大溪陀螺王

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1981 / 9月

文‧許麗慧 圖‧楊永山


抽陀螺原是中國古代宮廷裡的貴族遊戲,後來普遍流傳到民間,至今已有四、五百年的歷史。近代由於新奇的遊樂工具和方法不斷出現,這種製造容易、經濟、隨處可玩的古樸玩具,逐漸被淡忘。但在自由中國台灣的桃園縣大溪鎮,卻有一群有心人將它的摔擲方法與外型加以改進,使它不只是玩樂工具,而且成為很好的運動器材。他們並用競賽、公開表演、和組織陀螺訓練班等方法推擴陀螺運動,為這種老玩具注入了新生命,使它又靈活、飛速地旋轉起來。


起源可上溯自宋朝

我國在宋朝就已出現類似陀螺的玩具,叫做「千千」。「千千」,是個直徑四寸的象牙製圓盤,當中有一個一寸長的鐵針,用手擰轉這個鐵針,使針尖立在桌面上旋轉如飛,比賽誰轉得最久。這是當時妃嬪宮女用來打發王宮深院內無聊時光的貴族遊戲。

陀螺一詞,最早出現於明朝,它是否由宋朝的「千千」演變而來,已不可考,但當時陀螺確已成為民間兒童的玩具了。明朝有一首童謠:「楊柳活著搓陀螺,楊柳青著放風箏,楊柳死就踢毽子。」可見當時這種民俗遊戲甚為盛行,而且有季節之分,在春天時最為風行。

江南人對陀螺有另一種稱呼:「地靈」,這是因為陀螺能在地上靈活旋轉,顯得很有生氣。尤其在春天,萬物生長,到處生意盎然,玩「地靈」正是時候,江南人不分大人小孩都樂此不疲。

陀螺在中國流行了數百年,是一項很普遍的民間休閒活動。據說還有人把它當作一種兵器,但已無從考證。古時候陀螺的形狀、打法,因時因地而迭有改變,大致為木製,實心而無柄,用細繩繞好了,一拋一抽,陀螺便在地上靈活地轉動;當它緩下來時,再用繩子給它「加油」,便可轉個不停。這種玩法傳了二、三百年,一直到民國初年,大陸的兒童還有這樣的玩法。

大人要玩大陀螺

目前在台灣,兒童玩的陀螺有木陀螺、化學陀螺和鐵陀螺三種。塑膠製的也有像宋朝「千千」那樣用手來旋轉的,是年齡小的兒童所玩的玩具,稍大的兒童便玩鐵陀螺和木陀螺了。

無論那一種陀螺,從古到今的陀螺多半只有拳頭般大小,但目前自由中國台灣的桃園縣大溪鎮,卻盛行玩大陀螺,最重的達一百二十公斤,最小的也有四、五公斤,觀者莫不嘖嘖稱奇。

大溪因為水質好,出產的豆腐、豆干遠近知名,又有慈湖等風景名勝,所以一向吸引很多遊客前往觀光遊覽。遊客在當地常十分訝異地看到大街小巷裡,有很多人在玩大陀螺,周圍有觀眾興奮地吆喝著,熱烈的掌聲,或是惋惜的嘆息,都隨著陀螺的旋轉與仆倒而不斷迸出。

各地有許多腦筋動得快的房屋銷售商,發現玩大陀螺時,不止是玩的人高興,看的人也興高采烈,因而想到邀請這些抽大陀螺的好手到各個工地去「作秀」,以廣招徠,促銷房屋,但都為純樸的鎮民所拒絕。

雖然他們拒絕到工地去作秀,卻組織俱樂部推廣這個活動。「陀螺俱樂部」總幹事王茂田說,抽陀螺是一種有趣又有益身心的運動,「我們推廣這種運動,是希望讓大家瞭解擲陀螺的樂趣與很高的活動量,吸引男女老少從事這種運動以強身,並可減少打牌、沉溺於電動玩具等不正當的娛樂。」

玩陀螺玩出了名堂

陀螺俱樂部裡面有老人班、婦女班、青年班與兒童班。成員包括男女老幼,並來自各行各業。每天晚上,這批志同道合的人就聚集在福仁宮前的廣場練習打陀螺。

每當陀螺班的成員練習擲陀螺時,總是吸引很多觀眾圍觀。七月二十五日陀螺俱樂部舉辦公開表演時,從各地慕名而來參觀的人更是不計其數,把福仁宮前的廣場擠得水洩不通,可見擲陀螺的吸引力。

