Writing on wall

Sat, 04/29/2023 - 14:09

Detail cropped from https://gwulo.com/media/45044

Date picture taken
1927 (year is approximate)


apparently the 3 larger columns of Chinese letters start with the surname Leung

the last characters are the same

can't make out the middle one though.

Other readers' comments:

Simon Patton:

The character directly above the man's head is 梁 leung4, a common surname. Although the other writing is too small to see clearly, the same character seems to appear in some of the other strings of 3-4 characters elsewhere, suggesting they may be personal names. The character at the end of some of the strings may be 住 jyuh = "to dwell". Perhaps the writing is meant to indicate who is living in the building.

Not very helpful. Perhaps someone else can make something more out of it . . .

Warm regards,



For the first photo, the large character to the right but partly obscured by the head denoted the Chinese surname LEUNG (梁).

The first of the four characters in the middle also started with this surname. The 2nd and 3rd characters and those in- between are too blurred to distinguish. The 2nd and the 3rd characters probably represented the given name of the same person. The last character is the word "residence" or "reside" in Chinese (住). So the 4 characters meant "LEUNG X X residence".

The two characters to the left were simply "LEUNG residence".

The characters there were may be for the convenience of receiving mail post, probably through the window of the residence just above instead of setting a mail box for simplicity sake. Privacy those days was not that respected or being abused. 

I think the characters there had no relations to the cobblers outside. 

Here is a sharpened copy. You can use Zoom to enlarge:

Writing on wall - sharpened
Writing on wall - sharpened, by Admin

From the string of 4 vertical characters (second column from right), the first character is the surname Leung (梁) as pointed out above.  The second character looks like Bo (保) but I am not sure about it. The last character is Ming (明).  I have confident about the word Ming as I have the same name and is easier for me to recognise it :)  These 3 words make up his name Leung Bo Ming.

The last character looks like the word 位, which means position or location.  In other words, the cobbler, Mr Leung Bo Ming,  marked his territory on the wall telling people (or other hawkers) that this was the location he usually occupied to run his business.  

The 2 characters (3rd column from right) is just a simplified version saying 梁位 or Leung's position (just the surname, skipping the names)

I hope these make sense.

The large character on written on the wall repeatedly in the first picture is 梁 ‘Leung’. It is one of the common surnames in Hong Kong. The other characters are blurry and difficult to read. I guess the second character below Leung on the left is ‘位’, which means position. It’s possible someone is writing those characters on the wall to mark the position for his business.