Foshan Daily 2017-06-05
The history of an old street is a part of the memory of Foshan people.
At dusk, Pujun Xu and its nearby area are surrounded by tall buildings.
Pujun Xu (“墟” means market in Chinese) connects the lives of several generations, which means ordinary life to Foshan people.
The look of Pujun Xu on January 29, 1996
It is called Pujun Xu because of a temple. It worships Dongyue Emperor, who is also called Wuyuejun or Pujun. Therefore, the temple is named Pujun Temple. Since Foshan had a fashion of worshiping gods at that time, residents named the place after the popular temple.
The range of Pujun Xu includes the Tapo community in the north of Pujun Xi Road and Pujun Market in the south.
The Pujun Xu was formed in 1627 and the market was open six days of a month. Besides fruits, pork, fish, grocery and non-staple food, there were mostly silk and cloth shops and stands, and there were also shops selling wine, rice and vegetable seeds.
The overlook of Pujun Xu on April 1, 2002 (Provided by Foshan project urban construction archive)
As time goes on, Pujun Xu is divided into several market segments. The four streets of Pujun Xu gradually come into shape, which are Suoyi Street, Jingguo Street, Xianxiang Street and Tapo Street.
Tapo Street (塔坡街)
Tapo Street got its name in 1952, which is composed of Fengxiang(风箱, bellow) Street, Wenchang Straight Street, Wenchang Street, Mailuo(卖箩, selling bamboo basket) Lane and Mianfen(面粉, flour) Street. As the old saying goes, “Tapo comes before Foshan”, which makes it one of the oldest streets in Foshan.
Jingguo Street (京果街)
In old days, Foshan lacked of dried fruits like dried persimmon and red date, so many dried fruits were supplied by the north, where Beijing was located. Thus, people call these kinds of fruits “Jingguo” (Beijing fruits).
Suoyi Street (蓑衣街)
The street was famous for selling Suoyi (蓑衣, straw rain cape), but now it is hard to find them.
Xianxiang Street (线香街)
Xianxiang (线香, joss stick) Street is a place of selling joss sticks and candles. No. 138 of Xianxiang Street is the only preserved house with black bricks and ancient doors.
Xiang’an Street (祥安街)
Xiang’an Street is located in the north of Tapo Temple. An’huai Lane and Hongsheng Memorial Hall are on this street.
As years pass by, the four streets of Pujun Xu has already declined, only leaving Pujun Market still busy and bustling. Some Foshan people thinks that Pujun Xu is the same as Pujun Market.
Every morning, the elderly will come by bus with string bags and trolleys, rushing to the biggest and cheapest markets in Foshan. At around 9 or 10 o’clock, they will go back with satisfaction.
On Weiguo Road, after purchasing from Pujun Market, an old lady was carrying a bag of rice to take the bus.
Foshan Pujun Xi Road on October 25,1994
Foshan Pujun Xi Road on September 1, 1992
In the old days, the whole street will celebrate events of every family together. If a family gives birth to a new baby, the whole street will go to Tapo Temple to worship Tapo and then ate sour ginger and red eggs. Nowadays, this family-like atmosphere is already gone.
Here used to be the busiest place in Foshan, which is called Pujun Xu.