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Yishi Minister Arch in Longchuan

Lying at the heart of Longchuan Village, the Yishi Minister Arch is a masterpiece of Hui-style architecture. In imperial China, this type of arch was erected as a means for the emperor to formally honor officials whose heroic deeds, scholarly achievements and upright governance brought great benefits to the nation and commend men and women who were exceptionally faithful in following the Confucian principles of loytitley, filial piety, chastity and righteousness. The vigorous calligraphy inscribed on the front, Yishi Shang Shu, and on the back, Yishi Gong Bao, are the works Wen Zhengming, an eminent Ming dynasty painter, calligrapher and scholar.

The Yishi Shang Shu inscription, meaning "ministers at different generations," refers to the great success of two members of the Hu family during the Ming dynasty. First, Hu Fu, a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in the year of 1478, served as Finance Minister during Emperor Xianzong's reign (1454-1522). Then, Hu Zongxian, also a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in the year of 1538, became Minister of National Defense during the reign of Emperor Jiajing. Hu Fu later was entitled to the high honorary ranking Taizi Shaobao and Hu Zongxian was granted the superior ranking of Taizi Taibao. These rankings entailed that both Hu Fu and Hu Zongxian were responsible for the safety of the crown prince.

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