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Heritage Trail project

Fuxiang Hutong 福祥胡同

Introduction

Fuxiang Hutong starts at Nanluoguxiang in the east and ends at Dongyabudao Hutong in the west, with Suoyi Hutong in the north and Di’anmen East Avenue in the south. It is 255 metres in length with an average width of 5 metres.  Odd address numbers range from 1 to 29—though there is no 21. Even address numbers range from 2 to 10, with the number  6 and 8 likewise absent. It was formerly a part of Zhaohuijinggong district (Fang). In the Ming dynasty it was called Fuxiangsi Street, after the famous Fuxiang temple located in the Hutong. In Qing dynasty, it fell under the jurisdiction of the Bordered Yellow Banner and was called Houfuxiangsi Hutong. During the Xuantong period, it was changed to “Fuxiangsi” and the name remained during the Republican period. However the area underwent several names changes in the years following the founding of the PRC. After 1979 it reverted back to Fuxiangsi Hutong.

According to historical records Shuntian Fu (zhi), Fuxiangsi was a part of the Jinggong District (Jinggong Fang), and a commemorative stele indicates that it was founded by an imperial order.  According to the Shuntian Fu records in years of Emperor Guangxu, Fuxiang temple was built by an imperial order in the 11th year of the reign of Emperor Hongzhi (1498) in the Ming dynasty.  It was restored in the third year of Zhengde (1508) and the 41st year of Wanli (1613). There were three steles dating from Ming dynasty: one was written by Liyu in the 11th year of Hongzhi, the second one was written by a consultative official (shijiang) Shenshou in Wuchen Year of Emperor Zhengde, the third one was written by the grand secretary (daxueshi) Zhao Zhigao in The Guichou Year of Emperor Wanli

Former Shanmen Gate of Fuxiang Temple, Now a Residential Courtyard

Fuxiang Temple

Fuxiang temple is located in No. 25 Fuxiang Hutong. According to Shuntian Fu Records of the Guangxu Period, “Research on Beijing” (Yan du cong kao) A stele was dedicated in Fuxiang temple by an imperial order in the 11th year of Huzhi (1498), and “Preface on the Abbots of Fuxiang Temple (Mingseng lu si zuo jue yi shou yu gong zhu chi Fuxiangsi xu) ” in the 21st year of Wanli (1592), Fuxiang temple was established in the first year of the reign of Emperor Zhengtong (1436) in the Ming dynasty. This place originally belonged to a eunuch named Wu, and he rebuilt it into a temple and presented it to Emperor Yingzong for his birthday. It was named “Fuxiang temple” by the emperor. In the ninth year of Hongzhi (1496), Marschall (Yuma jian) eunuch Zhudang donated money and restored the temple, and the temple was subsequently restored in the third year of Zhengde (1508) and Wanli (1613) in Ming dynasty. In the second year of Yongzheng (1724), after the emperor had suppressed a rebellion in Qinhai, an envoy of Xihutuketu came to Beijing and purchased this temple as a travel lodge. It was then turned into a lamasery and called Hongren Temple.

According to an investigation in 1950s, the temple had one temple gate, with the Chinese architectural style of Yingshan (with turned-up edges in front and back side) and a sloping roof that had no cutting edges. Suzhou-style paintings decorated the structures below the roof.  In front was a ceremonial shanmen, or temple archway, three bays wide. The east side wing of the temple had one room, the west side wing had two, roof designed according to the Yingshan style.  There were three rooms for the Hall of Heavenly Kings, all of which had a style of Xieshan (with turned-up edges in four sides); the roofs had main ridges, three brackets (dougong), and Xuanzi paintings (circle patterns). The main temple hall also had three rooms, with a Wudian style (Chinese hipped tile roofs) and Xuanzi paintings. As one approached the main temple hall, there is a pagoda built in the 20th year of Guangxu (1894) in the late Qing.  In the temple, many Buddha statues and iron instruments made in the 58th year of Kangxi (1719) in the Qing dynasty were found. Three steles established in 1498, 1508, and 1613 stood in front of the Hall of Heavenly Kings.

After the foundation of People’s Republic of China in 1949, a coal shop moved into the front part of the temple while other rooms were changed into dwellings. During the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, two halls were damaged and subsequently pulled down by the authorities.  The former temple ground is now mostly occupied by residential dwellings although the chuihuamen is still visible.

The shanmen, the Hall of Heavenly Kings and its east wing-rooms and east-yard rooms (altogether 6 rooms) are in poor condition. One of the steles had already moved to the Pagoda Temple (Wutasi) for maintenance, and another one was within the wall of a house. The pagoda was demolished, and other relics have since disappeared.

