Tian Yi

Last updated
Tian Yi
Born 1534
Shaanxi Province
Died 1605 (aged 72)
Nationality Ming Empire
Occupation Imperial court eunuch
Known for respected for his character and ethics

Tian Yi (simplified Chinese : ; traditional Chinese : ; pinyin : Tián , 1534 - 1605) was a eunuch serving at the imperial court of the Ming Dynasty. He served under the Jiajing, the Longqing, and the Wanli emperors for a total of 63 years [1] and eventually rose to a high position in the court, overseeing the Directorate of Ceremonies ("Master of the Seal in charge of rituals [2] ) which ranked first among the twelve eunuch directorates. [3] By the time of this death, he had become the favorite eunuch of the Wanli emperor. [4]

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Tian Yi was born in Shaanxi Province [3] and was castrated at age 9. [1] He entered the imperial court immediately afterwards. [1] When he died in 1605, the Wanli Emperor ordered three days of mourning [1] [4] and the construction of a tomb with many features of an imperial mausoleum to commemorate him. [1] [4]

Shaanxi Province

Shaanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of the Northwest China region, it lies in central China, bordering the provinces of Shanxi, Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW), and Inner Mongolia (N). It covers an area of over 205,000 km2 (79,151 sq mi) with about 37 million people. Xi'an – which includes the sites of the former Chinese capitals Fenghao and Chang'an – is the provincial capital. Xianyang, which served as the Qin dynasty capital, is located nearby. The other prefecture-level cities into which the province is divided are Ankang, Baoji, Hanzhong, Shangluo, Tongchuan, Weinan, Yan'an and Yulin.


Tian Yi's tomb (Chinese : ; pinyin : Tián ) has a traditional layout in which a spirit way serves as a central axis and a division between a front portion used by visitors to pay their respects and a closed off back portion. [3] Four eunuchs, who lived at the tomb as monks during the Qing dynasty are buried next to Tian Yi. [3]

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the Han majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Spirit way ornate road leading to a Chinese tomb of a major dignitary

A spirit way is the ornate road leading to a Chinese tomb of a major dignitary. The term is also sometimes translated as spirit road, spirit path or sacred way. The spirit way is lined on both sides by a succession of statues, pillars, and stelae. The statues along the spirit way depict real and mythical animals, as well as civilian and military officials.

Qing dynasty former empire in Eastern Asia, last imperial regime of China

The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history.

The tomb is particularly rich in stone carvings. [1] [3] The masonry artworks include three gates (front gate, Lingxing gate, and the graveyard gate), sculptures that line the spirit way, steles, ceremonial vessels, and stone altars for sacrifices. [3] The names of 259 eunuchs who participated in his funeral are also inscribed at the tomb. [1]

The tomb was looted during the period of the Republic of China. [4] Today, it houses the Eunuch Museum, the address is 80 Moshikou Street, Shijingshan district, Beijing.

Republic of China (1912–1949) 1912–1949 country in Asia, historical period of the present-day Republic of China (Taiwan)

The Republic of China (ROC), as a state in East Asia, controlled Chinese mainland between 1912 and 1949. The state was established in 1912 by Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. Its government fled to Taipei in 1949 due to the Kuomintang's defeat in Chinese Civil War. The Republic of China's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army. His party, then led by Song Jiaoren won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. Song Jiaoren was assassinated shortly after and the Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan Shikai tried to reinstate the monarchy before abdicating due to popular unrest. After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, members of cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed their autonomy and clashed with each other. During this period, the authority of the Beiyang government was weakened by a restoration of the Qing dynasty.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 King, Mary (2009-12-02). "The World's Only Eunuch Museum". Beginner's Beijing. CRIENGLISH.com. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  2. Liu, Eleanor (March 26, 2011). The Red Thread. Xlibris Corporation. p. 353. ISBN   978-1-45687-585-5.[ self-published source? ]
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Ming Tombs - Eunuch Tian Yi". Orion South Ltd. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Moore, Malcolm (18 October 2012). "Away from the desk: the world's only eunuch museum". Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 4 January 2013.