Ji Tong 乩童 (aka Tong Ji 童乩 or Tang-ki in Taiwanese), is a rarely seen event of old Taiwanese religious belief. It’s a type of shamanism, where the “spirit-medium” human is possessed by the spirit of a god. After doing so, the god can live for a short while in the body of the medium to prove his existence or even answer questions to the benefit of believers. The more visually interesting aspect of Ji Tong is when the gods take possession at a temple festival. That’s when the spirit-medium often starts self-flagellating himself with spiked bats, swords, and other medieval pain and blood inflicting devices.
Everyone I’ve talked to about this, has had very little information for me. It seems that many Taiwanese don’t believe it, and even fewer know anything about it. Even inquiring about it at local temples, people don’t know much, and never seem to know when the next event will happen. So, finding a ceremony with people practicing Ji Tong just seems to be something you have to be lucky to find. This was the first time I’ve seen it in over 8 years of living in Taiwan.
This man is performing a Ji Tong ritual. The spirit-medium, said to be possessed by the spirit of a Taoist God, self-flagellates at a religious ceremony in Tainan, Taiwan. The blood on his back is from repeated blows from various sharp weapons.
Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN
Tags: 童乩, 臺灣, Ji Tong, possesion, spirit mediums, Tainan, TAIWAN, Tang-Ki, Tong Ji, 台灣, 台南, 乩童
Tainan is often though of as Taiwan’s most beloved city. There’s good reason for that. Compared to the capital of Taipei, Tainan has a more traditional feel to it. It seems like almost anywhere you go, you’ll find something important to history, or at least something that looks like it should be!
I recently spent a day and a half there mostly on the outskirts without a real plan on what to see and do, and the following is what I ended up with. Note that this is not nearly as complete a view of the city as I’d like to give you, and the last time I visited Tainan wasn’t either. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to visit Tainan properly. But regardless, I’ve still really enjoyed this interesting place.
Tainan’s Jingzijiao Salt Fields are famous for their traditional sea salt harvesting methods.
Tainan, Taiwan (台南台灣) is a beautiful city in southern Taiwan. It one of Taiwan’s favorites as it has a nice climate and warm people. It’s also full of historical sites.
It’s the only one of Taiwan’s big cities that I’ve never visited so I thought I make a visit during the Chinese New Year break. I only spent about a day there but got to see most of the major sites and thought I’d share a few of the pictures:
Taiwan was once governed by the Dutch. They built several forts in Tainan to help control the occasional uprisings. Chihkan Tower 赤崁樓 (Fort Provintia) was built in 1653 and traded rulers hands several times over the centuries before being recently restored.
More from Tainan photography after the jump…
Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN
Tags: 2. More Information on Taiwan, Anping, Anping Tree House, Asia, assignment, Chihkan Tower, Confucian Temple, Confucius, Daoism, editorial, 赤崁樓, Fort Provintia, freelance, growth, HDR, magazine, photographer, photojournalist, pray, religion, roots, Tai Chi, Taipei, Taiwanese, Taoist, temple, trees, 台灣, 台南, 太極拳