Detail of 垂花门 (Chuihuamen) Gate of Former Fuxiang Temple

Wang Shuchang’s Former Residence (No.10 Fuxiang Hutong)

Wang Shuchang (Tingwu) (1885-1960) was born in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. He entered Fengtian College in his youth and was selected to study abroad in Japan due to his academic excellence. After graduating from a military school in Japan in 1911, he came back home to join the revolution in Shanghai. In 1912, he went to Nanjing and became a First-Grade Staff Officer, Infantry Colonel, and Captain in succession in the 2nd bureau of staff of the cabinet of the Republic. In 1913, he became an infantry Lieutenant Colonel in the army in May, and gained the fifth grade of Wuhu medal in December. In April 1917, he returned to Japan and studied in Japan’s army university until 1919 when he returned to China. After the northern warlords in the Beiyang government split up, he worked for warlord Zhang Zuolin and became the chief of staff of the 27th division of Zhang’s army. He was then promoted to be the section chief of staff in the commanding office and granted the title of major general. Wang enjoyed decades of good relationships with Zhang Zuolin and his son Zhang Xueliang. In the first Zhifeng battle, Wang was appointed as chief of staff of the Fengtian commanding office of the Weizhen army. After that he went to Heilongjiang and became the major general and the chief of staff there. During the second Fengtian battle, he was the Brigadier of 22nd Brigade and then transferred to be the General Senator in the Weizhen army. 1926, he was appointed to be the chief of staff under the leadership of Wu Junsheng and the commander of the 10th army corps.  Soon after, he become a secretary in Gu Weijun’s cabinet and soon was appointed as the 10th commander in the 3rd army force.

After the Mukden Incident of September 18th (1931), Wang, as Chairman of Hebei province, put down riots run by the “plain-clothes team” in Tianjin; the team was financially supported by Japanese. Wang often suppressed such organized disturbances. Because of that, Wang offended the Japanese and the compromised KMT government. On the 17th of August, 1932, Wang was relocated to be the commander in Pinjin Weishu and became a member of the Beiping branch of the military commission. In this period, he agreed with the Communist Party’s proposition of “cessation of civil war and unity against Japan”. He sympathized with the patriotic activities conducted by students and released some students and undercover communists. He worked as an instructor for Zhang Xueliang in the anti-Japanese battles in Rehe, and after Zhang’s stepping down, he held two positions as the commander of Beiping and Pingjin at the same time. In August 1935, he became the vice president of the KMT government’s Military Senate.

After the Xi’an Incident, the Nanjing KMT government planned to appoint Wang to Xi’an to take the place of Zhang Xueliang as a senior northeast army officer. It intended to break up the upper layer of the northeast army and reorganize it, but Wang declined. He also declined to serve as the director of the appeasement office in Gansu province in January 1937, and he went to Fenghua Xikou with Mo Dehui to see Zhang Xueling who was detained by Chiang Kai-shek in February. In April, he declined to be the director of the appeasement office in Henan-Anhui provinces.  In June, he became Admiral. When the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1935) broke out, Wang resigned from his position and stayed out of work in Hong Kong and Beiping (Beijing).

After the foundation of PRC in 1949, Wang became the counselor of the water & electricity department, a member of the 2nd and 3rd national committee of CPPCC, and a member of the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang in succession. He died of illness in Beijing in 1960 at the age of 75. His residence was passed down to his descendants.

Jinwangjia Fu (Residence)

No.9 to No.17 of Fuxiang Hutong were once connected, and No.15 was the main yard between them. Known as “Jinwangjia Fu” by the residents here, it was a large house with four relatively independent courtyards.

Jinwangjia Fu belonged to a wealthy family surnamed Wang, whose owner once directed the government‘s treasury vault. The first resident was Jinsheng, who joined the Yellow Banner of Manchu and changed his formal surname Wang into Jin in light of the Manchu tradition. Jinsheng (Jin Zizheng) was the vice director (Yuanwailang) of the internal affairs department (Neiwufu) in the Guangxu period of the Qing dynasty. In April of the 24th year of the Guangxu period, he became an official in the Queguan, an institution which collected taxes from passing ships in Huaian. In the record of “a phone book of Beijing” in the third year of the Xuantong period there was a phone number under the name of Jin Zizheng/ Internal affairs/ Nanluo Guxiang Fuxiangsi. His son, Wang Chunpu (Wang Hexi) was also an official in the ministry of internal affairs, in charge of construction.

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