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Over 75% of the population in this township are Hakka people, forming the largest Hakka community in Nantou County. The Hakka culture here, unique to Guosing Township, is abundant and essential for the tourism attraction.
The Hakka people in this township came from the Hakka population in Hsinchu, Miaoli, Jhuolan, Dongshih, etc. For more than 100 years, they have moved in from other places and settled down next to Minnan people. The various accents, such as Hailou, Shixian and Dabu, coexisted and the relationship between Hakka and Minnan people was harmonious, showing the uniqueness and great tolerance in this Hakka township.
Before Han immigrants moved in, Guosing area used to be a desolate forest without its name. Han people were even defeated by Dadu natives, who were active in this area. According to the book "General History of Taiwan", during the Ming-Cheng era, the military officer Guo-Xuan Liu, subordinate to Chenggong Zheng, led troops toward north. They were stopped by Dadu natives in central Taiwan. Zheng troops beat those natives and chased them along the creek. When they arrived in Neisan, the campground they stayed in was called Gousingbu, which later turned into the name "Guosing". During the era of Hsienfeng Emperor, Han people gradually moved into Puli area so that Han villages were established near Guosing area.
In 1875, Qing authority opened up the road "Chunglu"(i.e. Batongguan Historic Trail) for the purpose of comforting natives and exploiting mountainous areas, encouraging a wave of immigrants. In 1878, more workers specializing in the production of camphor crowded into Miaoli area. At the same time, because of military deeds, one of the gentry, Chaodong Lin, was allowed to recruit tenant-farmers to cultivate lands along Chunglu, and authorized the monopoly right of camphor by the officer of Qing Dynasty, Mingchuan Liu. Lin earned a lot of money from these charters. In order to protect camphor workers, Chaodong Lin open up a official road between Maanlin in Dongshihjiao(now Dongshih District of Taichung City) and Dapingding in Pulishe, and established forts along the road stationing his troops. There were three troops: the front one at Maanlin, the central on at Beigang River, and the left one at Shuichangliu. These contributed greatly to the development of Guosing Township. The abundant water and reproductive lands attracted the Hakka people in Dongshih to trudge over mountains from Hsinshe to Guosing, and then settled down in this place.
During the days of Japanese occupation, administrative districts were rearranged very often. In 1986, Guosingbu was subordinate to Pulishe in Taichung County. In 1901, it was adjusted to be under the governance of Beigangxibao of Pulizhitin in Nantoutin and Pulishebao. In 1920, it was rearranged to be subordinate to Guosingjhuang of Pulishe in Taichungchou. In 1949, after Kuomingtang government moved to Taiwan, Guosingjhuang was renamed as Guosing Township and under the governance of Taichung County. In 1950, administrative districts were rearranged and Nantou County was established. At that time, Guosing Township was rearranged to be subordinate to Nantou County.
There are 13 administrative districts in Nantou County: Nantou City, Pili Township, Caotun Township, Jhushan Township, Jiji Township, Yuchih Township, Shueili Township, Lugu Township, Jhongliao Township, Mingjian Township, Renai Township, Sinyi Township, and Guosing Township. Guosing Township is located at 120.5 degrees east longitude and 24 degrees north latitude. Surrounded by mountains, it is part of the hill region of Central Mountains and its climate is very favorable. Guosing Township is in the northwest region of Nantou County, bounded in the east by Puli Township and Renai Township, bounded in the east by Taiping Distract and Wufeng District of Taichung City, bounded in the south by Jhongliao Township and Caotun Township, and bounded in the north by Renai Township and Hsinshe District of Taichung City. The area of Guosing Township covers 175.7042 square kilometers and there are thirteen villages demarcated by natural mountains or rivers: Guosing, Shimen, Dachi, Changliu, Changfeng, Changfu, Beigang, Gangou, Fuguei, Ganlin, Dashih, Beisan, and Nangang.
