Keelung, the northernmost city in Taiwan, is a beautiful port city. My wife’s ancestral home is from Henan, but she was born in Keelung. Due to this fate, I often went back to her natal home with her, walked around Keelung, and even planned to buy property and settle here several times. Later, when I thought about how rainy and humid this place is all year round, I gradually gave up my thoughts.
”There is another reason that made me want to live here several times, but hesitated.” My wife said, “I have felt an indescribable confusion and disappointment in Keelung since I was a child. Every time I stand by the Keelung Harbor Looking at the kites flying and the fish jumping and the blue waves rippling in front of me, the scenery is clearly beautiful, but there is always a strange sense of sadness and heaviness in my heart. When I was young, I didn’t understand why, until I was in my thirties, one day, I suddenly realized, Behind this beautiful scenery, there is some kind of heaviness, or a touch of sadness and sadness. Hey! Do you understand what I am talking about?” I thought for a while, and said: “It is related to Keelung’s history and memory
“That’s right. There is a long shadow of historical memory.” She said quietly.
Looking back on the history of Keelung since the 17th century, I can hear the sound of booming cannons, followed by the sound of footsteps and howling. In the 17th century, the Spaniards first invaded Taiwan, China. In 1642, the Dutch sent warships and troops to capture Keelung and Heping Island and drove away the Spaniards on the island.
Baimiweng Fort located on the west side of Keelung Harbor.
At that time, Heping Island was still called Sheliao Island, and Keelung was also called Jilong or Jilongshan. One theory is that in the early years, the aboriginal Ketagalan tribe lived in the Keelung area, and the “Keda” in “Kedagalan” was often omitted and called “Gran”. Later, people from southern Hokkien came to live here, transliterating it in Chinese characters, and translating it into “chicken coop” in Hokkien dialect.
”History of Ming Dynasty” has the entry “Jilongshan”, which is called Jilongshan as a place beyond Huawai. In the 45th year of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1617 A.D.), Zhang Xie, a native of Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, wrote “A Study of the East and the West”, which also contained records of Jilong Club, Jilong Port, Jilong City, and Dajilong Street. Until the first year of Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1875 A.D.), the Qing court changed the name of “chicken coop” to “Jilong”, which means “prosperous base”.
Today’s Keelung can be seen everywhere traces of Chinese, Spanish and Dutch pioneers.
Located on the west side of Keelung Port, the Baimiweng Fort is condescending and has a sweeping view of the sea. It is said that when the Spaniards and Dutch landed on the island, the Baimiweng Fortress existed, so the locals generally call it the “Dutch Fort”. Perhaps to satirize the greed of the Spaniards and the Dutch for land, there is another interesting saying about the name “white rice urn”. After the Dutch captured the Keelung area, the local residents hid in caves by the sea. After a long time, the food was exhausted. When they were anxious, someone found a stone in the shape of a rice urn in the cave, and white rice kept coming out. The amount of rice produced was just enough to hide in the cave. The people in the cave need it for a day. There was a greedy man who felt that the amount of rice was too little, so he dug the mouth of the rice urn, but from that day on, no rice gushed out from the mouth of the urn.
Nuannuan Railway Station is now almost abandoned.
Across the water from Baimiweng Fort, there is an independent island on the east side of Keelung Harbor – Heping Island, and there is a historical site of “Fanzi Cave” on the island. Fanzi Cave is adjacent to the sea. It is said that the Dutch carved Dutch characters in the cave before retreating. For hundreds of years, the wind has blown through as always, and most of the characters in the cave have been weathered and peeled off, leaving only sporadic numbers and untestable Dutch names. Although the history is not easy to verify, the beautiful scenery in front of us is real – due to the strong northeast monsoon, various unique sea-eroded landscapes have been left on Heping Island, such as sea-eroded cliffs, sea-eroded ditches, tofu rocks, weathered windows…
Kanzai Dingjie has left a history of interaction between Han people and Pingpu people. During the Qing Dynasty, the Han people from Fujian and Guangdong crossed the sea and came to the Keelung area, and began to communicate with the aboriginal Pingpu people. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and facing the sea on one side, Badouzi Keelung is the best fishing port in northern Taiwan. In the past, the Han people exchanged daily necessities with the aborigines in Badouzi. After a long time, a shopping street – Kanzaiding Street has been formed here. Until now, Kanzaiding Street is still a popular sightseeing spot in Keelung. At one or two o’clock in the morning, it is often full of people and brightly lit. Fishmongers, gourmets, chefs, and tourists flock in.
The traces of history are also reflected in the place names. The Han people from Fujian and Guangdong used to call “sea” as “river” and “river” as “gang”, so there were “Niu Chou Port” and “Tianliao Port”. Keelung also has the place names of “Qidu” and “Badou”. “Du” is a defensive wall, and the Han people use the wall to defend against danger.
