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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fengyuan's Martyrs' Shrine 豊原の忠烈祠

I was able to complete a walk and do a bit of exploration in the Chung-cheng (Jhong-jheng) Park 中正公園 area of Fengyuan (Fongyuan) 豊原(とよはら)before the rain started. After a short walk on one of the trails, I rode my scooter to the top of the hill, where the Fengyuan Country Club sits. Just before the entrance to the golf course is Fengyuan's Martyrs' Shrine (Tsunglitz'u / Zonglicih) 忠烈祠(ちゅうれっし). There are martyrs shrines in many localities in Taiwan, honoring those who have died fighting for the Republic of China. The most famous one is in T'aibei (Taibei) 台北(といほく), which I visited with my friend Louis a few years ago when he came to see me in Taiwan. We were fortunate to witness the changing of the guards, but unfortunately I don't have any pictures on the computer of our visit.

T'aichung (Taijhong) 台中(たいちゅう)has an attractive martyrs' shrine as well. I took this picture when we visited a couple of years ago

but the complex only seems to be open on Sundays and national holidays if I remember correctly. We've also been to a martyrs' shrine in Tachia (Dajia) 大甲. While not so well-known

it's located in a nice hilltop park area, and there's a lot of military hardware displayed on the grounds.

In all the time I've been in this area, I've never seen Fengyuan's martyrs' shrine being opened to visitors. I'd heard it had been badly damaged in the 921 quake, but everything looks OK now, so I don't know why it remains closed. Like Ise-jingu 伊勢神宮 in Japan

the best you can do is try to get a peek at the building over the walls. There was someone in the office there this morning, but this martyrs' shrine is still off-limits for now.

On the way home from the Martyrs' Shrine, I came across this sign at the entrance to a new housing development.

The name means "Sakura Street No. 1". However, the traditional Chinese character for sakura is used 櫻, and not the Japanese 桜. So instead of "Ouka no Michi No. 1" 桜花の道No.1", meaning "Cherry Blossom Street No. 1", we have "Ouka (or Sakura) no Michi No. 1" 櫻花の道No.1", or "Ouka's (or Sakura's) Street No. 1", which sounds like the road belongs to a woman.

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