Nankunshen Temple


Story of the 3-Masted Ship

The Boat Returns

Kaiji Zhengshen & the Lords of Nankunshen

The ‘3 Treasures’ of Kunshen






Story of the 3-Masted Ship

Story of the 3-Masted Ship

At the end of a day’s work during the waning years of China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), several dozen fishermen were startled to hear music wafting in from the darkness off the Nankunshen coast. Looking seaward, they glimpsed an opulent three-masted galley plying toward the bay.

The following morning, rather than finding a magnificent ship, the fishermen instead saw beached on the sand a weatherworn boat. Inside were six carved idols, each inscribed, respectively, with the names ‘His Highness & Great Lord Lifu’, ‘His Highness & 2nd Lord Chifu’, ‘His Highness & 3rd Lord Wufu’, ‘His Highness & 4th Lord Zhufu’, ‘His Highness & 5th Lord Fanfu’ and ‘Zhongjun’. Also inside were the trunk of an ancient tree and a banner proclaiming the deities, ‘Heaven’s Terrestrial Inspectors’.

The fishermen removed the idols to a small hut, where they were attended to regularly. Fortune soon smiled on the village, as each fishing boat that went out returned weighed by a rich catch. Believers multiplied as word of the miracles of the ‘Five Lords’ spread. A formal temple was proposed, but lack of funds convinced the villagers that the idols could do better elsewhere.


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