A torii gate, part of a Shinto shrine, can be seen on the roof of what used to be the Hayashi Department Store in downtown Tainan. But a far more interesting relic of Shintoism exists in North Taiwan – Taoyuan Martyrs Shrine.
The Taoyuan Jinja, as the martyrs shrine was known during the colonial period, was inaugurated on September 23, 1938. Among those worshipped here were Amaterasu, the mythical ancestress of Japan's royal family, and Prince Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa, the imperial relative who died of malaria while commanding Japanese military units during the 1895 takeover of Taiwan.
Made largely of cypress, the structure is classically Japanese in that it reflects the massive influence on Japan of China's Tang dynasty. It stands on the slopes of a forest-covered hill that's alive with birds and butterflies. Unless the weather is very bad indeed, you can look down over Taoyuan...Click here to read the complete article. The bronze horse shown here is an original feature of the Shinto shrine. During the colonial era the Japanese had a great regard for their horses - some military officers were buried with their steeds.