2021年10月14日 星期四

Roaming Around Mudan Township 牡丹鄉遊記

Mudan Township is south of Shrdze.  According to the last census, 4,854 people live there. 牡丹鄉位於獅子南部 .  上次的人口統計顯示牡丹人口是4,854人 .

In my opinion the boundaries of Kenting National Park should be extended north to include Mudan.  I'm not sure how much doing so would help protect ecosystems there, but given Mudan's small population and large size, I can't see how extending national park boundaries to include Mudan would do any harm. 我認為墾丁國家公園的邊界應該北到牡丹, 我不知道這麼做對保護這個地區的生態系統有多少幫助 .  只是認為牡丹的人口不多 , 但土地面積廣大 , 讓這個鄉成為國家保護區應該比較好 .*

And in the Pingtung County Government's defense, they have made efforts to recognize and preserve some of the ecosystems there.  Mudan might be far, Mudan might be hard to get to, but parts of it are definitely worth preserving. 屏東縣政府宣稱他們在保護生態系統上做了許多的努力 .  牡丹可能遠 , 也可能不容易到牡丹 , 可是這個地區的生態系統值得被好好的保護 .

This photo was taken on Highway 199, not far from Taitung.  That's the Pacific Ocean in the distance. 這張照片是在199省道拍的 , 靠近台東的那一段 .  背景是太平 .

Same road, but a little closer to Dongyuan Village. 同一條路, 比較靠近東源 .

Just north of Kuqi Lake.  This place offers coffee and tours of its gardens.  The man selling tickets, an ex-priest who's spent decades in the area, knows a lot about Mudan. 哭泣湖北部 .  這裡是咖啡館 , 也可以參觀植物園 .  賣票的工作人員是這附近退休的牧師 ,  他非常了解這地區 .

In the gardens north of the lake. 湖北部的花園 .

Near the lakeshore.  On the hill there's a stone house that's locally famous. 靠近湖岸 .  山坡上的石頭屋也是景點 .

South of Dongyuan Village is the Dongyuan Pasture.  It looks pretty from the small parking lot next to the road, but the trail through it is somewhat disappointing.  Someone cut down a bunch of trees on top of the hill to the right, and there is other evidence of "development" in this area. 東源村南部有東源草原 .  從路邊的停車場看進去風景不錯 , 可是步道上的風景沒那麼好 .  有人把照片右邊山坡上的樹砍掉 , 附近也有其他正在開發的地方 .

From Dongyuan Village there's a road east, to the village of Xuhai on the Pacific Ocean.  From Xuhai we drove a bit north to the Xuhai Pasture, where this photo was taken.從東源村有條路往東部走 , 接到太平洋上的旭海 .  我們從旭海到北部的旭海草原 .  這張照片是在那邊拍的 .

From Xuhai another road extends south to Manzhou.  I really wanted to take pictures of the military fortifications around here, but it's illegal to do so. 旭海南部還有一條路通到滿州 .  我很想拍照, 可是在軍事基地拍照是違法的 .

It's a very peaceful place.  It should be noted, however, that many fishermen go missing in this area.  Storms can appear very suddenly. 這是個很平靜的地方 .  但是風可能會突然變強,有些漁民在這裡的海上消失 . 

Back in Xuhai we had lunch at this restaurant, located next to the Xuhai Hot Springs.  I thought it was very good.  I'd eat there again in a second. 我們回去旭海這家餐廳吃午餐 .  它位於旭海溫泉旁邊 .  我覺得很不錯 , 很想再去一次 .

Following the road from Xuhai west leads you through several Paiwan villages to the Mudan Reservoir.  The reservoir is very full now thanks to recent typhoons. 從旭海開往西岸會經過幾個排灣部落到牡丹水庫 .  最近颱風多, 所以水庫滿滿的 .

The village around the reservoir isn't especially interesting, and the dam itself is only worth walking around when the weather is cool. 水庫附近的部落不是很有趣 .  天氣比較涼快的時候才值得走進去水庫的遊客中心 .

These guys, to be found on the bridge across from the dam, are really bringing home the bacon. 這兩個男人在水庫對面的橋上 .  他們正努力的把晚餐帶回家 .

