Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 12-20-05 00:45
Exhuming ancestors' bones (二次葬)
Yue Fei (岳飛) was born in 1103AD at the time that the Jin (金 Jurched)
from the Northeast were conquering the South. Yue Fei joined the army of
the Song Dynasty (宋朝 960AD to 1279AD) and rose to the rank of a general. He swore that he would recapture the lost territory in the North and free the two Emperors who were captured by the Jin.
Yue Fei organized a northern expedition army that marched northward in 1140AD. The northern expedition army won battles after battles. The Jin were being routed and pushed further northeast. They arrived at Zhu Xian Zhen (朱仙鎮) a town about 20 kilometers away from Kaifeng (開封) the former capital of Song. Yue Fei and his northen expedition army were recalled back to the capital Lin An (臨安 present day Heng Zhou 杭州 in Zhejiang province 浙江省) because Emperor Zhao Gou (趙構) had signed a peace agreement with the Jin.
Yue Fei usually buried his fallen comrades in the battlefields whenever
the battles were over.
Song Dynasty was destroyed by the Mongols in 1279AD and the remnants of the Song supporters, the Hakkas, were scatterted in the regions between the provinces of Guangdong (廣東省), Fujian (福建省), Jiangxi (江西省) and Hunan (湖南省). After Zhu Yuan Zhang (朱元璋) had pushed the Mongolians back to the north and founded the Ming Dynasty (明朝 1368AD to 1644AD) the offspring of these fallen soldiers, who were living in the southern provinces, formed many organizations with the intention to collect their ancestors' bones. They followed the routes that were taken by Yue Fei's northern expedition force. At the old battlefields they exhumed their ancestors bones and put them in the clay jars called golden urns. They did not bury these golden urns but placed them on a spot of a little hill over looking the Yellow River (坐山看海 Zuo Shan Kan Hai sitting on a hill looking at the sea) near the former capital, Kai Feng 開封 of the Song Dynasty.
The classical book titled Jing Zhong Yue Chuan (精忠岳傳)
by Qian Cai (錢彩)
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)