Song Jiang Jhen Battle Array in Neimen, Kaohsiung 2012
In Taiwan, the battle array culture flourishes among the people, symbolizing their life force. Closely related to people’s everyday lives, battle array culture conveys the historical living patterns and folklore of Taiwanese in agricultural society. In rituals and religious ceremonies, battle array is an important ethnic performance function to entertain the gods and people; it especially prospers in southern Taiwan. Among civil and military arrays, the Song Jiang Jhen Battle Array (the battle array used in the Song Dynasty; now a kind of kungfu performance) is the most frequently performed. With the highest number of performers, it emphasizes uniting and protecting the people to resist invasion. Demonstrating Taiwanese’s energy, it is a representative form of grassroots folk art. In short, it is the epitome of Taiwan’s grassroots culture.
In Neimen, Kaohsiung, the battle array culture is preserved intact. With the highest number of array performance groups in Taiwan, the Song Jiang Jhen Battle Array is the best in the world, a representative kind of martial arts and ethnic performance in Taiwan. For a long time, the regional government has insisted on preserving and promoting the development of battle array culture. With constant endeavor, the government preserves and promotes it incessantly. More importantly, new elements are added in response to the changing times.
Since 2005, Neimen has been sponsoring the Intercollegiate Song Jhiang Jhen Battle Array Competition in the Guanyin Festival or Matsu Festival; all college and university students in Taiwan are invited to join this contest. With this opportunity, they can learn more about the Song Jhiang Jhen Battle Array and to feel the power of grassroots culture and people’s determination in everyday life. Joining this contest, all participants are eager to animate the spirit of Neimen by performing the Song Jhiang Jhen Battle Array. Each year more and more people to come to this badland, Neimen, attracted by the exhilarating activities. In addition, visitors can eat in the free feasts offered by local people as they enjoy festive excitement and feel the Song Jhiang culture in Neimen.
After years of promotion, through a joint venture of the regional government and the central government, this folk event has been transformed from an ethnic performance into refined performing arts.
In 2012, it is the 101st anniversary of the Republic of China. In this historical moment, we would like to promote this ethnic activity further, providing more opportunities for battle array culture to give out more light and heat. Southern Taiwan is the home of battle array culture. It is the honor of Greater Kaohsiung to promote this event!
(Tourism Bureau of Kaohsiung City)
Canon EOS 5DII + Sigma 8mm f/3.5 fisheye
Software: PTGui, Photoshop CS4