Further down the road, closer to Checheng, is the site of the historic Mudan Incident.  These two, holding the "celebration cups," are among my favorite bits of statuary there. 繼續往下走就到牡丹事件古戰場 .  這兩個人一起喝酒的雕像是我最喜歡的雕像的其中之一 .

On the Sse Chong Xi River, where 199 takes you into Checheng.  The famous hot springs are just down the road, and beyond the hot springs is Highway 26. 這是199省道旁邊的四重溪 , 往車城的方向 .  直走到溫泉區 , 溫泉區另外一邊是台26線 .

Related Entries 相關的文章:

*Most people living in this area would not agree with this opinion.  They of course have their own opinions about who should own the land and how much of it they should own.  That's a big, complicated historical argument I couldn't do justice to here.

2021年10月8日 星期五

屏東縣鄉土DNA (Pingtung County Hometown DNA) 4

The Chinese text below was taken from "Pingtung County Hometown DNA" 屏東縣鄉土 DNA.  The Chinese was written under the direction of the Pingtung County Government, and the English was written/translated by me.  This book was published by Jade Mountain 玉山社 in 2008.

This book was written by and for the use of local teachers.  It presents units of study with regard to local history and local products, with a curriculum for grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8.  I'll be excerpting from the 7-8 grade curriculum for each of these entries.

There are nine units in this book.  This entry is the fourth.*

Ceremonial Money Furnaces (1)

一 , 地理環境 One: Local Geography

1. 敬字亭分佈全台各地 Ceremonial Money Furnaces are Distributed All Over Taiwan

1. 敬字亭其實全台各地都有 , 例如台北市芝山岩 , 桃園縣龍潭鄉 , 彰化縣鹿港龍山寺 , 花蓮縣鳳林鎮等 , 都有形式不拘的各種敬字亭的存在 .  敬字亭的存在 , 與漢人社會中敬字亭紙的觀念有關 , 並不是只因某族群而特別存在 .  There are in fact ceremonial money furnaces all over Taiwan.  For example [these ceremonial money furnaces can be found in] Zhrshanyan in Taipei City, Loongtan Township in Taoyuan County, the Loongshan Temple in Lugang, Changhua County, and Fenglin Municipality in Hualien.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  The existence of these ceremonial money furnaces is related to the use of ceremonial (or joss) money in Han Chinese society, but their presence is not dependent on any single ethnic group.

2. 化丙存神的觀念 A Philosophy of Three Spiritual Duties

2. 客家人長久以來世居比較不利的環境中 , 因為環境艱困 , 培養出 "晴耕雨讀" 的傳統精神 .  既然是提倡讀書的風氣 , 對於代表文昌的神祀便有了敬畏之心 , 轉化而來的 , 就是對於書寫字體的紙張也存有敬畏之心 , 被教育出 "化丙存神" 的觀念 .  台灣因科舉制度的廢止 , 對敬字亭的觀念逐漸淡薄 , 但客家人傳統的讀書風氣 , 使得敬字亭的保存以及新個案的興建都比較容易在客家族群中被發現 .  The Hakka people have a long history of living in environments unfavorable to them.  Because of the hardships they've endured, they have developed a tradition of scholarship.  This tradition values reading and reverence for the god Wenchang Wang [who was known as a scholar].  Over time this reverence for Wenchang Wang has transformed into a reverence for books and writing, and also into a philosophy valuing "three spiritual duties."  Because the imperial examination system was abolished in Taiwan, the use of these ceremonial money furnaces gradually fell out of favor.  But the Hakka people's emphasis on [traditional] scholarship makes preserved examples and newly constructed ceremonial money furnaces easier to find in [areas inhabited by] that group. (2)

