History, Knowledge

Hoi Tong Monastery

Hoi Tong (also: Honam Temple or Haichuang Temple) is a Buddhist temple and monastery complex on Henan Island in Guangdong Province.

History

The temple was built under the name of Qianqiu during the Nanhan Dynasty (southern Han Empire) between 917 and 971. It was probably destroyed afterwards. It is reported that it was rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty (beginning 1368) and was given the name Hoi Tong.

After the South Shaolin Monastery was destroyed, Abbot Ji Sim probably fled to Hoi Tong Monastery. From there he also sent Lukh ah Choi in search of Hung Hee Gung, who had also fled. Interestingly, the monastery was promoted and expanded during the Qing Dynasty. It flourished and became the main temple of Henan.

During the reign of Emperor Cixi, the importance of Hoi Tong diminished more and more. Reforms forced the monastery to provide parts for the public school. During the first years of the Chinese Republic (from 1912) as well as during the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976), the complex was seriously damaged several times. Fortunately it was not completely destroyed.

In 1993, the monastery resumed its operation and was extensively renovated.

Lynchpin for research

Since no one knows exactly where the southern Shaolin temple was, Hoi Tong is one of the most important places to go for research on the events I have come across so far. The monastery is mentioned under its different names in different sources.

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