沼澤上的傳奇

:::

1988 / 7月

文‧謝淑芬 圖‧李乾朗戶外雜誌社提供


傳說這兒是個龍穴,在台北地圖上卻找不到她的名字。西門町,只把她的諸多傳奇,烙印在人們的心頭。


如果有機會在行人匆匆、摩肩擦踵的中華路陸橋上駐足觀望,一字排開的中華商場,像一道捍衛西門町的長城,其間自是車水馬龍、川流不息;回望圓環那端的電影街、服飾街,則永遠萬頭鑽動。到了夜晚,詭幻耀眼的霓虹燈更把此地妝扮成台北市最璀璨的一顆鑽石。

人說繁華如夢、滄海桑田,但這樣的感嘆,似乎不屬於西門町。

站在陸橋上,不要動。場景向前推移百年,你於是登臨台北西側城牆,向外眺望。那時候,西門町的名字不叫繁華。

是沼澤?或是龍穴?

一百年前,台北的中心環繞著一座堅固雄偉的城牆,這座歷時三年修築完成的四方形圍城,有東、南、西、北四個城門和一個小南門,城門旁的階梯可以登上城牆和城門二樓。

由西側城牆望出去,遠遠地淡水河沿岸商船雲集,岸邊雜列簡陋的棚屋,赤腳粗膊的船伕上上下下搬運貨物。

西南方則密集了街道、屋宇和寺廟,龍山寺矗立其中,這是台北開發最早、最繁榮的地方——艋舺(今稱萬華)。

一條鐵道橫亙的北方,也聚集了許多店鋪住宅,人群來往在曲曲折折的市井巷道中,忙碌的程度不減艋舺。那兒是因淡水河淤淺改道而繼艋舺之後新興的市集——大稻埕。

回觀城內,又是一番景象。寬坦筆直的街道上,不但排列了整齊的店鋪住屋和農地,還有許多官署衙門、書院學堂,一看即知是經過規劃的重要商業和行政中心。

然而,在淡水河沿岸、艋舺、大稻埕、西門(寶成門)之間卻圍了一大片低地。低地上一條大水溝流貫,溝旁是零星的農地,其他則遍佈沼澤、墳墓。

荒丘頹墳,景況寥落

白天,除了洗衣婦人、耕作的農夫和放牛砍柴的牧童樵子行經外,偶爾無所事事的人躺在荒丘頹墳上哼著調子,此外人跡稀少。

夕陽西下,入夜後城門關閉。此地只剩烏鴉聒噪,蟲鳴淒楚,氣氛十分陰森,平添了多少城內居民茶餘飯後話靈異的材料。

西元一八九五年(光緒廿一年),中日甲午戰爭,我國戰敗,被迫簽訂馬關條約割讓台灣。日本人佔據台灣後,以台北為軍政中心,展開向台移民的計畫。

初來的日本人集中城內,他們爭購土地,使房價暴漲。經過大興土木建設,城內成為日本人的商業、住宅和軍政中心。

西元一九二八年(民國十七年),台北市第一棟鋼筋水泥造的六層大樓——菊元百貨公司(光復後改名中華國貨公司,今為世華銀行所在地),就座落於博愛路和衡陽路路口,使日據時期分屬榮町、京町和本町的衡陽路、博愛路和重慶南路,成為城內最熱鬧的高級百貨商店街。

比較起來,靠近西門一帶的景況則寥落多了,附近的土地每坪只值日幣五元。至於一道城牆之隔,西門城外的那片低地,就更乏人問津了。

梳妝打扮,後來居上

遲來及有眼光的日本人卻看出這堜~於重要的交通地位,是聯繫城內、大稻埕、艋舺的緩衝地,於是大量購置,有計畫地擴建成商業、娛樂區。

日本人首先擴建西門城外清朝劉銘傳任台灣巡撫時開闢的道路——通往艋舺祖師廟的新起街(自西門圓環起的漢中街接長沙街),再遷移墳墓,填平溝渠。

次年,又在新起街頭興建「西門市場」。十二年後(西元一九○八年)改建成一棟紅磚砌造的兩層建築。仿八卦的八角造型非常突出,大家俗稱「紅樓」(今紅樓戲院所在地)。紅樓前後留有寬廣的空地,日本人常在市場堙A開辦一些食品品嘗會和蔬果展示會。

