HUNG NGUYEN MANH
… be continued …
Nowadays, when looking at the list of military leaders worshiped in the Temple of martial arts, we are surprised to see that the Ministry of Rites recorded their references not from the Temple of martial arts during Le [Lê] Dynasty but from Temple of martial arts of China. There were ten generals called “Thap triet phoi huong” [Thập triết phối hưởng] from Duong [Đường] Dynasty, including Thai Cong [Thái Công], Truong Luong [Trương Lương], Dien Nhuong Thu [Điền Nhượng Thư], Ton Vo Tu [Tôn Võ Tử], Ngo Khoi [Ngô Khởi], Nhac Nghi [Nhạc Nghi], Han Tin [Hàn Tín], Gia Cat Luong [Gia Cát Lượng], Ly Tinh [Lý Tĩnh], Ly Tich [Lý Tịch].
However, the two generals Bach Khoi [Bạch Khởi] and Ngo Khoi [Ngô Khởi] were removed from the list and four others were added: Quan Trong [Quản Trọng], Quach Tu Nghi [Quách Tử Nghi], Ly Thanh [Lý Thanh], and Pham Lai [Phạm Lãi].
In total, there were twelve mandarins worshiped by both Vietnam and China.
Ministry of Rites paid attention to Thai Cong [Thái Công], Khuong Thai Cong [Khương Thái Công] (Le [Lê] Dynasty copied the stereotype of China). Moreover, these worshiped mandarins must have been renowned military leaders since Xuan Thu dynasty who were disciples of Thai Cong [Thái Công].
It is known that in the Temple of martial arts of China, there were four people worthy of the titles: Ton Vo Tu [Tôn Võ Tử], Dien Nhuong Thu [Điền Nhượng Thư], Quan Trong [Quản Trọng], Ly Tinh [Lý Tĩnh]. Also, there were five others with brilliant military career: Truong Luong [Trương Lương], Han Tin [Hàn Tín], Gia Cat Luong [Gia Cát Lượng], Quach Tu Nghi [Quách Tử Nghi], Ly Thanh [Lý Thanh]. Moreover, in the list of the Temple of martial arts, there were three famous generals: Nhac Phi [Nhạc Phi], Luu Co [Lưu Cơ], and Vuong Thu Nhan [Vương Thủ Nhân].
According to the Ministry of Rites, Pham Lai [Phạm Lãi] was not worthy of the worship; Nhac Nghi [Nhạc Nghi] did not finish his martial arts career; Ly Tich [Lý Tích] insulted “slaves”; Bach Khoi [Bạch Khởi] was charged of “murdering the conquered.” Ngo Khoi [Ngô Khởi], with low dignity, killed his wife so that he could be a general. Luu Co [Lưu Cơ] had suspicious activities. Vuong Thu Nhan [Vương Thủ Nhân] was worshiped in Van Mieu [Văn Miếu] (Temple of Literature) already. Finally, Emperor Minh Mang [Minh Mạng] approved one more general, Tu Dat [Từ Đạt], which made a list of eleven generals to be worshiped.
Ministry of Rites was proud of the list approved by the emperor with the spirit: “Our nation, since the territory expansion from Dinh, Le, Ly, Tran [Đinh, Lê, Lý, Trần] Dynasties, had many good generals. From the beginning to the middle of territory expansion, the contributions of our men of merit had all been recorded in history”. However, the list was approved to select outstanding generals to be worshiped.
To build the Temple of martial arts as well as Temple of Literature, the Nguyen [Nguyễn] dynasty paid a lot of attention to feng-shui, landscapes, and the environment:
Temple of Literature planted with pine trees. Temple of Martial arts planted with almond trees.
Two rows of calophyllum could be seen on the two sides of Country Sacrifice Court
[Văn thánh trồng thông, Võ thánh trồng bàng
Ngó vô xã tắc hai hàng mù u.]
The Temple of martial arts was surrounded by fortification with a perimeter of approximately 400 meters. The building included one main temple with a unique architecture. The main area consisted of three compartments and two lean-tos. The front area consisted of five compartments. In front was the Left house and Right house facing each other. Outside the temple built a Te sinh so [Tể sinh sở], a place for slaughtering animals to sacrifice.
1: Temple of Gods and Martial arts, usually called Temple of Gods or Temple of Martial arts.
2: Source: vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vo mieu Hue
◊ Image – source: wikipedia.org
BAN TU THU