Tainan Confucius Temple (台南孔廟)

When people talk about history in Taiwan, the first place that comes to mind is "Tainan". The city which is in the south of the country was once the capital of the island and is often referred to as the "Capital City" (府城) despite Taipei currently being the capital of Taiwan. The city is one of the oldest in the country and if you've spent any amount of time in Taipei, a walk through Tainan almost seems as if you're been transported to a completely different country.

Tainan's modern history of development stretches back to when the Dutch East India Company established a fort and trading post in the area in 1624. The city then became the capital of the Kingdom of Tungning (東寧王國) established by Koxinga (鄭成功) and his family after the Dutch were expelled which was then followed by a period of control by the Qing Dynasty (清朝), the Japanese Empire and the Republic of China.

Through all these turbulent periods of political and foreign rule, the people of Tainan have been able to absorb those foreign cultures, cuisines and architectural styles and build a unique city with an identity of its own with arguably the best cuisine in the whole of Taiwan.

While Taipei might currently occupy the position as the political capital of Taiwan, Tainan is certainly the cultural capital and if you want to really experience Taiwan's 'folk culture' at its best, a trip to Tainan is the best recommendation anyone can give you. The amount of historical and cultural sites available for both domestic tourists as well as international travellers is enough to keep you busy for days.

In this post I want to talk about one of Tainan's oldest and most celebrated residents - The Tainan Confucius Temple. The temple with its three and a half century old history was the first Confucius Temple constructed in Taiwan (of which there are now many) and is considered to be the first real "school" in Taiwan. The temple today serves as a popular tourist attraction and is an important historical site where ancient tradition is both practiced and preserved so that future generations can continue to experience not only Confucian philosophical values but also the Taiwanese folk traditions which have helped shape Taiwan into the country it is today.

History

To start, I want to make a bit of a clarification in case you are confused about the name of the temple. The Tainan Confucius Temple (台南孔子廟) goes by a few names, I'm going to be consistent with this post and refer to it only as the "Tainan Confucius Temple", but for clarity sake the temple also goes by "Taiwan Confucius Temple" (臺灣孔廟) as well as the "Scholarly Temple" (全台首學) or “Taiwan's first school" depending on how you want to translate the Chinese name.

Each of the names reflects a period of Tainan's history - The "Scholarly Temple" refers to the fact that the "first" school in Taiwan was founded on the grounds of the temple while the "Taiwan Confucius Temple" receives its name from a time when the temple was the only Confucian Temple in Taiwan and was the place where people would have to go not only to receive an education but to prepare for the Imperial examination (科舉) if they wished to become a civil servant. Today there are more than twenty Confucius Temples in Taiwan and each one is associated with the city in which it resides, so referring to the temple as the Tainan Confucius Temple today makes sense.

The temple easily makes claims as being the first in a few areas - It is considered to be the first educational institution in Taiwan, the first Confucius Temple as well as the first temple dedicated to the veneration of literature and the arts.

With a history dating back to 1665, the temple has gone through several different transformations and has had to be rebuilt several times due to the turbulent nature of Taiwan's political and colonial history. Even though not all of the buildings we see today are over 350 years old, the fact remains that this temple has played an instrumental role in Taiwan's history.

To explain the history in clear terms, I'm going to separate it into different sections based on the different colonial and political eras that Taiwan has undergone and talk a little bit about what happened at the temple during each period.

Kingdom of Tungning (東寧王國)

Taiwan's First School! 

The Tainan Confucius Temple was originally constructed in 1665 under the instruction of Zheng Jing, the son of Ming-loyalist and Pirate-King Koxinga's (鄭成功). The Zheng family is an important one in the history of Tainan and even though their Kingdom of Tungning (東寧王國) lasted only two decades (1662-1663) before being overthrown by the Qing Dynasty, they made a lasting impact on the city.

The Zheng Family which set up shop in Tainan in a (failed) attempt to amass the forces necessary to overthrow the Qing dynasty (清朝) and restore the Ming dynasty (明朝) sought to promote the principles of the Ming which included Confucian values of education as well as encouraging the people of Taiwan to take up the civil service exam.

The temple built in 1665 included a small Dacheng Hall (大成殿) where the veneration of Confucius would take place as well as what we now refer to as the Minglun Hall (明倫堂) which is credited with being Taiwan's first place of public education.

