|Wáng Jìpéng (王繼鵬) / Wáng Chǎng (王昶)|
|Emperor of Min|
|Emperor of Min|
|Reign||November 18, 935 - August 29, 939?|
|Died|| August 29, 939|
| Lady Li |
Empress Li Chunyan
|Issue||Unknown number of sons|
|Mother||Possibly Liu Hua|
Wang Jipeng (王繼鵬) (d. August 29, 939), 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 (Emperor Huizong, later also known as Wang Lin) was assassinated, possibly at his instigation. He himself was in turn killed in a coup headed by his uncle Wang Yanxi (Emperor Jingzong, later also known as Wang Xi), who succeeded him.
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 mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. 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.
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 Yanxi (王延羲), known as Wang Xi (王曦) during his reign, formally Emperor Jingzong of Min (閩景宗), was an emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. He became Min's ruler after a coup that overthrew his nephew Wang Jipeng in 939. With his reign being a cruel one, the imperial guard officers Zhu Wenjin and Lian Chongyu assassinated him and slaughtered the imperial Wang clan. Zhu thereafter claimed the title of Emperor of Min.
It is not known when Wang Jipeng was born. Traditionally sources indicated that he was the oldest son of his father Wang Yanjun (later known as Wang Lin during reign),but the tombstone of Wang Yanjun's first wife, Liu Hua, indicated that he was Wang Yanjun's second son, with one older brother Wang Jiyan (王繼嚴) and two younger brothers (at the time of Lady Liu's death in 930), Wang Jitao (王繼韜), and Wang Jigong (王繼恭). (The Spring and Autumn Annals of the Ten Kingdoms listed another younger brother, Wang Jirong (王繼鎔), who might have been born after Lady Liu's death.) At some point (may be before or during Wang Yanjun's reign), Wang Jipeng married his cousin Lady Li, the daughter of a sister of his father's and her husband, the official Li Min (李敏).
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.
The Spring and Autumn Annals of the Ten Kingdoms, also known by its Chinese title Shiguo Chunqiu, is a history of the Ten Kingdoms that existed in southern China after the fall of the Tang Dynasty and before the reunification of China by the Song Dynasty. The book was written and compiled by the Qing Dynasty scholar Wu Renchen. Wu took part in the compilation of Mingshi, the official history of the Ming Dynasty, and felt that the official dynastic histories have neglected the Ten Kingdoms. The book contains 114 volumes (scrolls).
Lady Li, formally the Lady of Liang (梁國夫人), was the first (known) wife of Wang Jipeng, an emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min.
As of 926, the Min state was ruled by Wang Jipeng's uncle Wang Yanhan. Around the new year 927, Wang Jipeng's father Wang Yanjun, and an adoptive brother of his (Wang Jipeng's uncle), Wang Yanbing, jointly overthrew Wang Yanhan, and Wang Yanbing then supported Wang Yanjun in taking over the Min realm, although he took no princely or higher title at the time, instead formally submitting to Later Tang as a vassal, using the title of acting military governor of Weiwu Circuit (威武, headquartered at Min's capital Fuzhou).Wang Yanjun later was created the Prince of Min by Later Tang's emperor Li Siyuan in 928,
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.
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.
Tang, known in history as Later Tang, was a short-lived imperial dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in the history of China.
As of 931, Wang Jipeng carried the title of deputy military governor of Weiwu. Around the new year 932, Wang Yanjun was persuaded by the sorcerer Chen Shouyuan (陳守元) that if he temporarily yielded his throne, he could rule as an emperor for 60 years. He therefore commissioned Wang Jipeng to temporarily oversee the matters of the state, while he himself formally became a Taoist monk. Two months later, Wang Yanjun resumed his reign.
Taoism, or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools; in Taoism, however, it denotes the principle that is the source, pattern and substance of everything that exists. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, but is similar in the sense that it is a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao". Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize wu wei, "naturalness", simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: 慈 "compassion", 儉 "frugality", and 不敢為天下先 "humility".