二 , 歷史背景 Two: Historical Background

1. 台灣的敬字亭 Taiwan's Ceremonial Money Furnaces

1. 敬字亭在宋朝出現 , 到明清兩代 , 因八股考試的盛行 , 敬字亭的建造更為興盛 .  台灣敬字風俗始於1726年 , 當時的拔貢生施世榜在台南府城外 , 建 "敬聖樓" 祭祀文昌帝君 .  鳳山縣的敬字亭建於1800年 , 而屏東縣最早的敬字亭則是在車城 , 建於1855年 ; 客家六堆地區最早建立可考者則為1765年的美濃庄敬字亭 , 1789年萬巒庄敬字亭 .  奉祀的神明主要有倉頡聖人 , 梓潼文昌帝君 , 魁斗星君 , 文曲星君 , 文衡帝君 , 孚佑帝君 , 孔子 , 朱衣星君 , 韓愈及朱熹 .  Ceremonial money furnaces first appeared during the Song Dynasty.  During the Ming and Ching dynasties the construction of these ceremonial money furnaces increased as the Imperial Examination System grew in importance.  The use of these ceremonial money furnaces in Taiwan dates back to 1726.  At the time Shen Shr-bang built a "temple to honor the gods" outside Tainan's old city, and dedicated it to the [god] Wenchang Wang.  Fengshan "County's" ceremonial money furnace was built in 1800, and the oldest ceremonial money furnace in Pingtung is in to be be found in Checheng.  It was build in 1855.  Within the Hakka Liudui settlements, the first ceremonial money furnaces were probably the ones built in Meinong Village in 1785 and in Wanluan Village in 1789.  The primary deities worshiped at these sites were Cangjie, Wenchang Wang, Kui Xing, "Wenquxing," Guan Yu, Lu Dongbin, Confucius, the "Zhu Yi Spirit," Han Yu and Zhu Xi. (3)

三 , 社會發展 Three: Societal Development

1. 客家人精神 The Hakka Spirit

1. 客家族群從中原遷徙往南發展 , 並保持了強大的凝聚力 , 各方面都留存著豐富的中原古風 , 守禮重義 , 好學問 , 講倫理 .  遷台之後形成的客家庄 , 是強而有力的家庭組織 , 在昔時農業社會中 , 維持了穩定的生活方式 , 不但謀求經濟上的自給自足 , 也是對外共同抵禦及扶養老弱孤寡的依據 . The Hakka people migrated from [China's] central plains southward.  Throughout their migrations they remained a very tight knit group.  They maintained all of the traditions inherited from the central plains, including a respect for etiquette, a hunger for scholarship, and a [system of] ethics.  The Hakka villages formed after their relocation to Taiwan were powerful family organizations.  In the agricultural society of old they maintained a stable way of living, which embraced not only economic independence but also mutual defense and support for the weak and elderly.

2. 客家人倫理觀 Hakka Ethics

2. 傳統的客家家庭裡 , 一般是家族制的數世同堂 , 雖然目前已因社會的發展而使此家族規模趨於瓦解 , 但是其無形的傳統約束力 , 仍高過其他族群 .  客家人在生活各方面 , 大都以維持家庭為中心 , 對家庭忠誠 , 主要價值就在於安定社會秩序 .  家族的運作由家長主持 , 由家族中尊長者擔任 .  家長統率全家 , 有絕對的權力 ; 家長建在時 , 雖子孫滿堂 , 也不分隊 . In traditional Hakka families there are usually several generations living under one roof.  Even though many families have drifted apart as modern society has developed, the traditions that bind them together exercise a powerful, invisible force greater than those seen in other groups.  All aspects of Hakka life are oriented toward maintaining the family unit and remaining loyal to it.  The primary value is the stability of the social order.  Heads of each household preside over the workings of each family, with the elders of each family as the ultimate source of authority.  The heads of each household exercise absolute control over their families, and as long as the heads of households remain their family will not split into smaller units, even after sons marry and grandchildren appear.

