From my base in Shenzhen, over 11 years of travel across
the Middle Kingdom to find what's ancient in a modern land

(more about my travels in China)

Under a Spreading Chestnut Tree...

Know what this is?

In an alley just around the corner from my building in Gangxia, Shenzhen, I saw this setup. It's a shop (of sorts). Can you guess what it is?

  • Clue #1: The blackened wall on the left indicates fire.
  • Clue #2: That's an old bathtub on the right.
  • Clue #3 (this should do it): The hat is covering a chunk of wood with a piece of iron on top.

Forge - bath - anvil.

It's a blacksmith's shop.

Crude but effective. I never saw the smithy at work, but every time I passed there weresigns that he had been there.

By the way, the title of this piece comes from an old poem, called "The VillageBlacksmith," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The title is apropos, no?

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