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FOLK RELIGION AND TEMPLES

Jhensi Gong

Jhensi Gong (Temple Pacifying the West) was situated at No. 380, Shennong Village (Guoyihou). Shennong Shengdi (Holy Em-peror Shennong) arrived inTaiwan during the 17th Year of Em-peror Wanli (1589) when Taiwan was under the control of the Dutch colonists. About 56 fishing households from the Chen, Lin, Li, Jhou, Cai, and Liou from Siazhai Village, Pinghe County of Cu-anjhou Prefecture of China arrived in Taiwan during that time. The settlers established a shrine to house the holy figure of Shennong that they had brought over from their homelands. Three other holy figures, namely Da Wanggong, Er Wanggong, and San Wanggong (the Elder Prince, Second Prince, and Third Prince) of Kaitian Yandi (Emperor Yan who Opened the Heav-ens) were invited as well, landing at Jishui River as well as the foot of Shanzijiaokan. This makeshift shrine was built at the riverbank, marking the very beginnings and earliest Temple dedicated to the worship of Shennong in Taiwan. In the 12th Month of 15th Year of Emperor Yongli (1661), Prince Jheng Cheng-gong defeated the Dutch and subjected Taiwan to Han administration, allowing more and more Han settlers to arrive at the island. Emperor Shennong blessed the settlers with great harvests and staved off many diseases, thus attracting more and more devotees and supplicants. The 5 hamlets of Guoyihoubao (an area that includes the 6 modern villages of Guoyi, Shennong, Congsi, Dunong, Syushan, Danong) jointly constructed a formal Temple, making it Taiwan's earliest Temple to High Emperor Shennong. The Temple was rebuilt in the 11th Year of Emperor Yongjheng (1733). Carpenters from Tangshan were invited to help construct a holy table which is still present in the Temple to this very day. In the 12th year of Emperor Guangsu (1886), Jhou Huang-ying, an unranked local magister, initiated another re-construction effort with a joint donation of 5000 Yuan. The Temple underwent yet another reconstruction in the 7th Year of the Japanese Emperor Showa during the Japanese Occupation. In 1961, Temple devotees from the Guoyihou hamlets initiated an-other round of reconstruction. A reconstruction preparations, with over 100 members and each with hierarchical responsibili-ties, was established. Temple reconstruction began on 14 March, 1962, blending both the original Temple designs and modern construction technologies.

Zhenxi Gong
Zhenxi Gong

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