The “Erfeng Ditch Cultural Tour” is held in the Linhousilin Forest Park in Pingtung’s Chaojhou on December 7. It includes a series of activities, such as unveiling of the bronze statue of Torii Nobuhei, a Japanese hydraulic engineer, and Erfeng Ditch theme exhibition. It aims to retrospect Nobuhei’s design wisdom and construction idea 92 years ago, so that people can appreciate the “natural ecological engineering” of Erfeng Ditch and understand the relevance and importance between hydraulic engineer and water resources.
Cultural interaction between Taiwan and Japan and cultural inheritance
The bronze statue of Torii Nobuhei is made and given by Hsu Wen-Lung, Chairman of Chi Mei Culture Foundation, and erected beside the Erfeng Ditch by the Forestry Bureau. The opening ceremony invites officials from the central and local governments, including Minister of the Council of Agriculture Chen Bao-Ji, Director General of the Forestry Bureau Lee Tao-Sheng, Magistrate of Pingtung County Tsao Chi-Hung, and lawmaker Pan Men-An. In addition, Nobuhei’s grandson Professor Toru Torii from the Tokyo University, writer Kumiko Hirano, president of Fukuroi international association, principal of Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology that just concluded sister school relationship with the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST), chairman of mechanical engineering department, head of international relations, head of planning office, Director of Interchange Association (Japan) Kaohsiung Office Takayuki Nakamura, representative Ji Ching-Wen from the Chi Mei Group, and Professor Ting Cheh-shyh from the NPUST all participate in the opening ceremony together. The whole event is full of meaningful heritage and interaction.
Chen Bao-Ji said that the “Linhousilin Forest Park” is the goal of the government to execute the “12 Love Taiwan construction projects-green forestation plan.” The park is also one of Taiwan’s three lowland forest parks and built in four major themes, including mountain, water, forest and field. Among them, the “water” theme refers to the hydraulic engineering of Erfeng Ditch. It is the best example that combines culture, water and life. Even modern engineering methods cannot transcend it. Today the unveiling of the statue recalls Torii Nobuhei’s contributions to Pingtung. It is expected that the combination of Linhousilin Forest Park and Chaojhou village can become a new spotlight in Pingtung.
Tsao Chi-Hung noted that the Erfeng Ditch can irrigate 3,000 hectares of land without electricity as an example of water and soil conservation. It is also worth learning to respect indigenous people’s spirit in the process of construction. The water of Erfeng Ditch connects both Taiwan and Japan emotions and lets us see the inseparable relationship between water and forests as well as the importance of sustainable use of water resources.
Toru Torii said that modern engineering should focus on the reconciliation between environments and nature. It is meaningful for him to see the Erfeng Ditch after over 90 years. If hydroelectric capability can be added, water resources will be most efficiently used. He is happy to attend the ceremony today and wishes the Erfeng Ditch to continue its functions.
Music feast and cultural creativity market
In addition to the opening ceremony, there are also a series of activities, such as Erfeng Ditch theme exhibition, NPUST’s ecology and disaster prevention platform demonstration, local cultural creativity market, forest stage concert, and street artists’ performances. The forest stage concert invites Paiwan elders to sing the song of Erfeng Ditch and Paiwan ancient tune. Modern Chinese orchestra, oboe player Casper Tsai, U-Sky band, singer Chang Fang-Chi, and Paiwan New attractive band are also invited to perform consecutively. The cultural creativity market is composed of agricultural specialty sale, DIY handicraft, ecological education promotion and local snacks booths. These activities begin from 10:00 till 16:30. Through a series of activities, it is expected to see more people cherish and spread the spirit of Erfeng Ditch, and fully enjoy the beauty of “mountain, water, forest, garden” from the integration of Linhousilin Forest Park, Dawu Mountain’s natural landscape, Erfeng Ditch’s historic culture and plain afforestation’s achievements.
Vision of underdevelopment
The Pingtung Forest District Office noted that the Linhousilin Forest Park will continue its overall and spatial utilization and change, under the premise of environmental protection that changes forests and fields in the lowest minimum or develops in the least degree. Along with the socio-economic transformation and progress, the goal is to establish a correct and healthy environmental value for people, and to gradually boost local industries. Through integrating indigenous, Hakka and Fujian ethnic groups that surround the park, the traditional agricultural sector is transformed from production to green eco-industrial and service sector. The best gift we prepare for our next generation and Taiwan’s descendants is to let people realize the significance of sustainable community development and ecological conservation.
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