Reincarnation of a Quemoy girl
On May 23, 2018, a 97-year-old lady died at her home in Mailiao Hsiang, Yunlin county, Taiwan. She died as owner of a construction material retail business. Her name was 吳林罔腰 Wu Lin Wang Yao. However, when she was alive, she always referred to herself as 朱秀華 Chu Hsiu-hua.
朱秀華 is the name of a 17-year-old girl who tried to escape the August 23, 1958 shelling of Quemoy Island by Chinese Communist artillery. Both her parents were killed in the shelling but she escaped in a fishing boat. She floated onto the shores of Haifeng Island in Taihsi Hsiang in Yunlin, and was found by some fishermen. They robbed her of her gold jewelry and pushed her boat back to sea where she drowned.
吳林罔腰 is the name of a 37-year-old business woman who owned a construction material retail business in Mailiao Hsiang, Yunlin county, in 1959. She suffered a heart attack, stopped breathing, and had no heartbeat or pulse. She was revived and she soon recovered. However, after waking up, she claimed to be an 18-year-old girl named 朱秀華 from Quemoy who had drowned in 1958. She also claimed that she has possessed the body of 吳林罔腰 to continue to live as a live person.
吳林罔腰 lived as an ordinary illiterate housewife who cooked and took care of household chores. She was not religious and she was not a vegetarian. However, after recovering from her heart attack episode, she refused to cook and do household chores. She instantly changed to being a vegetarian. She miraculously knew how to read and write and do accounting. She even began to do charity work at the Taoist temple 50 meters from where she lived.
According to 朱秀華 (drowned in 1958 at 17 years old) who reincarnated as 37-year-old 吳林罔腰 in 1959, her soul floated to the temple of the ancestral deities of the 張 (Chang)，李 (Lee)，and 莫 (Mo) family clans to tell her story. The three deities consulted 地藏王菩薩 Di Zang Wang Pu Sa Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva agreed to allow the soul of 18-year-old 朱秀華 to possess the living body of the 37-year-old woman 吳林罔腰. After the soul of 朱秀華 returned to the living world as 吳林罔腰, she lived the next 60 years of her life as 吳林罔腰 while claiming throughout those years that she was in fact 朱秀華 reincarnated.
In 1961, 星雲法師 Master Hsing Yun of 佛光山 Buddha Light Mountain in Kaohsiung visited 吳林罔腰 and accompanied her to visit 金門 Quemoy. As 吳林罔腰 she had never been to Quemoy. But, she was able to describe in detail the street scenes in Quemoy. Before her near death stroke at age 37, she spoke Taiwanese native to Mailiao Hsiang in Yunlin county. After waking up, she spoke Taiwanese with an 厦門腔 Amoy accent.
Her story was published in “Buddhism Today” and in 1962, her story was reported by the 徵信新聞報。Director of the Army 55 Hospital 劉海波 Liu Hai-po determined that she was not suffering from any mental illness nor from any psychological abnormalities.
The story is known as the 金門少女借屍麥寮婦，the young Quemoy girl who borrowed the body of the Mailiao woman to live.
It was reported on June 6, 2018, that the Tzendong Temple where “菜姑”, aka “vegetable maiden”, did her volunteer charity work and her family confirmed that a donation of NT$250,000 was left as her legacy to each of two schools, the Mailiao 麥寮 High School and the Taihsi 台西 Middle School. The reason for the choices of the beneficiaries is unknown. It is believed that the two beneficiaries are connected to the travails of the soul of 朱秀華。
菜姑, the “vegetable maiden”, aka 朱秀華 aka 吳林罔腰，all refer to a woman named 吳林罔腰 who called herself 朱秀華 after emerging from coma when she was 37 years old in 1959, and became a vegetarian with the personality and speaking accent of 朱秀華 who died at age 17 in 1958.
It is said that after the 17-year-old 朱秀華 from Quemoy 金門 drowned at sea in 1958, her soul 魂 traveled to Taihsi Hsiang 台西鄉 and was “rescued” there by Di Zang Wang Pu Sa 地藏王菩薩 Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and given permission to “live” in a “borrowed body”, 借屍還魂 and she reincarnated in 1959 in the body of 吳林罔腰, a 37-year-old woman in 1959, and a Mailiao Hsiang 麥寮 鄉 resident and business owner. It is speculated that the “intervention by Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva 地藏王菩薩at Taihsi Hsiang 台西鄉 after answering the pleas of the spirits of the ancestral deities of the Chang 張, Lee 李 and Mo 莫 family clans in the plight of the soul of the 17-year-old drowning victim 朱秀華 in 1958 and her reincarnation as a mature 37-year-old woman named 吳林罔腰 in 1959 in Mailiao Hsiang 麥寮鄉 are the reasons for the legacy of 菜姑, the vegetable maiden, aka 朱秀華, aka 吳林罔腰。
Her funeral ceremony was held on June 10, 2018, in 麥寮 Mailiao. Her plaque states:
Wu of married family name of nee Lin mother Chu Hsiau-hua elder lady
This is unique because it states the two names of the deceased, one as 吳林罔腰 Wu Lin Wang Yao, the actual person, and as 朱秀華 Chu Hsiu-hua, the spiritual person who lived in the physical body of 吳林罔腰 Wu Li Wag Yao.