Taoyuan Martyrs Shrine was first built by the
Japanese as a Jinja. Before the 918 incident,
the Japanese government did not take an active
role to establishing Jinja in Taiwan. At that
time, there was only 25 Jinjas in Taiwan. When
the Japanese government started preparing for
war in 1931, the colonial government promoted
the campaign of "one Jinja for each village"
in an effort to promote Jinja as the spiritual
center in Taiwan.
On September 23, 1938 (the13th
year of the Showa Era), the founding ceremony
of Taoyuan Jinja was held to worship the three
Gods of Creation and Prince Nohisa, as well as
the Harvest God and the Meiji Emperor. This Jinja
then became affiliated with the entire county
during the last years of the war, and then with
Hsinchu. The structure is divided into a main
section, ceremonial hall, administration office,
and hand washing area. It has a streamlined shape,
evidenced particularly in the curved roof. Pilgrims
must wash their hands with a bamboo ladle before
they proceed to the ceremonial hall, in order
to cleanse themselves symbolically of the impurities
of earthly existence.
Pilgrims worship gods in the ceremonial
hall. The gods' tablets are located here, along
with a donation box and bell. To maintain the
sanctity of the hall, only master worshippers
are permitted inside during ceremonies. The monks
manage daily affairs from the administration office.
There were about 200 Jinjas built in Taiwan during
Japanese occupation. After Taiwan and Japan
severed official relations, the government
"Rules regarding removal of Japanese Imperialism's
superiority from the memorial remains in Taiwan"
to tear down all Jinjas in Taiwan. Taoyuan Jinja
was the only one unaffected. Its fine shape, superior
construction materials, and elegant structure
attract people. This building was classified as
grade three ancient site on February 15, 1994.