Taipei, June 24 (CNA) Taipei Confucius Temple is now offering visitors a brand-new experience through the presentation of its history and the sage's teachings in 4-D film format, blending traditional culture with modern technology.
Two 15-minute films are being shown in the 4-D theater of the temple's newly renovated building and are accompanied by special effects such as smoke, bubbles, wind and vibrations as the stories develop.
One of the videos features the interaction among Confucius, his disciples and the rulers of several nations. Set against the backdrop of ancient China, the film portrays Confucius' political philosophy and wisdom in tackling potential conflicts, based mainly on chapters of the Analects of Confucius.
To make it more representative of Taiwan today, it is presented in a form of Taiwanese hand puppetry, with the voiceover in Taiwanese, also known as Hoklo, one of the main languages spoken here.
That should not deter overseas visitors, however, because the film comes with English subtitles, and a version with Japanese subtitles is expected to be ready by the end of June, said Chen Tsai-hung, executive secretary of the temple's governing board, in a recent interview with CNA.
Another film, which is voiced in Mandarin Chinese and has English subtitles, focuses on the history of the Taipei temple itself -- the only Confucius temple in Taiwan that was built by the people rather than the government.
First built in 1884 during the Qing dynasty (1662-1895), the temple was torn down by the Japanese government in 1907 during its colonization of Taiwan (1895-1945).
Eighteen years later, a group of local gentry decided to rebuild it on land donated by some of its members, with more than 200 people joining the project.
The temple as it stands today was completed in 1939 before being donated to the Taipei City government in 1971. It has been under the city's jurisdiction ever since.
The 4-D theater, which underwent a trial run beginning in late March, offers visitors a new audio and video experience that is far more captivating than "textbooks" to help them learn Confucius' teachings, said Wang Fu-ching, a member of the temple's governing board.
"Our theater is a pioneer of the modern technology," he told CNA.
The new initiative has won the acclaim of visitors from Spain and China, Wang added.
"Some Chinese visitors praised it as very creative and steeped with local culture," he said.
Taipei Confucius Temple has long been an important tourist attraction. Most of its foreign visitors come from China, Europe, Japan, South Korea and the United States, according to the temple's governing board.
(By Elaine Hou)