In 933, Wang Yanjun claimed the title of Emperor of Min and changed his name to Wang Lin. He commissioned Li Min and Wang Jipeng to be his chancellors, each carrying the designation of Tong Zhongshu Menxia Pingzhangshi (同中書門下平章事). Wang Jipeng was additionally given the titles of You Pushe (右僕射, one of the heads of the executive bureau of government (尚書省, Shangshu Sheng), with Li Min serving as the other Pushe), and Zhongshu Shilang (中書侍郎, the deputy head of the legislative bureau (中書省, Zhongshu Sheng)). Later in the year, Wang Lin created Wang Jipeng the Prince of Fu and also gave him the title of director of Baohuang Palace (寶皇宮). Later in the year, when an earthquake struck Min, Wang Lin against yielded the throne briefly to study Taoism and had Wang Jipeng oversee the affairs of state, taking back the throne not long after.
Sometime after Wang Jipeng was created the Prince of Fu, Wang Lin commissioned the official Ye Qiao as his advisor. As Ye was learned and honest, Wang Jipeng honored Ye as if Ye were his teacher.
Ye Qiao (葉翹) was an official of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min, serving as a chancellor during the reign of its fourth ruler Wang Chang.
In 934, there was a time when the important Min city Jian Prefecture (建州, in modern Nanping, Fujian) came under attack by Min's northwestern neighbor Wu, whose general Jiang Yanhui (蔣延徽) put it under siege. When Wang Lin sent his generals Zhang Yanrou (張彥柔) and Wang Yanzong (王延宗) (his brother) to try to lift the siege on Jian, the soldiers refused to advance to Jian unless Wang Lin surrendered his corrupt and harsh chief of staff Xue Wenjie to them. Wang Jipeng and Wang Lin's mother (Wang Jipeng's grandmother) Empress Dowager Huang advocated that Wang Lin surrender Xue to them, and when Wang Lin could not decide, Wang Jipeng laid an ambush for Xue and arrested him, then delivered him to the soldiers resentful of him. They killed him and ate his flesh, and then set out for Jian. The Wu army then withdrew.
By 935, Wang Jipeng was carrying on an affair with Wang Lin's lady in waiting Li Chunyan. He went to beg Wang Lin's wife and empress Empress Chen Jinfeng to intercede with Wang Lin, so that he could have Li Chunyan. Wang Lin agreed,although he was displeased. This also displeased Wang Jipeng's younger brother Wang Jitao, who considered assassinating Wang Jipeng.
Later in the year, Wang Lin became seriously ill. As Wang Lin had become impotent due to a stroke earlier, Empress Chen carried on an affair with two of his close associates, Gui Shouming (歸守明) and Li Keyin (李可殷). As Li Keyin had falsely accused the imperial guard officer Li Fang (李倣), and Empress Chen's family member Chen Kuangsheng (陳匡勝) had disrespected Wang Jipeng, both Li Fang and Wang Jipeng were discontent with the situation, such that when Wang Lin's illness became more serious, Wang Jipeng became pleased, believing that he would be emperor next. Li Fang also came to believe that Wang Lin would not recover, and found an opportunity to assassinate Li Keyin. However, when Wang Lin then recovered slightly, Empress Chen informed him of what happened, and he decided to investigate Li Keyin's death. In fear, Li Fang started a mutiny and sent his soldiers into the palace. The soldiers gravely injured Wang Lin, whose ladies in waiting then decided to kill him to relieve his suffering. Li Fang and Wang Jipeng then killed Empress Chen, Chen Kuangsheng, another of Empress Chen's relatives Chen Shou'en (陳守恩), Gui, and Wang Jitao. Wang Jipeng then, claiming that it was the will of Empress Dowager Huang, took the throne and changed his name to Wang Chang.
After taking the throne, Wang Chang nevertheless sent a report to then-Later Tang emperor Li Congke, in the status of a vassal, in which he only claimed to be the acting military governor of Weiwu, although internally, he continued to use imperial style, including issuing a general pardon and bestowing on Li Chunyan the imperial consort title of Xianfei (賢妃), while his wife Lady Li only carried the title of the Lady of Liang.
After Wang Chang took the throne, Li Fang, for some time, dominated the court scene, and gathered a group of elite soldiers under his command. Wang Chang secretly planned to eliminate Li Fang with several officers, headed by Li Yanhao (李延皓). Li Yanhao pretended to be a partisan in league with Li Fang, and Li Fang trusted him. Late in 935, when Li Fang went to the imperial meeting hall to greet the emperor, soldiers hidden by Wang and Li Yanhao ambushed and beheaded him, placing his head on the government gate. Li Fang's followers subsequently tried to attack the imperial government, but, failing, seized Li Fang's head and fled to Min's northern neighbor Wuyue. Wang Chang publicly denounced Li Fang for killing Wang Lin and Wang Jitao, and had his brother Wang Jiyan, now carrying the title of Prince of Jian, replace Li Fang in commanding the imperial guards. He also commissioned Ye Qiao as a chancellor. However, he became arrogant and rarely actually listened to Ye, and, after Ye tried to correct him on showing Consort Li too much favor while ignoring Lady Li, Wang Chang distanced himself from Ye, and subsequently forced Ye into retirement. He trusted Chen Shouyuan, and bestowed even more honors on Chen than his father Wang Lin did. He also discussed all the important matters of state with Chen, such that Chen was able to receive bribes and was visited by many visitors seeking his favor.
