Finding Myself in China: Whilst it was obviously once a huge place, (judging by the 'model' on display), it wasn't quite as big as you might imagine a 20 thousand room place to be. The examination rooms were just meter wide boxes which contained a bed/desk to which the examinees were confined for the several days necessary to complete their exams. These rooms are set up as displays and each has a mannequin in it that depicts something of the trials and tribulations of the examinees, and includes one in which a 'snake' was attacking one person, and another in which the examinee is being burned by fire. So much for the good old days.
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This photographic article is a continuation of Confucius Temple in Nanjing Part 1 which continued the story of my recent trip to Nanjing [3rd April 2008] and Ningbo (12th April). Links to other articles appear at the end of this article. A shorter version of this story with different photographs appears in my column at Magic City Morning Star News.
Preface to Confucius Temple Part 2
Qing Ming Festival (now a public holiday) occurred on Friday 4th April 2008, and having only one class to attend on Thursday 3rd, I headed off to Nanjing to meet up with my former student and current friend Zhang Mingxing. On April 4th we spent the day at Zhongshan Mountain National Park, about which I have not yet written.
On Saturday 5th, Mingxing took me off to find the Confucius Temple and from there we went on to the Nationalist Government's Presidential Palace complex within which you can find relics related to the Taiping Heavenly King.
What started out as a quick trip to the Confucius Temple actually ended up becoming quite an interesting series of visits to nearby sites. We started out by Catching the No 2 tourist bus to the 'Walking Steet' and this took us to a section of the Qinhuai river.
Building in the background is the Yingtian Imperial Examination School
After we had finished our tour of the Confucius Temple complex and the associated Intangible Cultural Heritage building, we just wandered around a little in the general area. Whilst doing that we stumbled upon the remnants of the Yingtian Imperial Examination School. At one time, it contained 20,644 examination rooms.
Close up of the entrance
Whilst it was obviously once a huge place, (judging by the 'model' on display), it wasn't quite as big as you might imagine a 20 thousand room place to be. The examination rooms were just meter wide boxes which contained a bed/desk to which the examinees were confined for the several days necessary to complete their exams.
Chinese girl and dumb friend!
These rooms are set up as displays and each has a mannequin in it that depicts something of the trials and tribulations of the examinees, and includes one in which a 'snake' was attacking one person, and another in which the examinee is being burned by fire. So much for the good old days.
The Desktop drops to join the seat to convert into a bed.
As long as you are no taller than One Meter it would have been reasonably comfortable
Except for the clothes this guy could have been one of my students during Lessons.
Whilst Chinese students no longer submit to Imperial Examinations, nothing much has changed for them, aside from their living conditions. Examinations are examinations the world over. This 'bright' boy in the photo below is Mingxing, which means 'bright star,' and he is certainly a star on the rise. Currently studying in Chengdu, he is a 'natural speaker' of English, and completely able to discuss any topic with any foreigner who may wish to talk with him. Along with two other students, (and not allowed to speak Chinese) he shared a house with me for one year. He has had Five and a half years experience of normal English conversation at normal speed.
A Chinese 'Bright Star' - Zhang Mingxing.
He will, if some foreign company is fortunate enough to hire him, be a most excellent and productive member of Staff, and who knows, given time, an excellent multi-national liason officer. (He is currently studying German). He has initiative, commonsense and a mind that has had years of exposure to every imaginable topic that a foreigner might wish to discuss. If it were not for Mingxing, I would never have seen what I did in Nanjing, and certainly have missed out on seeing Emeishan and LeShan Buddha in Chengdu. When we get together I just say, "Well mate! If you don't plan something for us to do, you know I'll just sit in front of the TV." He plans it, and I just follow the leader.
He planned this whole trip himself, and between his decision to visit the Confucius Temple on the Walking Street, and the accidental discoveries we made whilst wandering around, he did a marvellous job. That's not to say that I don't have at least one complaint to make, for I have.
