Baojing Village(Precious Mirror Village)of Daxu Town is a famous village situated at the border of Jianghua Yao Nationality Autonomous County, Hunan Province and Hezhou City of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Located in the intermountain basin in the east of Mengzhu Mountain at the cross of Hunan and Guangxi, ,it is 38 kilometers away from the southwest of the county town.
  • According to the record on the Family Tree of He Clan, Baojing Ancient Village was established during the reign of Emperor Shunzhi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1661). Containing 108 rooms in all, it has a history of more than 350 years.
  • 359 years ago, a man named He Yingqi, drove a flock of ducks along a river called "Great River" , to Baojing. When feeling good feng-shui (geomantic omen) there, he stopped traveling further and got married there.
It took the efforts of 6 generations to develop the He Clan from a common family which made his living on raising ducks to a shining light (all the military or civil officials had to dismount when passing by the village on the horses). In the third year of the reign of Emperor Shunzhi(in 1646), He Yusu, the sixth generation of the He Clan, was selected as Gongsheng (referring to those excellent examinees who past the imperial examination with excellent scores were recommended by governments at all levels to study in higher learning institutions in the capital). It was not until then that the He Clan and Baojing Village turned to prosperity. He Yusu, who was highly spoken of and respected by his descendants didn't choose to be an official. Instead, he returned to his village after he finished his study in the capital and acted as an "inspector" of his sons and grandsons. His sons, He Buting and He Buyue later became chinshih (the third class in the imperial examinations), thus contributed a lot to the fame of the He Clan in Baojing Village.

During the prime time of Baojing Village, there were four masts in front of Bazilou (8-Character Tower) on the very edge of the village. Next to the masts erected a stele called "ma-dao-zhi (stopping the horse here)", with such words as "military and civil officials demount here" inscribed on it.
  • In more than 300 years, Baojing Ancient Village (Precious Mirror Village) gradually developed itself into a well-known garden-like complex of buildings. Facing west and with a total area of 80-odd mu (0.5336 hectares), the whole complex is composed of five parts from north to south, Weizidi, Daxin house, Laotang house, Xiaxin house and Xin house.
  • As all of the 108 rooms of the whole village connect to one another, no matter in sunny or rainy days, the villagers won't be influenced with the weather. The air here is quite fresh and climate comfortable. The enclosed courtyard, with blue stone paved ground, looks very tidy and magnificent. The woodcarving doors and windows, and colored mural paintings can be seen everywhere, vividly demonstrating the typical layout of the South China architecture.
  • Mingyuan Tower, situated at the north edge of the village, was used for defense and observation. The embrasure set on the wall of the tower is wide inside and narrow outside.
  • At the south edge of the village is a place called Zouma wooden house. The lower floor was used as a stable and the upper one a living quarter for long-term laborers.
Daxin House was a representative place to display the art of carving by Baojing residents in ancient times.
  • Mendang (a nickname of the pair of woods above a door frame) on the door of Xin House was engraved based on Bagua (Eight-diagram) Pattern. The right one is Qian (Heaven) Pattern and the left Kun (Earth) Pattern.
  • The main room was once functioned as the meeting room of the whole clan, later as the dining hall of people's commune.
  • The passageway in the roofless inner courtyard was paved by two lines of gold-ingot shaped stones, which signified "fast promotions" and "a great fortune".
  • The legendary horizontal inscribed board was written as a gift presented in celebration of the 60th birthday of He Buting and He Buyue's mother, the wife of He Yusu by the Commanders of Hanlin Academy (former College of Literature in Peking) and Hunan Provincial Education Commissioners.
  • The manpower and resources utilized to build such a colossal ancient complex was huge. The splendor of the He Clan in Baojing Village was reflected in the following facts. It took nine years for the completion of Xin House, and 3 and a half years was spent by 40-plus artisans on grinding stones for construction materials. Some stones were as long as 5 meters and as heavy as about a ton; some steles were 2 square meters in size. And all of the laneways and open ground were paved by blue stone slab.
  • Photos taken by Ma Jinhui
  • Tanslated by Liu Pingbo
  • Chinese script edited by Zang Jie
  • Designed by Yang Lu, Miao Lin
English Edited by Qiu Xian & Pang Yuehui