為了推廣這種有趣的民俗活動,陀螺俱樂部更打算在今年中秋節舉行擲陀螺大會,他們相信到時候會掀起更高的熱潮。

大溪盛行玩大陀螺已有十餘年的時間,它的肇始是很偶然的,它的盛行卻是一些有心人士的推廣,其中以雕刻為業的簡武雄是個關鍵人物。

簡武維就住在福仁宮附近,十餘年前,他每天到宮廟旁的金生發石工廠從事石頭雕刻,竟日與石材為伍,在電鑽揚起的漫天灰粉中工作,累了便脫下口罩,坐在走廊的石塊上休息。

一日午後,正是簡武雄休息的時候,他的視線懶洋洋地投向被陽光烘得十分暖和的老街。一群小孩正興高采烈地在廟前玩陀螺。他想:「如果大人能跟小孩一樣結伴打陀螺不是很好嗎?但是,那麼大的個子,玩那麼小的陀螺,恐怕會很滑稽吧?!」「有了!大人可以玩大陀螺啊!」

視為一種挑戰

簡武雄打定主意,就去訂做一個五公斤的陀螺。木器行老闆聽說他要訂購一個五公斤重的陀螺,半信半疑地問:「五公斤?那麼大,抽得動嗎?不過沒關係,如果你真能讓它旋轉起來,以後我一定免費幫你做更大的。」

從那時以後,每天晚飯後,簡武雄就拿著大陀螺到福仁宮前試擲,試了好多次,不但沒有抽動它,反而砸傷了自己的腳。後來他就找了些年輕的街坊鄰居,組織一個「陀螺班」。「我定下規則,只要那位能抽動一次大陀螺,我便請客吃一碗麵。」

「重賞」之下必有勇夫,木匠學徒王銘祥第一個揣摩出抽大陀螺的訣竅。原來大陀螺不像小陀螺那樣可以隨意拋,必須纏緊繩子之後頂朝下、釘朝上的拿著,向前一拋,待陀螺在半空中翻了個身,趕緊拉著繩頭轉身往外跑,這樣,就轉得起來了。

王銘祥抽轉陀螺之後,大家也紛紛學會了。這群人把大陀螺抽得飛轉,而簡武雄也請了很多次客,同時帶動了大溪打陀螺的風氣。每天傍晚,福仁宮前廣場抽陀螺的人愈來愈多,看的人也愈來愈多。

朝夕鑽研,揣得訣竅

為了抽動更大的陀螺,他們也研究出種種新方法,例如用彈性較大的橡皮帶代替原來的麻繩,則陀螺更容易抽動。

陀螺因此也愈做愈大,從五公斤、八公斤、十二公斤……,現在已有人能抽動一百二十公斤的大陀螺了!這些陀螺都是木製的,有帶釘和不帶釘兩種,玩法各異。

帶釘的陀螺較普遍,玩者以繩子沿釘的三分之二往陀螺身上纏滿,然後斜空裡往地上擲去,利用繩子抽回的力量使陀螺在地上轉動。

不帶釘的陀螺形狀和帶釘的一樣,只是沒有打釘而已,而在打釘的位置凸出一塊以便繩子纏繞,玩者把陀螺由下往上拋,再用力抽回繩子,讓陀螺在落地時旋轉。

陀螺俱樂部裡,能夠打一百二十公斤大陀螺的有好幾位,算得上好手的蘇勝雄說:「打陀螺最要緊臂力一定要夠,否則就不是人打陀螺,而是人被陀螺打了。往往陀螺王旋轉的力量,可以把人帶得跟著轉。」

每天晚上在福仁宮前廣場練習的陀螺俱樂部會員,無論男女老幼都已磨拳擦掌,準備在中秋節陀螺大賽中一顯身手,要好好表現給來自各地的觀光客欣賞。

〔圖片說明〕

P.18、P.19

圖1:桃園縣大溪鎮有一批志同道合的人,組織了一個陀螺俱樂部,每天傍晚時分,聚集在福仁宮前的廣場練習,他們玩的陀螺體積大,重量重,常令外人嘆為觀止。圖2:他們所抽的陀螺也有大小之分,功夫深的成年人抽大陀螺,青少年則多半抽中號的。圖3:小朋友也在這風氣中學會了玩陀螺,但他們玩的是小號的。圖4:打大陀螺之前,先把繩子緊緊地繞在陀螺上。

