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|
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 (907–960) of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, whose family name remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.
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 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.
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.
Qian, also spelt Chin, Chien, Tsien, or rarely Zee, is a common Chinese family name. The name literally means "money". Qian is listed at the second place in the Song Dynasty text Hundred Family Surnames. As the royal surname of the kingdom of Wuyue, Qian was regarded as second only to Zhao, the imperial surname of the Song. As of 2008, Qian is the 96th most common surname in China, shared by 2.2 million people.
Qian Liu, known as Qian Poliu during his childhood, was a warlord of the late Tang dynasty who founded the Wuyue kingdom.
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of China. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiangxi to the west, and Fujian to the south. To the east is the East China Sea, beyond which lie the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
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.
Wu was one of the states during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn period. It was also known as Gouwu (勾吳) or Gongwu (工吳) from the pronunciation of the local language.
The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history from approximately 771 to 476 BC which corresponds roughly to the first half of the Eastern Zhou period. The period's name derives from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 and 479 BC, which tradition associates with Confucius.
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.
Hangzhou formerly romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in East China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium. The city's West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site immediately west of the city, is among its best-known attractions. A study conducted by PwC and China Development Research Foundation saw Hangzhou ranked first among "Chinese Cities of Opportunity". Hangzhou is also considered a World City with a "Beta+" classification according to GaWC.
Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China, the largest city in China by population, and the largest city proper in the world, with a population of 26.3 million as of 2019. It is a global financial center and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the Eastern China coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the south, east and west, and is bound to the east by the East China Sea.
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.
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.
Southern Tang, later known as Jiangnan (江南), was an empire in Southern China and one of the so-called Ten Kingdoms between the fall of the Tang in 907 and the start of the Song dynasty in 960. Southern Tang replaced the Wu empire when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu.
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. The East China Sea is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of roughly 1,249,000 square kilometres (482,000 sq mi). To the east lies the Japanese island of Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands, to the south, lies the South China Sea, and to the west by the Asian continent. The sea connects with the Sea of Japan through the Korea Strait and opens to the north into the Yellow Sea. The states which border the sea include Japan, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China.
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.
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.
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.
Yang Wo (楊渥), courtesy name Chengtian (承天), formally Prince Wei of Hongnong (弘農威王), later further posthumously honored King Jing of Wu (吳景王) and then as Emperor Jing of Wu (吳景帝) with the temple name Liezu (烈祖), was the first independent ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Wu.
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 (錢弘佐), 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 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.
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.