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Monday, October 29, 2012
Temples Of Dog (十八王公廟)
Taiwanese “temple of dog”
also called “18 Wang Kung Temple”. There are three similar eighteen Wang Kung
Temple in Taiwan.
·The 18 Wang Kung
Temple in Kaohsiung
·The Chiayi loyalty
19 Kung Temple
·The famous 18 Wang
Kung Temple of Taipei Shimen province
In Kaohsiung "Eighteen
Wang Kung Temple" has a long history; it is built since the period of Qing
Emperor Kangxi, about three hundred years ago. Story has it that during the
year of Qing emperor Kangxi 23 years (1684), a strong typhoon caused a shipwreck,
the crews were all drowned. This unfortunate incident was later discovered by
other fishermen, and 18 bodies were subsequently found on the coast. The bodies
were buried, and a small ancestral hall was built to worship the deceased.
The "loyalty nineteen Kung
Temple” of Chiayi City, also known as" Loyal Dog Temple” is one of the few
Taiwanese temples where a dog is worshipped.
The story has it that during
the Qianlong year, notorious bandit Lin Shuang-wen attacked a military camp Tsai
Lin Zhuang, outside Chiayi. There were only 18 guarding soldiers so they were
no match for Lin Shuang-wen’s army. Consequently all the soldiers were killed
in the battle. A dog kept by one of the soldier ran to Chiayi and barking
fiercely. The soldiers guarding Chiayi city recognized it was the dog of Tsai
Lin soldiers. Reinforcement soldiers were immediately dispatched to the rescue.
But it was too late; all of the 18 soldiers were all killed. At the same time,
the dog also died of exhaustion. It was after the Qing court has managed to put
things back to order that the eighteen martyred soldiers and the dog were buried
in a mass grave; they are all honorably called the "nineteen generals",
a temple was hence built to worship them. They are collectively referred to as the
"Temple of the 19 loyal generals".
The origin of “18 Wang Kung
Temple” in Shihmen Township, Taipei also related to a shipwreck where crews of
17 were drowned, only a dog survived. After the villagers buried all of the 17
bodies, this dog refused to eat or drink all day for several days seemingly mourned
for the dead, finally the dog also succumbed on the grave. Consequently the
villagers decided to bury the dog and 17 corpses together. A temple called
"Eighteen Wang Kung Temple" was also built to commemorate the loyalty
of the dog.
A very unique aspect of "Eighteen
Wang Kung Temples” is that the activities in the temples become livelier later
into the night. I bet that you will not find a dog being worshipped as the main
deity of a temple anywhere in this world!