龍在發怒,銅牛鎮壓

一九○○年,日本政府認為城牆阻礙了交通和市區的發展,決心拆除。翌年,西側城牆拆毀,原址沿線修築縱貫鐵路和三線道大馬路(即今中華路)。

西門原址則在幾年後成為一座橢圓公園(即今西門圓環),從此打通了城內與附郊。中心還造了一座噴水池,池中四條噴水銅牛。據說當年拆城,許多工人從城牆上摔下而死,當地人認為日本人動了龍穴,龍在發怒。日本人因之以銅牛鎮壓,此後卻成為情人約會、休憩的地方。

自此,城外這片貌不驚人的沼澤地,已然不再是荒墳野塚、乏人問津之處。然而附近地勢過低,仍是亟待解決的問題。

淡水河沿岸(西門國小以西)的地基,一般較城內低二.五公尺左右;兼之淡水河嚴重淤淺,每遇大雨,河水倒灌,區內泛濫成災。至於平時也汙水匯流,蚊蚋叢生,不但隔絕了艋舺和大稻埕,更是西門商業區發展的最大障礙。

走,上西門町去!

一九一四年,一項大規模的填土計畫展開,首先興築淡水河堤防;繼而分別自中崙及八張犁(西園區,特三號排水溝附近)運土填平這塊面積達十二萬坪的低地。工程歷時三年,直到一九一七年五月竣工,再分段鋪設道路、店屋,一個新興商業區大抵成形。

日本人很得意地將這項工程事蹟刻在石碑上以資紀念,立於西門國小前,二次大戰時卻遭到轟炸,碎裂多塊,至今不知去向,為西門町再添傳奇。

長久以來,「上西門町!」一直是人們再熟悉不過的一句話。它可能指「去看場電影!」,可能是「逛逛街如何?」說話的人和聽話的人也都明白,無論是逛街、看電影,總之,指的是那塊人頭鑽動、熱鬧非常的地方。

哪堿O西門町?人人心知肚明;地圖上卻找不到這個東洋味十足的地名。究竟,西門町明確的範圍在哪堙H

民國十一年,日本人為了更進一步穩固統治基礎,在台推行「皇民化」運動,廢除台北自清朝以來原有的街名,將台北劃分為六十四町。「西門町」從此出現並流傳在市民的口中。

根據日據時期的台北市街圖顯示,當時西門町的範圍,只限於現今從中華路到康定路的成都路兩側街廓;一般人則以西門町作為西門商業鬧區的代稱,範圍包括當時的末廣町、壽町、濱町、泉町和築地町,這五町的日本人還組織了一個「西門會」。現在大致是東到中華路,西止昆明街,北起漢口街,南至成都路。

整齊平坦的街道,新建的屋舍,吸引大批人口遷移居住,西門町因此迅速繁榮起來。

電影街歷史悠久

「看電影,上西門町」,是其來有自的。中國第一部公開放映的電影地點就在西門町。根據記載,日本在台執政者,為了壓低台灣同胞的抗日情緒,多把日本的種種介紹到台灣。於是在西門町現在的新生報業大樓前面廣場上,臨時架起一間木屋,由日人高松豐次郎所組成的「台灣同仁社」放映自日本攜帶來台的影片。時間是民國前十年(西元一九○一年)十一月上旬。兩年後,才有西班牙人雷瑪斯從歐洲攜帶數十卷影片到上海放映;同年,林祝三也從美國帶回影片和放映機,在北平的打磨廠公開放映。

此外,西門町原有「榮座」(今萬國戲院),是一幢純日本宮殿式的歌劇院,專供日本人觀賞舞台劇,電影出現後,偶爾也放映影片。戰時日本人鑑於電影的傳播效果好,曾利用電影在西門町募集國防基金,馬上得到十萬餘日圓款額,頗為鼓勵電影發展。高松一派的人立即抓住機會,在西門町日本菜館「芳乃亭」隔壁興建「芳乃館」(曾改名美都麗,今國賓戲院),是第一家電影放映館,這個戲院只供日本人欣賞,座席全用榻榻米鋪成,方便日本人盤腿而坐的習慣。相對地,台胞的戲院只能興建在大稻埕,為一棟簡陋的木屋,稱為「芳乃館」別館。

西門情調,東洋風味

此後,「新世界館」(今新世界戲院)興建,和「芳乃館」形成對立的局面,他們各自與日本的日活、天活兩電影公司簽約,取得影片放映權。後來又續建國際館(國際戲院,今改建萬年大樓)、大世界館(今大世界戲院)、台灣劇場(台灣戲院),電影街因之成為西門町的代名詞。