Jump the Dragon Bar for Good fortune - Trip over it for bad luck!
When we had finished looking around in the first building one enters in the Yingtian Imperial Examination School we walked out the other side to visit the other buildings, and discovered a big bench type thing with dragon heads on each end, blocking the path. Beside it was a sign in Chinese. Mingxing read the sign and explained to me that if you jump over this bar 6 times, you get the magic good luck for everything going except lotto.
Not being the slightest bit superstitious or in anyway believing in Chinese folklore, I figured that I had nothing to lose by doing the jumping. So over I jumped and back - and over and back again, until I had completely jumped over it 6 times. Now this is no mean feat for a 55 going on 90 year old foreigner.
However, later, when retracing our steps, and encountering it again, we came across some other people doing it, and Mingxing suddenly announced that I had done it all wrong. Instead of jumping over and back, and then repeating the process, one had to jump over the bar, and walk back around the end of it and repeat the process. Well, if you think that this old bloke was stupid enough to do all that jumping again, then you'd be right. I did! And I'm still waiting for my luck to change.
Looking back to the First building
As a tourist attraction, the Yingtian Imperial Examination School is hardly spectacular, but at 20 rmb, is it certainly an informative look at the history of China. There were several buildings, with different displays in addition to those dummies sitting for the examination.
Containing Not the flashiest of displays, it was certainly an interesting place to visit.
Although looking at a heap of old stones may not be everyone's cup of tea, to see all those old stele lined up against the wall, containing for those able to read the script, glimpses into the past, certainly gives one reason to stop and think about life in general. What was life like for those people so long ago? Could they have imagined the future? Can We?
For me personally, looking at the stele has significance, perhaps more than most people. My ancestors for a 1000 years held significant positions in society, and today, one can find, if one only knew what they were looking for and where to find them, similar sized stones containing details of my forebears lives. So when I look at such stones, it gives me a certain feeling - a feeling that I can't put into words.
There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I am going to leave you with a few pictures that will tell better than I can express, what the area looks like around the walking street in Nanjing.
I earlier drew your attention to the Dragons on the other side of the river.
Each Frame contains something of the frame before it.
The building in the background to the left of the archway is the Confucius Temple Complex
This almost completes a 360 degree panorama.
Two more shots from around the Area of the Walking Street.
Taken from another bridge and looking down a canal.
Designed by Lu Yanzhi, a famous architect, the construction of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum began in March 1926 and ended in the spring of 1929. It is 700 meters from the Memorial Archway to the coffin chamber with 10 terraces and 392 steps between them, and the falling head reaches 70 meters. The main buildings of the mausoleum include the memorial archway, the mausoleum gate, the tablet pavilion, the sacrificial hall and the coffin chamber. On June 1, 1929, a grand burial ceremony was held at the mausoleum which is shaped like an alarm bell, symbolizing Dr. Sun Yat-sen's unyileding spirit in fighting to arouse people and salvage the nation. - In the center of this map with the blue roof is Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum. To the right is the Linggu Pagoda and to the left of the Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum is the Ming Tomb area. As you can see there are many other places to see. There is also Purple Mountain at the very top of the picture, access to which can be gained by a cable way
The Beamless Hall is the only survivor from the Ming Dynasty in Linggu Temple area. It was once called "Hall of Boundless Life" because it was built to worship the AMitabha Buddha, whose neame means "Boundless life." The brick-vault structure was built without a single piece of wood or beam, hence resulting in its current name. The KMT government had a cemetery built here for the KIAs in 1931, it was changed into a hall for public sacrifice.
