Zhu Quan

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Zhu Quan
Prince of Ning
Wu Yi Shan Cha Bo Yuan Zhu Quan Su Xiang .JPG
Statue of Zhu Quan in Wuyi Mountain Tea Theme Park
Prince of Ning
SuccessorZhu Dienpei
Born27 May 1378
Died12 October 1448(1448-10-12) (aged 70)
IssueZhu Panshi, Hereditary Prince
Zhu Panye, Prince Kangxi of Linchuan
Zhu Panyao, Prince Anjian of Yichun
Zhu Panzhu, Prince Anxi of Xinchang
Zhu Panmuo, Prince Daohui of Xinfeng
Family name: Zhu (朱)
Given name: Quan (权 / 權)
Posthumous name
Prince Xian of Ning 寧獻王
Father Hongwu Emperor
MotherImperial Concubine Yang
OccupationHistorian, military commander, musician, playwright
First page / leaf of volume 3 of Zhu Quan's Shenqi Mipu. From right to left: Full title of tablature collection Qu Xian Shen Qi Mi Pu with volume number Xia Juan  (lower or third) plus seals of the owner of this copy (if any), title of the volume Xia Wai Shen Pin , the tuning and method of tuning Huang Zhong Diao , name of the 'modal preface' Diao Yi , the tablature (shorthand) of the modal preface, [next page] title of the piece, description of the piece's origins, and the tablature of said piece. Shenqi Mipu vol 3 pg 1.jpg
First page / leaf of volume 3 of Zhu Quan's Shenqi Mipu. From right to left: Full title of tablature collection 臞仙神奇秘譜 with volume number 下卷 (lower or third) plus seals of the owner of this copy (if any), title of the volume 霞外神品, the tuning and method of tuning 黃鐘調, name of the 'modal preface' 調意, the tablature (shorthand) of the modal preface, [next page] title of the piece, description of the piece's origins, and the tablature of said piece.

Zhu Quan (Chinese: t , s , p Zhū Quán; 27 May 1378 12 October 1448), [1] Prince of Ning (t寧王, s宁王, Nìngwáng) was a Chinese historian, military commander, musician, and playwright. He was the 17th son of Ming Hongwu Emperor. During his life, he served as a military commander, feudal lord, historian, and playwright. He is also remembered as a great tea connoisseur, a zither player, and composer.


Other names

In addition to Prince of Ning, Zhu Quan was also known as the Strange Scholar of the Great Ming (大明奇士, Da Ming Qi Shi). As part of his Taoist attempts to avoid death, he adopted the aliases the Emaciated Immortal (臞仙, Qúxiān), the "Master who Encompasses Emptiness" (涵虚子, Hánxūzi), "Taoist of the Mysterious Continent" or " Taoist of the Mysterious Island" (玄洲道人, Xuánzhōu Dàoren), and "Perfected Gentleman of the Marvelous Way of the Unfathomable Emptiness of the Southern Pole" (南极沖虚妙道真君, Nánjí Chōngxū Miàodào Zhēnjūn). [2]


Zhu Quan was initially a military commander in service to his father, the Hongwu Emperor who founded the Ming dynasty. He was granted the frontier fief of Ning with his capital at Daning in present-day Chifeng, Inner Mongolia in 1391. He was famous for his mastery of art and war and played an important role during the unrest surrounding the ascension of his teenage nephew, Jianwen Emperor, in 1399.

Under the advice of his Confucian advisors, the Jianwen Emperor summoned his uncle to an audience in the imperial capital Nanjing. Wary of the emperor's intentions, as other uncles were demoted or executed the same year, Zhu Quan refused and lost three of his divisions for insubordination. [3]

Zhu Di, the Prince of Yan, was preparing for his own uprising against the emperor and considered it a major point to neutralize Zhu Quan, a talented leader of well-trained troops located behind his lines. Taking advantage of Wu Gao's attack on Yongping near modern Shanhaiguan, the Prince of Yan after crushing Wu Gao's force rode hastily to Daning and feigned defeat and distress. After several days, his forces were in position and successfully captured Zhu Quan as he was seeing his brother off. The official history of the Ming records Daning's evacuation, with Zhu Quan's harem and courtiers removed to Songtingguan and the prince himself kept in the Yan capital at Beiping, [3] but passes over Zhu Di's setting of the entire city to the torch and the destruction of Zhu Quan's extensive library. [2]

From that point, Zhu Quan assisted his brother in his uprising, with the History of Ming recording that the Prince of Yan offered to split the entire empire between them. After his elevation as the Yongle Emperor in 1402, however, he swiftly reneged and refused to appoint his brother to lordship over Suzhou or Qiantang, instead giving him a choice only of backwater appointments. He settled upon Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi. After a scare where he was accused of practicing wugu sorcery, [4] Zhu Quan essentially retired from any interference with the realm, devoting his time instead to cultural pursuits. [3]

