Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Replica vessel re-enacts Koxinga’s initial arrival

FORMIDABLE FLOTILLAThe boat was accompanied by a group of modern ships and police helicopters in a recreation of the 17th-century general’s first landing

Staff Writer, with CNA

A full-size replica of a 17th-century Ming Dynasty armed merchant ship sets off on its maiden voyage from Anping Harbor in Tainan yesterday to re-enact the scene of the arrival of the Ming loyalist commander Cheng Cheng-kung, also known as Koxinga, more than 300 years ago.

Photo provided courtesy of the Tainan City Government

A full-size replica of a 17th-century Ming Dynasty armed merchant ship set off on its maiden voyage from Anping Harbor (安平漁港) in Tainan City yesterday to re-enact the scene of the arrival of a Chinese general more than 300 years ago.

Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) launched the replica boat along with Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (李安).

The 29.5m wooden replica sailed, escorted by more than 10 modern ships and police helicopters, to the mouth of the Luermen River, the site of the landing of the Ming Dynasty’s Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功), better known as Koxinga, in 1661.

The replica of the ancient ship is named Taiwan Cheng Kung to commemorate the military leader, who had forced the Dutch out of Taiwan in 1662 and making Taiwan his base for a campaign against the Manchu-ruled Qing dynasty.

To recreate the ship, the Tainan City Government sent officials to Japan in 2008 to obtain a copy of a painting of the vessel held at the Matsura History Museum in Hirado City, Nagasaki Prefecture, where Koxinga was born in 1624.

Based on the 1706 painting, the 270 tonne replica, with a displacement of 135 tonnes, was completed in 18 months and the Council for Cultural Affairs -provided NT$80 million (US$2.5 million) in funds

Unlike the sail-driven original, the replica is equipped with modern navigation devices and an engine. It will conduct a week-long, round-the-island voyage next year as part of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China.

The ship will also sail to Koxinga’s birthplace in Hirado, as well as Quanzhou in Fujian Province, China, and the outlying islands of Kinmen and Penghu, where Koxinga’s army was once based, the Tainan City Government said.

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