Keelung today includes seven districts: Qidu District, Zhongshan District, Zhongzheng District, Anle District, Renai District, Xinyi District, and Nuannuan District. If you want to understand the beauty and history of Keelung through one district, Nuannuan District is the most suitable place.
In the early morning of October 22, 2021, people were working at the Kanzaiding Fish Market in Keelung.
Nuannuan District is located in the southernmost part of Keelung, adjacent to Taipei. Because of Liang Jingru, Nuan Nuan Station has also become a new check-in place for young people, but there is one place that every old Keelung person has been to, and that is Lover’s Lake. Lover Lake is formed by six mountain streams and is the only highland lake in Keelung. The two lakes, one large and one small, are connected, like lovers relying on each other, hence the name. The garden is rich in vegetation, including mountain peaches, tea trees, banyan plants, ferns, etc., as well as some unique plants, such as Jiangzhenxiang, Quercus japonica, and wild duck toon, which are called “Three Treasures of Lover’s Lake”.
Nuannuan, which seems to be on the edge, was a prosperous place two hundred years ago. In the past, Nuannuan was also the home of the aborigines, and the Han people gave it a lovely foley name “Nuannuan” after they moved to cultivate. Ships loaded with cargo travel along the Keelung River from Danshui, Xizhi to Nuannuan. There are many boats and businesses. Nuannuan is also the starting point of the Dan (Tanshui) Lan (Yilan) Ancient Road Middle Road and North Road. The ancestors transported tea and Dajing (a natural dyed cloth rich in indigo) along this beautiful mountain trail made of stones. plants), camphor to Pingxi and Yilan.
Nuannuan was also the battlefield of the bloody battle between the Qing soldiers and the French army during the Sino-French War in 1884. So far, the ruins of fort and trench excavation can still be seen in Nuannuan. In 1884, in order to blockade the southeast coast of China, the French Expeditionary Force decided to capture Taiwan Island first. In August, the French army bombarded Keelung, and then turned to attack Danshui, but was counterattacked by the army and civilians of Tamsui. So the French expeditionary force landed from Keelung instead, attempting to capture Taipei by land. The French army crossed Shiqiu Ridge in the south of Keelung Port, and confronted the Qing army along the river in Nuannuan. The French army attacked many times, but they were all blocked by the Qing army and the Taiwan regiment who were defending the south bank, and were finally defeated by the Keelung River.
Port scene of Keelung Port.
In the eleventh year of Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1885 A.D.), China and France negotiated peace, and the French army left a remnant in Nuannuan and retreated to Penghu. Not long after, the commander of the French army, Gu Ba, died of cholera on board a warship in Magong Port, Penghu. This was one of the few wars in which the Qing government defeated foreign aggression in modern Chinese history. If it weren’t for the remains of the trenches in front of us, it would be hard to imagine that such a beautiful place has been traumatized by war several times, and even jumped onto the stage of world history.
In modern times, when it comes to Nuan Nuan, the most famous poem is the famous “Autumn Song: Giving Nuan Nuan” by Yi Xian – the fallen leaves have finished their
the dihua disappeared in the blue eyes of the lake, and
the sound of the anvil in July Far away
the geese are no longer in the vast autumn sky,
writing their beautiful sonnets
horseshoes leave broken flowers
on the small trails in the southern country,
singers leave broken qin rhymes
, in the quiet temples in the north,
autumn , nothing is left in autumn,
only one Nuan Nuan is left
, only one Nuan Nuan is left,
and everything is left behind
. Metaphors such as “trembling”, “disappearing”, “horseshoe”, “trampled fallen flowers” and “broken piano rhyme” appear in the poem The sexual imagery refers to the injustice caused by the Kuomintang’s “cleaning up the Communist Party” and arresting “communist spies” at the beginning of its retreat to Taiwan. It can’t help but make people feel the poet’s compassionate feelings, and it can’t help but make people feel that what happened in such a beautiful paradise A sigh of historical tragedy!
Talking here, my wife suddenly said: “I suddenly thought this way: this “Autumn Song: Giving Nuan Nuan”, you can interpret it as the chill and tragedy of the times, but why can’t it be interpreted as purely singing Keelung, Nuan Nuan and autumn? What about the beauty?”
Keelung City at dusk.
I turned sideways and thought for a while: “You are right.”
Yi Xian’s poems have two characteristics: a sense of time and country and beautiful lyricism. For example, one of his songs “The Colonel” is written like this: “It was purely another kind of rose, born from the fire, in the buckwheat field they met the biggest battle, and one of his legs bid farewell to 1943, He has heard history and laughter, what is immortality, cough medicine razors, monthly rent, etc., and under the sporadic battles of his wife’s sewing machine, he feels that the only thing that can capture him is the sun.” You see
. , doesn’t this poem begin with “That’s just another kind of rose”? Although the poem is full of images of war, there are also fair and honest metaphors such as “history and laughter”, “immortality” and “sun”. Isn’t that the case with history and life? On the one hand, we are oriented towards crying, while on the other hand, we are oriented towards laughter. Let us move towards positive laughter!