haus der patriotischen frauen
(unter japanischer herrschaft)

fuer Tong Yali

ein baum, ein hof,
der wind, die stadt.
es ist ein warmer wintertag.
in tainan ist es immer warm.
die stadt der tempel, der kultur;
die erste stadt: erinnerung.

MW 22. Februar 2012




《月照無眠》,二零一二年, 台北南方家園出版社,一三一頁

Tong Yali

erinnerung, wagen

der wagen faehrt los.
steine, in schnee eingerollt.
kein wind auf dem meer.
wogen tuermen sich darunter.
der wagen faehrt in den frueheren wind,
in den dunklen strudel.

Aus dem Gedichtband Schlaflos im Mondlicht (Yue zhao wu mian), Nanfang Jiayuan -Homeward Publishing, Taipei 2011, S. 131. MW Uebers. Febr. 2012

Tainan, city of temples. Temples everywhere, many lanes, full of flowers, blossoms, improvised housing, ancient and dated, broken and new. Squares in front of temples for breakfast stands, temple fairs, opera, evening barbecue. Temples complete with public toilets. The main Catholic church of the city is a beautiful traditional temple from 1960. Right across from the temple grounds dedicated to Koxinga, a Chinese-Japanese pirate’s son who fled from the mainland, drove out the Dutch and established the first Chinese kingdom on Taiwan, all in one year, he died rather young. And there is an Earth God’s temple next to the Catholic church. There was a wagon on the square in front of the church, with a few rows of plastic chairs. Very gaudy colors on the wagon, Taiwanese opera. A female warrior with a huge sword, ancient costumes. Tomorrow is the Earth God’s birthday, the church custodian said. Happy birthday! He was in his element, explaining the rich Tainan heritage. Sometimes people come and kneel on the steps of the church, he said, and only then they ask me which important god of the city is housed inside this magnificent temple. And when I tell them this is the Catholic church, they say sorry, we prayed at the wrong place, we didn’t know. Your prayers are very welcome, the custodian replies, and beckons them inside, like he did with us. They had been eating lunch, he and a woman, his wife maybe. Their little chamber next to the door was open. We had looked at the statue first, climbing over stoves and vats with food and cooking utensils, in preparation for the Earth God’s birthday. Mary looks very graceful in a simple and elegant robe, very Chinese, holding her naked baby Jesus. On the mosaic over the main altar inside they look more regal. But it is a very welcoming church. A traditional temple, I-Ching octagon tower with glass windows, couplets left and right written on columns, and boards, wooden and stone. An incense censer in front of the main altar. And an altar on one side for ancestor worship. “Oh, it’s from the 1970s, I didn’t know”, my friend said when we opened the gate, encouraged by the Earth God’s cooks, and looked at the statue more closely. Yes, she has traditional looks, like from the Qing Dynasty, but she is comparatively new, from the times of martial law. White Terror was still practiced on Taiwan when the church was built in 1960. Today, Tainan remembers founding fathers of its modern history inside the Japanese-era house of the Patriotic Women’s Association. These founding fathers of Tainan’s modern era are Japanese and British. Father of water taps and sewage, father of dams and canals, and so on. There is also one guy form the 16th century, sent from China. ”The soldiers who came from China after 1945 and took over from the Japanese didn’t even know houses with running water, they didn’t know taps!” That’s what a poet and scholar told me at the Taipei Book Fair, full of Taiwanese pride.

The last Japanese mayor of Tainan restored the main temples and historic sites. He prevented the Japanese troops from requisitioning and melting the huge bell from Kaiyuan Temple, which is still rung on important holidays. One of the main signs of the Confucius Temple, when you enter the temple grounds, was written by him. The temple grounds are sprawling, open and welcoming. Only the innermost part of the temple is guarded, and the entrance fee is 25 NT, 65 Euro Cents maybe. The city hall and seat of the provincial government from Japanese times is the Taiwan Literature Museum now, very modern and welcoming inside, lots of audio and other impressive installations, beautiful children’s rooms, extensive library, very accessible. This place was our destination when we came down from Taipei and Kaohsiung, an important stop in our one-month stay on Taiwan as translators into German.

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2条回应 to “Tainan”

  1. Taiwan and China « 中国大好き Says:

    […] saw some great pictures from a snow-white Berlin, taken on Febr. 22.  I was in Tainan on Feb. 21 & 22. Very warm. Ran around barefoot on a public track next to the Confucius Temple. […]

  2. Poetry and music « 中国大好き Says:

    […] It was exciting to witness how fast people in Taiwan were able to connect with Liao Yiwu. In Tainan, the reading was at a university, introduced by professors teaching Taiwanese and Hakka, not […]


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