四 , 建築佈局與特色 4. Architectural Layout and Characteristics

1. 萬巒鄉佳和村敬字亭 Wanluan Township, Jiahe Village's Ceremonial Money Furnace

1. 萬巒鄉佳和村的位置處於閩客族群交界處 , 相傳佳佐一帶閩南人常與萬巒客家人發生械鬥 , 客家人便建柵門抵禦閩南人騷擾 .  為了柵門裝飾美觀 , 在柵門裝上一對鳳眼 , 這對鳳眼就正好對著佳佐 .  後來佳佐的住民在風水堪輿師的建議下 , 在開庄地建立一座八卦形的敬字亭 , 並在面向萬巒方向裝置銅鏡 , 希望把惡煞照返萬巒 , 讓萬巒客家人永遠抬不起頭 .  因此佳佐的敬字亭是在一個八卦形的台基上 , 並且在爐口的地方裝有一面銅鏡 , 這是最大的特徵 .  Jiahe Village in Wanluan Township is located near the edge of the old Minnanese (Hokkien) settlements.  According to legend, the Hokkien-speaking people around Jiadzuo often fought with the Hakka people of Wanluan, and the Hakka people built barriers around their villages to block encroachment by Hokkien-speaking settlers.  A pair of phoenix eyes was installed into the village gate to beautify it, and this pair of phoenix eyes was facing Jiadzuo.  Later on the residents of Jiadzuo built an eight trigram-shaped pavilion under the direction of a Fengshui master, and also installed a bronze mirror facing Wanluan in the hope of keeping the people there safe from evil spirits.  This is why Jiadzuo's ceremonial money furnace is set upon an eight trigram-shaped platform, and why there is a bronze mirror near the mouth of the furnace. (4)

2. 竹田鄉糶糶村敬字亭 Jhutian Township, Tiaotiao Village's Ceremonial Money Furnace

2. 竹田鄉糶糶村敬字亭 , 為六角形三層式格局的磚砌造型 , 位於達達港遺址附近 , 在風水地理學上有希望將文風留住 , 祁求庄內子弟學業精進的用意 .  周圍六角形圍牆環繞 , 具有兩個神龕 , 分別供奉土地公和觀世音菩薩 , 該土地公在一般敬字亭很少供奉 .  字爐設在第一層 , 中間層是土地公的神龕 , 頂層則是供奉觀世音菩薩 , 但是又配合各種八卦形或十字形窗戶 , 因為八卦形或十字形在這仰上屬道教 , 此格局很少見 . The ceremonial money furnace in Jhutian Township, Tiaotiao Village is a six-sided, three level brick structure.  It's located near the ruins of Dada Port.  From the perspective of Fengshui, it is hoped that "cultured winds" can be retained in an area, and that by doing so the scholarship and prospects of (male) students in the village will be improved.  [The ceremonial money furnace] is surrounded by a six-sided wall, and two shrines are housed within it.  These shrines are dedicated to Tudigong [the earth god or "Lord of the Place"] and the goddess Guanyin.  Tudigong is rarely enshrined in this type of structure.  The furnace is to be found on the first level, the second level is the Tudigong shrine, and the third level is the Guanyin shrine.  There are various trigram-shaped or cross-shaped windows all over the structure.  These shapes, associated with Taoism, are not often seen in this kind of structure.

3. 西勢村文筆亭 Xishr Village's Wenbi Pagoda

3. 西勢村文筆亭是鄉內最具代表性的敬字亭建築 , 建築格局規劃完整 , 亭的頂端是一支筆的造型 , 亭前有一蓮花池 , 池兩旁是馬路 , 再加上亭前空地 , 使整個環境造型就像是一個硯台 .  而整體廣場就像是一張紙 , 字爐中的灰爐像是墨 , 進而在整體造型上形成文人所需的 "紙 , 筆 , 墨 , 硯" 的文房四寶 .  The Wenbi Pagoda in Xishr Village is the most representative of the ceremonial money furnaces in the area.  The structure is the most complete, and the top of the pagoda is shaped like a calligraphy brush.  There is a lotus pond in front of the pagoda, roads to either side of the pond, and an open space in front of it.  The whole layout reminds one of an inkstone, with the surrounding square bringing to mind a piece of paper and the ashes in the furnace reminding one of ink.  "The four scholarly treasures," namely brush, paper, ink and inkstone are thus in evidence.

