Warlords were to cause the third attack on Shaolin. Chiang Kai Shek worked to
reunite China by putting together a huge army in his Northern Expedition
(1926-1928), which was to rid the countryside of the warlords once and for all.
at The 17th year of the Republic of China (1928) Shi Yousan a low rank officer
of warlord Feng Yu Xiang was appointed to drive out the warlord in Honan
Province, Fan Zhong Xiu.
was friend with the Head Monk in Shaolin, Miao Xing, who was known as an
extraordinary martial artist, but given to vanity by his seeking of friendships
with famous people. When the republic’s troops overcame Fan’s army, he fled to
Shaolin and asked protection from Abbot Miao Xing. The troops used their
weapons to try to drive out Fan.
evacuated along with many of the monks. In frustration and anger, the general
burned down the temple. Not much was left of the compound and more than 110
monks-were killed in the fire. Many other temples with Shaolin affiliations
were destroyed also. For more than 40 days, all the main buildings and halls of
the Monastery were burned, raising the Temple's total destruction, as well as
the destruction of its relics and its numerous sacred objects.
200 buildings were burned down, including the Temple's library with all the
sacred texts and manuscripts, gathered there since the beginning of the Shaolin
Temple, the Heavenly Kings' Hall, the Great Heroes' Hall and the Drum Tower.
historic handicrafts and mass of texts and manuscripts about monastery's
martial arts were also destroyed. Unfortunately, three of the Temple's oldest books that were destroyed
and lost, are now haunting the memories of the priests. " The Basic Art of
Shaolin", the "Secrets of Shaolin Boxing" and "The essence
of Shaolin Boxing". Since the burning, the Shaolin Temple almost vanished.
some of the things left standing were the wall frescos painted with images of
the fighting monks and the various stone tablets from ancient times proclaiming
that the temple is to be spared any destruction by the various emperors. Quite
a few survived the burning, fleeing south to Taiwan and British owned Hong
Kong, or even to Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Korea and
who managed to escape the furious rage of the warlord, run away. Few though,
stayed there to protect the temple. One of the monks who stayed there was Shi
De Chan, 12 years old then. Hiding in the mountains, at places that very few
knew, the young boy waited passionately, praying for the army to leave, and
seeing the Temple burning, he wept.
with other surviving monks, managed to save a great deal of the One Thousand
Buddha Hall, Damo Hall, Arhats Hall, the Hall of Di Cang Buddha, the White Robe
Hall, and the Mountain Gate. Many of the monks suffered during that period.
there is a saying "for every great destructing of the Shaolin Temple, a
thrive period follows". In 1963, the Shaolin Temple was officially
declared by the state of Henan Province, as a Provincial Historic Monument and
the continuous looting of the last relics was stopped.
was decided the reopening of the Temple and the rebuilding started in 1983, since
the Temple was announced by the Chinese congress as one of the last remains of
the National Treasures.