P.20、P.21

圖1:要使大陀螺轉動,不僅要懂得技巧,還要有很好的體力,所以這是一種運動,也是民眾同樂的遊藝活動。圖2:這些大陀螺都是硬木打造成的,書有「扭轉乾坤」的陀螺王,重達一百二十公斤,至今仍是最大的一個。圖3:帶有鐵釘的陀螺,比較容易纏繞繩索,陀螺轉動時也更為生動好看。

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EN

'Top' Game in Tachi


Spinning tops was a game for the elite of the Chinese court in ancient times. It was not until four to five hundred years ago that it became popular among the ordinary people. More recently, a rash of newly developed games and forms of entertainment caused top-spinning to fall into oblivion. Now, however, enthusiasts at Tachiin Taoyuan County in northern Taiwan have given new dimensions to the game which promise to bring it back into vogue. They have even organized competitions, displays and training classes to save the game from extinction.

History: The first top-like toys date from the Sung dynasty. Originally called chien chien, the game was played with a metal disc pierced by an iron spike. By the time of the Ming dynasty, the game was enormously popular with children. A nursery rhyme of these times which goes: "Spin the top while the willows grow, fly kites while they ripen and play with shuttlecocks when they wither," sums up the popularity of the game in the springtime.

People living in southern Kiangsu called the top di ling, or literally "earth spirit" because it was so popular, particularly in the springtime. Though there is no proof, it is said that the top was even used as a weapon in ancient times. The most traditional top consists of a piece of solid wood which can be kept going with a whip. Today, tops used by older children are made of wood or metal, while those for young children are made of plastic. Huge tops, weighing from five to 120 kilograms are a specialty in Tachi.

Visitors to Tachi are lured by its succulent dried bean curd, or the unworldly beauty of nearby Tzuhu.

By the time they leave, however, they are likely to be equally impressed with the top game as played by the town's specialists. Spectators gather in almost every street and alley to marvel at their skills. Silence is broken occasionally by whoops of delight and applause, or cries of disappointment as a top "sleeps," or falls.

To spread the popularity of the game to all sectors of the community and to all age groups, a club has been organized in Tachi. As its secretary general, Wang Mao-tien, said: "We hope people will be interested in this game in preference to such unproductive entertainment as mahjong and TV video games."

Today, classes are organized for the aged, women, youths and children. Participants gather every night in the square in front of the Fujen Temple to sharpen their skills, and whenever there is a contest, interested people come from every corner of the island to marvel at the pageant.

The popularity of the game in Tachi can be traced back more than 10 years. The central figure was a young man called Chien Wu-hsiung, who worked at a stone factory located near the Fujen Temple. During his tea break, he would sit idly on a stone slab looking blankly into the old streets during the shimmering heat of the day. One August afternoon, he saw several children playing with tops in the temple square, and the ideal came to him that adults could take up the game.

After asking his friends to make a five kilogram top for him, he practised setting it in motion every night at the Fujen Temple. When he failed, and almost injured himself, he told his friends he would buy a meal for the first person to set such a huge top in motion. Though the reward was meager, several people took up the challenge, and in the end, a carpenter name Wang Ming-hsiang was the first to succeed.

As more and more people learned the trick, the game became more and more popular among the Tachi villagers. In order to set even larger tops in motion, club members worked out new methods such as replacing the hemp rope with rubber cord. By this means, the weight of the top could be increased to 120 kilograms. All the tops are made of wood, some with iron spikes in the center, others without.

Su Shen-hsiung, one of the few to master the spinning of a 120 kg. top, described the techniques: "A good top spinner must have strong arms, otherwise he faces the danger of injury. Some times, instead of spinning the top, a player is spun by it.

[Picture Caption]

1. In addition to the succulent dried bean curd, visitors to Tachi are impressed with the top spinning game as played by the town's specialists. To spread the popularity of the game to all sectors of the community and to all age groups, a club has been organized in Tachi. Every night, interested people gather around the Fujen Temple square to practice. 2&3. In the past, tops were fist-sized. Today, huge tops, weighing from five to 120 kilograms are a specialty in Tachi. 4. These experts at the game are seen winding hemp ropes around a top.

1. To set a huge top in motion needs good control techniques and stamina . As a result, spinning the top is a good entertainment and an interesting sport. 2. These huge tops are made of hardwood. The one marked with four big Chinese characters meaning "to turn for the better" is the largest at 120 kg. 3. Tops with iron spikes in the center are easier to wind and more pleasing to the eye.

 

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