization will certainly result in converging development of sports architecture culture. There is no such culture becoming so harmonious and unified as sports architecture culture in the world. Western sports architecture culture has been absorbing the essence of that of the East, while Eastern sports architecture culture has also been blending excellent concepts of the Western one. This phenomenon mainly shows in some aspects as follows:

Firstly, Western sports culture has become commercialized nowadays as a result of its pursuit of economic success, which has changed the original aim of sports to improve the individual. Thus, many social problems arousing by it have shaken the foundation of Western sports culture’s value. Some westerners initiated learning ethics and morals from Eastern culture, carrying forward Eastern culture spirits and trying to find solutions from Eastern sports architecture culture.

Secondly, some representative Eastern sports such as qigong, WuShu, Chinese chess, dragon boat race and so on, have spread to Western world, and simultaneously some relevant sports architecture and culture have also been exported along with the sports.

Thirdly, traditional eastern regimen is accepted by the Westerners. As there are abundant contents about human body in traditional eastern ideas of life and health and sanitarian sports corresponding to them, western world has raised a mass upsurge of studying Eastern philosophy and culture of health care.

Fourthly, Western traditional sports culture is especially appropriate for the need of promotion and remolding national spirits. Western sports culture spread into China, and it will settle and develop prosperously. Western culture elements can be seen everywhere in modern sports architecture (Chen, 1998) .

4. The Collision and Confrontation of Chinese and Western Sports Architecture Culture

4.1. The Nationality of the Sports Architecture Culture

The nationality of the sports architecture culture constructs the deep structure of the cultural core, that is to say, the inherent character of those cultures, which can distinguish different national cultured, includes the concept and orientation of value, the mode of thought and action, religious belief, esthetic sentiment and so on. It is the fundamental and profound connotation of the national culture and a long-existed historical cultural fact of strong stability. The unique course and rule of the formation and development of national traditional culture determine that once the cultural phenomenon came into being, it could get a chance and own an inherent tendency to develop relatively independently. In other words, it can enrich, develop and optimize itself by continuously absorbing the essence of foreign cultures but won’t be assimilated easily. Every nation purposely pursues unique character and statue of their national culture during the evolution of modernization. Those values, beliefs and cognitive systems of various cultural symbols, which are rooted in national cultural historical tradition, are being digged out constantly and regain the reverence especially praising and promoting native traditional culture. Nowadays, although globalization is growing vigorously, it could not eliminate the foundation of multicultural existence and development. On the contrary, under some circumstances, it is likely to arouse the awareness and identity of national culture because of the increase of all kinds of cultural exchanges, to boost the diversity of multi-cultural society. In fact, with the rough waves of globalization and the appreciation of culture under globalization, many countries began to protect cultural diversity and their own national character. For example, Malaysia insists on using Malay as national language in order to emphasis national uniformity; Singapore started to control the use of English and launched an influential “Speaking Mandarin Campaign” to defend their eastern culture tradition and avoid becoming a nondescript monster; Israel decided to reuse Hebrew as daily common language, which was only used in the religious rites for a long time; India put forward “Indianisation”; Islamic countries called for “Islamization” more strongly again; leaders and scholars in some eastern countries advance the concept of “Asian Values” to stress on the particularity of their own culture. Besides, some developed countries have gone far away on this road. After following western countries for several decades, Japan proposed the slogan “Asianization again”; France even took defending cultural diversity as their important task in order to oppose the penetration of American culture and repeatedly emphasized the special value of France culture and so on (Han et al., 2001) . Above all, it is enough to show that cultural survival is the precondition and factor of national survival and that the cultural survival condition not only deposits all past cultural creation and achievement of a nation or a country, but also contains all the values which lead it to proceed to the future to develop sustainably.

