一級古蹟 — 金廣福公館
A first rank historic relic — Chin Kuang Fu House
（General Education Department, Ming Hsin Institute of Technology）
Exterior view of T’ien-shui T’ang
Chin Kuang Fu was an exceptional and unusualcase of Hokkien and Hakka cooperation inTaiwan’s pioneer industries, and also thelast pioneer enterprise in Hsinchu’smountain region. Although this first rankhistorical site, which is over 160 yearsold, looks nothing special, and its interioris dilapidated and bleak, it is a record ofthe history of development in the mountainsof Hsinchu between Hokkien and Hakkaforebears, and its structure also combinesarchitectural motifs of both Fujian andHakka-style old buildings and the simpleyet powerful architectural style of pioneersociety. This week, we have invited FanMing-hwang from the General EducationDepartment of the Ming Hsin Institute ofTechnology to write about this old buildingwhich has been through so many troubles andchanges, and to describe the significanceand characteristics of the pioneer historyof Hsinchu’s mountain region.
A national first rank historical site whichlooks nothing special
At first sight, it’s very hard to imagine,and you may feel disappointed, and think:”How can it be?” “This is a nationalhistorical site of the first rank, withover 160 years of history behind it?” ChinKuang Fu House is a traditional courtyardhouse on a small scale, situated at no. 6,Chung-cheng Road, Pei-pu Village, Pei-pu Hsiang, in Hsinchu County, and doesn’t looklike much from the outside. It doesn’t havea particularly majestic air to it, and it’snot particularly fine architecture, andT’ien-shui T’ang, which stands directlyopposite, is rather a scene-stealer! Thejunior high school textbook “Know Taiwan”,and the introduction to Taiwan’s importantfirst-rank historic sites in the resourceslibrary at the former provincial governmentboth mixed these two up and mistakenly usedphotographs of T’ien-shui T’ang, and mostpeople wouldn’t imagine a national first-rankhistoric site to look this way!
It is very difficult for a building to bejudged a historic site of the first rank!There are only three in northern Taiwan, andTaoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli have only onebetween them. At first sight, don’t bedeceived by its shabby, sorry exterior! ChinKuang Fu House’s glory derives from theunusual and historical aspects of itsbackground.
An unusual example of Hokkien-Hakkacooperation in development
The establishment of the Chin Kuang Fudevelopment business marked a change amongpioneers from defending their interests toan aggressive development, changing passivedefense into setting out on activedevelopment. It was also an unusual exampleof cooperation between Hokkien and Hakkaspeakers, and the final development businessin the Hsinchu mountain region. Chin KuangFu House is the remaining testimony to theChin Kuang Fu development business, and theonly surviving example of many such mansionsin the whole of Taiwan. That’s the mainreason why it has been judged a nationalhistoric relic of the first rank, and itsmost special distinguishing feature.
Chin Kuang Fu House was the base camp for the ChinKuang Fu development business, which broughtvirgin land under cultivation, and the head officetoo. The first major business for which it was setup was “strategic pass” business (defense work toprevent Aborigines from invading the area), becausepeople wanted to stop Aborigines from head-hunting,so many pass fortifications were constructed alongthe foot of the mountains, and special garrisonpatrols were sent to man them, and a line of passfortifications was constructed for defense. As aresult, [Ching Kuang Fu] was a headquarters forbattle with Aborigines, and for logistical support.The pass defenses were already built, anddevelopment followed, and so Ching Kuang Fu wasthe headquarters for recruiting tenant farmers todevelop the land, and collecting rent from them.
Exterior view of Chin kuang Fu House
The name of “Chin Kuang Fu”
In today’s terminology, the Chin Kuang Fudevelopment business would be something like”the Ching Kuang Fu Land Development Company,Ltd.” To begin with, it was subsidized bygovernment officials, and then jointly made upof Taiwanese from both Hokkien and Hakkabackgrounds. The name
K’en hao organization and division ofresponsibilities
The Chin Kuang Fu K’en Hao was originallyestablished, on the one hand, to defend againstthe aboriginal harassment and, on the other hand,to exploit camphor trees and claim new lands. Itgot underway in the 2nd lunar month of the 14thyear of the Tao Kuang reign period of the Ch’ingDynasty (1834), when Li Szu of Tanshuei Subprefect,gave1,000 silver yuan to the Kuangtung-emigreheadman Chiang Hsiu-luan of Chiu Ch’iung Lin, theearlier name of present-day Ch’iunglin in HsinchuCounty), ordering him to construct 15fortifications and to hire160 guards for securityof the Yenshan region. In the 2nd month of thefollowing year, Li further contracted Lin Te-hsiuand Chou Pang-cheng, superintendents of the WestGate of Ch’iencheng, along with Chiang to set upthe k’en hao later to be headquartered at ChinKuang Fu House. After its establishment, Chiangand Chou continued to jointly supervise the k’enhao enterprise. Chou based in Ch’iencheng wherehe was responsible for logistics, while Chiangbased in the K’en Hao region itself, overseeingits defense and development.
