TARGET 160713


What happens to a fishing village when there are no more fish to catch? The fishermen and their families leave. And after they leave, nature takes back over to reclaim the land and everything on it.

Off the eastern coast of China, almost even with Shanghai, there is a group of around 400 small islands called the Shengsi Island Group. One of those islands, the island called Shengshan, has been the home for Chinese fishermen for hundreds of years. On that tiny island, there was a small village, called "Houtouwan" (fisherman's village").

Generations of fishermen and their families lived there, built nice homes, had a community, and lived in peace. But then then number of fish dwindled and dwindled and would no longer support the people of the village. There was nothing they could do but move away to more productive places. In desperation, they abandoned their homes and their peaceful little village, and it now stands deserted as nature uses the simple tools of moss and ivy vines to reclaim the land...

...their homes...

...the walkways so carefully constructed by great-great grandfathers...

...the barns where they processed the fish to earn their livings and taught their children their trade...

...their family memories,..

...the closeness of neighbors they had known their whole lives...

...and "the fisherman's village" now lives on in stories told to the grandchildren of an idyllic land that looked out onto an ocean that once provided for their needs, fed and clothed them, and gave them peace. Stories now to be told in scattered distant places that to the old ones will never be like home again.

Oddly enough, more outsiders come to the fisherman's village now than ever did before, simply because of its present beauty. The village once had a population of around 2000 people, but now, only a handful remain - mainly to serve the tourists who come daily. There are no souvenier shops, no trinkets to buy, no guided tours to pay for. There are only the walkways and the magnificant ivy-covered homes, the beauty...
... and the peace.

If you got impressions for which this feedback is insufficient, more information,
pictures and videos can be found at the following web sites:

CNN world news
Atlantic Photo Website (great photographs of the village)
The Daily Mail on line

Many thanks to Jurandyr Fonseca for this target.