Qing Dynasty (清治時期)

During the Qing Dynasty the grounds of the Confucius Temple were renovated and expanded upon several times to include two halls to the east and west of the main shrine as well as the Chongsheng Shrine (崇聖祠), a shrine to the Taoist Earth God (福德正神) and a shrine dedicated to the God of Literature (文昌大地). The Temple was renamed at the time to reflect its importance as Taiwan's first school (全台首學) but was known locally as a Confucius Temple.

The Qing didn't really have a lot lot of influence in the south of Taiwan but the expansion of the temple was an important part of its history and even though the temple we see today isn't the same as what we see today, the Qing government laid the foundations for the current design according to the traditional architectural style of Confucius temples in China compared to what was originally put in place by the Cheng family.

Japanese Colonial Era (日治時期)

During the Japanese Colonial Era the temple initially kept up its role as a place of education and became part of the Japanese public school system. Later, the Japanese built a much larger school on the temple's grounds (Today's Zhongyi Elementary School 忠義國小) and then appropriated neighbouring land to construct the Tainan Martial Arts Hall (台南武德殿).

During the Second World War however the temple suffered the same fate as a lot of other ancient places of worship in Taiwan (Longshan Temple, Taipei Confucius Temple for example) and became a hiding spot for munitions which ultimately made it a target for allied bombing campaigns causing quite a bit of damage with required the temple to undergo a number of repairs and renovation projects.

Republic of China Era (民國時期)

When the Republic of China (under the control of the Chinese Nationalist Party) became the governing authority over Taiwan the government took quick steps to erase Japanese language and traditions among the population. The government came up with a campaign to 'promote' Chinese culture which ultimately stretched beyond Japanese and promoted Mandarin over all of the other languages spoken in the country.

The promotion of traditional Chinese culture became an important aspect of the governments policies and places like Confucius Temples were looked upon as perfect places for the government to achieve their goals.

The Tainan Confucius Temple being the temple in Taiwan with the longest history was thus promoted as an important tourist site and place for people to go and pay respects to the all-important Chinese philosopher and educator while newer temples were constructed in his honour in various other cities throughout the country.

Additions to the Tainan temple were made as well as both repairs and renovations since then with work being done in 1953 (民國42年), again in 1977 (民國66年), 1979 (民國68年) and then once again in 1989 (民國78年) shortly after the site was granted protected status as a national historic site.

While the temple's history has spanned a number of different political eras, a new tradition started when the ROC set up shop on the island. It became a tradition with each of the presidents presenting a plaque to the temple with one of the many sayings of Confucius. Despite the polarizing political situation in Taiwan it is a tradition that has been kept since the time of Chiang Kai-Shek all the way to the current president.

Design

Confucius temples tend to be uniform in their simplicity - Unlike the overwhelming beauty of Taiwanese folk temples and Taoist temples - Confucius temples stand alone in their almost "zen-like" nature in that they don't have shiny gold or bronze decorations and murals all over the walls with hundreds of sticks of incense creating a haze throughout the temple.

The simplicity exhibited in Confucius temples throughout China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is meant to be a show of respect to Confucius as well as the importance of his philosophical views of education and his influence on Chinese culture and history.

One of the common features of all Confucius temples is that there is no imagery or statues of Confucius. This is a rule that goes back almost 500 years to the Ming Dynasty (明朝) when the emperor decreed that all Confucius temples should be uniform and only have "spirit tablets" (神位) rather than images of the sage. Although if you really want to see a statue of the sage there are several temples nearby this one that have shrines dedicated to him.

Dacheng Hall (大成殿)

Dacheng Hall is the main shrine area of any Confucius temple - The hall sits in the middle of a granite courtyard with a large elevated platform in front of it as well as on the sides. Inside the hall is a very simple shrine set up with the Confucius Spirit Tablet (神位) on a nice red table with several plaques above it.

One of the main differences between this Confucius Temple and the others throughout the country is that while we often refer to it as the "Tainan Confucius Temple" it is also known as the "Taiwan Confucius Temple" due to its historical importance. Because of this, it has become tradition since the Republic of China took up shop in Taiwan for each President to place a plaque of their own in the shrine room with each President making their own addition.

