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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Jishan Gatehouse 積善樓

A Japanese colonial era gatehouse in Taichung.

Jīshàn Gatehouse 積善樓 (Mandarin pinyin: Jīshànlóu; sometimes Chishan or Chijhan) is a minor historic building not far from Taiyuan Station 太原車站 in Běitún 北屯, Taichung 台中. Originally this site was occupied by the residences of the Lài 賴 family, immigrants from Zhangzhou, China, who made their home here in 1897. Decades later they funded the construction of this unusual gatehouse on the recommendation of a fēngshuǐ 風水 master; the name of the building literally translates to “accumulate goodness”. The design and some of the materials are Chinese but the structure also shows western influences and craftsmanship as filtered through Japan. Five banyan trees surrounding the gate are the only other legacy of the homes that once existed here. Nowadays the area is a city park.

An unusual nameplate (Chinese: biǎn’é 匾額) hangs over the gateway itself.
An angled look at the top of the gatehouse building. This area is not open to the public.
Around back at the Jishan Gatehouse in Taichung.

It might not look like much but this sturdy little building has survived war, flooding, earthquakes, and urban renewal initiatives over nearly a century of history. For more information about the gatehouse in Chinese consult these sources here, here, here, and here.

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