Eastern Depot
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Eastern Depot or Eastern Bureau () was a
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian ethnic group nativ ...

Ming dynasty
spy and
secret police Secret police (or political police) are intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstr ...
agency run by
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man who has been castration, castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2 ...

eunuch
s. It was created by the
Yongle Emperor The Yongle Emperor (pronounced , ; 2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) — personal name Zhu Di (WG: Chu Ti) — was the third List of emperors of the Ming dynasty, Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424. Zhu Di was the fourth son ...

Yongle Emperor
.


History

After the
Yongle Emperor The Yongle Emperor (pronounced , ; 2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) — personal name Zhu Di (WG: Chu Ti) — was the third List of emperors of the Ming dynasty, Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424. Zhu Di was the fourth son ...

Yongle Emperor
usurped the throne in 1402 from his nephew, the
Jianwen Emperor The Jianwen Emperor (5 December 1377 – 13 July 1402) was the second Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1398 to 1402. His personal name was Zhu Yunwen (). The era name A regnal year is a year of the reign of a sovereign Sovereign ...

Jianwen Emperor
, he attempted to retain the officials who served in Jianwen's court, but some of them opposed him. In 1420, in order to suppress political opposition, Yongle decided to create the Eastern Depot (named as such because it was located east of the
imperial palace
imperial palace
), a spy and secret police agency run by eunuchs. They were responsible for spying on officials of any rank, including military officers, scholars, rebels and the general populace. The Eastern Depot would investigate and arrest suspects, and then hand them over to the
Jinyiwei
Jinyiwei
for interrogation. In the late Ming dynasty, the Eastern Depot had its own tactical forces and prisons, and became so powerful that even officials were ordered to
kowtow Kowtow, which is borrowed from ''kau tau'' in Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale romanization of Cantonese, Yale: ''Gwóngdūng wá'') is a language within the Varieties of Chinese, Chinese (Sinitic) branch of t ...
to the Depot's leaders. The Eastern Depot lasted to 1644, the end of the Ming Dynasty. There was also a government department called the Western Depot (Xichang) established by the Chenghua Emperor in 1477, originally to search for witches, but became a rival to the Eastern Depot; it lasted, except for an interval from 1482 to 1506, until 1510. A third security apparatus, created to counter the two depots and the Jinyiwei, was called the Inner Branch Depot (Neixingchang) and lasted from about 1505, in the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, also until 1510. Shih-shan Henry Tsai (1996), p. 104 The Inner Branch Depot was briefly reestablished sometime during the long reign of the Wanli Emperor.


Famous chiefs of the Eastern Depot

*Wang Zhen (eunuch), Wang Zhen *Liu Jin * *Wei Zhongxian


References


See also

*Transitional Justice Commission#Eastern Depot scandal {{Ming dynasty topics Government of the Ming dynasty Chinese eunuchs 1420 establishments in Asia Chinese warriors Chinese intelligence agencies