The Yue Fei Temple or commonly known in Chinese as Yuewang Temple (simplified Chinese: 岳王庙; traditional Chinese: 岳王廟) is a temple built in honor of Yue Fei, a general of the Southern Song dynasty who fought against the Jurchen Jin Dynasty during the Jin–Song wars, after the capital of China moved south to Hangzhou. The temple ground is located near the West Lake, in central Hangzhou.
The temple was first constructed in the during the Song Dynasty in 1221 to commemorate Yue Fei. The site includes Yue Fei's Temple, Loyalty Temple and Yue Fei’s Mausoleum inside. The temple was reconstructed several times in later date. The tombs and the tomb sculptures in the temple all dates from the 12th century, and have been meticulously restored.
Yue Fei was the national warrior hero in fighting back the invasion of the Jin Tribe. He is one of the best known patriotic generals in China's history. The Jin Tribe invaded Song Dynasty and kidnapped two Song emperors and imposed conditions on the government which would have been unacceptable to all patriots. Unfortunately the Prime Minister of the time, Qin Guei, was prepared to buy a delusory peace at the price of surrendering Song territory.
Yue Fei, one of the military commanders then, attempted to continue the fight but was recalled by the Prime Minister, imprisoned and put to death in 1141 at a time when the Government was prepared to abandon all the territory north of the Huai River. The conquests in Honan by Yue Fei were forgotten and the Song Dynasty fell from this moment into a state of intolerable weakness and decline.
Yue is also remembered for the inscription on his back. According to the legend, four Chinese characters, "Jing zhong bao guo", were inscribed with a hot-iron on Yue Fei's back by his mother, meaning "With the utmost loyalty save the State." He was canonized in 1174.
A poem written by Yue Fei in 1133 at the age of 30 during the Jurchen campaigns against the Song Dynasty.
My wrath bristles through my helmet, the rain stops as I stand by the rail;
I look up towards the sky and let loose a passionate roar
At the age of thirty, my deeds are nothing but dust, my journey has taken me over eight thousand
So do not sit by idly, for young men will grow old in regret.
The Humiliation of Jingkang still lingers,
When will the pain of the Emperor's subjects ever end?
Let us ride our chariots through the Helan Pass,
There we shall feast on barbarian flesh and drink the blood of the Xiongnu.
Let us begin anew to recover our old empire, before paying tribute to the Emperor.
Bronze statues of Yue Fei and his wife
Yue Fei's Tomb