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The plaques and their meanings are as follows:

  • President Chiang Kai-Shek (蔣介石): "Education for All" (有教無類)
  • President Yen Chia-Kan (嚴家淦): “The teacher for all ages" (萬世師表)
  • President Chiang Ching-Kuo (蔣經國): "Tao is Universal Through All Times" (道貫古今)
  • President Lee Teng-Hui (李登輝): "The highest of moral character "(德配天地)
  • President Chen Shui-Bian (陳水扁): "The world will flourish if we work together "(中和位育)
  • President Ma Ying Jeou (馬英九): "Confucian Education is Transformative" (聖德化育)
  • President Tsai Ying-Wen (蔡英文): "Equal Education for a Moral Society" (德侔道昌)

This shrine room is a stark contrast to what you'd normally see at a Taoist temple in Taiwan and the plaques are probably the shiniest things that you'll notice when you walk in the room. The simplicity of the shrine room is something that is common with all Confucius Temples where priority is placed not on the man as a "god" but as an extraordinary philosopher and educator.

On either side of the Confucius shrine there are additional shrines dedicated to the four sages (四配) Yan Hui (顏子), Zengzi (曾子), Zisi (子思) and Mencius (孟子) who were Confucius scholars and authored books which expanded upon the Confucian philosophy and has had a lasting impact on Chinese culture and the diaspora of Chinese people's throughout the world.

The building is the highest building within the main complex and is elevated off the ground. In the front of the hall is a stone carved mural of a dragon with several more dragons on the roof. In the middle of the roof there is a 'seven-levelled' pagoda which is thought to suppress evil.

What most tourists don't realize about the temple is that while it is advertised as having an over 350 year history, it has since been reconstructed several times and the Dacheng Hall that we see today was actually reconstructed in 1977 making it only about 40 years old.

Dacheng Gate (大成門)

The Dacheng Gate acts as the entrance to a Confucius Temple. The gate typically forms a perimeter around the courtyard and the Dacheng Hall. In most cases the gate is likely to be the most ornate part of the entire temple with murals to the sides of the main entrance as well as intricate designs on the roof.

The Dacheng Gate and the courtyard in front of it at the Tainan Confucius Temple is a popular meeting place for the people of Tainan and is often the site of quite a few events with seniors coming out to practice Tai Chi in the mornings, sing karaoke in the afternoon as well as various other activities.

Taking into consideration that the front of the Dacheng Gate is often a busy place, it is often quite difficult to get wide angle photos of the main shrine without a bunch of people crowding up the picture. For a photographer it can be a bit annoying but truthfully I think the fact that the temple is so busy is a great thing.

The gate also acts as a place where you need to pay an admission fee to gain access to the main part of the shrine. In most cases I wouldn't pay admission to gain access to a temple, especially a tourist temple, but in the case of the Tainan Confucius Temple I'm happy to pay the 25NT entrance fee as the money goes towards the upkeep preservation of the building.

The Gate was constructed in 1715 and was restored between 1987 and 1989. The murals on the outside of the gate are in excellent condition and were wonderfully restored. The roof is constructed with a three ridged Swallow-Tail ridged roof (燕尾脊) design.

Chongsheng Shrine (崇聖祠)

The Chongsheng Shrine is traditionally situated behind the main Dacheng Hall in all Confucius Temples and is used as a shrine room to venerate several generations of the ancestors of Confucius as well as the various Confucian sages and philosophers throughout history. This shrine room is not unlike a shrine room that you'd find in any large Taiwanese home and is an important place for ancestral worship for the descendants of Confucius.

Those descendants have spread out throughout China, Taiwan and Korea so the Confucius Temple's throughout Asia also act as an ancestral shrine giving them a place to worship.

The shrine venerates five generations of Confucius's descendants and is a windowless room made of wood with eighteen beautiful red pillars. The shrine was constructed in 1723 but underwent repairs most recently 1985 and 1986.

Education Hall (明倫堂)

The Education Hall or "Minglun Hall" is probably my favourite part of visiting the Tainan Confucius Temple. As I've mentioned above, Confucius Halls are for the most part uniform in design but this one is able to get away with being a little different thanks to its historical importance.

The Education Hall at the Tainan Confucius Temple actually predates the temple itself and is the reason the temple gets its name "Taiwan's First School" (全台首學). The hall was built in 1663, expanded again in 1700 and then renovated and restored between 1987 and 1989. It consists of a main gate with a courtyard and the main building which is usually open and has excellent air circulation.

