Saturday, June 20, 2015

Koxinga Ancestral Shrine/鄭成功祖廟/鄭成功祖廟


I finally visited the Koxinga Ancestral Shrine recently after having passed by the front a million times before.  Koxinga is an important figure in Taiwanese history, and this shrine was originally made for and dedicated to him by his son.  Koxinga was a Ming loyalist who set up a kingdom on Taiwan for the sake of fighting the Qing, who had recently taken over all of China from the fallen Ming dynasty. In order to rule Taiwan, Koxinga had to take an army to Taiwan and defeat the Dutch, who controlled (most of) the island at the time.  Because he defeated the dirty-foreigner Dutch and was the first Han Chinese to rule the island, he has been deified by later governments as a symbol of Chinese-ruled Taiwan.  Interestingly though, his mother was Japanese, so during the Japanese period, the government at the time also played up the Koxinga myth in order to make a connection between Taiwan's history and Japan's.


Here's the little scamp with his mom.  She was from Hirado, Nagasaki.


The shrine's architecture seems rather unique to me.  It has a different feel than most others I've been to in Tainan.  It's not as flashy and covered in porcelain dragon statues as most temples in Tainan seem to be.  Aside from the bright colors used to paint it, it actually reminds me a little bit of a Japanese shrine or temple in its subduedness.





The front gate is really cool.



And there's an old well in front.


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