Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Tianxiang Scenic Area 文天祥公园

Allie drove us up a little hill to make a quick pitstop at what I initially thought was just a normal park. It turned out to be the Tianxiang Scenic Area (文天祥公园) and there was nothing normal about it at all.

This park is a commemorative park for the Song Dynasty scholar-general Wen Tianxiang (文天祥). Apparently, he is a popular symbol of patriotism and righteousness in China for his resistance to Kublai Khan's invasion of the Song and his refusal to yield to the Yuan Dynasty despite being captured and tortured by their men.

He was captured by the invading Yuan armies of Kublai Khan, "offered" a Yuan post and ordered to convince the remaining Song forces to surrender. When he refused to do both, he suffered for 4 years in a military prison before he was executed. During his time in prison, he wrote two now world-famous classics, Passing Lingdingyang (过零丁洋) and Song of Righteousness (正气歌, pictured below).

Kublai Khan succeeded in becoming the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. Despite this, Wen Tianxiang was and is still considered a hero for his loyalty to the Song Dynasty. I thought the location of this park was really apt as a commemorative park, as it had good fengshui - mountains and a river flowing in front, and a temple on the opposite hill.

Monuments and parks in memory of Wen Tianxiang can also be found in Hong Kong, Beijing and his hometown of Jiangxi.

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