|Name:The Temple of Zhang Zhongjing|
Tel:No. 7, Yishengci Road, Nanyang City
City, a historic town in the southwest of
Province, it is the memorial site built to commemorate Zhang Zhongjing, a great doctor in the Eastern Dynasty who is reputed as the “Medical Sage” and a great man in the world history of medicine. As a key cultural relic protection unit, it consists of a cluster of Han-styled architectures.
Up nine stairs, there stands a pair of imposing gate towers on which one can see far beyond. On the towers the symbol of power, there is a pair of vermilion birds set, which signals direction and auspicious. Under the yellow glazed tiles, a tablet hangs on the front gate, which reads “Yi Sheng Ci”, shining with solemnity and dignity. On the red painted gate hangs a bronze ring which weighs around
150kg. As the largest door ring in the world, it looks magnificent and awe-inspiring.
What’s in the eyes is a huge screen wall after stepping into the gate. Made of a whole stone, it is
3.5m in both length and width. The inscription on the wall is “A Biography of Zhang Zhongjing, the Medicine Sage” by Huang Zhuzhai, a late TCM doctor. On both sides of the wall hang a pair of couplets which sum up the dialectic diagnosis about Traditional Chinese Medicine. On the back of the screen wall writes the preface to Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases by Zhang Zhongjing himself which states his reasons to take on medicine as his lifelong career.
Zhang Zhongjing (
-219 A.D) was born in Nanyang in the Eastern Han Dynasty. During the reign of Emperor Ling in Han Dynasty, he first began his career as a government official. When the plague prevailed in
Henan, he quit his post as prefect and returned home. His devotion to medicine paid off with his master piece, Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases. The pioneering work integrated the applications of mechanism, therapy, prescription and medicine in TCM and shaped the unique medical theory of differential diagnosis. The book is honored not only by doctors in the country but also by those in
Japan, DPRK and western countries.
Walking into the front gate, one can see the statue of the medical sage standing in the middle of the yard. Behind the statue is a hexagon pavilion where there are some inscriptions written by the national leaders. Around the yard rise ten statues of renowned doctors who had devoted themselves to the development of TCM.
On the two porches along each side of the yard, there are over 200 steles illustrating works such as The Group Paintings of Zhang Zhongjing, Comments on Renowned Doctors in History, Paintings of Renowned Doctors in History and so on.
The Group Paintings of Zhang Zhongjing in the eastern porch represents his glorious life by stone carving techniques in Han Dynasty. Hua Tuo, a distinguished doctor in his time highly spoke of Zhang Zhongjing’s book as “a book to bring a man back to life”. Sun Simiao, reputed as the Medicine King in the Tang Dynasty, said “the book is magical.” A professor with the Medical School of Washington University said that though the theory of relativity was established by Einstein, Zhang Zhongjing had put it into practice 1,800 years ago. The whole human race is proud of a man like him. The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, an authoritative organization, had listed Zhang Zhongjing as one of 29 greatest doctors in the history of medicine.
In the western porch hang image stones of 117 distinguished doctors from the period of Fuxi to the Qing Dynasty, on which the life and career of each doctor is recorded. Not only have these outstanding doctors contributed a lot to the prosperity of our country, but also earned high reputation in the world history of medicine.
Another famous sight in the place is Baishou Pavilion. On the wall, there is a collection of writings of various calligraphers from Wang Xizhi to Zheng Banqiao. More impressively, the writings are about one Chinese character, Shou, which means longevity. The TCM has made great contributions to the human race. The name of Baishou Pavilion is given to wish everyone has a long and healthy life.
Walking along the grey stone pavement and into a red three-hole arch door, there is the back of the temple where stands the graveyard of the medicine sage. In front of the tomb stands a gravestone, erected by Zhang Sanyi, an official in Nanyang, on which inscribed The tomb of Zhang Zhongjing,the medicine sage. At each corner of the tomb is a stone carved goat head representing good luck and on top of the tomb is a lotus pedestal, representing the high virtues of Zhang Zhongjing.
Passing the tomb and across the secondary hall, an old courtyard is before the eyes, where there are the main hall and eastern and western side halls. On the main hall hangs a pair of couplets and in the hall various versions of Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases are on display, and other documents donated by medical institutions and individuals home and abroad. In the eastern and western side halls are exhibited unearthed cultural relics, among which the “Three Treasures” are the most famous.
1. Pottery Figurines of acupuncture of Eastern Han Dynasty, the First-Grade Cultural Relics
24cm high and
7cm wide, have simple shapes and show all the acupoints of the body. Nearly 1,000 years earlier than bronze figurines of acupuncture and moxibustion, they have enormous academic and artistic values and are compiled into Complete Collection of Chinese Arts. The duplicates will be on display at China Museum of History.
2. The Gravestone of Zhang Zhongjing, the Grade Two Cultural Relic of the State
The gravestone, erected in
330 A.D., only 111 years from the year Zhang Zhongjing died, has high academic, historical, and artistic values.
3. Wooden Carved Version of Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases, stored in
Collected by Zhang Shaoshen, the 46th generation grandson of Zhang Zhongjing, it had passed through many hands before it was preserved. In 1982, Mi Bo, the president of the Shaanxi Research Institute of TCM followed Huang Zhuzhai, his master’s wish, and sent it to the Temple of Zhang Zhongjing (Yi Sheng Ci).
The place has illustrated to us the long history of Chinese Civilization and diligence and wisdom of Chinese people. With the rise of TCM craze, it has gained more and more respect from the world. Since its reconstruction, the Yi Shi Ci Museum has established contact with academic institutions from more than 20 countries and regions. In April, 1994, the first Zhong Zhongjing International Seminar was held in Nanyang. With a series of academic exchanges, Zhang Zhongjing’s medical theory has become a link between
China and the world and continued to benefit the whole human race.
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