The Centuries old Mysterious Brick that No one Dares to Move or Touch

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Jiayuguan(Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Jiayuguan Pass in China’s north west is one of the region’s most splendid landmarks, being part of the Great Wall in Gansu. In the times of the Silk Road, Jiayuguan was a well known landmark along the legendary Silk Road route which connected the two worlds of the east and the west.

The pass is located on the highest point of Jiayuguan mountain, just 5 Kilometers west of Jiayuguan city in Gansu province.

Its construction cost a great deal of manpower and material resources.

Legend has it that the Jiayuguan Pass has a mysterious extra brick which was placed loosely behind the Xiwong city gate part of the structure, and no one has ever since dared to move it, even until today.

People who travel to Jiayuguan can still see the mysterious stone that no one dares to move.

Who put the stone there and why?

According to a lore, dating back to the times when the wall was constructed, the stone has a unique purpose.

The jealous foreman

The legend takes place during the Ming Dynasty (1506), when the part of the pass existing back then was strengthened to pose as a defense against intruders from the northwest.

The supervisor tasked with overseeing the construction back then, Hao Kong, was said to be narrow-minded and often found pleasure in mistreating workmen.

Among the workmen was a very sharp minded man, Yi Kaizhen, who was also well versed in the 「Nine Chapters on Mathematical Art」. He was a well-respected construction engineer of that time. Anything he constructed would be solid, strong and beautiful.

Yi Kaizhen’s calculations of manpower and materials needed to complete constructions would always be accurate and exact by the number.

Hao Kong, who was also a jealous character, didn’t believe in Yi Kaizhen’s capabilities and so he challenged Yi Kaizhen one day, just prior to the start of the works on the Jiayuguan Pass.

Hao challenged Yi to calculate the exact number of bricks that needed to be used to complete the construction. Thus, he asked Yi; 「How many bricks do you need?」

Because Yi was Hao’s subordinate, he was obliged to comply and take the challenge.

After some time and some calculations, Yi responded: 「I have calculated that it will take exactly 99,999 bricks to build the pass」.

Of course, Hao didn’t belief Yi and responded: 」Here are the number of bricks that you calculated. If you so much as miscounted the amount of bricks needed by just one brick, I will have all workmen punished, by condemning them to three years of hard labor.

The single stone that saves it all

Yi was confident that he and his fellow workmen would succeed and the 99,999 would be enough to complete the construction.
Eventually when the work was completed and everyone felt a rush of excitement, suddenly, one workman found a last brick that was unused. He grabbed the brick and hurried to Yi Kaizhen as fast as he could, to inform him.

Unfortunately, the unkind Hao also got message of the single remaining brick and sluggishly rubbed his hand, preparing to carry out his threat and punishment of the workmen.

He approached Yi and snobbishly exclaimed: 「 You have miscalculated the number of bricks, and one brick remains unused!」

Yi calmly and very convincingly replied: 」The brick had been put there by a supernatural being to stabilize the wall. If anyone where to move it, the whole structure will collapse.」 The deviant Hao became silent and his eyes opened wide when he heard this. He suddenly dared not pursue the issue further and quietly walked away.

From that day on, the brick remained in the same position on the Jiayuguan pass, where it still lies today. Besides, it’s mystical static properties, the brick also has a commemorating purpose. It commemorates the hard work, blood and sweat that thousands of workmen put in to erect the Jiayuguan Pass and many other constructional wondrous landmarks around China.

Translation: Chua BC
Rewritten by Hermann Rohr

Original post:

http://www.visiontimes.com/2019/01/29/the-centuries-old-brick-that-no-one-dares-to-touch-or-move.html

只是一塊磚 為何數百年來無人敢動

有「天下第一雄關」之稱的嘉峪關位於地勢最高的嘉峪山上,是古代絲綢之路的重要關口,也是古代出關的必經之路。嘉峪關的修建耗費了大量的人力和物力。傳聞在嘉峪關的閣樓後檐臺上有塊看起來是多餘的磚頭,而且數百年來無人敢動。大家若是到嘉峪關旅遊,仍然可以看到這塊青灰色的石磚放在那裡,但無人敢動。到底是甚麼原因呢?這小小的一塊磚頭背後有個傳奇的故事。

相傳明正德年間(1506年),明朝為了加強西北的防禦,特別派兵備副憲李端澄主持修建嘉峪關關城和城樓。負責施工的校尉叫郝空,心胸狹小的他,常常對施工的工匠們又打又罵。

在修建關城的工匠中,有一位叫易開占的修關工匠,這位匠人在業界名聲顯赫,修築的工事結構嚴謹、堅固且造型美觀,除此之外,他還精通九九算法,只要經他計算,建築的用工用料十分準確且節省。

開工前,郝空不相信易開占的能力,要他計算嘉峪關用磚數量,他便故意問易開占:「修建此關到底需要多少塊磚?」

易開占經過詳細計算後說:「我已算過了,一共需要九十九萬九千九百九十九塊磚。」

郝空聽罷依言發磚,並說:「你所需要的這些磚我如數撥交給你,如果多出一塊或少一塊,都要砍掉你的頭,罰眾工匠勞役三年。」

易開占毫不恐懼,帶領著工匠們加緊施工,經過日日夜夜的工作,最後關城終於竣工了,工匠們都感到無比雀躍。

想不到,正當大夥兒開心的當下,一名工匠手拿一塊剩餘的城磚慌忙來找易開占,頓時大家彷彿被潑了一盆冷水,心都涼了一半。

而剩下的一塊磚,最後放置在西甕城門樓後檐臺上。

郝空得知後,心中竊喜,正想借此扣易開占和眾工匠的工錢。他跑去找易開占,嗤之以鼻的喊道:「你不是計算精準,多算了這塊磚,明天就拿你人頭是問。」

易開占一點兒都不畏懼的說:「那塊磚是神仙所放,是定城磚,如果搬動它,城樓便會塌掉。」

郝空一聽,便不敢再追究,灰溜溜地走了。

這塊磚就一直放在原地,後來人們把這塊磚叫「定城磚」,把它放在西甕城閣樓的後檐臺上,只可觀望而不可拿取,同時用來紀念辛苦的工匠們。

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