Guosing Township is located in the area of subtropical monsoon. In spite of low latitude, the temperature varies by topography. The mean annual temperature is around 21 Celsius degrees, cool in summer and less windy in winter. It is surrounded by mountains and there are two rivers(Beigang River and Nangang River) converging at Gantzelin(after converging, it is called Wu River)( Beigang River runs through Beigang Village, Dachi Village, Guosing Village, Ganlin Village, etc.; Nangang River runs through Dashih Village, Beisan Village, Nangang Village, etc.; actually Beigang River and Nangang River cover the whole Guosing Township). The long and narrow basin along the river valley is where people congregate.
|(4) Agricultural products：|
This township lives on agriculture and tourism. The important economic crops are listed as follows:
1. Loquat: Loquats are the special produce in Guosing Township, renowned all over Taiwan.
The planted area of loquats in Guosing Township is about 150 hectares. The major cultivated variety is Maomu, produced from the villages along Taiwan Provincial Route No. 14. The highest yield of this township accounted for 70% of the total yield in Taiwan in the past and now it still ranks second, mostly from Ganlin Village. Due to the sufficient sunshine, loquats produced from this township is soft and juicy, with beautiful color and delicious taste. In addition, because farmers take really good care of them, each one of them is in good shape and the quality is the most premium in Taiwan. Customers are genuinely fond of this produce from this township. The time of abundant period is from February to April, during which loquat vendors are everywhere along Taiwan Provincial Route No. 14.
The loquat contain plentiful vitamins and is one of tonics. It has the effects of suppressing coughs and reducing phlegm, good for tracheae. It is better to choose big ones with orange color and fresh fine hairs on the skin.
Because loquats are the produce difficult to take care and harvest, they have been valuable gifts since long time ago. Due to the facts that the harvest period is short and the yield is limited, it is important to grasp the timing of enjoying the king of fruits.
2. Strawberry: The strawberry is one of the Rosaceae family and the perennial herbaceous plants. The time of harvest period is from December to next April. After entering this township form Fuguei, you can see strawberry fields along Taiwan Provincial Route No. 14.
The yield of strawberry in this township ranks second in Taiwan, mostly from Guosing. The cultivated strawberry variety in Guosing is Fenghsiang, whose fruits are bigger ones with brightly red color, high sweetness, and strong fragrance. Customers are genuinely fond of this produce. Thirty hectares of cultivation or so are in Fuguei Village and Beisan Village. Most of the sale is through tourist orchards and roadside vendors.
The strawberry, brightly red, contains plentiful vitamin C and tastes fresh and sweet. This fruit is ripe between January and March each year and attracts numerous tourists. They may come with friends or with their family and pick strawberries by themselves, displaying beautiful and warm pictures sometime between winter and spring.
The strawberry is difficult to wash clean and pesticides may remain, worrying people in our society. Fruit farmers in this township follow the ideas of healthy life and cultivate the produce in a way of organic farming to reduce man-made pollution. In addition to the high quality of color/fragrance/taste and abundant nutrition, strawberries are the premium fruit which is good for health.
3. Rose: Superior cut flowers, variety cultivation and farming are done by flower production and marketing groups of Guosing Township. Because it has been quite successful recently, there are many people coming to purchase excellent varieties and flowers. This township, appropriate for the rose farming because of favorable climate, has its position in the market.
4. Guava: The planted area of guavas are in Fuguei Village, Shimen Village and Beigang Village with production all year round. After the improvements of cultivation technology, the guavas produced from this township are with superior color and sweetness.
The white bags hung all over the tree are like large white flowers fully blooming. This scenery really impresses people. However, when you are close to them, understanding smiles will always show up on your face after you realize that they are the bags of big guavas, which have been taken good care of by farmers.
5. Banana: The banana is one of the Musa genus in Musaceae family and the tall herbaceous plants. They favor high temperature and high humidity, not chill. In 1960s, bananas are the contributor behind the scenes to the prosperity of farming villages in Taiwan. The export quantity ranked fourth throughout the world in the past, wining the reputation of "banana kingdom" for Taiwan.
The planted area of bananas in this county is about 3000 hectares with a yearly yield of 51310 metric tons, ranking third in Taiwan. In this county, the yield of Chungliao ranks first and those of Guosing and Shueili rank next. The major cultivated variety is North Banana. The variety Apple Banana and the variety Musa can be found in the vendors along Taiwan Provincial Route No. 14.
