Travel through Vintage Photographs Reviving Childhood Memories of Yancheng District／重遊老照片的舊時光─重溫鹽埕時光
Travel through Vintage Photographs
Reviving Childhood Memories of Yancheng District
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting
Several intriguing Japanese-style buildings can still be seen along the historic Sinbin Old Street, even though these valuable cultural assets came close to being torn down due to the implementation of the Guangshan construction project in Kaohsiung City's Gushan District in 2012. Fortunately, the Guangshan project was halted, and these architectural gems escaped destruction. However, the project also led local resident Ms. Guo Yan-ti to discover some family photo albums which had been stored inside an old cypress wardrobe for more than six decades. These vintage photographs reveal many family stories.
Ms. Guo is director of the Takao Renaissance Association, an NGO which strives to preserve local buildings and culture. From time to time, she can be found leafing through one of her family's albums and telling stories about her ancestors, at the association's office, a Japanese colonial-era wooden building on Jiesing 2nd Street in Hamasen. Hamasen is roughly equal to the southern part of the Gushan District.
Ms. Guo's grandfather Guo Wei-jhong lived in Sinbin Old Street during the period of Japanese rule, and because he was quite wealthy, he could afford to take many photographs. Ms. Guo's father was also fond of taking family photographs, thus recording valuable memories. Leafing through these albums causes Ms. Guo to reminisce, and tell the stories behind these old photographs.
"This photo was taken by the bank of Love River when I was about two or three years old," says Ms. Guo. "Opposite the bank is Kaohsiung District Court, which was the city hall during Japanese colonial period. My father used to take us on strolls along Love River."
Ms. Guo's father, a pharmacist, used to work at Kaohsiung Hospital, today's Kaohsiung Municipal Minsheng Hospital. By the bank of Love River, Ms. Guo shares anecdotes about the area. As she points out, in the 1960s Kaohsiung Hospital was located around Gushan 2nd Road, and her father would take the family shopping in Yancheng District or out to watch a movie. She casually mentions the neighborhood's 228 Incident Memorial Park, where a bustling underground shopping bazaar saw a constant flow of customers in its 1970s and 1980s heydays. Ms. Guo says she was a regular at the bazaar, often enjoying a cup of juice and ice-skating. Sadly, the bazaar suffered a fire disaster which led to a dramatic decline in business. As she walks beside Love River, Ms. Guo passes Kaohsiung Film Archive. She then strolls leisurely along Sinle Street, reaching Wufu 4th Road and Cisian 3rd Road where there used to be another popular shopping mall. It opened in the 1930s, and was the first arcade-style shopping center in Kaohsiung. Ms. Kuo's childhood memories include shopping with her mother here and at Jyuejiang Commercial Center during the Lunar New Year period. "If one wished to find the hippest gift in the city, this was the place one would go," she recalls. Although the shopping center's glory days are in the distant past, Ms. Guo's memories are still fresh, and her stories are an important record of part of this beloved city.
重遊老照片的舊時光 ─ 重溫鹽埕時光