Meeting daily with local or visiting scholars, he pursued immortality. He treasured and revised his Secret Book of Origins (原始秘书, Yuánshǐ Mìshū), a text which survived the fire of Daning and sharply attacked Buddhism as a foreign "mourning cult" at odds with Chinese culture and proper governance. His encyclopedia of Taoism, the Most Pure and Precious Books on the Way of August Heaven (天皇至道太清玉册, Tiānhuáng Zhìdào Tàiqīngyù Cè), was so esteemed it joined the Taoist canon. [2] His brother ordered him to complete the Comprehensive Mirror of Extensive Essays (Tongjian Bolun) and was also credited with writing Family Advice (Jia Xun), Ceremonial Customs of the Country of Ning (Ningguo Yifan), The Secret History of the Han and Tang (汉唐秘史, Hàn-Táng Mìshǐ), History Breaks Off (Shi Duan), a Book of Essays (文谱, Wén Pǔ), a Book of Poetry (诗谱, Shī Pǔ), and several other annotated anthologies. [3] His most successful was his Tea Manual (茶谱, Chá Pǔ). In addition, he personally funded the publication of many rare books and composed several operas.

Zhu Quan is an important figure in the history of the Chinese zither, or guqin , for his compilation of the important Manual of the Mysterious and Marvellous (神奇秘谱, Shénqí Mì Pǔ) in 1425. This is the earliest known large scale collection of qin scores to have survived to the present day.




1. Zhu Panshi (朱盤烒), Hereditary Prince Zhuanghui (莊惠世子), posthumously as Prince Hui of Ning (寧惠王), created as Hereditary Prince of Ning (寧世子) in April 1403. He was married to a daughter of Yu Sheng (俞盛), Eastern Military Forces Commander (東城兵馬指揮) as Hereditary Princess Consort of Ning (寧世子妃) in March 1417.
2. Unnamed, died young.
3. Zhu Panye (朱盤燁), Commentary Prince Kangxi of Linchuan (臨川康僖郡王). He married to daughter of Huang Fu (黃福), Northern Military Forces Commander (北城兵馬副指揮) in July 1425, then married to Wang Xing's (王興) daughter in May 1455. Demoted as Commoner in 1461.
4. Zhu Panyao (朱盤烑), Commentary Prince Anjian of Yichun (宜春安簡郡王). Born in September 1414, title created in July 1428. He married a daughter of Liu Xun (劉勛), Jinwu Guard Commander (金吾後衛指揮) in October 1430. He died in July 1492 when he was 79, his mother was Lady Wang (王氏).
5. Zhu Panzhu (朱盤炷), Commentary Prince Anxi of Xinchang (新昌安僖郡王). Born in October 1419, title created in October 1430. He married to daughter of Ge Tan (葛覃), Xiaoling Guard Commander (孝陵衛指揮使) in February 1437. He died in 1459, his title later cancelled due to his not having a son, but he had a daughter, County Princess Nankang (南康縣主).
6. Zhu Panmou (朱盤㷬), Commentary Prince Daohui of Xinfeng (信豐悼惠郡王), title created in October 1432. He died in January 1437 when he was 19. His title later cancelled due to his not having a son.


1. Commentary Princess Yongxin (永新郡主), title created in July 1426, married to Gao Heling (高鶴齡), Jinxiang Guard Sheren (金鄉衛舍人).
2. Commentary Princess Yushan (玉山郡主), title created in July 1426, married to Fang Jingxiang (方景祥), Captaincy Sheren (都督舍人).
3. Commentary Princess Qingjiang (清江郡主), title created in February 1426, married to Chen Yi (陳逸).
4. Commentary Princess Fengxin (奉新郡主), title created in 5 February 1426, married to Wang Shuang (王爽).
5. Commentary Princess Jinxi (金溪郡主), title created February 1426, married to Han Fu (韓輔). Died in August 1449.
6. Commentary Princess Taihe (泰和郡主), title created February 1426, married to Wang Zhanran (汪湛然), citizen from Poyang County.
7. Commentary Princess Pengze (彭澤郡主), title created February 1426, married to Wang Zhi (王質).
8. Commentary Princess Luling (廬陵郡主), title created February 1426, married to Tian Yu (田昱).
9. Commentary Princess Xinyu (新喻郡主), title created February 1426, married to Hu Guangji (胡光霽).
10. Commentary Princess Xincheng (新城郡主), title created February 1426, married to Li Huan (李瓛).
11. Commentary Princess Fuliang (浮梁郡主), title created July 1426.
12. Died Young, no title.
13. Commentary Princess Nanfeng (南豐郡主), title created February 1426, married to Zhang Wen 張雯.
14. Commentary Princess Yongfeng (永豊郡主), title created June 1427.


Zhu Quan is also the ancestor of the famous Chinese painter Zhu Da.

See also

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  1. http://www.history.ubc.ca/sites/default/files/documents/readings/robinson_culture_courtiers_ch.8.pdf p. 398
  2. 1 2 3 Wang, Richard G. The Ming Prince and Daoism: Institutional Patronage of an Elite . Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. ISBN   9780199767687. Accessed 14 Oct 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Zhu Quan". History of Ming , Folio 117, p.14a. Taiwan ed, p. 3591. Accessed 14 Oct 2012.
  4. A kind of Chinese black magic where poisonous insects were kept together in a small container until only the deadliest was left. The last surviving insect was then burned and used in the preparation of a potion.