Because the planted fields are all on mountainsides which share sufficient sunshine and good drainage, bananas are particularly delicious. Not only do Taiwanese love them, but Japanese do as well. Bananas contain abundant nutrition to benefit digestion, stop diarrhea, beautify one's look, lose weight and prevent constipation. High content of potassium can also prevent high pressures and heart diseases.
6. Antler: Nangang Village in this township is the home of Formosan sambar, a very sensitive animal with long lifespan like turtles. After 3 to 5 years old, the antlers of male sambars start to grow. By the time of Tomb Sweeping Day, the nutrition of antlers reaches its peak value and it is the time to harvest. Traditional medicine dealers come at this time as a swarm to purchase antlers. Regular customers, who want to buy, may contact in advance to find out the exact date of harvest.
When harvesting antlers, 5 or 6 strong men seize the sambar and then the antler is cut off. The sambar raisers also mixes the blood shedding from antlers with liquor for customers to drink. Rumors has it that this medicinal liquor can make people vigorous. The sale of antlers is by tael for about NT$1000 per tael. Antler works in powder form or in liquor form. According to traditional medicine, antlers have its medical effects on those who suffering from asthma, physical pain, high pressure, aging, sexual problems and kidney problems.
7. Coffee: The planted area of coffee in Guosing Township is about 30 hectares. The yearly yield is at least three hundred thousand kilograms. After roast, the yield is still over sixty thousand kilograms with a value of sixty million NT dollars or so. Most of the beans are from the variety Arabica.
The requirements for Arabica coffee cultivation are very demanding. They are in favor of fertile soil, sufficient humidity, moderate sunshine and shade. In addition, they are vulnerable to pests and diseases and the average yield per hectare is low. However, Guosing Township is exceptionally appropriate for coffee cultivation because of its excellent natural environment. The coffee bean harvested from Guosing have a slight fragrance of grass. After medium roast, it spreads a slight fragrance of fruits. After heavy roast, it spreads a sweet fragrance of caramel. The Jioufenershan in Guosing Township is from 300 to 1000 meters in altitude with a temperature difference of 10 degrees or so. It is very suitable for coffee trees to grow and the quality of coffee beans produced are premium. The coffee does not taste bitter and sour, and has the features of richness, mellowness and good mouthfeel. After the 921 earthquake, county government, township authority, and farmers' associations promoted the coffee tree cultivation under the arecas on the mountainsides of Jioufenershan. The mountain coffee of Jioufenershan has become famous.
There is no pesticide and chemical fertilizer on the coffee in Guosing. It is the coffee produced in a way of organic farming and this premium coffee will win the competition in the market. By the roast technology improvement and quality certification, the future of the coffee produced in Guosing will be promising in the future.
Although the terrain of Guosing Township is a mountainous area, transportation is convenient. The outbound transportation is by way of Taiwan Provincial Route No. 14 and Taiwan Provincial Route No. 21 for the most part. In addition, Nantou County Route No. 136 bounds for Taiping Township of Taichung County and Nantou County Route No.147 bounds for Yuchih and Jhongliao. Nantou County Route No. 180 is the inevitable way leading to Huisun Forest Area of Nantou County. Taiwan Provincial Route No. 14 connects Caotun Township in the west. The coastline area could be reached by Chung-Tou Highway or Chung-Chang Highway. National Route No. 3 could be used to go north or south. Taiwan Provincial Route No.21 stretches north to link Sinshe District of Taichung City and it connects Taiwan Provincial Route No.3 to reach Miaoli and Hsinchu. These two routes(Provincial Route No. 14 and Taiwan Provincial Route No. 21) and National Route No. 6 all go east to connect Puli Township and then reach Wushe, Sun Moon Lake, etc.
Famous spots and landmarks in Guosing Twonship include Chengong Zheng Stone Statue, Glutinous Rice Bridge, Monument of 921 Earthquake Epicenter, Huguo Temple, Weijia Village, Nature Conservation Area of Houdongkeng, Furong Valley Waterfall, Atayal Resort, Dashih Canyon, Jiadong Old Tree, Celestial Island, Big Rocks by a Large Rive Bank, Dousan Suspension Bridg, Glutinous Rice Bridge Agricultural Leisure Area, Fusan Agricultural Leisure Area, etc.