China during the early Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. A prefix of "F." indicates a city suffixed with "-fu", a prefix of "Z." indicates a city suffixed with "-zhou".
|Status||Tributary state of Later Liang, Later Tang, Later Jin, Liao, Later Han, Later Zhou and Song|
|Capital|| Qiantang (Main court; Capital) |
Yuezhou (Eastern court)
|Common languages||Wu Chinese|
|Qian Chu (Qian Hongchu)|
|Historical era||Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period|
• Fall of the Tang Dynasty
• Submitted to Song
|Currency||Chinese cash, Chinese coin|
|Today part of||China|
Wuyue (simplified Chinese :吴越; traditional Chinese :吳越; pinyin :Wúyuè; Shanghainese: Wu Chinese pronunciation: [ɦuɦyɪʔ] ), 907–978, was an independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960) of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, whose family name remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.
Beginning in 887, the Qian family provided military leaders to the Tang Dynasty. Qian Liu was named Prince of Yue in 902, with the title of Prince of Wu added two years later. In 907, when the Tang Dynasty fell and was replaced in the north by the Later Liang, military leaders in the south formed their own kingdoms. Qian Liu used his position to proclaim himself the King of Wuyue. This signaled the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period which would last until the founding of the Song Dynasty in 960.
The name Wuyue comes from the combination of Wu Kingdom and Yue Kingdom, two ancient kingdoms during the Spring and Autumn period from 770 to 476 BC.
With its capital in Hangzhou, also called "Xifu", the kingdom included present-day Zhejiang, Shanghai, along with the southern portion of Jiangsu Province. It also later absorbed some of the northern part of Fujian when the Min Kingdom fell in 945. The territorial extent of Wuyue roughly corresponded to the territories of the ancient Yue, but not the ancient Wu—which led to charges by the neighboring Wu (also known as Southern Wu) that Wuyue had designs on its territory, and the name was a source of tension for years between the two states.
In the early decades of its existence, Wuyue bordered the Min Kingdom on its south and the Southern Tang Kingdom on its west and north. With the rebellion of Yin from the Min from 943 to 945, Wuyue briefly had a third border. However, before long, Wuyue was completely encircled (except for the East China Sea) as both Yin and Min were absorbed by the Southern Tang.
The population was approximately 550,700 households, with many people living in commercial centers and major seaports.
Wuyue was not a large kingdom compared to many of its neighbors. Although initially 12 prefectures (州), it later consisted of 13 prefectures and 86 counties or sub-prefectures (縣). Fuzhou was incorporated into Wuyue as its 13th prefecture, after the Min court declared allegiance to it as they were besieged by Southern Tang.
| Hangzhou (Xifu) |
(main capital or western capital)
| Yuezhou |
(eastern capital; modern day Shaoxing)
| Mingzhou |
(modern day Ningbo and Zhoushan)
| Chuzhou |
(roughly modern day Lishui city)
(not the capital)
| Wuzhou |
(roughly modern day Jinhua city)
| Muzhou |
(roughly modern northwestern Zhejiang province)
| Xiuzhou |
(roughly modern Shanghai and its surrounding environs,
along with Jiaxing prefecture in Zhejiang province)
| Fuzhou |
(acquired after the fall of Min)
|Anguo Yijin Military Prefecture |
(once called Yijin military prefecture)
Former Administrative Divisions
Under Qian Liu's reign, Wuyue prospered economically and freely developed its own regional culture that continues to this day. He developed the coastal kingdom's agriculture, built seawalls, expanded Hangzhou, dredged rivers and lakes, and encouraged sea transport and trade. On his death-bed he urged a benign administration of state affairs and his words were strictly followed by four succeeding kings.
In 935, Wuyue established official diplomatic relations with Japan. The kingdom also took advantage of its maritime location to maintain diplomatic contacts with north China, the Khitans, Bohai, and the Korean states of Later Baekje, Goryeo, and Silla. Buddhism played a large role in the diplomatic relations with Japan and Goryeo. Japanese and Korean monks traveled to Wuyue, while monks from Wuyue went to Japan and Korea as well. The rulers of Wuyue also tried to find sutras that had been lost during the turbulent final years of the Tang. In 947, Qian Zuo sent gifts to Japan and offering to buy any sutras, however none were available. In 961, Qian Chu sent fifty precious objects and a letter to Goryeo inquiring about the missing sutras, and Gwangjong sent the monk Jegwan (Chinese :諦觀) with a complete set of Tiantai sutras.