西門町是日本人一手創造出來的商業、娛樂中心,這一帶自然是日本人的特區。民國十五年左右,大小街道上,已經到處都是食堂、大酒家、舞場、酒吧、咖啡座。以食堂來說,西式的有新世界館右邊的高砂碑酒間、美都路館;日式小吃館如壽司、佃煮、蒲燒、燒鳥等,在新世界後面的小弄堙A就集中了廿幾家,日本人稱之「片倉通」。

西門市場也以日本人為服務對象,除了正面的八角樓和兩側連結的商店外,前後的空地攤販雲集;橢圓公園中則多小吃露店,入夜後點起一盞盞的燈籠,在廣場上擺開,一片燈海,熱鬧異常,形成有名的「西門夜市」。當時本省人禁止入內遊玩或做生意,所以這堛漫]市和萬華龍山寺、大稻埕圓環的漢人夜市氣氛迥異,來往的男女老幼都是身穿和服木屐,口操日語者,賣的也是日本人的衣服飾品,台灣人稱之為「西門情調」。

戰敗歸國,神明火遁

你可能也有過這樣的經驗:在西門町看電影、逛街的當兒,腦中想的可能還是似幻又真的劇中情節;眼下耳堳h是花衫人潮。忽而,滿目琳琅的店鋪街市間,突兀地端坐一對石獅。往堭璆h,赫然是個十丈紅塵堙A香火繚繞的媽祖廟。

這是成都路上的天后宮,也是西門町諸多寺廟的僅存者。日據時代,日本人陸續在西門町建了許多日本寺廟和神社,東本願寺和本派本願寺(俗稱真宗西本願寺)為區內兩大寺廟。這兩座寺廟,總社都設在日本京都,是日本人在台灣的佛教中心,本省人則直呼「和尚間」。

至於天后宮現址,原是名為「弘法寺」的木造建築。這些在日據時代守護日人的寺廟,多隨著二次世界大戰結束、台灣光復後,或被拆除,或遭回祿。

稻荷神社,迎財鎮煞

東本願寺光復後被拆除,原地早先改建店鋪,現已翻建成來來、獅子林百貨和六福大樓。西本願寺光復後改為理教總公所,六十四年清明因祭祀骨灰不慎,引發大火,使這座宏偉的仿唐建築也付之一炬。

西門市場左側的「稻荷神社」,則有不少傳說。其中,有人認為在興建西門町之初,為了鎮壓當地的孤魂野鬼,日本人特地從京都總社請來「狐狸神」坐鎮於此。實際上,「稻荷」是為人們帶來稻米耕作及富庶的神祇,狐狸是祂的信差,在日本人的信仰中,是商業的守護神。日本人把神社設在西門市場的入口,用意非常明顯。

日本人走了,神社關閉了,而西門町卻從來未被冷落。

光復後不久,國民政府遷台,大量人口湧入台灣,而擅做生意的上海人,一眼就覷中這個介於萬華、大稻埕、城內,年輕亮麗的西門町。在他們眼堙A這不就是上海十里洋場的小縮影嗎?

西門町又成了眾人爭搶的地段。比起日本人初到的景況,更是不可同日而語。除了公有土地經政府接收外,日本人在回國前將住屋店面私相授受,有的甚至賺了大錢而走;而更多購得的人,日後就在這堶葆斂佴F。

中華商場成為西門長城

有錢人在這堸等芛N;戰後身無長物的難民也湧向此地,暫在鐵路兩側、西門圓環、成都路一帶棲身。

台北市政府遂委託市警民協會搭建三列臨時棚屋於鐵路兩側,安頓難民。日後住民就地經營一些日用雜貨店,或各式鄉土口味的小吃飲食店。

為瞭解決該區日趨嚴重的違建問題,經過協調,民國五十四年,完成中華商場,租給當地的違建戶,共分八區,分別以忠、孝、仁、愛、信、義、和、平名之。每區均為一列長方形的三層樓建築,沿著鐵路東側一字排開,像一道捍衛西門町的長城,成為西門町最醒目的門戶。

一、二樓為大陸各地的飲食小吃和電氣、民俗古玩等專業店,為西門町帶來另一種大眾化的消費型態,也使原本日本味濃郁的西門町成為地方色彩豐富的集中地。

未幾,商人又看上了中華商場頂樓,是絕佳的廣告地段。於是巨幅霓虹燈立體廣告牌又在此一字排開。西門町在一片五光十色、流轉變幻的燈海籠罩下,電影院、百貨公司、餐廳、服飾店……如雨後春筍般激增。

永遠的西門町?

