Yanping junwang is Zheng Chenggong’s (鄭成功,1624～1662) title which was imparted by the emperop Yongli in Ming dynasty. Zheng Chenggong was a general in Ming daynsty. He is also know as Guoxing ye (國姓爺). Zheng Chenggong got his title Guoxing ye because of his loyal to Ming royal house when Ming was invaded by Qing (清). He got the surname Zhu (朱) which is Ming royal house’s surname imparted by Ming emperor.
Zheng Chenggong is an important figure in the development of Taiwan. He chased away Netherlander from Taiwan and founded the stepstone for Chinese settler. So he also is titled Kaishan wang (開山王) or Kaitai shengwang (開台聖王) and there are many legends about his reclaiming in Taiwan. However, Zheng Chenggong occupied Taiwas as the base in order to recover Ming dynasty from Qing state but he was dead soon in Taiwan after he defeated Netherlander. In other words, Zheng Chenggong actually stayed in Taiwan no more than six months, but his temples and devotees flourishing in Taiwasn as soon as his death.
All of Zheng Chenggong’s legend in Taiwan are regarding to his will to defeat the new born Qing empire and to recover his mother country, Ming empire in Mainland China. It is said that he had to find three treasures in Taiwan or he would not succeed in combating with Qing army. These three treasures were a jade seal, grains, and lumber. However, he failed this mission. Another story is about he shooting a kite demon and a parrot demon who transformed from stones at Yingge (鶯歌), Taipei county. As a result, the two demons became the stone again. Besids, there are many name of places in relation of Zheng Chenggong’s legend.
The temples dedicated to Zheng Chenggong were steming from two points. The first one was by his son Zheng Jing (鄭經). Zheng Jing founded the first temple either as Zheng clan’s ancestral temple or dedicated to Zheng Chenggong in 1663, the year after Zheng Chenggong was dead. When Qingempire took over Taiwan, Qing government did not abolish the temple but order Zheng’s family to change the temple’s title to Zhaoge Tang (昭格堂). When the Japan ended Qing’s reign in Taiwan, the temple’s title was changed again. It named Zhengshi jiamiao (鄭氏家廟), the temple of Zheng clan. Another one starting point was people worshoping Zheng Chenggong spontaneously after he was dead. From 1663 to 1883, there were many temples dedicated to Zheng Chenggong flourishing in Taiwan. Chinese in Taiwan worshiped Zheng Chenggong as memorizing and praying for blessing from him. Even after the Qing empire took the reign in Taiwan, in order to prevent arousing rebellion, official still permitted the worship of Zheng Chenggong. After 19895, when Taiwain was under Japan’s reign, the temples dedicated to Zheng Chenggong were keeping the same. It is because of Zheng Chenggong’s maternal linkage to Japan.
It is estimated there were 36 temples dedicated to Zheng Chenggong in 1875. In the reign of Japan, the number rose to 57. It is about 60 in Taiwan now. Apparently, as a god, Yanping junwang, Zheng Chenggong’s influence is still developing in Taiwan.
Keywords: Yanping junwang, Zheng Chenggong, Guoxing ye