In 978, in the face of certain annihilation from northern imperial Chinese troops, the last king of Wuyue, Qian Chu, pledged allegiance to the Song Dynasty, saving his people from war and economic destruction. While Qian Chu nominally remained king, Wuyue was absorbed into the Song Dynasty, effectively ending the kingdom. The last king died in 988.
The Wuyue Kingdom cemented the cultural and economic dominance of the Wuyue region in China for centuries to come, as well as creating a lasting regional cultural tradition distinctive from the rest of China. The leaders of the kingdom were noted patrons of Buddhism, and architecture, temple decoration, and religious sculptures related to Buddhism. The cultural distinctiveness that began developing over this period persists to this day as the Wuyue region speaks a dialect called Wu (the most famous variant of which is Shanghainese), has distinctive cuisine and other cultural traits. The Baochu Pagoda, constructed during the reign of Qian Chu, was one of many temples and pagodas built under the patronage of the Wuyue kings.
The physical legacy of the Wuyue Kingdom was the creation of the system of canals and dikes which allowed the region to become the most agriculturally rich region of China for many centuries. As a result, shrines to Qian Liu sprang up all across the region, and many can still be found today.
Qian Liu was often known as the "Dragon King" or the "Sea Dragon King" because of his extensive hydro-engineering schemes which "tamed" the seas. The kings of Wuyue continue to enjoy positive treatment in orthodox history. They were popularly revered because of the hydro-engineering works, ensuring the economic prosperity of the region, and for finally surrendering to the Song Dynasty, which ensured both a unified Chinese nation and that the region would not be ravaged by war.
During the early Song Dynasty, the Qian royal family were treated as second only to the ruling Zhao imperial family, as reflected in the Hundred Family Surnames . Subsequently, many shrines were erected across the Wuyue region where the kings of Wuyue were memorialised, and sometimes, worshipped as dictating weather and agriculture. Many of these shrines, known as "Shrine of the Qian King" or "Temple to the Qian King", remain today, the most popularly visited example being that near West Lake in Hangzhou.
Qian Liu reputedly had more than a hundred sons born to many different wives and concubines. His progeny were posted to various parts of the kingdom. The Qian family remains very widely spread throughout the region. Several branches are considered "prominent families" (望族) in their local areas.
|Temple Names||Posthumous Names||Personal Names||Period of Reigns||Era Names and respective range of years|
|太祖||Tài Zǔ||Tha Tsu||武肅王||Wǔ Sù Wáng||Vu Soh Waon||錢鏐||Qián Liú||Zi Leu||907–932||Tianyou (天祐)：907|
|世宗||Shì Zōng||Sy Tson||文穆王||Wén Mù Wáng||Ven Moh Waon||錢元瓘|
| Qián Yuánguàn |
|Zi Nyoe Cioe|
(Zi Zoe Cioe)
|932–941||Changxing (長興)：932–933 |
|成宗||Chéng Zōng||Zen Tson||忠獻王||Zhōng Xiàn Wáng||Tson Shie Waon||錢佐|
| Qián Zuǒ |
(Qián Hóng Zuǒ)
(Zi Ghon Tsu)
|941–947||Tianfu (天福)：941–944 |
|Did not exist||N/A||N/A||忠遜王||Zhōng Xùn Wáng||Tson Sen Waon||錢倧|
| Qián Zōng |
(Qián Hóng Zōng)
(Zi Ghon Tson)
|Did not exist||N/A||N/A||忠懿王||Zhōng Yì Wáng||Tson I Waon||錢俶|
| Qián Chù |
(Qián Hóng Chù)
(Zi Ghon Tsoh)
|947–978||Qianyou (乾祐)：948–950 |
Qian Chu submitted to the Song Dynasty in 978 and continued to reign nominally, successively as King of Huaihai, King of Hannan, King of Hanyang and Prince of Xu, and finally Prince of Deng, until his death in 988. After his death he was also posthumously created King of Qin.
|Rulers family tree|
The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–979) was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China. Five states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain, and more than a dozen concurrent states were established elsewhere, mainly in South China. It was the last prolonged period of multiple political division in Chinese imperial history.
The Ten Kingdoms was a period in the history of Southern China that followed the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907. It lasted until the rise of the Song dynasty, which was founded in 960. Nine of the kingdoms were in the South and one small kingdom was in the far North. Many states were de facto independent long before the Tang Empire dissolved. The last of the Ten Kingdoms, the Northern Han, survived until 979.
