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Factfile
Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
location
Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
Administrative divisions
Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
History
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
Tanghu with Outstanding People and Fertile Soil
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 08-01-11
 

  Foreword

  Tanghu Town, located in the southeast of Tongcheng, has a long historical culture and profound cultural foundation. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties(1368-1911AD.), agriculture was developed here with prosperous economy, which nurtured numbers of talents, such as candidates Liu Xiuyi, Wang Runtian and Jin Gebei. As a result, Tanghu town was noted for "One county, two Village Gods; 2.5 Kilometers, 3 Candidates". Now there are still villages naming after them.

  A section of culture is a period of history. History, concentrates hundreds of thousands of years of rise and decline as well as storms and precariousness. In Tanghu, a village is just a section of culture. In an ever-changing time, Tanghu is like a secretive and reserved elderly man going through years of hard times. He alone lives an inoffensive life and sticks to his own quality. From December, 2007 to January this year, the newspaper correspondents and members of the Photographers Association went into Tongcheng to search for the footsteps of history and enjoy the cultural atmosphere of Tanghu, under the enthusiastic guide of the Propaganda Department of Tongcheng County.

  Old maple tree-- cradle of childhood   Photographed by Kong Qingping

  Childhood is the meditation under the old tree, the imagination to grow out colorful wings and fly to a remote but magic place.    Photographed by Zhouwen

  On the doorway of Liu Xiuyi’s former residence, imperial supervisor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD.) hangs the plaque "The Leading Light of the Qing Dynasty" granted by Emperor Xuande of the Ming Dynasty with his holograph autograph  Photographed by Kong Qingping

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  A basket of rice, a gourd dipper of drink (symbol of content in frugal living), not changing their enthusiasm for life. The life of rural people is simple but happy.      Photographed by Wu Jingkuang

  Archway with huge clay sculpture frescoes inside the side hall of Xiagangwu in Tanghu village. 

  Photographed by Xiongjian 

  These clay sculpture figures are of various shapes and look lifelike, showing either satisfaction or happiness. The scene is harmonious and interesting and the story is also fascinating, which never gets people tired of seeing. 

  Photographed by Li Hongbang

  Exquisite wood carvings that can be seen everywhere in the ancient houses

  Photographed by Kong Qingping   

  Trees withered with the coming of cold nip. The distant mountains and large rivers, towering in the past, begin to recuperate. We, having lived in “Urban Forest” for longtime, walked into Tanghu. There, distant mountains and waters nearby and ancient villages which were like aged scrolls gracefully and leisurely spread out before our eyes. The open fields seemed lonely but peaceful and the villagers either paced in the village or played chess and cards, chatting gaily, living a quiet life in accordance with their own lifestyle. What kind of bustle is it that we can mourn in Tanghu? From those ancient dwellings handed down and wood carvings, wood engravings, stone carvings, stone engravings, clay sculptures and other folk arts and crafts, old days are slowly developing again in our mind.   

  People in Tongcheng are not quite particular about food and clothing but like building houses. They give everything they own just to build their houses well and beautifully. According to the introduction of people concerned, building has become a common practice since the period of Qing Emperor Jiaqing to Daoguang, and men of wealth or even the ordinary people were all keen on building. As regards the reason, it was that there was no war during that period and people were living a peaceful life. Coupled with the abundant local forest resources, the rural people generally acquired the technique of kiln firing and roof tiles. As a result, people of all sectors were willing to build houses. At present, most of the ancient dwellings preserved in Tongcheng are mainly built during the Reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi and Jiaqing to Emperor Daoguang, dating back 100 years of history.

  Liu Xiuyi, imperial supervisor of Ming Dynasty, his former residence is newly built at the foot of Lion Mountain, with the dominant cornice and heated wall which is either like mast or sail no longer seen but the door of the former residence, still standing after several repairs. On the door hangs the plaque "The Leading Light of Qing Dynasty" granted by Emperor Xuande of theMing Dynasty with his holograph autograph. We call it "The Leading Light of Qing Dynasty" in that Emperor Xuande praised Liu Xiuyi as an honest and upright officer, who could help handle the daily affairs and insure a peaceful world. Liu Xiuyi was born on the year 27th of Honghu in the Ming Dynasty, namely the year 1394AD. He passed the highest imperial examination on the 18th year of Yongluo and was secured an official position of imperial supervisor. It was said from the villages that " 2.5 Kilometers, 3 Candidates " meant there were 3 candidates successfully passing the Imperial Examinations just within a circumference of 2.5 Kilometers, namely, liu Tanghu, also called Liu Shichang or Liu Xiuyi, Jin Gebei and Wang Runtian. Now these three geographical names Tanghu, Gebei and Runtian right come from the three candidates.

  Beside the former residence of Liu Xiuyi stands an old maple tree with tree trunks twisting and circling and peculiar shapes. The children in the village climb up or down the maple tree, either sitting or lying down or swinging, their childish laughter carrying far, very far away. It is understood that the tree has had more than three hundred years of history, which has become a great spectacular of the village.

  The archway of Longyin village in Tanghu was built by Jin Languang in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644AD.). Now it has been hidden behind the modern buildings, leaning and moldering, the ancient door of which has become the entrance of these new buildings. On the top of the door engraves "blessing", "salary", "life", which express the simple yet profound desire of thousands of years of the Chinese people. On both the left and right side of the wall inscribe hollowed stone carvings--benevolent, bringing together quaintness, elegance and mellowness, which is quite amazing; indoors, there are also caned designs on the door mounds, elegant and refined; the clay sculpture frescoes of "Three Visits to the Hut"(call on sb. repeatedly to enlist his help, etc) are stored in the housing cracks, rough and romantic, which leave people with an endless aftertaste. Inside the side hall of Xiagangwu in Tanghu Village are huge clay sculpture frescoes, "Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea", "Chinese Unicorn Playing With a Pearl", "Emperor Qianlong Watching Lanterns ", etc. These clay sculptures are of various shapes, lifelike and also with charming story line, which make people completely lose in contemplation. 

  In Tanghu, there are countless folk stone and wood carvings, which would make a visual mess. The villages can often dig out an old wood carving boards off the hooks from the house. In these moldering and tumbled walls, you can always find unadorned debris-stone carvings. Here, each brick records the vicissitudes of history and even half tile exudes the antiquity infiltrating and nourishing out from culture, getting the addicts losing in the those elaborate years.

  Walking out the old mansion, a child was reading attentively bending over his desk by the door of the house, their grandparents standing on both sides, with love and ardent hope on the face. The honor and glory of the ancestors have been dissipated and the future of the old mansion and the world outside are destined to belong to them. I silently bless.  (Written by Kong Qingping and Du Peiqing)


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