4. 內埔鄉振豐村敬字亭 Neipu Township, Jhenfeng Village's Ceremonial Money Furnace

4. 內埔鄉振豐村敬字亭為三層式六角形建築 , 亭外有護欄矮牆 , 門桂上為球形桂頭 , 其他牆桂桂頭為石獅和鑽石桂頭 , 護牆上各牆面有泥塑的花草圖案裝飾 .  亭頂是攢尖式並以葫蘆裝飾排煙口 , 垂脊部分有泥塑仙鶴和水草圖案 .  最頂層是供奉魁斗星君的神龕 , 神龕前有兩根龍桂 , 並以剪黏的牡丹花來裝飾牆面 ; 第二為焚燒字紙用 , 各面牆上有梅 , 蘭 , 菊 , 竹的剪黏圖案 .  敬字亭的基座部分 , 六面牆各有泥的麒麟 , 葫蘆和文房四寶等圖案 .  Neipu Township, Jhenfeng Village's ceremonial money furnace is a three level building with six sides.  There is a low wall around it, and there are posts at the entrance that are spherical at the top.  The other posts around this low wall are decorated with stone lions and stone diamonds.  There are also clay sculptures of flowers and plants along the wall.  The roof of the structure comes to a point, and the chimney is decorated with gourds [of immortality].  The body of the structure is decorated with cranes and aquatic plants.  The top level is a shrine dedicated to Kui Xing, with two dragon pillars [before the idol's dwelling place] and peony flowers on the walls of the shrine.  The second level is for burning calligraphy paper.  Each side of this level is decorated with plum, orchid, chrysanthemum, or bamboo patterns.  The six sides of the base are adorned with clay qilins, gourds and the "four scholarly treasures."

5. 和興村敬字亭稱頓水亭 Hexing Village's Ceremonial Money Furnace is Called Dunshuiting

5. 內埔鄉和興村敬字亭稱為頓水亭 , 據傳是和興村靠近東港溪一帶 , 早年每逢雨季就會河水氾濫 , 流水滾滾瘴氣橫生 .  居民們相信是水流帶走他們的健康和財富 , 於是溪旁建了一座敬字亭 , 命名為 "頓水亭" , 希望能從風水學的觀念來鎮住河水 .  亭是三層六角形建築 , 亭尖為攢尖式 , 第二層為焚化字紙的爐體 , 各牆面以彩繪的花鳥圖案裝飾 , 頂層供奉有文昌帝君 , 孚佑帝君和關聖帝君 . The ceremonial money furnace in Neipu Township, Hexing Village is known as "Dunshuiting."  It is said that because Hexing Village is close to the Donggang River floods during the rainy season were once a big problem there, and the floodwaters were a major cause of disease.  The villagers believed that their health and prosperity were carried away by the floodwater, and for this reason they built a ceremonial money furnace next to the river, calling it "Dunshuiting" in the hope that its placement, according to the rules of Fengshui, would calm the waters of the river. The structure is of three levels and has six sides.  The roof comes to a sharp point.  The second level is provided for the burning of calligraphy paper.  The sides are decorated with painted flower and bird patters.  The top level is a shrine dedicated to the gods Wenchang Wang, Lu Dongbin and Guan Yu. (5)

6. 東寧村妙善寺字爐 Dongning Village, Miaoshan Temple's Furnace

6. 內埔鄉東寧村妙善寺字爐在建造上 , 比一般敬字亭考究 , 是三層六角形的結構 , 爐體以磚砌成 , 外面加以洗石子的牆面 .  亭頂採攢尖式 , 不像其他敬字亭用葫蘆造型 , 反而是用獅子裝飾 , 在垂脊部分 , 則以泥塑的水草裝飾 .  底座各面則以泥塑的麒麟 , 竹 , 菊等 ; 第二層為焚化字紙之處 , 在爐口的門額以陰刻仙鶴銜玉佩圖案 , 玉佩內另有題 "字爐" 二字 , 其餘各面則以泥塑的吉祥圖案及捐款人的姓名呈現 .  最頂層以剪黏的花草來美化 .  The building method used to construct the Miaoshan Temple Furnace is more sophisticated than those used to construct other ceremonial money furnaces.  It's a three level, six-sided structure, and while the body of the furnace is made from brick the exterior is covered in washed stone.  The roof of the furnace is pointed, but unlike other furnaces it's shaped like a gourd and decorated with lions.  The ridges on the roof are decorated with clay sculptures of aquatic plants.  On each side of the base there are additional clay sculptures of qilin, chrysanthemums and bamboo.  The second level is where calligraphy paper is incinerated.  In the door sealing the furnace there is a jade carving with a crane and the words "dze lu."  The other sides of the furnace are decorated with auspicious clay sculptures and lists of temple donors.  The top level is beautified with cut flowers and plants. (6)