Design-wise, the exterior of the Education Hall follows a lot of the same design techniques as the Confucius Temple especially when it comes to the roof. The interior however is what separates this small hall from the rest of the temple complex.

The interior is a calligraphers wonderland and features a beautiful wall of calligraphy taken from "The Great Learning" (大學章句), one of the four books authored by Confucius and is a recreation of the work of Zhao Mengfu (趙孟頫) one of the greatest calligraphers to have ever lived.

While the main attraction to the hall is the wall of calligraphy that faces the exit, there are also two large characters on each wall facing each other that read "忠孝節義" and refer to loyalty and filial piety which are the cornerstones of the Confucian philosophy.

 Wenchang Pavilion (文昌塔)

Behind the Minglun Hall is the Wenchang Pavilion, which actually looks more like a pagoda than a pavilion. The pavilion is often open to the public but usually only the weekends.

The pavilion has three floors and has a very narrow stairway that allows guests to walk up the old wooden stairs. Each floor has a shrine to a Taoist god with there being a shrine dedicated to the Great Master Kui (魁星) - whom interestingly I heard a young Taiwanese man in front of the shrine refer to as "Kui-Ge" (魁哥) which is a Taiwanese colloquial way of calling him "Brother Kui."

The third floor is dedicated to the Wenchang Emperor (文昌大地), the Taoist God of Literature and is an important god for students who want to score well on tests or gain admission to a good school.

The best part of the old pavilion is the view you get from the windows on the second and third floor which give you a nice vantage point to check out the roof of the Confucius Temple.

Location / Map

 

The Tainan Confucius Temple is considered to be one of those must-visit tourist spots not only in Tainan, but also in Taiwan. The temple is more than three centuries old and is taken care of extremely well. The modern history of Taiwan through all of its political turmoil and modern development are written all over the storied walls of this beautiful temple complex. A stop here not only offers tourists a chance to learn about Taiwanese history but allows guests to really appreciate a bit of peace and quiet in Taiwan's first place of higher education.

If you are visiting Taiwan, I can't tell you how important it is that you make it a priority to get out of Taipei and spend some time visiting Tainan. The history of this country is put on display in every little nook and cranny of this beautiful city and the Confucius Temple is one of those places where you get to enjoy it in whatever language you speak!

Taiwan's Confucius Temples: Taipei | Taoyuan | Hsinchu


Changhua Martial Arts Hall (彰化武德殿)

Over the past few months I've posted a few times about some of the beautiful remnants of Taiwan's Japanese Colonial Period. The colonial era lasted only five decades but in the short time that the Japanese controlled Taiwan, they helped to modernize the islands infrastructure and education and helped foster the importance of democratic governance all of which has had a lasting effect on the people of this tiny island nation.

It has been more than seven decades since the Colonial Era ended and while there are still quite a few well preserved examples of Japanese architecture left in Taiwan, most of the remaining buildings are in a state of decay and are in desperate need of not only recognition for their historical significance but some much needed maintenance and renewal.

In the past few weeks I've posted blogs about the Longtan Butokuden (龍潭武德殿), the Daxi Butokuden (大溪武德殿), the Tainan Butokuden (台南武德殿), the beautifully renovated Taoyuan Shinto Shrine (桃園神社) as well as the decaying (but soon to be renovated and converted into a park) Japanese Police Dormitories (中壢警察局日式宿舍群) here in Zhongli. These martial arts academies, shrines and police dorms were quite common in almost every city in Taiwan during the colonial era but few are left remaining today and that is why their preservation and telling their story are so important.

Legacy Of Taiwan's Japanese Colonial Era (日治時期)

A lot can be said about the crimes committed by the Japanese Empire leading up to the Second World War. The bitter memory of that era is still felt today throughout Asia and a day doesn't go by that Japan isn't reminded of the horrific atrocities that were committed during that period.

Taiwan's experience under Japanese colonial rule is considered to be a bit tamer than that of neighbouring countries as the regime sought to transform the island into a "model colony" and develop the islands infrastructure and economy as well as provide a modern education to the people living here.

As Taiwan was Japan's first colony, the Japanese Empire wanted to show the world that being under Japanese control wasn't such a terrible thing and that the people of Taiwan would only benefit from becoming a part of the empire. Unfortunately history has shown that things didn't exactly turn out that way for some of Japan's other colonies.