Ancestral Halls were places where clansmen offered sacrifices to their ancestors and also great men of both ancient and more recent times. The building of memorial temples and ancestral halls was very popular during the Qing Dynasty. Various types of such temples and ancestral halls, such as the 'Zhaozhong' (loyal official), 'Xianliang' (wise man or sage) and Gongchen (meritorious personage) were built, during this period, in many parts of China including Beijing
During the Nationalist Government periods, Chiang Kai-shek, Lin Sen, Li Zongren and other leaders took a short rest in this building before ceremonies began. The Communists-Nationalists Negotiations were held here in 1946. In this building Li Zongren, the Acting President, received the Shanghai Peace Delegates who had returned from BeiPing on 27 February 1949.
Whilst it was obviously once a huge place, (judging by the 'model' on display), it wasn't quite as big as you might imagine a 20 thousand room place to be. The examination rooms were just meter wide boxes which contained a bed/desk to which the examinees were confined for the several days necessary to complete their exams. These rooms are set up as displays and each has a mannequin in it that depicts something of the trials and tribulations of the examinees, and includes one in which a 'snake' was attacking one person, and another in which the examinee is being burned by fire. So much for the good old days
Qinhuai River, known as Huaishui River or Longcangpu in ancient times, rises from two places: Baohuashan Mountain in Jurong County and Donglushan Mountain in Lishui County. The two streams meet at the foot of Fangshan Mountain, Jiangning County, then winds its way of 110 km to Yangzi River. The river that flows through Nanjing measures 10 li (5 kn) and this part is called Inner Qinhuai River. The River has a long history. As early as in Neolithic Age, it nurtured the early settlers along the banks. Now the Inner Qinhuai has become the center of culture and economy of Nanjing
The Taiping Army occupied Yong'an (now Mengshan County) in September and conferred the titles of the Eastern King. Westarn King. Soutnarn King. Northarn King, and Wing King upon Yang Xiuquan. Xiao Chaogui, Feng Yunshan, Wei Changhui and Shi Dakai, respectively. According to records of historical documents, the concubines of the Heavenly King were addressed Niangniang (Your Ladyship). Therefore their rooms were Called 'niangniang Palace." The room where the Heavenly King's second wife (Empress Lai) was called "You zheng Yue Palace."
Wengzhong Path, 250 meters long, constitutes the second section of the Sacred Way. This section is flanked by a pair of balusters, two pairs of generals and two pairs of civil officials. The balusters, with a cylinder crown at the top as well as cloud and dragon designs over the column, have changed the convention of topping the balusters along the sacred way with lotus-flower design since the Tang and Song Dynasties. It is of innovative significance in art. The statues of the generals and officials stand there with great dignity, guarding the tomb with their loyalty
Civil and Military Gate is the first gate to the graveyard of the Ming Tomb. In 1998, the Administration of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum had its original appearance restored according to the burial system of the Ming Tomb of the Ming Dynasty. At the foot of the gate there is a "Special Notice" tablet inscribed in Japanese, German, Italian, English, French and Russian. It was jointly erected for the preservation of the Ming Tomb in the first year under the Xuantong Reign of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1909) by the taotai (head) of Liangjiang Westernization Buteau and the magistrate of Jiangning Prefecture.
Realising that this was a 'security' situation, I decided that it was probably unwise to stand around with my hands in my pockets, and deliberately removed them, keeping my hands in plain sight at all times. While quite conscious of the fact that the uniform police in every direction were discreetly keeping an eye on me, it nevertheless was a surprise when the Chinese Secret Serviceman confronted me, although from the man's first step in a 15 metre walk, I knew instinctively who he would be. He pulled out his credentials, and speaking in reasonably good English, informed me that he was a Policeman; advised me that he had been watching me for 20 minutes; and wanted to know what I was doing there
Summer Camp consisted of two different 12 day sessions, teaching each class once every two days. On the day of the 4th class during the first camp, I was advised that the parents had complained about my teaching. 'They think that what you teach is useless (like having the students stand and actually speak English), and that you should teach 'new words' (that they will never use if they don't actually speak), and that you should teach them about Australia."
