Let me share this cultural and historical background before we begin the story. My family is originally from Taiwan. Taiwan was occupied by Japan from 1895 to 1945. Thus older generations such as my grandparents and great-grandparents still speak fluent Japanese. When the Japanese first took over, many people joined militias and fought back. The war against resistance lasted few years. Both sides suffer heavy casualties.
Due to the chaotic situation, many corpses were buried randomly throughout the entire island.
There are still many burial grounds being accidentally dug up occasionally until this day. In Asian cultures, we believe in spiritual entities such as deity, jinn, ghost, and demon. A mortal can choose to pray or worship any spiritual entity regardless it’s good or evil. The general rule of thumb is that a mortal should respect the existence of any spiritual entity.
Like my grandma always says, if we don’t disturb them, they wouldn’t disturb us.
We also believe if a spiritual entity wants your attention, it would come into your dream and tell you what’s going on. My parents are both MBAs from WSU. Needless to say they choose science over paranormal stuff. It was not until this incident in the early 2000 forever changed their perspectives.
My mom grew up in a farm in Yangminshan, a very famous national park in Taipei. My grandparents’ farm is located by a major highway yet most of the farm itself is surrounded by dense woods. When I was three year old, my grandma had tenant named Chen.
Chen was a college student majoring in sculpture at the Chinese Culture University. One day he was wandering in the surrounding woods when he came across a small, abandoned shrine with many fist-size rocks stacked on its roof.
In our culture, a typical shrine usually has a carved description of what’s being worshipped inside the shrine nearby.
Yet this shrine looked sketchy and it had no description at all. He randomly took one of the rocks from the rooftop then went home to sculpt it for his assignment. Two semesters later, Chen traveled to England to study aboard yet he somehow had really bad luck in daily life. One day, a soldier came into Chen’s grandfather’s dream.
The soldier somehow spoke Japanese. The soldier told Chen’s grandfather that someone in his family had stolen from him and the entire “platoon” was very angry.
Chen’s grandfather woke up in the morning and immediately contacted Chen and told him to come back to Taiwan right away. When Chen fist learned about his grandfather’s dream, he finally realized why he had such bad luck for months. He revisited the shrine with many offerings.
He apologized for his rude behavior in prayer and asked if they wanted to be compensated.
Chen soon asked if the spirit would send out a volunteer and follow him to a psychic to negotiate for the compensation. Chen later told us that he did feel being followed on his way to the psychic.
Also, when he passed a farmer’s market on, the livestock in the market suddenly went silent for no reason. He later spent some money fixing up the shrine and offered many offerings again. Soon everything went back to normal.
My family is still in touch with Chen. He is now a professor in a college in Yilan County.
I still visit my grandparents every year but they wouldn’t tell me where the shrine is every time I bring up the topic. I somehow still want to find the shrine myself, but my parents always tell me not to.
I recently learn that there were many battles took place in that area when the Japanese army first entered Taipei in 1895. It really gives a better explanation of the origin of those fallen soldiers and why the soldiers had spoken Japanese, and visit Chen’s grandfather instead of Chen himself.