無論你叫她窪地或龍穴,西側城門外的這塊低地上,傳奇從未停止上演。

六、七十年代詭幻的霓虹燈下,年輕人在咖啡屋堭q存在、虛無,談到後現代、解構;失意老去的大明星,從陸橋上躍向疾馳的火車;年輕美貌的女娃兒又在另一個奇遇中圓了明星夢;你可以看到人們飛黃騰達起高樓,也不時聽說哪家的老闆一夜豪賭敗盡產業,……。

台北人的舊夢新愁,就在這媢鼰角S啟,演了又演。而西門町的丰姿紅顏難道不會老去?

〔圖片說明〕

P.78

台北城的西門,又稱「寶成門」。

P.79

這是繪於清光緒廿一年(西元一八九五年)的艋舺(萬華)古地圖,距今九三年。圖右鋸齒線條是台北城牆;左上角為淡水河;中間那片空白就是西門町。

P.80

西門圓環,攝於民國廿四年。經過四十年的建設,西門町已不再是往日的沼澤地。

P.80

清朝時的台北市衡陽路。清光緒十一年,巡撫劉銘傳下令整建,鋪設石條及石子路面,兩側則蓋二層樓的店鋪住宅。路中央有「急公好義坊」,因此這條街又叫石坊街;此坊現已移至台北新公園內。遠遠的城樓就是西門城。

P.80

衡陽路的民宅,在民前一年水災中大半毀損,日本政府乘機改建為歐洲文藝復興式建築,街景有了很大的改變。這條路在民國十一年改名為「榮町」。

P.81

博愛路在日據時代叫做「京町」,也是文藝復興式建築,與衡陽路同為主要的百貨商店街。

P.82

城內這一帶一直是台北的行政、金融中樞所在。

P.82

本派本願寺,是以台灣紅檜為建材的仿唐中國式建築。正殿有五百坪,兩廊、周圍庭園共約二千五百坪,為當時西門町規模最大的佛寺,可惜已毀於一九七五年,原地現被違章建築佔據。

P.82

昔日西門町的門戶:西門市場,又稱紅樓。為紅磚砌造的八角形建築。

P.83

東本願寺是一所印度風格的寺廟。如今已拆除改建為來來百貨公司、獅子林商業大樓。

P.84

五○、六○年代的西門圓環。在巨幅霓虹燈映照下,噴水池四周成為人們休憩、約會的去處。

P.85

供奉媽祖的天后宮,位於成都路上,它是由以前的弘法寺改建而成,香火十分鼎盛。(鄭元慶攝)

相關文章

近期文章

EN

The Legend of Hsimenting

Daisy Shieh /photos courtesy of Lee Chien-lang /tr. by Stephen Rabasco

Legend has it that there's a dragon's den whose name can't be found on any map of Taipei. Hsimenting (literally meaning West Gate District) has branded her many adventures on the hearts of people.


As you walk shoulder-to-shoulder among the crowd, stop for a moment to take a look into the distance from the overhead bridge on Chunghwa Rd. You'll notice that the Chunghwa Marketplace resembles the Great Wall as if it is defending Hsimenting. Here you'll find the incessant flow of people and traffic. Taking a look back at the rotary, where you can see the beginning of what people refer to as "Movie St." and "Clothing St.," a never-ending flow of people moves along. As night falls, the flashing of neon lights turns this place into Taipei's most sparkling diamond.

Some say that prosperity is like a dream, and that the world changes quickly, but this kind of feeling isn't so with Hsimenting.

Stand still on the overhead bridge for a minute. If the hands of time could be turned back one hundred years, you'd find yourself on the western side of the wall which once surrounded Taipei looking off into the distance. Back then, Hsimenting's name was not "Flourishing."

One hundred years ago, Taipei was surrounded by a sturdy protective wall. The wall, completed in three years, was square, and had four gates, one in the north, south, east, and west. There was also another small gate on the southern side. The stairs to the side of the various gates led to the second story and to the top of the wall.

During the day, except for some women washing clothes, farmers cultivating land, shepherd boys grazing cattle, and lumberjacks cutting wood, there would occasionally be a few folks with some extra time on their hands who would lay on a small mound and hum a melody. Besides these, there are very few traces of man.

As the sunset in the west and night began to fall, the city gates would be closed. Here, only the sounds of crows and the hum of insects remained. The atmosphere was very ominous, which provided the people within the city with great material for talks of strange events as they chatted in the teahouses after dinner.

