When we went up to St. Paul's Church, I unexpectedly discovered the Chinese characters "鄭和" on the wall of the adjacent building of the Stadthuys (link). My travel guidebook didn't refer to this building and I also didn't mind the space on the map in the guidebook, but the characters along with a big human statue in the following picture, which I found on the net, caught my eye. It was Cheng Ho Gallery. I knew about Cheng Ho, who was the famous Chinese admiral in 15th century, but I asked my tour guide about him expecting some other findings. He talked to us about him or her! Her? Almost all of you might well ask "Why her?" He was a eunuch, simply a castrated officer, so the guide used a Japanese word implying a woman. He was really excellent as a tour guide. If the tourists were Chinese, he would take them to the gallery and explain the collections inside.
Let me write about Cheng Ho. He was a Naval Admiral in the period of Ming and lead the Ming's fleet all the way to the African Continent by the order of Yongle Emperor in the early 15th century. He dropped in at Malacca on the way, and the gallery evidently seemed to impress people with his achievement.
I have a funny story about his achievement. Chinese Communists insist now that the South China Sea and associated islands belong to China. Their evidence is apparently the maiden navigation of the Ming's fleet led by Cheng Ho. If they are right, India and the Indian Ocean should be Portuguese territory and America and the Atlantic Ocean would be Spanish territory. I can say that the Chinese Communist Party doesn't know what is right and what is wrong.
Anyway, putting it aside, my question was sure to lend a historical flavour to his guidance. While talking about Cheng Ho, the statue of St. Francisco Xavier on the hill came into our sight. I encountered a headstone of interest to me. I'll write about it in the next entry.
Cheng Ho Gallery 鄭和記念館
鄭和（ていわ、拼音: Zhèng Hé, 1371 - 1434）
eunuch /júnək/ (昔の) 宦官(かんがん)
Ming （シナの）明, 明朝《1368—1644》.
Yongle Emperor 永楽帝（えいらくてい）は、明の第３代皇帝。