The Origin

When trailing from the two river basins to Kangxi Taipei Lake in the past, it is a look back on the 300-year history of Shezidao! Throughout decades, it presents a clear track of cultural, environmental and ecological changes in the historical context. Is it a “Forgotten Land”? Shezidao, a beautiful paradise of spring peach blossoms! Or Shezidao, is it a community lost to the side of a bigger urban development? Shezidao, a re-birthed community! a newly transformed river bank! Shezidao, let it be… !

  • Xizhoudi Settlements (Lane 106 and Lane 107, Section 7, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

On both sides of Lane 106 and Lane 107 of Section 7 of Yanping North Road are houses of the settlements at Xizhoudi. Among them, Lane 107 is relatively high in part of the Tamsui River, with ferries to and from Louzaicuo of Luzhou. Part of Lane 106 near the Keelung River is low in terrain, which is easy to divert water from the Keelung River for irrigation. There were already paddy fields since the Qing Dynasty, and there were river ditches to divert water from the Keelung River. Following the Keelung River into Lane 106 to Section 7 of Yanping North Road, in the early days, sampans were extended in this section of the river ditch. In the flooding era, Xizhoudi, like other places in Shezi, was subject to frequent flooding, and the accumulated water did not recede easily, in which the flooding events generally caused more soil erosion. Therefore, in the early days, the houses were rammed with earth to build high foundation, and thorn bamboos were planted beside the houses to prevent theft, while avoiding soil from being washed away by flood. Walking in the alleys and lanes, upon seeing thorn bamboo and bushes, it is most likely to find the traditional three-sided courtyard houses in orderly arrangement. In addition to the elevated foundation and bamboo wall, some of these three-sided courtyard houses also had “half first-floor” design, similar to the concept of “attic” or “loft deck”, for the whole family to climb upstairs to avoid flooding.

  • Yan Lou, the Ancestral House of Li Family (No.2, Lane 12, Lane 63, Section 7, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

Li family used to be the largest family in Fuzhou of Shezi, with their ancestral hall located here. When entering the ancestral hall, despite the falling of plaster on the wall, the layout of the traditional three-sided courtyard house remained intact. In order to avoid flooding in the early days, the house was designed with a deliberately elevated front porch of the main hall and the red brick bucket method on the outer wall was used. The lower part was based on accumulated stones, the wooden structure wore buckets, the tile roof was built, and the front side was equipped with wooden columns and brick columns, which further highlighted the characteristics of the Shezi wall. Every year from the winter solstice to the Chinese New Year, progenies would come to worship their ancestors in sacrificial ceremony. In the curl of incense, they would embrace the memory of their ancestors and cherish their origin with respect.

  • Xiaode Hall of Ancestral House of Wang Family in Fuzhou (No.200, Lane 2, Section 8, Yanping North Road)

On June 24, 2016, the Taipei City Government registered this building structure as a site for preservation on the grounds that it has high historical value. The Wang family of Fuzhou is one of the prominent families in Shezi and the largest family in Fuzhou area. As seen in this magnificent ancient house, it is not difficult to note the extravagant style of this family. In the early days, Shezi was prone to flooding, and one of the countermeasures taken by the locals to prevent flooding was also demonstrated in Shezi’s unique architectural features of elevated house foundation. The Wang’s Residence is located in the high-lying area of Shezi, with a special layout. Two stairs connecting the upstairs space and the wooden compartment inside the building, all preserve its original appearance. The main structure is divided into front and back parts. The front, Xiaode Hall, is a two-story three-sided courtyard red brick buildings. Some structures have been renovated (with reinforced concrete beams, floors and door panels). The rear part is a reinforced brick building of veranda townhouse style.

  • XiLi Hexing Residence, a Two-story Courtyard Building (No.15, Lane 133, Section 8, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

Li Hexing Residence, built in 1945, became the rare and only two-story red brick house in Shezi for the purpose of Fengshui. In the early days, Shezi area was prone to flooding, especially when Typhoon Gloria hit the land on September 9, 1963. People and all livestocks took refuge on the second floor, causing a rather strange scene. The cracks in the brick wall of the balcony told about such difficult time when people and animals were crowded for the refuge from disaster. In 2012, the Li family had renovated its structure due to falling bricks of the outer walls and the corrosion of wooden floors, doors and window sills. The old original view of the red brick three-sided courtyard house is forever gone.

