"Gate of Gathering Treasure"
One of the best known stories is of a fisherman named Shen Wan San (忙虏藛盲赂鈥∶ぢ糕€? who lived during the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties. One day he saw a person who had caught a large number of frogs to eat. Shen Wan San felt sorry for the frogs. So he bought them and released them into a nearby pond.
That night he was awakened by the loud croaking of the frogs. He went to investigate and discovered a clay pot in the midst of the frogs.
Shen Wan San took the pot home. By chance, his wife accidentally dropped a silver object into the pot and immediately the pot was filled with silver.
As it turned out, the pot was really a 芒鈧搕reasure basin芒鈧?which allowed Shen Wan San to become one of the richest men in Chinese history.
But great wealth can also be a curse.
When the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor (忙麓陋忙娄氓赂聺; Emperor Taizu 忙藴沤氓陇陋莽楼鈥?, began to build his capital at Nanjing in 1366, he 芒鈧搑equested芒鈧?Shen Wan San to donate a third of the cost.
The newly constructed South Gate was named the 芒鈧揋ate of Gathering Treasure芒鈧?(Ju bao Men 猫聛拧氓庐聺茅鈥斅?. The gate was so named because the emperor ordered that Shen Wan San芒鈧劉s treasure bowl be seized and buried underneath the gate to rectify a flooding problem that was causing it to collapse.
It is believed that the emperor also wanted to demonstrate that no person would be permitted to challenge the empire in regard to wealth.
The 芒鈧揋ate of Gathering Treasure芒鈧?was subsequently renamed the 芒鈧揨honghua Gate芒鈧?(盲赂氓聧沤茅鈥斅? in 1931 to commemorate the Revolution of 1911 (猫戮鈥好ぢ郝ッ┞澛┟モ€樎? and the founding of the Republic of China (Zhonghua Minguo 盲赂氓聧沤忙掳鈥樏モ€郝?.
This story is unusual in that it involves real historical figures and an actual historical site, thus giving some credence to the existence of a 芒鈧搕reasure bowl芒鈧?
Many of the other 芒鈧搕reasure bowl芒鈧?stories have a stronger moral content. Honest and modest people are able to enjoy the bounties of the treasure bowl. Dishonest and greedy people end up suffering.
The stories of the Chinese 芒鈧搕reasure bowl芒鈧?have much in common with the Chinese legend of a 芒鈧搈oney tree芒鈧?from which coins fall down when shaken. For a further discussion, please visit 芒鈧揅hinese Money Trees芒鈧?(忙鈥樷€∶┾€櫬泵?nbsp;鈥?.