Travel

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Linfen, Shanxi, is an ancient city with a long history and is one of the important birthplaces of the Chinese nation and the cradle of the Yellow River civilization, known as the "First Capital of China".

In May 1939, when the ancient city of Linfen was about to hold its annual grand "Yao Temple Festival", a Japanese journalist named Kajima was ordered to come here with the intention of taking some photos for the Japanese military propaganda. However, the charm of this ancient city captivated the Japanese journalist, so much so that he left hundreds of photos of the whole "Yao Temple Festival", recording the whole process in all its details.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Linfen is an old city with a history of more than 1,500 years, where brick structures were used to build walls as early as the Sui and Tang dynasties. The picture shows a corner of Linfen city wall, a sky bridge is amazingly erected between the city wall and the high platform outside the city. The buildings on the side of the high platform have been badly damaged by years of disrepair.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Linfen City is the key road between Qin and Jin from north to south, and has always been a place of contention for soldiers, with strong walls and four tall gates. The west gate is called "He Yi Gate", the south gate is called "Ming De Gate", and the north gate is called "Zhen Shuo Gate". This picture shows the scene in front of the eastern gate "Wuding Gate", with reactionary propaganda of Japanese traitors posted on both sides of the gate.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Linfen Railway Station, located on the Tongpu Line, was built in 1935, and on February 28, 1938, the invading Japanese army invaded Linfen County via Hongdong Quting Town, and Linfen fell into the clutches of the Japanese, becoming a tool for the Japanese to plunder and transport strategic materials.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

It was May, the time when Linfen held the Yao Temple Grand Festival, and people from many surrounding places came to participate in the festival, making the small Linfen station overcrowded.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

At that time, the anti-Japanese activities around Linfen were in full swing, making the invading Japanese army on pins and needles, so they checked the people who came to the temple fair very carefully.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Many people from outside the country come by train, but not by passenger train, but by freight train. The station platform could be seen dotted with Japanese and fake troops, as if they were enemies .

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Propaganda posters posted on the wall near the train station with news of upcoming cultural performances in the station square, including drums, acrobatics, comedy and drama, performed by the so-called "Ailu Performing Arts Troupe", with reactionary slogans posted by the traitors alongside the announcement.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

The scene on the street in Linfen, a rickshaw parked on the roadside with a prominent "Yao Temple Festival" banner, not far from a street side stall selling incense.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

In those days, horse-drawn carriages were one of the main means of transportation in China, and Linfen was no exception, and many people who had the means came to the temple fair by horse-drawn carriage.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

The size of this wagon is similar to a board wagon, all wooden structure, horse-powered, the top ride is generally women and children, and men are responsible for leading the horses in front. Because of the large number of carriages gathered here, there is an open space near the Yao Temple set aside for parking carriages.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

On a dirt road to Yao Temple, the laborers carried large bags of goods on foot, and not far ahead walked three men in bowler hats with white sleeve tags wrapped around their arms, not good birds at first glance.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Several women from the neighborhood met up on foot to attend the temple fair, their small wrapped feet making it difficult for them to walk. Although not very old, each needed a stick as a crutch.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

A group of children, under the compulsion of the traitors, carried the five-colored flags to Yao Temple. Watch out for the Japanese soldiers with guns standing by the roadside, who were always watching the road and ready to bounce off unexpected situations by force.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

The stone lion in the picture is located in front of the gate of Guandi Temple, from where you can see many five-colored flags above the crowd as you look out over the scene of the Yao Temple Grand Festival. The five-color flag, originally the national flag of the Republic of China, was abolished in May 1921 and was later appropriated by the pseudo-manchurian, Jidong anti-communist autonomous government, the Provisional Government of the Republic of China in Beiping, and the Republic of China's Restoration and Renewal Government, in an attempt to buy hearts and minds.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Emperor Yao was one of the wise and powerful kings and emperors of the distant past. Near the Yao Temple, there is a stone tablet with the inscription "Officials, soldiers and civilians must dismount here", commonly known as the Dismounting Stone, to show respect to Emperor Yao.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

According to legend, Emperor Yao had built his capital in Pingyang (today Linfen, Shanxi), and this temple was built in his honor by later generations. The picture shows the plaque at the entrance of the temple, which reads "Ancient Yao Emperor Temple" in four big and strong letters.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

The temple of Emperor Yao was first built in the ancient Pingyang City in Fenxi during the Han and Wei dynasties, and was moved to its present location in the south of Linfen in 658. The picture shows the statue of Emperor Yao in the Yao Temple.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Yao Temple, also known as the Temple of the Three Saints, houses not only a statue of Emperor Yao, but also statues of King Shun and King Yu. The statues are vivid and the figures are lifelike. The picture shows a statue of King Shun and his wife, E Huang, placed in a beautiful shrine.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

Yao, Shun and Yu are the common ancestors of the Chinese nation. From ancient times to the present, a grand ritual is held at the Yao Temple on the 28th day of the 4th lunar month every year. The picture shows the statue of King Yu.

Linfen, Shanxi Province, from the Japanese Kashima's camera, May 1939

The statues of Emperor Yao, Shun and Yu are lined up in the main hall of Yao Temple, and long reed mats are spread on the ground in front of them for people from all over the country to come and worship.