Awaiting Husband Reef

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Awaiting Husband Reef

***** Location: Taiwan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Earth


澎湖 七美 Wang Fu Reef

Waiting-husband reef
Cimei, Penghu

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Cimei Island (七美鄉)

The name of Cimei originally came from a historical story of the Ming Dynasty, in which seven women had to commit suicide when Japanese pirates raided the island.
Cimei was named in 1949, as a replacement of its original name "Da-Yu", to commemorate the seven women and their tombs. It now also connotes seven beautiful things as the island's tourist attractions. They are the scenery, the sea water, local products, people's hearts, the geology, the architecture, and the history as indications of the seven beautiful characteristics of Cimei island.

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Things found on the way


Awaiting Husband Reef...
the waves come and recede
at the shore

The poem is partly inspired by the story behind Wang Fu Reef (Awaiting Husband Reef), where is located within the south sea recreation area, Penghu, Taiwan, and where I had served my two-year compulsive military service as a border security agent and a cook.

The heartbreaking story took place in Cimei Island, about 48 sea miles west of Tainan, Taiwan.
There was a loving couple. The husband went out fishing every day, leaving early in the morning and returning late at night, and the wife would wait at the reef by the sea every evening for her husband to return. One day, when she was waiting, a storm suddenly occurred and the waves were fearsome; she waited the entire night in panic and her husband didn’t return. The second day, she still went to the seashore and waited for her husband to return, but he didn’t. The third day, the fourth day, … she waited by the seashore for a week. Her husband simply didn’t show up.

Her family and villagers all gave up hope for his safe return, and told her that her husband wouldn’t come back home and she needed to take good care of herself. She thanked them for their sincere concern for her, she still went to the seashore and waited for her husband. By the end of the month, she finally collapsed, and when people found her, it was too late to save her life. After countless years, the reef near the place she used to wait for her husband miraculously took the shape of a human form.

The amazing part is that the reef has a bulging belly, just like a pregnant woman. The later generations all believe that this is the image of the woman who waited night and day for her husband to return, and that lovers will be assured eternal love if they kiss here at sunset just like what the Westerners do on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

See Awaiting Husband Reef video .

Chen-ou Liu

Related words

***** Couple's Day (fuufu no hi, Japan)



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