土地公管到天空!| Tudigong looks after the skies too! |

TAIPEI (The China Post) – The most commonly seen deity in Taiwan is surely Tudigong, also known as “Lord of the Soil and the Ground,” which, according to a local saying, is present “from one end of the paddy field to the other.” The scope of Tudigong’s authority may vary from region to region though, like at Taipei Shende Temple, where the tutelary deity is considered the guardian of local aviation personnel too.

台灣最常見的神明應該就是土地公了,俗話說「田頭田尾土地公」,土地公也因為區域性的關係,業務範圍也會有所差異,今天要介紹的台北神德宮,廟中的土地公被視為航空業的守護神。

Located by the runway of Songshan Airport, the temple is over 200 years old. It became part of the restricted area during the construction of Taipei Flight Field (now the Songshan Airport) in 1936 amid the Japanese Occupation. The Tudigong statue and incense burner have remained there ever since, except for a short period of time after they were both stolen. The precious artifacts were later found near the Beishi Lake by a security guard, Chen You-kuan, who was told by the elderly that they were the Tudigong statue and incense burner from the small temple; so, he took them home for worship.

所在地位於現在松山機場的跑道內,歷史已超過兩百年。日治昭和十一年,日本總督府建立台北飛行場(現松山機場),神德宮所在地被劃為飛機跑道,廟內的土地公與香爐曾一度下落不明,之後在北勢湖附近被當地保正陳有寬先生尋獲,經當地耆老確認,是當初小廟中的土地公,因而由陳有寬先生請回家中供奉。

In 1949, the head of the village and some local followers then made donations to build Shende Temple. That was the beginning of an annual worship ceremony attended by residents from 12 neighborhoods in the area. After numerous renovations, the temple now has an endless stream of followers.

民國三十八年,當地里長與地方信眾共同捐資蓋廟,這也是現在神德宮的由來。每年的祭祀都由當地十二個里共同參與,後經多次修建,至今香客絡繹不絕。

We were lucky that day to meet with Shende Temple Manager Liang Hsiu-yu who told BobeeNow how the temple name was coined from the Chinese terms: “shen,” like in “Shennong Dadi” (Lord of the Five Grains), and “de,” like in “Fudezhengshen” (God of prosperity in Chinese mythology).

今日有幸採訪到神德宮管理員梁秀榆女士,她為保庇NOW解釋,神德宮的廟名來自廟中的神農大帝(五穀先帝)的「神」,以及福德正神的「德」,因為以前這裡都是農田,農民祈求神明能保佑豐收,因而取名「神德宮」。

In the past, the area was completely made of farmland and the farmers prayed to these Gods for a bountiful harvest. This is the reason the temple was named Shende Temple.

梁秀榆女士表示,因為神德宮緊鄰松山機場,許多航空業者將神德宮的土地公視為守護神。每個月農曆的初一十五、初二十六四個日子,國內幾大航空的從業人員,都會親自到神德宮祈求土地公護佑,希望每次任務都能平安順利。

Liang added that Shende Temple’s proximity to Songshan Airport has made many aviation workers consider the local Tudigong as their guardian deity. On the first and the 15th days or the 2nd and 16th days of each month in the lunar calendar, staff from the aviation industry stop at Shende Temple to ask Tudigong for protection and safety on their jobs.

管理員梁秀榆熱心的為保庇NOW介紹廟的歷史,她表示,神德宮在數年前曾面臨民航局徵收,當時共祀神德宮的十二里里民與各地信眾向各級政府機關與民意代表陳情。

Liang further expanded on the history of the temple to BobeeNow. She remarked that Shende Temple did face expropriation from the Civil Aeronautics Administration at one point. Back then, worshippers of Shende Temple from the 12 neighborhoods and other surroundings appealed to the government and other public representatives. The temple’s management also found aerial photos from a few decades ago to prove the historic value of Shende Temple.

廟方想盡辦法調出數十年前的空拍圖,證明神德宮的歷史價值,「最後各大航空公司也加入聯署,神德宮因而保存了下來。」

Finally, various airlines signed a petition which is the reason Shende Temple was eventually preserved. Liang’s tone turned nostalgic when she said: “One side of my century-old family home was demolished, and the other side was half-demolished in that expropriation plan.” Many people, including Liang, have always wondered whether there was a better way to solve these problems?

梁女士語氣略帶感慨,「但那次的徵收計畫中,我家族的百年三合院被拆了一座,另一間被拆掉一半。」包括梁女士在內的許多人都在想,是否還有更好的方式解決這些問題?

This Tudigong has served the residents and worshippers for centuries and because of its unique geographical location, even airplanes in the sky seems to be part of his divine scope. Currently, the stone-made Tudigong statue and incense burner are more than 200 years old so there is little wonder that the temple management takes special care of them. Thanks to Liang, BobeeNow was able to get a close look at these historic artifacts.

這位土地公百年來照顧附近的居民與信眾,也因為地緣關係,連天空上的飛機也納入祂的業務範圍,更顯責任重大。目前神德宮內的開基土地公金身與香爐為石刻,因為歷史超過兩百年,廟方謹慎供奉在廟內,由梁女士的熱心帶領,保庇NOW才能貼近拍攝這已屬歷史文物的石刻土地公與香爐。

By Huang Yen-Sheng | 黃彥昇