4.2. The Internationality of Sports Architecture Culture

With the acceleration of economic globalization, the development of architecture culture steps into deeper level. Human, as an entirety, will confront many common problems about ecology, resource, population, environment, food, diseases etc. These global problems need all nations around the world together to cope with and require corresponding culture and value concepts, such as global awareness, legal theory, institutionalism, communication and cooperation. Thus, people began to think from the perspective of human overall, acknowledged some common characters in human culture. The pursuit of more and more common values transcended nation tradition culture concept and went up to people’s consensus. So far, the pursuit of value that is going global and according with human common values mainly shows the following aspects:

First, due to the general approval of market financial mode all over the world, cultural idea and value identification adapted to the market finance mode have been accepted broadly.

Secondly, democracy is increasingly becoming common political pursuit of countries over the world. Democratic values, the core of which lays in mutual respecting, popular sovereignty, legal supreme, freedom and equality, have become the common political pursuit of human.

Thirdly, in the aspects of living and behaving way, the concepts of prosperity, beauty, fluency, convenience, civilization, respect, openness, modernity, and personality is becoming the common living idea of all nations over the world.

Last but not the least, the booming of green civilization around the world manifests the distillation of people’s cognition of the relation between human and nature (Xu, 2001) .

4.3. The Game of Western Hegemonic and National Sovereign in Sports Architecture Culture

First, from the view of the objective tendency of global culture development, the connotation of global culture is the unification of generality and individuality, uniformity and diversity, university and particularity, and nationality and internationality. For hundreds of years, western culture didn’t and couldn’t thoroughly “annex” and merge the eastern culture. Under the condition of economic globalization, the main tendency of development for national culture is the interaction and blending of nationality and internationality in the highest level. That is to say, nationality reflects the trend of internationality and internationality shows the features of nationality. At present, diverse cultures always exist, but its prominence and being put forward are the inevitable result of global development. It seems difficult to have regard for uniformity and diversity of global culture development. Actually, without globalization the proposal and discussion of diversity in the global is unlikely. The result of interaction between uniformity and diversity does not tend to assimilate but produces new differences from the new uniformity (Wen, 1995) .

Next, from the subjective request of national culture development, though the American-led dominant culture becomes a main tendency during the progress of present globalization, what cannot be ignored at the same time is that as a return, a multicultural development tendency which is conscious and aims to protect national culture particularity is springing up in the world and causes resistance to the expansion and infiltration of dominant culture to some extent. For example, in the 1993 Uruguay round of trade negotiations, France and Canada put forward the proposition “Cultural exception” and advocated cultural products have their particularity and can’t equate with other merchandises which circulate freely. Therefore, during the era of globalization, as long as life itself still exists, the historical progress of national features and uniqueness, cultural nation won’t be eliminate readily.

Finally, an obvious fact is that American-led western culture has predominance in proceed of globalization. Developed capitalistic countries have privileges than those developing countries. The developed countries extend their advantage in economy, politics and military into culture, resulting in difference between strong cultures and disadvantaged cultures. In the proceed of globalization, western countries, especially the United States of America take their advantages in economy and technology, fully using the state of integration caused by globalization in culture field to generalize their culture products and values. They are trying to eliminate the diversity of culture and assimilate other nations’ cultures under the signal of cosmopolitanism and universality, making those disadvantaged nations and their cultures merge into the world culture which is composed of the cultures of the strong nations and promoting cultural homogenization. From this perspective, there exists an unequal relationship of dominating and being dominated which is highly relevant to globalization. When western countries promote globalization, they make western culture as a culture with universal value on purpose in the development of globalization and this can make globalization be interpreted as an expansion of western culture. Therefore, we can never neglect the fact that globalization is beneficial to the implementation of western culture to some extent.

5. Conclusion

In the age of globalization, there are two main development tendencies of world culture: on the one hand, diversity of national cultures has become a normalcy of the world cultural pattern. Each culture is a product of the nation’s long-term development and practice and is the nation’s spiritual pillar and power. There is no doubt about the diversity of world cultures when it comes to its history and reality. On the other hand, culture’s nationality and cosmopolitan are the culture connotations of globalization. Collisions and communications have become colorful scenery of the splendid world culture. The world culture is made up by all kinds of national cultures and it’s almost impossible for any national culture to survive and develop when it’s excluded and isolated from the integration of world culture. Each culture is a symbol of the world and has its eternal culture value (Jin, 2004) .

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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