7. 新埤鄉建功村敬字亭 Xinpi Township, Jiangong Village's Ceremonial Money Furnace

7. 新埤鄉建功村是典型客家村落 , 敬字亭以泥塑和剪黏的吉獸 , 花草和人物裝飾 , 精美細緻 , 是四層六角形的建築 , 亭身以磚砌造成 , 外貼馬賽克磁磚 .  亭頂是少見的歇山漢瓦形式 , 屋脊上有一五層的通天寶塔 , 亭頂屋面以琉璃瓦 , 滴水 , 瓦當等裝飾 , 亭身各面以泥塑的 "老虎下山" 等吉獸圖案 , 並以剪黏的獅子來美化 .  第三層的亭身為祭祀倉頡先師 , 至聖先師 , 文昌帝君和魁斗星君等神位 , 各牆面以泥塑的仙人像裝飾 .  Jiangong Village in Xinpi Township is a typical Hakka village.  The ceremonial money furnace is decorated with detailed clay sculptures of auspicious [possibly mythological] beasts, plants and people.  It is a four level, six-sided structure.  It was built of bricks and covered in mosaic tiles.  The pagoda-shaped roof is very unusual.  This tower-like roof slopes downward in five layers, and is decorated with glazed tiles, dripping water and other motifs.  The body of the furnace is decorated with auspicious clay sculptures depicting beasts from the story "Old Tiger Coming Down the Mountain," and raised friezes of lions beautify the structure.  The shrine on the third level is dedicated to the god Cangjie, Wenchang Wang, Kui Xing and other spirits.  The walls are adorned with clay statues of immortals.

8. 佳冬村敬字亭 Jiadong Village's Ceremonial Money Furnace

8. 佳冬村敬字亭位於蕭家古厝的南面市場內 , 大量採用彩繪 , 剪黏裝飾 , 泥塑再加上俊秀的水墨畫 , 相當具有人文氣息 .  主要格局是四層六角形的建築 , 亭頂採用少見的歇山漢瓦式 , 屋脊上並有泥塑的水草裝飾 , 第三層為供奉文昌帝君 , 倉頡先師和文魁的神位 , 此層牆面以水墨畫裝飾 , 更顯文雅脫俗 ; 第二層是焚字紙的爐口 , 各牆面以水墨畫裝飾 . Jiadong Village's ceremonial money furnace is south of the plaza located near the Old Xiao Family Residence.  It is adorned with a large number of naturalistic paintings, ornaments, clay sculptures and pictures done in ink.  It is a four level, six-sided structure.  The roof of the furnace is covered in the rare Xieshan Han style of tile, and is decorated with clay sculptures of aquatic plants.  The third level is dedicated to the god Wenchang Wang, Cangjie and Lu Dongbin.  The exterior of this level is decorated with ink paintings which are elegant.  The second level, which is the furnace used for burning calligraphy paper, is adorned with ink paintings.

9. 枋寮石頭營聖蹟亭 Fangliao's "Stone Encampment" Shengji Furnace

9. 枋寮石頭營聖蹟亭是清代總兵張其光為撫化原住民學童 , 而於營區附近設學校 , 教導兒童學漢學 , 習禮儀 , 後來便在此設立聖蹟亭 .  一來可以焚燒公文字紙 , 也可以祭祀倉頡先師 , 達到教化的目的 .  三層六角形的格局 , 亭頂是四邊形 , 採用硬山式屋頂 , 主要是一張方形神龕 , 亭身以紅磚砌造而成 . Fangliao's "Stone Encampment" Shengji Furnace was built by the soldier Zhang Qi-guang during the Ching Dynasty, for aboriginal children attending a school built built near the military encampment there.  The children in the school were taught Chinese and etiquette, and later on the Shengji Furnace was built there.  At this furnace you could either burn calligraphy paper or ceremonial money for the god Cangjie as a way of increasing scholarly ability.  The three level structure has six sides, although the roof has four sides and is ridged [like the roof of a traditional Chinese house].  Its most important features are the square shrine, and also the red bricks it is composed of.

