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Taiwan Confucian Temple
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  VR Tour|Ceremony|Subject|For Kids|
In the 19th year of Yongli in the Ming Dynasty (1665), Chief Military Aide CHEN Yonghwa suggested to ZHENG Jing, son of ZHENG Chengong, that he build a Confucian temple in Tainan. The Confucius Temple, now more than 300 years old, was the first and highest educational institution in Taiwan, and to this day is a famous tourist destination. In the Tainan Confucius Temple 3D Virtual Tour, you will retrace the footsteps of past students. Narration and virtual animation will lead you step-by-step as you investigate the beautiful architecture of the Tainan Confucius Temple. Upon arrival at the Tainan Confucius Temple, the Stone Arch of Higher Learning is the first thing we see. This was the school for feudal princes. As the Confucius Temple was part of the school, the Stone Arch was the entrance to the school. The central beam is gracefully decorated with two dragons and picturesque figurines. Right in the middle of the roof is a gourd with an owl lowering its head on both ends. The eight stone lions stand out as lovely figurines. The street leads us to the East Ta Cheng Arch, which is the entrance to the Tainan Confucius Temple. The wooden tablet reading The First School in Taiwan explains its status. The 「Dismount Tablet」 reads 「All officers and citizens dismount here」. The sign asks all visitors to show their respect. In front of the Confucius Temple courtyard, there is the Pan Pond, a semicircular pool. In the past, all scholars taking examinations had to visit Confucius, pass through the Lingxing Gate, circle the Pond, then pluck a piece of water celery and insert it in their hat.This was called 「touring the Pond.」 The Pond originates from the 「Book of Pond Water」 in the Book of Odes. That is why you see a piece of stone tablet on the wall reading 「Thinking of music by the pond.」 To reach the halls in the Confucius Temple, you must go through the Gate of Rites and the Path of Righteousness, located on the wall between Ta Cheng Gate and Lingxing Gate, which has since been removed. The Gate of Rites faces east, and the Path of Righteousness faces west. This suggests that rituals and justice are the two key elements in the pursuit of Confucianism. The Ta Cheng Gate is the most glamorous gate in the Tainan Confucius Temple. In contrast to other buildings, it bears no couplets on its columns to avoid offending Confucius. All door panels have 54 nails on either side for a total of 108-the highest form of respect reserved for Confucius. The shining sun on the roof, the horses highlighting the 2 roof edges, as well as the pair of hornless-dragon ridge-end ornaments are all worth admiring. Ta Cheng Palace is in the center of the Confucius Temple, the main building at the site. In front of it is a platform used for the Yi dance in ceremonial rituals. Decorated with hornless dragons. it is also known as the Royal Way. The 4 hornless dragonheads on the corners of the platform are for drainage. The Ta Cheng Palace's roof is in "hip-and-gable" style. "There is a 9-story pagoda in the middle, with dragons on either side. There are also cylindrical drums for books that are exclusive to the Confucius Temple. Ta Cheng Palace was built in honor of Confucius, who was referred as the 「Supreme Sage and Teacher」 during the early years of Jiajing's reign in the Ming Dynasty-a status that survives to this day. The figurine here is made of wood. The sanctuaries on both sides are for the 4 companion matches and 12 philosophers, and Confucius' outstanding disciples and heirs. Above in the hall, you see all the tablets bestowed by emperors. Because of the exalted status of Confucius, only tablets granted by an emperor are allowed here. We can see that one of them was given by President Chen Shuibian. The rooms to either side of Ta Cheng Palace are known as the East and West Corridors. It is here that a large number of tablets were kept for well-known disciples and renowned intellectuals for their efforts in promoting Confucianism. The buildings to the north are repositories for ritual implements and musical instruments. Chung Sheng Shrine used to be known as Chisheng Shrine. Chisheng was the title granted to Shuliangchi, Confucius' father. Five generations of Confucius' ancestors are kept here. In the east, is the sanctuary for the Men of Virtue and Confucians of the East Corridor, and in the west, is the sanctuary for their counterparts of the West Corridor. The entrance to the Hall of Edification is also called Entrance for Morality Training, as all selected students had to go through it before reaching the school. To the east, the tablet reads 「Sacred Area」and to the west, 「Virtue Pass,」 both suggesting that ethics played a key role in becoming virtuous. The Confucians believe that building an orderly and harmonious community based in law is a kind of 「ritual.」 Understanding human relationships is key to Confucianism and that is why most school auditoriums are called 「Hall of Edification.」 The screen seen in the middle is a reproduction of the 205-character Way to Great Schooling by Zhao Mengfu, a renowned calligrapher of the Yuan Dynasty. On the walls, on both sides, is a reproduction of a manuscript by Zhuxi of the Song Dynasty. It reads 「Loyalty, filial piety, justice.」 The 「Record of rebuilding Taiwan Confucius Temple」 and the 「Map of the First School in Taiwan」 are on the east and west sides of the north wall, respectively. The 3-story building in the northeast of Tainan Confucius Temple is called Wenchang Hall. This is not part of the Confucius Temple, and the Wenchang deity honored there has nothing to do with Confucius. Both Wenchang and Kui Shing shelter the gods of name and fortune, making it a popular site for local intellectuals to visit. The Wenchang and Kui Shing deities made the site known as the 「Kui Shing Tower,」 as well.
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