The day I was due to Leave, Zhan Yan turned up at my house saying that his summer camp had been cancelled and none of his family were in town. So guess who came with me? There is no commentary apart from the fact that it costs 50 RMB for the entrance ticket
Really, we only went there to eat pizza at Carole's Restaurant, but noting a few changes in the area, decided to take a few new shots. From the vantage point on the upstairs balcony of the restaurant, I started off the process by taking photos of people in the street who kept pointing out the foreigner
In the temple, there are many places of cultural and historical interest. Tianwang (Heavenly Kings) Hall, Guanyin Hall, Wuyou Hall and the Arhat Hall are solemn in ancient style, Kuangyi Pavilion is charm and elegant. On Erya Terrace you can overlook the river, while in Tingtao Pavilion, you can enjoy the music of the current. If you want to see how the three rivers meet go to Jingyun Pavilion; to enjoy flowers, butterflies and singing birds, go to the Plum Garden. What is mostly worth mentioning is that it is the temple and the hill on which it stands that form the hesd of the Giant Sleeping Buddha.
Dopo 45 minuti di strade tutte uguali, siamo finiti nel bel mezzo della 'zona commerciale,' dove il traffico si è fatto insostenibile e venivamo sorpassati da arzille nonnine con ceste piene di spesa. A piedi, ovviamente. Qui ho cambiato autobus, sempre seguendo le indicazioni del foglietto. Lungo la strada, sono stata messa in allarme da dei cartelli: Longmen caves: 11km. Longmen Caves: 13km. Longmen Caves: 15km. Avvicinandosi alla meta, i chilometri dovrebbero diminuire, non aumentare ¡ quando mi sono resa conto che stavo viaggiando nella direzione sbagliata avevo gia trascorso più di un'ora e mezza in autobus e mi trovavo ad oltre 15 chilometri dalle grotte. Ho fermato un taxi.
My 11.45 am flight left at 1pm. Knowing that this would happen, I had bought my international ticket from Beijing, and chanced travelling to Beijing the day before. That also meant that I would need accommodation on the 14th. After checking the Internet, I came across the Beijing Aulympic - Olympic - Hotel, located very close to the airport. The fees were very very very low and that suited me fine. I did not expect however, that the hotel would be as nice as it was
With the official greetings over, we were presented with a variety of performances from local artists and international guests, including an American man and his family. This family presented a narrative from a Gospel about the birth of Jesus, and then went on to present some musical renditions of Christmas Carols. Another foreigner, who performed a Chinese fan dance, was Helen, a Ukrainian with an American Accent. She is also an English teacher in Dong He District Baotou. We chatted for a little while at the end of the night. The other performances included an Arabian - Chinese dance performed by a group of girls balancing rice bowls while they gyrated around the place. They were all young and beautiful and adept in their craft
My 'less than trusting' Chinese friends (currently scattered far and wide throughout China), are not so excited. They tell me that not only are private schools well known for their abuse of and cheating both foreign and National teachers, but one should not trust a Chinese boss to keep his word. While in fact no one has actually informed me that I will be paid overtime, the provision is in my contract and I don't see how it can be 'forgotten.' I doubt that the franchisee could ever have become such an illustrious business woman (She has businesses in China and in Canada) had she not been an ethical manager
Queensland, the Sunshine State of Australia, Home of the Banana Benders, the Kingaroy Peanut (Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson) and many many famous people including Sean Connery's former wife Dianne Cilento. Brisbane City Hall faces King George Square, and on the other side of the road is the Wesley Methodist church, and behind that a tall building that 30 years ago was the State Government Insurance Office (where I once worked). These two shots are significant, because in one of the Mission Impossible Movies, you see this church in the background of one scene, minus the tall building. Really scary scene. I thought the building must have been demolished. Nope! Still there!
Spanish Lighthouse at Corregidor Island had a signpost letting us know how far from home we were - The Centerpiece at the War Memorial for American Soldiers in Manilla - Corregidor Island Battery looking toward Batan - Military tanks at the Philippine Military Academy
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]