10. 敬聖亭 Jingshengting

10. 坐落在滿州鄉永靖村和德里村之間的敬字亭 , 相傳是在日治時期 , 日本人為瓦解原住民潘文杰的勢力 , 在目前的位置興建敬字亭 , 以鎮其氣勢 .  是一座三層六角形格局 , 亭頂為攢尖式 , 並設有排煙口 , 亭身以紅磚砌成 . Jingshengting is a ceremonial money furnace located between Yongqing Village and Deli Village in Manzhou Township.  According to legend, the Japanese occupation forces built this ceremonial money furnace as a way of countering the influence of Pan Wen-jie, a local aboriginal leader.  It is a three level, six-sided structure with a pointed roof.  There are vents in it to release smoke, and it was made of red brick.

五 , 古蹟保存維護與再利用 5. Preservation, Maintenance and Reuse of Historic Sites

1. 台灣各地敬字亭曾達百座 There are Hundreds of Ceremonial Money Furnaces All Over Taiwan

1. 清光緒年間 , 全台各地敬字亭多達百座以上 , 可惜大部分在日治時代被破壞了 , 目前台北縣有一座 , 桃園二座 , 南投二座 , 高雄二座 , 屏東縣四十五座 .  其中 , 桃園聖蹟亭規模最大 , 有庭園空間設計 , 景觀最好 . During the Ching Emperor Guangxu's reign, there were over a hundred ceremonial money furnaces scattered throughout Taiwan.  Unfortunately most of them were destroyed during the Japanese occupation.  [Of the ceremonial money furnaces built during that time or earlier], there is now one in Taipei, two in Taoyuan, two in Nantou, two in Kaohsiung and forty five in Pingtung.  Within this group [of older ceremonial money furnaces] Taoyuan's Shengji ["sacred relic"] ceremonial money furnace is the largest.  It is surrounded by a courtyard and is in a scenic location. (7)

2. 營造注重堪輿學 A Focus on Fengshui

2. 古人看重自然 , 強調人與自然協調 , 才能達成天人合一的理想境界 .  依堪輿學法則 , 對於建築方位 , 尺寸和營造時辰等都有精準規定 .  對時間 , 空間的講究 , 包括人 , 事 , 物相生相剋的互動關係規劃 , 敬字亭已有神格化 , 在建築空間佈局與細部的規劃 , 自然也依據這樣的工法.  The ancients considered nature and human interactions with nature to be very important, and thought that striking a balance between people and the natural world they inhabited was of primary importance.  According to the laws of Fengshui [Chinese geomancy], the position, orientation and size of a structure must adhere to certain principles.  Temporal and spatial relationships are very important, as are the interactions between people, places and things.  Ceremonial money furnaces are consecrated to the spirits, and their design and construction are centered around this kind of thinking.

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*I recently decided that I'm going to stop at unit 6, skipping unit 5.  This book is getting too obscure even for me, and the last three entries in this book, which discuss places in Sandimen and Wutai townships, are either out of date or discuss material that's been discussed in other entries.  After entry #6 I'll probably switch my attention to Kaohsiung.

1. Despite the fact that these things are ubiquitous in Taiwan I couldn't find an English name for them.  Is it better described as a furnace?  As an oven?  As a brazier?  However it's best described, it's the stone tower in which people burn "joss money" or "ghost money" or "ceremonial money" near temples.  The smoke from the burning ceremonial money carries prayers and wishes up to the celestial realm, where the gods and other ancestral spirits receive them.

2. I'm not sure if the text makes the connection between the ceremonial money furnaces and the Imperial Examination System all that clear.  Passing the Imperial Exam guaranteed a position in the imperial bureaucracy, and symbolized a scholar's achieving mastery over all the texts important in the Chinese culture of the day.  Every family hoped for sons that could pass the examination and thus ensure their continued prosperity.  For this reason many visited temples and burned money as a means of earning Wenchang Wang's favor.

