Lin Yanyu (林延遇) (d. April 15, 956 ) was a powerful eunuch of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Southern Han.
The term eunuch generally refers to a man, typically from antiquity, who had been castrated in order to serve a specific social function. In Latin, the words eunuchus, spado, and castratus were used to denote eunuchs.
The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty, during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was recorded as the twenty-first Shang king by the written records of Shang dynasty unearthed. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, and Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia. The Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, which is commonly held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River. These Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization.
Southern Han, originally Great Yue, was one of the ten kingdoms that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It was located on China's southern coast, controlling modern Guangdong and Guangxi. The kingdom greatly expanded its capital Xingwang Fu (Chinese: 興王府; pinyin: Xìngwángfǔ,. It attempted but failed to annex the Tang province of Annam.
It is not known when Lin Yanyu was born, and other than the fact that he was from Minqing (閩清, in modern Fuzhou, Fujian), nothing was recorded about his family background or how he became an eunuch. It was said that he had a treacherous personality and was a deep thinker.
Fuzhou, formerly romanized as Foochow, is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian province, China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area.
Fujian, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the east. The name Fujian came from the combination of Fuzhou and Jianzhou, two cities in Fujian, during the Tang dynasty. While its population is chiefly of Han origin, it is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse provinces in China.
At some point, Lin became a eunuch attendant to Wang Yanjun, who would have then been an officer under his father Wang Shenzhi, the founding Prince of Min. In 917, during Wang Shenzhi's reign, Wang Yanjun married Liu Hua, the niece of then-Southern Han emperor Liu Yan. Min thus established a liaison office at the Southern Han capital Xingwang (興王, in modern Guangzhou, Guangdong). Lin was sent to Xingwang to head the office, and was in charge of the communications between the two states. Liu Yan gave Lin a large mansion and much gifts. He often tried to ask Lin about the Min state. Lin refused to respond, but told others, "How would it be proper, for someone who is deep in the palace, to be talking of Min once he left Min and talking of Yue [(i.e., Southern Han, whose territory was also known as the Yue region)] once he left Yue?" When Liu Yan heard of this, he became more respectful of Lin. He gave Lin the title of Neichangshi (內常侍) and put Lin in charge of his own palace.
Wang Yanjun (王延鈞), known as Wang Lin from 933 to 935, formally Emperor Huizong of Min (閩惠宗), used the name of Xuanxi (玄錫) while briefly being a Taoist monk, was the third ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms state Min, and the first ruler of Min to use the title of emperor.
Wang Shenzhi, courtesy name Xintong (信通) or Xiangqing (詳卿), formally Prince Zhongyi of Min (閩忠懿王) and later further posthumously honored as Emperor Taizu of Min (閩太祖), was the founder of Min Kingdoms on the southeast coastal province of Fujian province in China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period of Chinese history. He was from Gushi in modern-day Henan.
Liu Hua, courtesy name Dexiu (德秀), formally Lady Minghui of Yan (燕國明惠夫人), known in Southern Han as Princess Qingyuan (清遠公主), was the first (known) wife of Wang Yanjun, who carried the title of Prince of Min during her lifetime and claimed the title of emperor. Her father was Liu Yin, the older brother of Southern Han's founding emperor Liu Yan.
In 935, Wang Yanjun, who was then the emperor of Min, was assassinated by his own son Wang Jipeng, who took the throne. When Lin Yanyu heard of this, he requested that Liu Yan allow him to return to Min. Liu refused. Lin then changed into mourning clothes and wept for three days in Min's direction.
Wang Jipeng (王繼鵬), used the name Wang Chang (王昶) from 935 to 939, formally Emperor Kangzong of Min (閩康宗), was an emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. He inherited the throne after his father Wang Yanjun was assassinated, possibly at his instigation. He himself was in turn killed in a coup headed by his uncle Wang Yanxi, who succeeded him.
During the subsequent reign of Liu Yan's son Liu Sheng, Liu Sheng made Lin the director of Ganquan Palace (甘泉宮), and trusted him deeply. It was said that Liu Sheng's frequent killings of his own brothers (under Liu Sheng's theory, to safeguard the throne for his son and heir Liu Jixing) was encouraged by and planned with Lin. This included Liu Hongmiao (劉弘邈) the Prince of Gao, whose suicide Liu Sheng sent Lin to force, in 954.
Liu Sheng, born Liu Hongxi (劉弘熙), may be nicknamed Jun (雋), formally Emperor Zhongzong of (Southern) Han ( 漢中宗), was the third emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Southern Han. He succeeded his brother, Liu Bin, whom he had ordered assassinated to allow himself to take the throne.
Lin fell ill in 956. He recommended another eunuch, Gong Chengshu, to succeed him, and then died. It was said that the people of the realm all rejoiced when they heard of Lin's death.
Liu Yan, né Liu Yan (劉巖), also known as Liu Zhi (劉陟) and briefly as Liu Gong (劉龔), formally Tianhuang Dadi (天皇大帝) with the temple name Gaozu (高祖), was the first emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Southern Han.
Wang Chao (王潮), courtesy name Xinchen (信臣), formally Duke Guangwu of Qin (秦廣武公), was a warlord of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, who controlled Fujian Circuit, eventually establishing the base of power for his family members to later establish the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Min.
Ren Neiming (任內明), courtesy name Zhaohua (昭華), formally Lady Shangxian of Wei (魏國尚賢夫人), was the wife of Wang Shenzhi, the founding ruler of Min, a state during the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.
Empress Dowager Huang, referred to semi-formally as Empress Dowager Longqi (龍啟太后) after her son Wang Yanjun's Longqi era name, was an empress dowager of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Min. She was the primary concubine of Wang Shenzhi, who was commonly regarded as the founder of the Min state, and the mother of Wang Yanjun, the first Min ruler to claim the title of emperor.
Lady Jin was the second known wife of Wang Yanjun, a ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Min.
Empress Chen Jinfeng (陳金鳳) was the third known wife of Wang Yanjun, a ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Min. Wang Yanjun, while not the first ruler of Min, was the first to claim imperial title, and Empress Chen was the first Empress of Min. When Wang Yanjun was assassinated in 935, she was also killed.
Wang Yanhan (王延翰), courtesy name Ziyi (子逸), was a ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Min. He ruled briefly after the death of his father Wang Shenzhi without a regal title, but later declared himself king. Just two months after declaring himself king, he was overthrown and killed in a revolt by his adoptive brother Wang Yanbing and younger biological brother Wang Yanjun. Wang Yanjun took over the state thereafter.
Ni Shu, courtesy name Mengxi (孟曦), was an official of the Chinese Tang dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Southern Han, serving as a chancellor during Southern Han.
Wang Yanbing (王延稟), né Zhou Yanchen (周彥琛), formally Prince Weisu of Wuping (武平威肅王), was an adoptive son of Wang Shenzhi. After Wang Shenzhi's death and succession by Wang Shenzhi's biological son Wang Yanhan, Wang Yanbing, jointly with another biological son of Wang Shenzhi's, Wang Yanjun, overthrew Wang Yanhan to allow Wang Yanjun to rule Min. However, he later developed a rivalry with Wang Yanjun and tried to overthrow Wang Yanjun. His army was defeated by Wang Yanjun's, and he was captured and executed.
Wang Yanzheng (王延政), known as Tiande Emperor (天德帝) after his era name of Tiande, formally Prince Gongyi of Fu (福恭懿王), also known during Min as the Prince of Fusha (富沙王), was the last ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. In 943, he, then in civil war with his brother Wang Yanxi, declared himself emperor of a new state of Yin at his base Jian Prefecture, but after Wang Yanxi was killed by the general Zhu Wenjin, who was himself assassinated thereafter, Wang Yanzheng reclaimed the title of Emperor of Min. His reign would last less than three years overall, though, as Min's northwestern neighbor Southern Tang bore down militarily on him and forced his surrender, ending Min.
Zhu Wenjin (朱文進) was a general of, and later a claimant of the throne of, the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. In 944, he assassinated the emperor Wang Yanxi and tried to take over control of the Min state, but his officer Lin Renhan (林仁翰) assassinated him less than a year later and submitted to Wang Yanxi's brother Wang Yanzheng, who had been warring with Wang Yanxi.
Wang Dingbao (王定保) (870-941) was an official of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Southern Han, serving as a chancellor for less than a year.
Liu Bin (劉玢), né Liu Hongdu (劉弘度), may be nicknamed Shou (壽), formally Emperor Shang of (Southern) Han ( 漢殤帝), was the second emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Southern Han. He reigned only briefly, from 942 to 943, from the time of the death of his father Liu Yan to the time he was assassinated in a coup headed by his brother Liu Hongxi.
Liu Hongchang (劉弘昌), formally the Prince of Yue (越王), was an imperial prince and chancellor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Southern Han. He was a son of Southern Han's founding emperor Liu Yan, and at one point, Liu Yan considered bypassing his older brothers Liu Bin and Liu Sheng and making him the successor to the throne. During the subsequent reign of Liu Sheng, Liu Sheng, fearing his capability, had him assassinated.
Lian Chongyu (連重遇) was a general of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. In 944, he and another general, Zhu Wenjin, assassinated the emperor Wang Yanxi. He then supported Zhu as the new emperor of the Min state, but the officer Lin Renhan (林仁翰) assassinated him and Zhu less than a year later and submitted to Wang Yanxi's brother Wang Yanzheng, who had been warring with Wang Yanxi.