醒村 Xǐng cūn or Sing Village is one of the more special military dependents’ villages that I have been lucky enough to visit. And we are lucky that the Kaohsiung City government has decided to save it and restore it.
The village is in Kaohsiung’s Gangshan District. It’s just outside of the downtown and very close to the air force base. There used to be many military dependents’ villages in this area but most of them have been demolished. Luckily the city decided to save this one.
The houses were originally built in the late 1930s for Japanese Air Naval Air Force pilots. When the ROC took over after the war, they were used to house air force personal and flight instructors at the air force base.
As with many of these old houses and villages, as time passed people moved out and moved into more modern housing complexes. The villages were left to ruin. 醒村 Xǐng cūn/ Sing Village was no different.
It wasn’t until 2015 and when it was used in some scenes for the Taiwanese drama A Touch of Green 一把青. It is a show about the time after the Japanese defeat and the KMT coming to Taiwan. You maybe remember this TV show from another blog I wrote about a place that was used for some scenes.
Because of this show and work by local Gangshan people, part of the village was listed as a historical building in 2015. Then it was announced that the whole area would be preserved as a cultural landscape.
I went once in early 2017 before it was totally gated off and guarded and then a couple times after it was re-opened. The first set of photos is from my first trip.
Most old homes in these military villages built at this time were built in the traditional Japanese one-floor style so I was pretty surprised to see this style of housing. I’m guessing that since they were houses for pilots that they got nicer houses.
The village has five two-story buildings two single-story buildings, a club and an auditorium. There was very little in the buildings when I went and I think most of what was there must have been left over from the TV show set.
The pictures below are all from when it was reopened. Building B has been completed and buildings A and F finished or near finished. The rest haven’t been worked on yet. There are guards so don’t try to go in them.
As you can see the restoration job was great.
I believe that there will be workshops, community events and things like that whenever it’s all finished.
I didn’t see this bathroom whenever I went in 2017 and man I wish that I did. But glad that they kept it. A good idea these days to have a nice Instagrammable spot too.
As mentioned above not every building has been fixed up but you can still peek in a few of them. I actually hope that they keep one or a few of it like this.
Next up are a couple pictures of pictures taken at the village. They can give you an idea of the village and the surrounding area.
This first one shows a US military map from the Second World War of the airbase and area. Sing Village is circled at the bottom right.
This picture shows Sing Village from the air.
If you go to Gangshan then definitely check out this spot. Getting there is easy. Just Google Gangshanyangming Park 岡山陽明公園. The village is just opposite that park. So go and say Hi!