Polo game, Negishi Race Track, Yokohama, c. 1920.

1920sSports & AthleticsYokohama
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Polo game, Negishi Race Track, Yokohama, c. 1920. Negishi Race Course was located on the outskirts of Yamate, Yokohama, and was the first purpose-built European-style racecourse in Japan. It operated from 1866 to 1942.

“Polo has been an international sport since at least 821 A.D., when Chinese ambassadors in Japan played a team fielded by the Emperor.

“The origins of Polo are lost in the mists of antiquity. History records that the ancient Persians knew the sport as ‘Chaughan’ and played it as far back as 2500 years ago. China also lays claim to a polo tradition dating back thousand of years. Certainly, the game of polo reflects all the qualities that made the Mongol hordes the greatest nation of horsemen in the ancient world. Great equestrian skills coupled with a clear eye and stout heart remain the prerequisites of a polo player till today.

“Radiating outwards from the steppes of Central Asia, the game eventually spread as far as Japan, China, Tibet and India. Modern polo originated at Silchar, west of Manipur, a northeastern state of India. The Silchar Polo Club was founded in 1859 by British military officers and tea planters, after Lieutenant Joe Sherer saw the locals playing polo and exclaimed, ‘We must learn the game!'”

History of Polo, Polo Museum

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