On the one hand, Chiang employed his originalgroup of frontier guardsmen to push into theinterior and gradually push out the Aborigines,while at the same time recruiting ethnic-Hantenant farmers who could likewise serve thepurpose of countering Aboriginal forces. On theother hand, he employed the tactic of blitzkriegattacks into the aboriginal heartland, leadingseveral hundred men from the Chutung triangleregion along a path often used by the aboriginesfor raiding and making off with water buffalos,and finally arriving at present-day Pei Pu,which had served as the retreating Aboriginesprimary base. Subsequently, he constructed theChin Kuang Fu House as his general headquartersfrom which all frontier development activitieswere directed. Thus, the date of erection ofChin Kuang Fu House must be about 1835.
Courtyard and main hall of ChinKuang Fu House (main hall)
Architectural style and decoration of ChinKuang Fu House
Chin Kuang Fu House is a walled-in-compoundstructure, featuring traditional Hakka”duplex” design with two separate buildingsfacing each other across a central courtyard.The structure is relatively austere, withoutany flourishes. The bottom half of the wallsare constructed of stone, topped by earthenwall extensions more than 50 centimeters thick.The doors are of thick, heavy wood, and thecorners of the rooms have hidden gun ports,reminding us of the fierce defensive mentalityof the frontier society of yore. Originally suspended from the rafters the roofof one side of the duplex was a wooden plaqueengraved with the large characters “I-lienVillage” and with the smaller inscriptions “Kuang Hsu Reign Period Year 10 (1885), HsinchuPrefecture” and “Hsu Hsi-chih presents toChiang Shao-chi.” The plaque has now beenremoved to prevent theft. The space insidethis first building is not partitioned intosmaller rooms, having the appearance of aspacious hall. It’s white-washed walls arecharacteristic of Hakka traditionalarchitecture. The greenish stone-slab flooringof the central area of the hall gives it avery strong ancient flavor. The main room ofthe other half of the duplex is even moreausterely powerful in feeling than that of thefirst. Alas, after more than a century of”baptism” by rain and wind, it has sustainedconsiderable damage, the back part of the roofhaving collapsed. On the rafters where thereonce hung a wooden plaque bearing theinscription “Chin Kuang Fu” (which likewisehas now been removed to prevent theft), therestill remain two plaque supports. One wantsto cry at the sight of a first-rank historicsite such as this, now in such a sorry,ruined state!
Development company heritage
To maintain continuity and coherence of thek’en hao, ownership of Chin Kuang Fu Houseand management responsibilities were passeddown from founder Chiang Hsiu-luan tosuccessive generations of the Chiang clan —from Hsiu-luan to eldest son Tien-pang, fromTien-pang to eldest son Jung-hua. Due to theuntimely death of Jung-hua’s only son Shao-yiuat an early age, Chin Kuang Fu House passedinto the hands of Chiang Shao-Chi (whose nameis engraved on the wooden plaque mentionedabove), likewise a descendant of Hsiu-luan.To this day, descendants of Shao-chi continueto reside at Chin Kuang Fu House.
How to get there
If you wish to visit Chin Kuang Fu House inPeipu Village, you can take County Route 122from Hsinchu City, which can be entered fromthe Hsinchu interchange of the Chung ShanSuperhighway. Alternately, you can take CountyRoute 120 from Chupei City, which can be enteredfrom the Chupei interchange of the Chung ShanSuperhighway. Or you can get onto County Route 120 from the Chulin interchange of the 2nd NorthSuperhighway, cross the Chulin Bridge to Chutungand then turn onto Provincial Route 3, whichwill take you to Peipu. You can also get therevia Provincial Route 3 from either Toufen orShanchuhu. Chin Kuang Fu House is just down thestreet from the Hsinchu Bus Co. bus station onthe opposite side of the street. Unfortunately, however, you may have trouble inviewing the house because it is in the processof restoration sponsored by the Hsinchu CountyGovernment. All of the roof tiles have beenremoved and the whole compound has been coverdwith a corrogated metal awning and surroundedby a wooden fence. So it looks like it will bea spell before we can see it once again with anew face!
Edited by Hsu, Shiou-Iuan/ translated by Elizabeth Hoile