Rectification for Junle: Calling for a Bloody Name
By Bo, Yang
The delicious Jundun Guokui (a pancake), the unfading Three Kingdoms Cultural Experience Street, the beautiful People Canal and Ma Mu River……the so-called “Yang Xi Xian” of Pengzhou, Junle town has a history of two thousand years. It turns from a cold battlefield to a warm human habitation. The townspeople keep making the pancake which is invented during the war time in the tranquil life. From a small pancake to a brand, Guokui has not only become a famous Sichuan snack but also brought the name of the town “Junle” back into the public.
Besides the Ma Mu River in Sichuan Pengzhou, there lies a boundless vegetable plot, covered by luxuriant willows. As one of the birthplaces of Sichuan culture, beneath the land is an ancient town built in the Enlightened Dynasty, 490B.C. Later because Zhu Geliang and Jiang Wei (two historical figures in the Three Kingdoms Period) reclaimed the land here, this town was once named “Jundun” (reclamation of a land by an army unit.). Recently, “Jundun” and its neighborhood “Lexingchang” are merged together, that’s today’s Jun Le Town in Pengzhou.
What a country values are farming and battle. Army Farming (Jundun) is a policy combing army with the farmer. It originated from Western Han Dynasty. Cao cao (a historical figure in the Three Kingdoms Period) said:” the way to settle a country is to strengthen the army and produce enough food. The ruler of Qin Dynasty put farming on the top, so he unified the country; Han wudi, the emperor of Han Dynasty carried out Army Farming, so he pacified the western regions. Those are the valuable experience we should borrow from.” So Army Farming was well performed at that time.
When Liu Bei became the emperor, to unify the world, he began to groom the horses and drill the troops in large scale. Because at that time, Sichuan had a small population and a broad land, Zhu Geliang carried out storing the farming system. Soon, General Jiang Wei trained the army and cultivated land in Ma Mu River, recuperating and building up strength. Liu Bei once visited Jundun town to inspect the army and dropped by Xiangshui Temple to worship the God.
The main content of the Army Farming in the Kingdom of Shuhan is to order all the soldiers store the land next to them, no matter at inland or borderland. Every soldier had distributed a land to cultivate, in order to relieve the burden of the famers, ease the difficulties in transferring food and achieve the self-supply in the army.
Later, as the battle became more and more violent, the demand for food became larger. While the soldiers under Jiang Wei was sent to the frontline, the people who worked on the land was short of hand. So Jiang Wei recruited many farmers who didn’t have a land from the neighborhood to help cultivate. Jiang Wei put an effort on opening up lands in the interior of shuhan, so the land became very broad after the Kingdom of Shuhan dying out. The land was given to the local people, and the former military camp became a place for fair trade. To memorize Jiang Wei, people call this land “Jundun Village” (Army Farming).
“Three Kingdoms City” was built up here in Song Dynasty, keeping the name as “Jun Tun village”. By Ming and Qing Dynasty, the name was still unchanged. The Xiangshui Temple visited by Liu Bei was still situated in the field of Junle, manifesting the bloody history. In early Qing Dynasty, a family from Lushan County whose last name was Le moved here and engaged in business, they gave it a name “Lexingchang”. After the People’s Republic of China is founded, this land reused the name “Jundun village”. It was called “Jundun people’s commute” in 1958 when communalization was popular in China. In the census of geographical names in 1980, this name was found duplicated. So people chose the first word of “Jundun” and “Lexing”, combined it into a new name” Junle commute”, both considering the custom and the meaning which stands for unity of army and people and a prosperous, strong, healthy and happy future. In 1983, “commute” was changed to “village”. In 1992, “village” was changed to “town” till now.
The later history makes people realize that Jiang Wei only fulfilled one of his mission of Army Farming, but he failed another which is more sacred, that is to make the country rich and provide people a prosperous life, becoming a most faithful builder and protector of Shuhan. To recover the central plains, one must guard the frontier. When the garrison is short, the situation cannot be held stable; when the amount of garrison is beyond the need, food and other provision must be short. To solve such problem, there comes the storing farming. During Han and Tang Period, army farming is the main storing means. From the year of Kangxi to Qianlong in Qing Dynasty, Army farming and peasant farming were held the same time. These two means help each other and not one side could be omitted. Jiang Wei didn’t develop the army farming to peasant farming. While the people of shu spent two thousand years turning the military strategic point into a living field.
Though Jundun town is small, people still have a misunderstanding about it that they tend to regard Jundun Guokui which is an important Chengdu snack as a specialty of the Jundun Town in Xindu. Actually, it is from Jundun Town in Pengzhou, the ancient town with more than two thousand histories right before my eyes. Jiang Wei, who once stayed at Junle Town, is Qiang people and he is good at making pancakes. He cooked pancake for his soldiers and asked them to carry it in the battle in case of need. That is the origin of Guokui. Later Jiang Wei passed the method of making pancakes to the local people by chance. He couldn’t imagine that he would be famous for a pancake rather than his distinguished service in the battle. Now in Jun Le Town, lunar January 16th is a day for Jundun Guokui. On this day, the first Guokui carefully made by the local Guokui shop is supposed to worship Jiang Wei.
Reviewing the history of Junle Town: the name change, the custom and gourmet heritage, Jundun Guokui surely is the Chinese fast food which has the longest history. Today, when we enjoy the delicious Guokui, recall the stories of the Three Kingdoms, calling for the bloody name “Jundun” is not changing the name of the town, but inheriting the spirit flowing in the blood of ancient shu people: when a country is in chaos, pacify it with force; when a country is in peace, rule it with culture.
Transportation: about 1.5h for self-driving
FIT: take bus at Wukuaishi Station to Pengzhou in Chengdu, take No.110 bus at Pengzhou bus station to Junle Town.