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Former residence of Wu Chengen scenic spot consists of four parts: the the former residence, Monkey King's Family Art Museum, Wu Cheng'en's life exhibition hall and Wuyuan, which is the only place in China to comprehensively display the culture of Journey to the West and commemorate Wu and is also the shooting base of the world's first stereoscopic TV series Wu Cheng'en and Journey to the West. It covers an area of 12,500 square meters and construction area of 3,520 square meters with a Ming Dynasty style garden complex composed of 63 houses and a number of pavilions, rockery and ponds.
Next, let's visit the birthplace of Journey to the West first, the former residence which is a group of typical courtyard dwellings of the Ming Dynasty in the Jianghuai style, consisting of a hall, a Sanheyuan, a wing-room and a courtyard.
Then, the green bamboo forest which is elegant and quiet, reflecting the master's extraordinary taste and style.
Living room is the main hall of Wu Cheng'en's former residence and Wu’s family to celebrate wedding, hold funeral ceremonies and meet the guests.
The couplet on the front porch of the hall shows that Journey to the West is the fantastic work with open minds and wonderful imagination of supernatural creature throughout hundreds of compositions. This couplet highly summarizes Wu Cheng'en's literary achievements in his life and the historical value of his masterpiece Journey to the West.
The head sculpture in the middle of the hall was restored by Jia Lanpo, a renowned expert of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology Chinese Academy of Sciences, that is, the expert who joined excavations of Peking Man, according to Wu Cheng'en's skull and the dress of Ming Dynasty, scientifically reproduced the appearance of Wu Cheng'en in his lifetime and the statues of cultural celebrities in many ancient China history. And only Wu was created on the basis of the restoration of the skull of the deceased rather than imagination.
Look at Wu, his facial muscles are slackness, but his spirit is bright. A thoughtful and solemn mien shows his stubborn and a spirit of fighting with the secular world; The way he focus, as if he has entered the fantasy world, roaming with his characters. Look at the plaque above noted with Sheyang which was inscribed by Zhao Puchu, best known as president of the CCP-supported Buddhist Association of China. Huai'an was called Sheyang County when it was first established in the Western Han Dynasty (117 BC). Ancient scholars liked to use their residence or birthplace as the courtesy name, so Wu Cheng'en courtesy name was Sheyang Jushi. The plaque was inscribed by his friend Shen Kun, the scholar of Huai'an. In order to show respect and friendship, Wu Cheng'en hung the plaque of Shiyang Yi in the main hall.
This rubbing is a unique picture of bamboo. Look it in detail, do you found anything? Yes, this is actually a poem and painting of bamboo leaf, which is found in many places of China. The content is a poem by Wu Chen, a poet of the Song Dynasty. Do you see the details of the poem? It shows a heavenly beautiful picture: poplars stands on the side of bridge and a house surrounded by flowers, trees, birds and hills.
Let’s visit Wu Cheng'en's study, where he wrote Journey to the West, named Sheyang Yi. He took the imperial examinations several times in attempt to become a mandarin, or imperial official, but never passed, and did not gain entry into the imperial university in Nanjing until middle age; after that he did become an official and had postings in both Beijing and Changxing County, but he did not enjoy his work, and eventually resigned, probably spending the rest of his life writing Journey to the West in his hometown. When he was young, Wu was fond of listening to stories about the water goblin of the Huaihe River named Wu zhiqi, which has been verified by experts that it is the prototype of Monkey King in the Journey to the West. Wu zhiqi was imprisoned under the tortoise hill of Hongze, which still has traces of Zhiqijing. In the Journey to the West, Wu Cheng'en was rewritten as Monkey King remaining imprisoned for five hundred years by the Buddha. After middle age, he began to compose hundreds of novel Journey to the West by combining stories of monk Tang Sanzang with legends, Buddhist and Taoist classics, folk stories and local anecdotes of Huai'an in his study - Sheyang Yi.