Way Lee’s family home and temple is in the heart of King Shan village.
The family temple 葉至剛家祠 belongs to Yip Chi Kong, Way Lee’s great grandfather. It sits at the edge of a small lake. It was built in 1790. Way Lee’s ancestry house is behind this family temple.
Yip Chi Kong family temple 葉至剛家祠, King Shan village, Dongguan
Family temples are unusual features in Chinese society. They are typically bestowed by the emperors, in honour of someone’s contribution or historical deed. The Way Lee’s family temple is such an example.
Service history of Yip Chi Kong, inscribed in a entrance plaque
The front of the temple carried a plague with four words 丁丑進士, a military commander title and the year he was awarded.
On the left of the plaque is a short summary of his history. This included of his military titles, royal guard to the emperor and last post he had held.
賜進士出身 Military scholar
御前侍衛 Royal guard to emperor
官至廣東雷 Official title Leow county
瓊總鎮都督府 Official title at King county
誥封中憲大夫 Emperor bestowed title
誥授武顯將軍 Military General tile
葉至剛立 In honour of Yip Chi Kong
The marking on the right reads
乾隆五十四年 Erected on 1780, the spring of 54th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong
Family temple today
The temple is now empty, and is being used by the local village council as a community centre. However village history shows that this temple was filled with clan history artefacts, and portrait paintings of Way Lee’s ancestors.
This temple was the focal point of the ancestry veneration for Way Lee’s family. Growing up in this family, it is almost certain that Way Lee would have spent considerable time here.
Exterior façade of Yip Chi Kong family temple
Interior of Yip Chi Kong family temple
Way Lee’s family home sits directly behind the family temple. This building is not being used, but it is still in very good preservation. It has an unusual curve shaped ornate roof line, which is the preserve of wealthy or important families.
Way Lee’s family house sits behind the Family temple
External facades of family house
Around this house are a number of Yip Chi Kong’s decadents, and distant relatives of Way Lee. It is believed that Way Lee spent some times in this house, or in other properties that the family may have owned. Research in this is still continuing.