In 936, Wang created Consort Li empress, while honoring Empress Dowager Huang as grand empress dowager.
In 937, Wang built a Ziwei Palace (紫微宮) and adorned it with crystals. It was said that its construction efforts were several times that of his father's already opulent Baohuang Palace. He also sent many secret agents to the prefectures throughout the Min realm to spy on people. Later, after sorcerers informed him that there was a white dragon scene at Mount Luo (螺峰, north of Fuzhou), so he bought a White Dragon Temple (白龍寺) there. With all the constructions going on, the treasury was exhausted, so he coerced his deputy minister of civil service affairs, Cai Shoumeng (蔡守蒙), who was otherwise honest, into selling offices for money. He further issued edicts ordering that those who falsified their ages (to avoid labor) be caned on their back, and those who hid family members from censuses (to avoid taxes or conscription) be put to death. Those who tried to escape these penalties would have their families slaughtered. He also imposed heavy taxes on vegetables, chicken, and pigs.
Later in 937, Wang ordered his younger brother Wang Jigong, whom he had given the title of military governor of Weiwu, to submit a petition to Shi Jingtang, the emperor of Later Jin (which had overthrown and replaced Later Tang), reporting his own succession to the throne, and requesting that a liaison office be established at the Later Jin capital Kaifeng. (In other words, Wang Chang himself did not want to show personal subordination to Shi, but did want to show submission on a state-to-state basis.) Shi reacted by issuing an edict in 938, creating Wang Chang to be the King of Min (i.e., not emperor) and Wang Jigong the Prince of Linhai, sending his official Lu Sun (盧損) to deliver the edict. When Wang Chang heard this, he had his emissary Lin En (林恩) explain to the Later Jin chancellors that, because Wang Chang had claimed imperial title, he did not want to be created a king and did not want Later Jin's imperial emissary to come to his realm.When Lu nevertheless arrived in his realm in 939, Wang Chang refused to meet him and claimed to be ill, and instead had Wang Jigong serve as Lu's host. He nevertheless sent his official Zheng Yuanbi (鄭元弼) to accompany Lu back to Later Jin and to offer tributes to Shi.
Wang Chang had long been jealous of the good reputations that his uncles Wang Yanwu (王延武) and Wang Yanwang (王延旺) had. In 939, the sorcerer Lin Xing (林興), who had previous grudges with Wang Yanwu, falsely reported to Wang Chang that a god had reported that Wang Yanwu and Wang Yanwang were about to rebel. Without further investigation, Wang Chang had Wang Yanwu, Wang Yanwang, and their five sons killed. Believing in Chen Shouyuan's words, he built a temple dedicated to the Three Pure Ones inside the palace. He had the affairs of state decided by whatever Lin indicated that the gods decreed. Fearing the fact that Wang Jiyan was much supported by the soldiers, he relieved Wang Jiyan of his command and ordered him to change his name to Wang Jiyu (王繼裕), replacing him with Wang Jirong. Not long after, realizing that Lin had been deluding him, he exiled Lin.
Later in the year, a fire destroyed the northern palace.
Meanwhile, two elite palace guard corps, the Gongchen (拱宸) and the Anhe (按鶴), had been much favored by Wang Lin. However, after Wang Chang became emperor, he established another elite corps, then Chenwei (宸衛), giving them far greater rewards than the Gongchen and Anhe. This led to rumors that the Gongchen and Anhe soldiers were angry and wanted to rebel, causing him to consider sending them away to be stationed at Zhang (漳州, in modern Zhangzhou, Fujian) and Quan (泉州, in modern Quanzhou, Fujian) Prefectures, leading them to be fearful and resentful. He also repeatedly insulted their commanders, Zhu Wenjin and Lian Chongyu. Wang Chang was also causing his imperial clan members to be angry and fearful based on his killings within the clan, including his cousin Wang Jilong (王繼隆), after Wang Jilong was invited to his feast and offended him after becoming drunk. His uncle Wang Yanxi pretended to be insane in order to avoid disaster, and while he initially sent Wang Yanxi away to be a Taoist monk, he later recalled Wang Yanxi and put him under house arrest. After the northern palace was burned, and the arsonist could not be found, Wang Chang had Lian command the imperial guards in cleaning up the site — heavy labor that they were displeased about doing. He came to suspect Lian of being complicit in the arson and contemplated killing Lian; his imperial scholar Chen Tan (陳郯), however, informed Lian.