Chu, often referred to as Ma Chu (马楚) or Southern Chu (南楚) to distinguish it from other historical states called Chu, was a kingdom in south China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960). It existed from 907 to 951.
Qian Liu, known as Qian Poliu during his childhood, was a warlord of the late Tang dynasty who founded the Wuyue kingdom.
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 Kingdom 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.
Ma Yin, courtesy name Batu (霸圖), formally King Wumu of Chu (楚武穆王), was a warlord late in the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who became the first ruler of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Chu and the only one who carried the title of "king." He initially took control of the Changsha region in 896 after the death of his predecessor Liu Jianfeng, and subsequently increased his territorial hold to roughly modern Hunan and northeastern Guangxi, which became the territory of Chu.
Tan Quanbo (譚全播) (834?-918?) was a ruler of Qian Prefecture from 913 to 918, early in the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. He was a long-time strategist of Lu Guangchou, who ruled Qian Prefecture for 25 years, and after several transitional rulers after Lu's death was supported by the people to govern the prefecture. In 918, he was defeated by Wu forces, which took over Qian. He died shortly after.
Xu Wen (徐溫), courtesy name Dunmei (敦美), formally Prince Zhongwu of Qi (齊忠武王), later further posthumously honored Emperor Wu (武皇帝) with the temple name Yizu (義祖) by his adoptive son Xu Zhigao after Xu Zhigao founded the state of Southern Tang, was a major general and regent of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Wu. He took over the reins of the Wu state after assassinating, with his colleague Zhang Hao, Yang Wo, the first Prince of Hongnong, and then killing Zhang. Xu was in essence the decision-maker throughout the reign of Yang Wo's brother and successor Yang Longyan and the first part of the reign of Yang Longyan's brother and successor Yang Pu. After his death, Xu Zhigao inherited his position as regent, eventually seizing the Wu throne and establishing Southern Tang.
Xu Dexun (許德勳) was a key general and official during the reign of Ma Yin, the founding ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Chu.
Zhou Ben (周本), formally Prince Gonglie of Xiping (西平恭烈王), was a general of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Wu and (briefly) Wu's successor state Southern Tang.
Yang Longyan (楊隆演), né Yang Ying (楊瀛), also known as Yang Wei (楊渭), courtesy name Hongyuan (鴻源), formally King Xuan of Wu (吳宣王), later further posthumously honored Emperor Xuan of Wu (吳宣帝) with the temple name of Gaozu (高祖), was a king of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Wu. He became its ruler and carried the title of Prince of Hongnong after the assassination of his brother Yang Wo in 908, but throughout his reign, the governance of the Hongnong/Wu state was under the effective control of the regent Xu Wen.
Qian Yuanguan (錢元瓘), born Qian Chuanguan (錢傳瓘), formally King Wenmu of Wuyue (吳越文穆王), courtesy name Mingbao (明寶), was the second king of the state of Wuyue, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period of China. During his reign, his kingdom was centred on modern Zhejiang. He ascended to the throne in 932, when his father Qian Liu left the state in his hands, to 941. He was the father to all three of Wuyue's subsequent kings.
Lady Ma, formally the Lady Gongmu of Wuyue (吳越國恭穆夫人), was a wife of Qian Yuanguan, the second king of the Chinese state Wuyue of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.
Qian Hongzuo, courtesy name Yuanyou (元祐), formally King Zhongxian of Wuyue (吳越忠獻王), possibly with the temple name of Chengzong (成宗), was the third king (王) of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue.
Shen Song (沈崧) (863–938), courtesy name Jifu (吉甫), was a chancellor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue.
Pi Guangye, courtesy name Wentong (文通), was an official of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue, serving as a chancellor during the reign of its second king Qian Yuanguan.
Cao Zhongda (曹仲達) (882-943), né Cao Hongda (曹弘達), was an official of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of its second king Qian Yuanguan and third king Qian Hongzuo.
Yuan Dezhao (元德昭), probably né Wei Dezhao (危德昭), courtesy name Mingyuan (名遠), was an official of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue, serving as a chancellor during the rule of Qian Hongzong and Qian Chu.
Wu Cheng (吳程), courtesy name Zhengchen (正臣), was a politician of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue, serving as a chancellor during the reign of its last two kings, Qian Hongzong and Qian Chu.
The military history of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms covers the period of Chinese history from the collapse of the Tang dynasty in 907 to the demise of Northern Han in 979. This period of Chinese history is noteworthy for the introduction of gunpowder weapons and as a transitional phase from the aristocratic imperial system to the Confucian bureaucracy which characterized the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties.