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Kandong Beian Temple

The Beian Temple, commonly known as the “Chanshigong Temple”, was built in 1821 to worship Marshal Yang Wu-sai, or commonly known as Yang Wu-lang, a loyal military officer of the Song dynasty. It was called the Chanshigong Temple. According to the stone tablet recording the temple’s history, “Chanshi was a loyal official of the Song dynasty, the fifth son of the Yangs. Recognizing wealth is but a dream, he dwelled on Mt. Wutai and practiced Mahayana. He finally found the path and became a Buddha. The story is still told today. During the reign of Emperor Daoguang of the Ching dynasty, the village gentry planned to build a temple for the deity after being inspired by zen to express their admiration for the deity. With such a great idea and the support of the villagers, the temple was built.” It is said that a cowherd found a Buddha statue by the Xuxian River. He was very excited and played with the statue as though he was a psychic. To his surprise, he was really possessed and told the public that he was Yang Wu-lang, master of Mt. Wutai in China. The deity showed his presence and protected the public, and all citizens in Jiushe Street could feel it. Some of the local gentry thus proposed the construction of a temple to worship the deity. The temple was very popular and the deity’s divinity was spread far and wide. At that moment, Jiushe Street thrived and reached its peak, and the miracle of the deity was seen everywhere to become the spiritual support of the locals.
When the Japanese government banned deity worship during the Japanization Movement (Kominka Movement), fearing that the statue of Chanshih would be damaged by the colonial government, the descendants of the Yangs in Kandong Village hid the statue of the deity and the statue of the city god across from the Chanshi Temple in his home and worshipped them secretly. He put them back to the main hall of the house after WWII. No one knows whether it was the deity’s will or simply coincidence, but the village was not peaceful and villagers were frightened to death. Along with the prevalence of the epidemic, they migrated to Guanmiao Township in the east or Hongwacuo (Gueiren Village today), Shekou (Kandong Village today), Kanxi Village, and Xucuo Village in the west. From then on the old community never prospered again and became almost deserted. After selling the temple’s property, the money was distributed to Kandong, Kanxi, and Xucuo villages. This explains why the Beian Temple is recognized as the main temple by three leaders.
In view of the deity’s invincible might, people who had migrated to Kandong, Kanxi, Xucuo, and Gueiren villages from the old village and the local gentry suggested purchasing the land and building the temple for the deity in 1965. They formed the “construction team” and built the Chanshi Temple in the current location. They also named it the Beian Temple and officially registered the temple with the county government. In 1967 the construction began and in 1971 the temple was completed and the enthronement ceremony was held. It was at that time that Chanshi Buddha, the city god, and other deities were finally enthroned in the Beian Temple and existed until today. When the first open ritual was held in 1981, the divinity of these deities was further promoted. Whenever there is a cross-boundary open ritual, Chanshi Buddha of the Beian Temple must be the appointed vanguard of the area, and the presence of Chanshi Buddia is a must at the entry, opening of the temple door, dedication, etc. Chanshi Buddha never disappoints the public and can always accomplish his mission.
Address: No. 86, Zhongxiao South Road, Kandong Village, Gueiren District, Tainan City.
(Source: National Religion Information Network, Ministry of the Interior)