表頭_2400x1300_工作區域 1 複本
表頭_2400x1300_工作區域 1
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In Search of Guan Gong

作者:邱 傑



Minglun San Sheng Temple sits on the top of Hutoushan, and the whole estate is Guan gong-themed. Here A-Yuan and Li-a find a statue of him riding a horse and also a chibi figure of him. The most important and precious of all the statues, however, is the one present at the foundation of the temple in 1967.
That statue is over a hundred years old, having been moved from Yuanlin, Changhua, to Taoyuan in 1934. A-Yuan and Li-a solemnly worship at the temple, and take a tour of it before leaving.


It is a long way to Puji Hall; fortunately, there is a convenience store en route. Li-a shares what he knows about their topic: Guandi, or Enzhu gong, is a deferential name people use when mentioning Guan Yu, a historical figure during the Three Kingdoms period. As a young man, Guan Yu had a reputation for chivalry and decorums. He swore brothers with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, and followed the former in his bid to claim legitimacy from Cao Cao, who controlled the court of the Han dynasty in its final days. Over his lifetime, Guan Yu proved his loyalty, righteousness, and integrity, and became the foremost of Liu Bei’s Five Tiger Generals.


Back on the Old Street, A-Yuan and Li-a pull their bikes along. Notable for its woodworking and food industries, Daxi Old Street has been thriving since the late nineteenth century. It was widened in 1918 in accordance with colonial urban planning.
Most of the townhouses were also rebuilt around this time and given gorgeous facades. Temple-building masters were hired by the merchants to design the new homes and the new shops, so they incorporated traditional Chinese elements on the requisite European Revival architecture by way of plaster sculpture. The fusion style became sui generis and is now regarded highly.


At dawn on the twenty-fourth, the clubs gather in Puji Hall again to wish Holy Emperor Guan good health and to start the parade. One by one, they perform dragon and tiger dances to the full. The dragon dances of Daxi boast at least nine dragons, while its tiger dance teams are usually ranked the best in the country. When they perform together, one simply knows not where to look.


Each dancing dragon is draped in sequins and operated by at least fifteen people. For nine hours, they must stop to do their weather-churning moves every time a line firecracker is set off. Such is their devotion and zeal to the art.