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27 Pai Fang(monumental arched gateways) have stood in the history of the block around Wuma street, 3 of them devoted to a Longwan-district local - Wang Zan, the Shang Shu(equivalent to today minister) in the Ming Empire.
Source:温州三十六坊 | Author:Wenzhoudaily | Publish time:2018-08-21 | 1972 Views: | Share:
The old downtown area in Wenzhou used to be a forest of Pai Fang.The Wenzhou's local chronicle from Hongzhi era(the ninth emperor in Ming Dynasty) — Wenzhou Fu Zhi accounted 109 "Fang Men"...

Wuma Fang, Dengxuan Fang …are the street names derived from the historic Pai Fang that still linger in Wenzhou local life.

The old downtown area in Wenzhou used to be a forest of  Pai Fang.The Wenzhou's local chronicle from Hongzhi era(the ninth emperor in Ming Dynasty) — Wenzhou Fu Zhi accounted 109 "Fang Men", another name for Pai Fang,in the old Yongjia County(nowadays city center), among which at least 27 located in today's Wuma block.


In the proximity of the present Gongan Road and Wuma Street, there were 3 Pai Fang all standing in devotion to one person — Wang Zan, the vice Minister of the Ministry of Rites in Nanjing, then capital of the Ming Empire, later honored as the Minister in a posthumous elevation bestowed by the monarch.Three monuments for a single man, that’s an anomaly in Wenzhou's old times.


Wang Zan (1462 ~ 1524),surname Sixian, epithet Oubin, from the village now known as Dianqian Village in Longwan district Yongzhong precinct, famous contemporarily for his calligraphy, attended the county school at the age of 13, and gained accreditations through a series of Chinese imperial examinations first the Provincial at 27 years old then the national at 34. His first foray into the imperial government at 37 only herald a career life marked by gradational promotions from one of the managers in the Ministry of Works to deputy department director, department director, mayor in Kaifeng City and so on to the high-up, thus etched into the memory of Wenzhou history with such resounding preeminence.


The Wang Zan Academy in Baiyangong

During the decades from the Emperor Hongzhi to Jiajing, Wang Zan served nearly all major state departments dealing with education, like the State Academy, the State College and the Ministry of Rites which was in charge of planning, executing and evaluating the imperial examinations, not to mention the vice Minister and Minister position virtually for the Education Ministry in modern concept he ended up with. He was two terms principal for the State College and presided over the national imperial exams for four times. His participation in the compilation of the Ming histoy, teaching on Chinese classics to pupils and colossal scholarly writings left behind have heaped the laurel of "the Titan in scholarship and pedagogy" on him crowning his contribution in cultural and educational affairs.