The colonial period (1895-1945) which lasted for a half century had its fair share of resistance from the local people and the colonial power was guilty of a great many atrocities, however the general feeling today is that people of this country share a strong bond with the Japanese and enjoy a friendship that despite a troubled history is based off of mutual understanding and respect for each other.

When Japan surrendered to the allies at the end of the war, control of Taiwan was handed over to Chiang Kai-Shek and his Republic of China. The Sino-Japanese War which ravaged China for so many years before caused a lot of resentment for the Japanese among the Chinese population and leaders of the government in China had a hard time understanding why the people of Taiwan looked upon their period of Japanese control with so little disdain.

The government decided that it would force Chinese culture upon the people of Taiwan which meant that traces of Japanese culture would have to be destroyed. These policies became a problem however when the KMT and over two million refugees were forced to escape to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War and were faced with a major housing shortage.

While there are remnants of the colonial period visible throughout Taiwan today, most structures that were dedicated to Japanese culture (temples, shrines, etc.) were torn down and are few and far between. When the housing situation eventually settled down and Taiwan was in the midst of its economic miracle, a lot of the homes that were occupied by the refugees were abandoned and thus left to decay on their own.

Butokuden Halls (武德殿)

Butokuden Halls were established in 1895 under the authority of the Japanese government and with the endorsement of the Meiji Emperor (明治大帝). The halls were meant to help solidify and preserve Japan's martial arts disciplines where the virtues of the samurai-like warrior and noble Japanese heritage and dominance were promoted.

Budo basically refers to Japanese martial arts, but for more clarity I asked my Japanese friend for more information and she sent this definition: Budō is a compound of the root bu (武:ぶ), meaning "war" or "martial"; and dō (道:どう; Dao in Chinese), meaning "path" or "way. The term refers to the idea of formulating propositions, subjecting them to philosophical critique and then following a "path" to realize them. Dō signifies a "way of life". Dō in the Japanese context, is an experiential term, experiential in the sense that practice (the way of life) is the norm to verify the validity of the discipline cultivated through a given art form. Modern budō has no external enemy, only the internal enemy, one's ego that must be fought.

While martial arts dojos were common throughout Japan, the Butokuden Halls were different because they were part of a state sponsored attempt to standardize Japanese martial arts while at the same time fostering fervent nationalism as well as the idea of Japanese exceptionalism though samurai-spirit which helped stoke the fires of militarism in the early years of the 20th century.

The Halls were part of a large organizational structure called the "Dai Nippon Butoku Kai" (大日本武德會) which sought to promote Japanese martial arts throughout the Japanese empire.

Starting in 1900 the halls spread to Taiwan with large buildings constructed in Taipei, Taichung and Tainan. In 1906 the Taiwan Butokuden branch (大日本武德會臺灣支部) was established and oversaw the construction of around seventy smaller halls throughout the island.

In Taiwan, the Butokuden Halls initially served the purpose of training the police, military and prison guards in Japanese martial arts and discipline. Later on the halls opened up more to the public in an attempt to train the citizens of Taiwan in Japanese martial arts as well as instil "Japanese Spirit" which is better known as "Yamato-damashii" (大和魂).

When the Second World War ended and subsequently the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, there were over seventy Butokuden halls throughout the country. The fate of those halls however was similar to a lot of other Japanese constructed buildings after the arrival of the Chinese Nationalists at the end of the Chinese Civil War. The buildings were either repurposed, used for housing or destroyed.

Today only about a dozen of these halls continue to exist in Taiwan - Some of the halls have been recognized as National Historic Buildings and have either been repurposed or renovated while others are in a sad state of disrepair and are in desperate need of attention.

Likewise, the "Dai Nippon Butoku Kai" organization was dissolved and then reestablished after the war with a new philosophical vision of preserving Japan's martial arts heritage while at the same time contributing to "world peace, international goodwill, mutual understanding and respect and prosperity through Budo education."

Butoku Kai centres have since spread throughout the world with halls constructed in the US, Canada, UK, France, Russia, etc. Here in Taiwan however, the halls are under appreciated historical relics and while they are historically relevant their original purpose - the promotion of Japanese martial arts has all but disappeared.

Changhua Butokuden (彰化武德殿)

The Changhua Butokuden is one of the largest and most beautiful of the remaining Martial Arts Halls left in Taiwan. The almost ninety year old hall which was completed in 1930 (昭和5年) sits in the downtown core of Changhua at the base of Bagua Mountain (八卦山) near not only the local government buildings and police precincts but also the Changhua Confucius Temple (彰化孔廟) and the Jieshao Shrine (節孝祠) which both predate it.

