A Japanese Shrine to change history
A couple of days ago I posted about my day out to a memorial park in Taiwan that commemorates the Russo- Japanese war in 1904. You can read the post here. On the way up to the park, I passed by the Tongxiao Shrine. This is another piece of interesting history on this small island and is the centre of this post “A Japanese Shrine to change history?”
At the turn century when Taiwan was colonised by Japan for about half a century, the Japanese built over 200 shrines all over the island. This particular one was built in 1937.
WHY CHANGE HISTORY THROUGH A SHRINE?
After the second world war and when the Japanese left, the Tongxiao Shrine was destroyed by the new KMT government. They wanted to detach themselves from the Japanese rule period. In a way, they wanted to change history and remove any sign of colonialism from the past 50 years. These other buildings next to the shrine are the administrative buildings and suffered the same fate. They have been left to derelicts over the years. In my previous post, I have talked a bit more about these derelict buildings.
TONGXIAO SHRINE TODAY
Today, the shrine has been rebuilt and is now a historical protected building. It is usually used to promote arts and culture. During my visit, there was an exhibition of various traditional musical instruments on display.
經過半個世紀後，通霄神社已被重建，現今已被列為歷史保護建築。平常神社會用來作產業文化。 就如我當天到達時正有一個樂器展覽。 你看我在彈古箏像嗎?其實我是不懂的，只是在扮彈而且喔! 。
Here’s me playing the guzheng. Do you think I look professional? I’ll tell you a little secret, I have taken lessons many years ago but I couldn’t play it to save my live today. Posing is still ok I think!
I particularly liked this device. It’s made of ceramics, shaped like a nest of birds. You can see there are holes down the pipe and on the birds’ head. There was a photo which showed an old lady blowing into it at the top. I would love to hear what it sounds like.
FOLLOW ME FOR A WALK
I’m going to leave you with a video that I’ve made during my day out. From the shrine, it’s short 15 minute walk uphill to the Hutaoshan park. I’ve condensed it to a 3 minute video and the view gets better and better as I approach the top of the park. Enjoy.