Sedan chair sign | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Sedan chair sign

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Sedan chair sign

Detail cropped from

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1915


It might be 新萬門 (Sun Man Moon), moon being “gates”, but can’t be sure; pretty blurry. Might help if we know of the context of the words or what they might refer to? Looks like the “brand” of their sedan

If this is what it says, then “Man Moon” could be a place, and “Sun” means “New”. Kind of like New York, New England, New Hampshire etc

There seems to be a “Man Moon” fishing village in Taiwan (萬門漁村).

Maybe the operators of the sedan chair services were from there, and moved to HK and named their new business “New Man Moon”?


best wishes 


Here is a picture of another sedan chair, made in Taichung, with a similar “brand plaque” in front, with the last character also as “門” (gates or refers to a clan/family or organisation)

Zoom in on the sedan picture


it says (right to left, Cantonese phonetics):

Tai Chung (台中)

Sun Sing Do Moon (神聖道門)


I also cannot recognize the Chinese character but I suspect it is the character 福,so it reads 新萬福sun maan fok

Maan Fok Toi is the legendary theatre for Cantonese Opera on Foshan, China Toi  is word for stage.   


Sun means new. So may be it is the name of a local  Cantonese Theater company ?  The excessive ornaments of  theatrical characters on the sedan may be an indication of it carrying an actor?  This is by pure speculation though. ....

Cheers, Victoria

Your choice of word matches well.  "New Ten-thoursand Door" to me means new door (opening to) numerous (happiness).  Definitely  a wish for the passenger.  Regards,  Peter

The plaque in the black & white photo appears to be much smaller than the Taiwanese one, so it might be the brand name of the sedan manufacturer rather than a blessing.

I think most likely "門" is the mysterious character, but "德" is also a good guess.


Thanks for all the input on this. It's a shame that the characters aren't any clearer.

I'll keep a look out for other similar photos, in case they can clarify the type of message the sign showed.

Regards, David

Greetings.  This piece of memory of the term spoken by my grandma has just come back.  過門 (passing door) refers to a woman who had changed door (from that of her family house to the husband's), and sounds to me classical as well as romantic.  So, 門 (door) is my only choice.  Regards,  Peter