Like all of the Butokuden's in Taiwan, the Changhua Hall was built in a strategic location that was close to local government and police buildings as well as sitting near Changhua High School (彰化高中), Zhongshan Elementary school (中山國小) and Changhua Girls Senior High School (彰化女中) which were all constructed by the Japanese during the Colonial Era. The strategic location was instrumental in offering martial arts education to the people in the area and also for the purpose of helping to convert residents into proud members of the Japanese empire.

When the colonial era ended, the Changhua Butokuden followed in the footsteps of the Taoyuan Shinto Shrine and the Tungxiao Shinto Shrine and was renamed the Changhua Martyr's Shrine (彰化縣忠烈祠) which was dedicated to the fallen members of the Republic of China army and is probably the reason why a Japanese building of its size and beauty has been able to survive until this day given the anti-Japan sentiments felt by the mainlanders who retreated to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War.

In September of 1999 the Hall was heavily damaged due to the devastating 921 Earthquake which rocked Taiwan and caused massive devastation around the country. In the aftermath the Changhua County Government made plans to repair the building with authenticity being the key factor in their restoration project.

The building was designated a protected historic property in 2001 and the restoration project was completed a few years later in 2005. When the project was completed the hall reverted back to its original "Changhua Butokuden" name and would from then on could be used for various purposes while maintaining its historical importance.

Like the other Butokuden Halls that I've posted about thus far, the Changhua Hall was built with a combination of Japanese and Western construction techniques mixing brick, concrete and beautiful Taiwanese cypress. As what we consider traditional Japanese architecture was heavily influenced by the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty (唐朝), the building was designed to imitate that of a Tang palace.

The roof of the main building is very characteristic of Tang-style architecture and while some people may identify the building as one that is very 'Japanese' in design, its important to note that the architectural style is a nod to Japan's historic relationship with China in the early stages of its development. The wooden roof has four sides and rises to resemble a mountain-like structure known as a "hip-and-gable roof" (懸魚) with "owl's tail" (鴟尾) decorations on each end.

The most interesting thing I noticed about the Changhua Hall though (and is something that differs from the Martial Arts halls that I've seen thus far on this little project of mine) is that the various roof trusses and gables are adorned with the words Budō "武德“. I had originally thought that this was likely a product of the restoration project but the much smaller Erlin Butokuden (二林武德殿) in Changhua county (which I also visited and will post about shortly) was also adorned with the characters "武“ in the same areas of the building and has yet to be restored.

The interior of the Hall is unfortunately not open to the public but it is easy to peer in through the doors and the windows at the empty one-room building with its shiny hardwood floors. There are no decorations on the walls or anything that points to its past as either a Martial Arts Hall or a Martyrs Shrine but the simple empty room shows that it would have been a pretty cool place to practice martial arts with not only ample space, a beautiful hardwood floor but also lots of light coming in from the many windows on each of the four sides of the building.

Like most Butokuden's, there is an administration building to the rear of the main building but as of this moment it is still in the process of being restored and on the day I visited was full of workers laying the floor. I'm guessing that in the next year or so that the building will be reopened to the public but I'm not actually sure what function it will serve as the main building is also closed to the public.

Interestingly I got in touch with the people at the local Changhua County tourism bureau and asked when the Butokuden would be open the public. They replied that it is open on March 29th and September 3rd each year for meetings. It was also open last year on August 23rd on the commemoration of the 70th year since the end of the Second World War. Not that any of those dates helps you or I. They were happy to inform me about those dates though. Every other day is considered "未開放" or "No Admittance" which kind of sucks.

No entrance. 

The interiors of these buildings, with the exception of the Tainan Butokuden have rarely been interesting though so I suppose you're probably much better off checking out the beautiful architecture and design of the exterior thanks going inside.

If you are visiting Changhua, be sure to stop by the Butokuden and check out this amazing piece of history that sits quietly in a small corner of the downtown core. If you have a day-trip planned to Changhua, you can easily include a stop at the Martial Arts Hall before moving on to some of the other attractions. The Hall and most of Changhua's historic attractions are a short UBike ride from the Changhua Train Station, so getting there is quite easy.


Location