Martyrs Shrine

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(Redirected from Hero shrine)
Taipei Yuanshan Loyalty Shrine
Korean name

Martyr's shrines (Chinese: 忠烈祠) are religious buildings in China that honor and remember people who died for their country. They are built separately from other buildings and can be converted from other types of shrines such as Shinto shrines.[1] They also help teach people about the importance of loyalty and righteousness and Confucian values.

History[change | change source]

In China, there were shrines that honored loyal people and soldiers who died for their country. The emperor gave the shrines their names. One of these shrines, called Fayuan Temple, was built to remember soldiers who died in battle. It was first named Jienzhongsa Temple but later renamed Fayuan Temple. This tradition also spread to other places like Korea and Vietnam. When the monarchy ended, the government continued to make shrines for the martyrs.

Martyrs shrines across the world[change | change source]

Taiwan[change | change source]

Taipei Yuanshan Loyalty Shrine

Originally, many of the shrines in Taiwan that remember people who died while serving their country were Shinto shrines. After World War II, the Nationalist government converted them to their current use. These shrines are dedicated to officers, soldiers, police, and people who died for the Republic of China.

According to the "Rules for the Sacrifice of Martyrs' Shrines" by the Ministry of the Interior of the R.O.C., these shrines are located at municipal governments in cities and counties. The National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine is located in the central government seat and the President leads the ceremony.

In 1998, a legal amendment allowed civilians who were not in the military to be inducted into the shrine. The first civilian to be inducted was Lin Ching-chuan, a teacher who died saving children in a fire. Some police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers who died in the line of duty, as well as postal workers who died while serving, have also been commemorated at the shrine..[2]

Japan[change | change source]

During the Imperial era in Japan, Shōkonsha was established to honor those who gave their lives for the country. During the war, they were renamed Gokoku Shrines, except for Tokyo Shrine, which became known as Yasukuni Shrine[3]. Some people consider the shrine to be a symbol of Japanese militarism. The shrine has a list of over 2 million people and pets, including the names, origins, birthdates, and places of death. Unfortunately, controversy surrounds the shrine because it also includes the names of over 1,000 convicted war criminals, including 14 who were involved in the planning and initiation of the war.[4]

See also[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 蔡錦堂:〈從神社忠烈祠--戰前與戰後台灣「國家宗祀的轉換」〉。
  2. Han Cheung (28 August 2022). "Taiwan in Time: Civilians enter the Martyrs' Shrine". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  3. TAKAYAMA, K. PETER (1990). "Enshrinement and Persistency of Japanese Religion". Journal of Church and State. 32 (3): 527–547. ISSN 0021-969X.
  4. "Yasukuni Shrine". Retrieved March 23, 2008.