Upon being informed by Chen, Lian led the two corps to attack Changchun Palace (長春宮), where Wang Chang was at the time, while welcoming Wang Yanxi and declaring him emperor. The other imperial guard corps joined Lian's attack against the emperor, except for the Chenwei, which resisted. Wang Chang and Empress Li fled to the Chenwei Corps, but the Chenwei Corps was defeated in a battle. They escorted Wang Chang and Empress Li to flee north. However, when they reached Mount Wutong (梧桐嶺, north of Fuzhou), the corps scattered. Meanwhile, Wang Yanxi had sent his nephew (Wang Chang's cousin) Wang Jiye (王繼業), to chase Wang Chang down. Wang Chang first repelled the soldiers chasing him by killing them with arrows (as he was a good marksman), but eventually, with more soldiers arriving, he realized he could not escape, so he dropped his bow. He stated to Wang Jiye, "Where is your faithfulness as a subject, sir?" Wang Jiye responded, "If the ruler did not have the virtues of a ruler, how would a subject have the faithfulness of a subject? The new ruler is my uncle. The old ruler is my cousin? Who is closer, and who is farther?" Wang Chang spoke no more, and Wang Jiye took him back toward Changle (i.e., Fu Prefecture). However, on the way, he got Wang Chang drunk, and then killed him by strangulation. Empress Li, Wang Chang's sons, and Wang Jigong were also executed.
Wang Yanjun (Emperor Huizong)
| Emperor of Min |
| Succeeded by|
Wang Yanxi (Emperor Jingzong)
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.
Emperor Zhaozong of Tang, né Li Jie, name later changed to Li Min and again to Li Ye, was the penultimate emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China. He reigned from 888 to 904. Zhaozong was the seventh son of Emperor Yizong of Tang and younger brother of Emperor Xizong of Tang.
Li Maozhen, born Song Wentong (宋文通), courtesy name Zhengchen (正臣), formally Prince Zhongjing of Qin (秦忠敬王), was the only ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Qi (901–924). He had become a powerful warlord during the reign of Emperor Zhaozong of Tang, the penultimate emperor of the preceding Tang Dynasty, with his power centered on his capital Fengxiang, and at times had effective control of Emperor Zhaozong. However, his power gradually waned due to defeats at the hands of fellow warlords Wang Jian and Zhu Quanzhong. After Zhu usurped the Tang throne and established Later Liang, Li Maozhen refused to submit and continued to use the Tang-bestowed title of Prince of Qi as well as maintain the Tang era name, but his territory became even more reduced due to wars with Former Shu and Later Liang. After Later Liang was conquered by Later Tang, whose Emperor Zhuangzong claimed to be a legitimate successor of Tang, Li Maozhen submitted as a subject and was created the Prince of Qin in 924. He died soon thereafter, and was succeeded as by his son Li Jiyan as the military governor (Jiedushi) of Fengxiang, but as Li Jiyan was not made the Prince of Qi or Qin at that point, this was typically viewed as the end of Qi as an independent state.
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.
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.
Li Chunyan was an empress of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. Her husband was Wang Jipeng.
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.
Lin Yanyu (林延遇) was a powerful eunuch of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Southern Han.
Empress Li was an empress of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. She was the wife of its fifth ruler, Wang Yanxi.
Wang Yacheng (王亞澄), formally the Prince of Min (閩王), was an imperial prince of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Min. He was the only historically-known son of its fifth ruler Wang Yanxi.
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.
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.
Chen Hongjin (陳洪進) (914–985), courtesy name Jichuan (濟川), formally Duke Zhongshun of Qi (岐忠順公), was a warlord late in the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, who controlled Qingyuan Circuit. After a series of conquests by the Song dynasty, Chen, who was a vassal to Song, believed that it would be wise for him to surrender his realm, and did so. He subsequently remained honored as a Song general until his death.