Wang Jiaming, a smartly dressed bureaucrat from Beijing, steps out of a chauffeur-driven Lexus at Xikou, the ancestral home of Chiang Kai-shek, president of Nationalist China and the country's leader during the anti-Japanese war. 'This is like Disneyland for me,' said Mr Wang, 32, taking an hour out of a schedule of visiting companies in the area to see its most famous tourist attraction. 'For people of my generation, Chiang does not mean much. It is too long ago.' He and his friends walked quickly through the houses where Chiang was born and where he lived after his marriage, before buying several packets of Chiang's favourite sesame and peanut biscuits. Mr Wang then got back into his Lexus and was driven away to his next appointment. The house contains a mine of information about the person who was the second most powerful Chinese of the 20th century, after Mao Zedong. There are portraits of family members, including his father - a wealthy salt merchant - and of Chiang at different ages, including his two years in Japan, from 1908 to 1910 at a military academy. Also hanging on the wall are photographs of two of his mistresses, one of them Yao Yiqing, who is said to be the mother of his second son, Chiang Wei-guo. She does not appear in Chiang's giant memorial in Taipei, but his mother is prominent in both places. Xikou has most meaning for people brought up in Taiwan while Chiang was president, from 1945 to his death in 1975. He appeared everywhere, from bank notes, coins and postage stamps, to newspapers, television and the wall of every government office. Loved or hated, he was part of everyday life, like tea in the morning or typhoon rains in the summer, just as his lifetime enemy, Mao, was to people on the mainland. Liu Jun, 50, the manager of a sports stadium in Shanghai, was visiting Xikou for the second time. 'The generations change. What is important to us is of no interest to our children,' he said. 'I tell my son of the Cultural Revolution and four years of disasters [1959-62] that we went through. He listens but does not hear. Mao and Chiang mean a lot to me but little to him. History moves ahead and does not wait for us.'