Hutoushan Park, Tongxiao Township, Miali County 357
Shinto is Japan’s indigenous religion wholly devoted to invisible spiritual beings and powers. As Japanese people believe that everything is inhabited by a soul which gives life or activity to substances, these spirits are so great in number that are collectively called as Yaoyorozu no Kami (八百万の神), meaning Eight Million Gods. Shinto shrines are where the spirits are being worshipped and therefore serve as the centers of faith among locals.
Tongxiao Shrine was first built in 1937 during the Japanese Colonial Era. After World War II, the new government intended to demolish the most representative works left by the Japanese colonizers. The main hall of Tongxiao Shrine was then reconstructed into a a martyrs’ shrine that honors the fallen soldiers and venerates the patriotic hero Zheng Cheng-gong (鄭成功), better known by his Hokkien honorific Koxinga (延平郡王). Tongxiao Shrine is therefore nicknamed Koxinga Shrine (延平郡王祠).
In 1999, the devastating 921 Earthquake struck the island and Tongxiao Shrine was badly damaged. In 2002, the government started to renovate this heritage and recognized it as a historic site. Today, visitors could hike up to the mountainside of Hutoushan Park (虎頭山公園) to admire the city views of Tongxiao as well as to explore this nostalgic Shinto shrine, which continues to serve as a clear indication of just how prevalent Japanese culture was in Miaoli at the time.