Explore history at home base of military genius

Updated: 2013-08-11 09:14

By Li Yang in Guilin, Guangxi (China Daily)

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The residence is divided into five parts and includes the inner "Happy Residence", in the middle of the southern part of the courtyard, which was the original dwelling of Li's family from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to 1921, when the "General's Residence" was added to celebrate Li's promotion from platoon leader to battalion commander in just one year.

Li's parents moved into the General's Residence after it was built in 1923 and it was often the scene of family celebrations.

Happy Residence and the General's Residence form an inner yard surrounded by tall walls, divided into smaller yards, and feature a two-story, five-bedroom wooden building, kitchen, granary, oil depot, toilet and bathroom.

The eight wooden buildings in the four small yards have similar styles and are interconnected. On the first floor are two bedrooms, with a living room and a dining room. On the second floor are three bedrooms that share one large wooden balcony.

To the east of the two residences is a school for the extended family's children and a garden that was built in 1925 for Li's father. Li's father died in 1925, without teaching in the school or enjoying the garden.

The third expansion of the residence is the guesthouse of about 2,000 sq m, which features three rows of interconnected two-story wooden buildings, with roofs supported by solid fir tree pillars and carved stone bases. The wooden walls between the buildings can be removed, allowing space for the hosting of big events.

All rainfall and sanitary waste was piped into a basketball court-sized fishpond, not far from the spring well, which freshened the pond, provided water for washing, and also watered the family's rice paddy field.

Li Changqing, a 72-year-old farmer and the grandson of Li Tsung-jen's father's elder brother, still lives at the residence. "I don't believe the feng shui masters. Li Tsung-jen was the only 'somebody' to come from here. Most of his relatives, like me, are poor."


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