Times have changed since then. Now, "Let's go to Hsimenting!" has become a recurrent phrase. It may mean, "Let's go see a movie!" or "How about going shopping?" Regardless of whether one means "see a movie" or "go shopping," both the speaker and listener understand that it means to head towards that people-packed, bustling place.

Just exactly where is Hsimenting? Everyone seems to be sure. Naturally, you won't find the name of this place, where east meets west, on a map. Does Hsimenting actually have any clear-cut boundaries?

If you take a look at a map of Taipei during the Japanese Occupation, you'll discover that at that time Hsimenting was limited to today's Chunghwa Rd. to Kangting Rd. and the both sides of Chengtu Rd. Most people understood Hsimenting to mean the bustling shopping area filled with all sorts of stores. The range of Hsimenting included the former Suehiro-cho, Kotobuki-cho, Hama-cho, Izumi-cho, and Tsukiji-cho. These five districts were grouped by the Japanese as a Hsimen Association. Now, this city block is considered to include Chunghwa Rd. to the north, Kunming St. to the west, the beginning of Hankou St., and south as far as Chengtu Rd.

The broad, level sidewalks and the newly constructed houses have attracted a large number of the population to move to the area. On account of this, Hsimenting has begun to thrive at a rapid pace.

Perhaps you've had the following experience: You're walking through Hsimenting, among the throngs of people, when suddenly, sandwiched between a row of shops you stumble upon two stone images. You take a look inside only to discover that, in this mundane world, there's a Matsu Temple where incense is burning.

This is Tien Hou Kung, which is also the only remaining temple in the area. During the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese continued to build many Japanese temples and Shinto shrines. Higashi Honganji and the Shinshu--Nishi Honganji were two large temples in the area. These two temples were the center of Buddhism for the Japanese people while on Taiwan. The locals called them Ho Shang Chien, meaning "Monks' Place."

The flashing neon lights resemble the style of the sixties and seventies; young people sit in the coffee shops and talk about post-modern deconstruction. Once a famous star committed suicide by jumping from the overhead bridge onto the train tracks below. Young gals are engulfed in their own dream of being a star. Some people are getting rich while others are losing their shirt.

The dream of the Taipei people ends and begins again in this same spot, and, like a movie, is played over and over. Is it any wonder that Hsimenting's graceful appearance is aging?

[Picture Caption]

The West Gate of Taipei City is also called Pao Ch'eng Gate.

Seen is an old map of Mengchia (Wanhua) drawn back in 1895. The wall is located at the right of the map; Tamsui River in the upper left hand corner; the blank space in the center is Hsi-menting.

This photo of the rotary by the West Gate was taken in 1935. After forty years of construction, Hsi-menting is no longer the marshland it once was.

Hengyang Rd. (Taipei) during the Ching Dynasty. In 1885, under the order of Governor Liu Ming-ch'uan, roads of rock slabs and gravel were built. On both sides of the road two-storied storefront dwellings were built. The memorial archway seen here has been moved to Taipei New Park. Seen in the distance is the West Gate of the city.

In 1911, residents along Hengyang Rd. lost almost everything in a flood. Street scenes changed dramatically as European-style buildings were built during the Japanese Occupation. In 1922 the name of this road was changed to Sakae-cho.

Poai Rd. was called Kyo-machi during the Japanese Occupation. It was also the sight of Renaissance-style buildings, and, like Hengyang Rd., was a major gathering spot of stores.

This strip in the city has always been an administrative and financial center of Taipei.

The Higashi Honganji Temple is fashioned after Tang Dynasty architecture. The main area of the temple is 5O0 ping. The two porticos and the surrounding garden measure about it the largest Buddhist temple in Hsimenting. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in 1975. Now, illegal buildings occupy the sight.

The Hsimenting door as seen a long time ago. The Hsimen Marketplace was also known as Hunglou meaning "red building." The Hsimen Marketplace was made of red bricks and was octagonal.

The Shihshu--Nishi Hon-ganji is fashioned after Indian style. It has since been torn down to make room for the Lailai Department Store and Lion's Commercial Building.

The Hsimen rotary during the fifties and sixties. The area around the fountain, under the giant neon lights, has become both a resting and meeting place.

The Tien Hou Kung, located on Chengtu Rd., is the sight of the former Hung Fa temple. It's very active with many people burning incense. (photo by Arthur Cheng)

 

X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!
更快速更方便!