  • Li Zhongji Residence (No.86, Section 9, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

Li Chungji Residence was built during the Japanese Colonial Rule. The ancient traditional building located in Chungchoupu is the family house of a family surnamed Li, in a three-sided courtyard layout, which is by far complete and well preserved. Their ancestors migrated from the other side of the Tamsui River and they are the largest family in Shezi. However, the descendants scattered in Shezi area are of two clans; one is the Li of Xizhoudi, with the hall name of “Yanlou" and the other is of Chungchoupu, with the hall name of “Duishan".

  • Prehistoric cultural sites

The prehistoric cultural site discovered by a Japanese, Hirayama, in 1935 is located in Riverside Park at the entrance to the northern end of Shezi. The second section of Tonghe Street is adjacent to Shezi Baseball Stadium and is located in Shezi Village of Shilin District. The site covers from the river bank of Shezi to Tonghe Street. According to the data of Taipei City Government, the age of its cultural site is about 2,000 to 800 years ago, which is the same as the Shisanhang site in Bali. The unearthed relics include pottery, bone needles, earthenware, stone axes and perforated shellfish. There are very few stone tools. For a long time, due to the development of industry and commerce and the construction of dike, they have been seriously damaged. At present, the Shezi Cultural and Educational Foundation has temporarily erected a reference site monument outside the dike. In addition, at the end of 2006, when the Hydraulic Engineering Office of Taipei City Government was constructing the Riverside Park, Mr. Song Xuyao of the Shezi Culture and Education Foundation discovered a large number of shellfish burial sites left over from the processing of aquatic clams in the 1940s. In order to record cultural relics, he decided to seal them up and make them into visual windows for viewing.

  • Xuan’an Temple (No.90, Section 7, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

The ancestors and elders of Hsieh family in Xizhoudi were in the butchery trade and they believed in Xuantian Shandi as their patron deity. Although their progenies were no longer engaged in the trade, they still cherish the memory of their ancestors and pay tributes to the deity. When the national government migrated to Taiwan, the descendants of Hsieh family used the land shared by the clans as a public temple for residents to worship and named it Xuan’an Temple.

  • Beixing Temple (No.351, Lane 106, Section 7, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

In 1979, Wufu Chiensui (the Five Royal Lords) gave instructions to build a temple and it was finally installed on September 15, 1981, which has a history of 40 years. It is a two-story temple with bell and drum tower. Beixing Temple, which is dedicated to Wangye of Wu, is a temple for outsiders. Residents who moved from Tainan Jiangjun Township (built in 1980) also brought their hometown “Jinxing Templ" (their faith) to this new location. It is the spiritual place where the outsiders can find comfort of homeland and it has also become a melting pot for the diversity of Shezi residents.

  • Li Zhongji Residence (No.86, Section 9, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

Kuntianting (No.15, Lane 96, Section 8, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

In the upper and the lower Fuzhou, there are respectively village temples for Earth God, as well as some netherworld temples. The Earth God is currently enshrined in Kuntian Pavilion. Legend has it that in 1856, 24 village residents in Xishawei took turns to offer sacrifices to Zhongtan Yuanshuai, which was the center of belief in Xishawei. In 1981, they raised funds to build a dedicated temple, which mainly worships the deity. It is a three-story building. The main hall is located on the second floor, and the first floor is the Local Activity Center, in response to the problem of avoiding flooding in Shezi over the years.

  • Ying Zi Gong of Weiling Temple (No.2, Section 9, Yanping North Road, Shilin District)

Founded in the Kangxi period of Qing Dynasty, Duke Weiling was compassionate and with his parents died since childhood, his surname clan father often took him everywhere to collect herbs and prepare prescriptions to help others. After that, he died without any problems. His father buried him on the spot. Duke Weiling often appears in the form of a child and gives medicine to save people. Therefore, Mr. Li Niu, a native of the village, set up a grass hut in 1906 to worship the good deeds of Duke Weiling. It attracted many pilgrimage followers, even though the grass “shrine” built with sugarcane leaves was repeatedly prone to fire accidents. One night in 1934, Duke Weiling once again appeared as a child in a dream of Mr. Li Jinjiao, a local yasumasa, telling him that he had no place to live due to frequent fire accidents. As initiated by local elderly and kind-hearted people, the temple was finally built of bricks. During this period, the water transportation and commerce in the two river basins were blooming and it brought forth the incoming population and followers for worship, from all over the Greater Taipei area. The temple of Duke Weiling simultaneously worships Guanyin Bodhisattva and Fude (Earth God), which is a rare example of temple for both deities of underworld and the heaven.

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