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Chinese History
Famous Personages

 

Famous Personages
Pangeng
Wuding
Fu Yue
Fu Hao
Ji Chang

Pangeng , the 20th king of the Shang Dynasty. He was on the throne for 28 years with great accomplishment. When Pangeng came to throne, there were domestic troubles, foreign invasions and national calamities. The royal members were wantonly extravagant with political corruption, the state power was declining with internal disorders from all directions. Before that, the Shang Clan had experienced over ten times of migrations because of the waste land sometimes, flood of rivers sometimes, foreign invasions sometimes and the internal contradictions sometimes. In order to mitigate the social contradictions and extricate from a difficult political position, he, regardless of the opposition from some noblemen, was determined to choose a place with a long term of developing future to regenerate the royal regime. When heard of that the land was fertile, the river was beautiful arround Anyang (called Beimeng at that time) area with tigers, bears and other animals on mountains and forests, fish and shrimp in rivers, he decided to come here for development. He made an important speech to mobilize the removal of the capital. "A single spark can start a prairie fire" was condensed from the content of the speech. At last, he led his people with lots of chariots and horses to cross the Yellow River and came to Anyang. This was called "Pangeng Removed to Yin" in history.

Wuding, the 23rd king of the Shang Dynasty.He was a nephew Of Pangeng and was on the throne for 59 years. Wuding's father Xiaoyi was the fourth among the brothers. He never thought of being a king and, moreover, to pass on the throne to his son. When Pangeng died, his son was very young , the throne was passed on in succession to his brothers Xiaoxin and Xiaoyi. When Wuding was young, his father did not let him stay in the royal court, but let him travel in folk to contact extensively with social affairs. Wuding hid his own royal membership and learned how to labour and work, and the more important was that he understood deeply the hardships of the people.

According to legend, when he came to the throne, he "kept silence for 3 years". Every day in the court, he listened to talks of courtiers without a single word, the courtiers were all afraid. In reality, he wanted to extricate himself from the influence of toady courtiers, looking for a proper chance to use talented persons without any limit, so as to restore the prosperity of the Shang empire . Later, he got a brilliant scheme: one day when he was in the court, he fell asleep suddenly and snored lightly. No one of the courtiers dared to wake him.After a while, he stretched himself, rubbed his eyes and said: the late King Chengtang appeared in my dream and said the God would send an Important courtier to assist in governing the country. He asked a painter to draw a portrait according to his description and sent his men to look for everywhere. He found at last the slave Fu Yue whom he got acquainted with when he was in the folk and appointed him the prime minister. After that, the Shang Dynasty attained its period of great prosperity, which was called
"the Resurgence of Wuding" in history.

Fu Yue , a prime minister who began his life as a slave of the Shang Dynasty. Although coming from the petty and low, he was intelligent from young, studied dilligently and had a lot of original ideas on state affairs. On a construction site, he met Wuding travelling as a common person. Fu Yue often told stories to his companions, analysed the right and wrong of the court and, moreover, spoke without reservation his swear against the royal family. Wuding liked Fu Yue very much and learned a lot of skills from him while labouring together. Wuding and Fu Yue became good friends at parting. After succeeding to the throne, Wuding tried to find Fu Yue and appointed him the prime minister. Started from putting the court in good order, Fu Yue advised Wuding to reduce tributes when offering sacrifice and took this as the example. Wuding acted upon whatever Fu Yue said and started to punish the corruption from the royal family and pursued the new policies energetically. Fu Yue did not fell short of the people's expectations. He exerted his talent of civil and military strategies to the utmost and made everything in good order inside and outside the court. While restoring domestic leases of life, he improved actively the relations with the surrounding kingdoms and dealt the kingdoms crushing blows that dared to invade. At last, the country was getting prosperous and strong, the state power was restored to rejuvenation and the Shang became the strongest power in the East of the world for a period of time.

Fu Hao , or Lady Hao, the concubine of King Wuding in the Shang Dynasty. She was the first woman general being good at both civil and military affairs recorded by writings in our country. There were over 200 pieces of record about her in oracle bone inscriptions. She once commanded an army of over 13,000 soldiers to attack the invading Kingdom Guifang and returned with great victory. She was loved deeply by Wuding, courtiers and the people because of her outstanding merits. Fu Hao died earlier at last from constant overwork and King Wuding buried her generously and built up a memorial hall to commemorate her constantly. Discovered in 1976, Fu Hao's tomb was a royal one with a clear knowledge of tomb owner's identification and without any robbery. There were altogether 1,928 pieces of funeral objects unearthed from this tomb, among which over 440 pieces were bronze vessels, over 590 pieces were jade objects, over 560 pieces were bone objects, and in addition, there were stone wares, ivory products, potteries and over 6,000 pieces of shells. The objects unearthed from Fu Hao's tomb were extremely exquisite, such as little jade figures with perfect craftsmanship, ivory cups inserted with turquoise and so on. Among the large quantity of unearthed bronze vessels, many were cast with the epigraph "Fu Hao". Especially there was a weapon "axe" with epigraph "Fu Hao", which was considered commonly by academic circles a symbol of power for Fu Hao to command troops for fighting. Fu Hao's tomb has been restored in the Yin Ruins Garden-Museum of Anyang to be visited by tourists.

Ji Chang, King Wen of the Zhou Dynasty, leader of the Zhou Clan in the Yin-Shang Dynasty. He was loved deeply by the people of the Zhou Clan because he carried out sincerely policies of benevolence, respected the old and loved the young, recruited virtuous persons and scholars. At the same time, the surrounding small clans went over to him one after another, so the forces of the Zhou Clan was expanding gradually. Seeing all this, King Zhou of the Yin was rather disturbed. He was afraid of the power of the Zhou people and more afraid of rebellion from Ji Chang. So, he called him to the capital and put him into jail in Youli (17 km south of present Anyang) and separated him from his people. During his captivity, Ji Chang put all his energies into studying the Chinese gem Prior Eight Trigrams loyally and faithfully for 7 years with his boldness of vision like a man of great wisdom often appears slow-witted. He mixed the relationship among the heaven, the earth and the people into the trigrams and then deduced them into 64 hexagrams, which is "The Book of Changes" (or I/Yi-Ching) called as the first of all the classics by later ages. This ancient classic is still flashing with wisdom now, which is praised as "the monumental work of mysticism in the East" by the Western scholars. Later, Ji Chang was released. The Zhou people became more powerful under his leadership and defeated King Zhou of the Yin commanded by his son Ji Fa (the later King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty) and established another great unified dynasty --- Zhou. top