3. Fengshan "County" was an old administrative district that included parts of present-day Pingtung.  The Hakka Liudui settlements extended from south to north along the agricultural plain between present-day Pingtung and Kaohsiung.  Some of the "deities" listed in this section are more like ancestral spirits.

4. Jiahe Village is just north of Jiadzuo Village.  Both are located in Wanluan Township.  The ceremonial money furnace is located between the two villages.

5. The "dun" or 頓 in "Dunshuiting" means "pause."  The name could be translated as "Pause Water Pavilion."

6. The inscribed words, "dze lu" or 字爐 are just a reference to the furnace's function.

7. The ceremonial money furnace in Taoyuan is the one pictured above this section.

2021年10月5日 星期二

Taiwan 101: Money and Banks

You like money, don't you?  I like money.  I don't like money as much as the things I buy with money, but I've met a couple of people who prize money above all other things.  In Taiwan, provided you're not Christian or Buddhist, you can even pray for money without feeling too guilty about it.

There are two kinds of money in Taiwan: ceremonial or "joss" money and real money.  With ceremonial money you can buy the favor (or protection) of ancestral spirits.  With real money you can buy a beer at 7-11 or pay your rent.  I suppose you could burn real money and use that to buy the favor of ancestral spirits, but that would get expensive.

Part of me would love to write about ceremonial money here.  That topic is really fun.  But no, real money will be today's topic.

The picture at the top is the type of currency you'll encounter in Taiwan.  There are the 1 NTD ("New Taiwan Dollar" or "Taiwan New Dollar" / "TWD") coins, which are about as useful as pennies in the States, there's the slightly more useful 5 NT (most of us drop the "D") coins, the 10 NT coins, the 50 NT coins and the paper currency.  100 NT will buy you a lunchbox with some change left over.  It will also buy you a draft beer in most bars.  It will buy you less than a full tank of gas for a scooter.  500 NT will buy you cheaper items of clothing, a cheaper bottle of whiskey and a meal in all but the most expensive restaurants.  1000 NT will buy you almost a full tank of gas for a newer car, a day inside an amusement park or a pair of decent (if not excellent) shoes.

At the time of writing the exchange rates are:

1 NT = 0.36 U.S. Dollars
1 NT = 0.03 Euros
1 NT = 0,03 British Pounds
1 NT = 0.05 Australian Dollars
1 NT = 0.05 Canadian Dollars
1 NT = 4.01 Japanese Yen
1 NT = 0.23 Chinese Renminbi (Yuan)

Adjust your expectations accordingly.  Needless to say, some things are cheaper in Taiwan, some are more expensive, and sometimes bargaining comes into play.  If you ask me Taipei is expensive, but then again I've lived in Taiwan for over two decades, and most of those two decades were spent in more rural areas.  Anywhere outside of Taipei is cheaper, though buying foreign products is almost never cheap, no matter where in Taiwan you are.

Of course at some point you'll need to take some of those New Taiwan Dollars (or Taiwan New Dollars) and put them into a bank.  To do so you'll need to set up an account in one of Taiwan's many banks, none of which are pleasant to deal with or pleasant to sit in for long periods of time.  Oh well, you like money, right?

In terms of selecting a bank, I'd encourage you to select one with more branches, and moreover with branches all over Taiwan.  This is for two reasons: 1) You may be working at more than one place, and having an account at a bigger bank makes getting paid easier, and 2) Foreign residents will need to engage in international banking on some level, and smaller banks don't do this well for obvious reasons.  Bank of Taiwan?  No problem.  The Taiwan Post Office?  Also not a bad choice.  The Farmer's Bank of Penghu?  Maybe not the best place to put your money.

As for actually opening an account it involves, as you'd expect, filling out and signing various forms, and also showing proper identification.  For U.S. citizens this process is even more complicated, in that we have to fill out an extra form notifying the IRS that we're opening a bank account in another country.  I highly recommend that those new to Taiwan take along an English-capable Taiwanese friend or coworker to assist them in opening a bank account.  There's no reason to get paranoid.  Between the bank's insistence on procedure, and the scrupulousness of most Taiwanese people with regard to money, you're not likely to get tricked out of your month's pay while at the bank.

Unless maybe you're from the Philippines, Thailand or Indonesia.  But that, my friends, is another story...

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