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How Shiqi got its name

Shiqi got its name much earlier than Tiecheng did. Zheng Yu, a Late Tang Dynasty poet from Xiangshan (now Zhongshan), wrote a poem named “Excursion of Shiqi Sea”, illustrating the existence of “Shiqi” as early as in Tang Dynasty. However, it is the wide spread of the Legend of Tiecheng among people after the registration and construction of Xiangshan County in 1152 (the 22nd year in Shaoxing Era of Southern Song Dynasty) that “Tiecheng” became gradually renowned.

As for how it was named Shiqi, there are different legends. One of the versions goes like this: In order to prevent floods, Chen Tianjue (1087-1183, founding father of Tiecheng County) commanded the construction of southern and northern rock embankments (top base and below base) along the seashores of Shiqi Sea. The Chinese character“?”evolves from character “?”. Based on the fact that “Shiqi” got its name apparently prior to the period in which Chen Tianjue lived, this version is not well grounded. According to the second version, along the eastern bank of the ancient Shiqi Sea, there were steep and jagged boulders, giving Shiqi the name“?”. However, if the sea was shallow and had so many boulders, then ships could not approach the place, so how could Shiqi become a fishing harbor? So this version is not convincing either.

In my opinion, Shiqi gained its name mainly from its landscape. According to historical records, Shiqi Mountain was originally a stone mountain. Since Song Dynasty, stones had been quarried as building materials in the following dynasties. As a result, the stone mountain gradually turned into the present earth-piled mountain. As for Shiqi Sea, there was “Qi Sea split streams” in Zheng Yu’s poem “Excursion of Shiqi Sea”, illustrating that “?” really means“?”. However, “?”refers to “?” (stream) rather than “?” (rock embankment). But why was “?” replaced by “?”? The reason goes as follows: Located in the west of Fufeng Mountain, Shiqi reminded ancient Xiangshan people of Xi Qi, the cradle where Zhou Dynasty developed and prospered for 800 years. For the sake of auspicious sign, people replaced “?” with “?”. It is just in this analysis that the names of Fengming Road, Shanfeng Road and other streets in the neighborhood make sense.

The mountain is rocky while the sea diverges; that explains how “Shiqi” got its name.

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