King Zhao of Chu (Chinese: 楚昭王; pinyin: Chŭ Zhāo Wáng, died
489 BC) was from 515 to 489 BC the king of the State of Chu during the
Spring and Autumn period
Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. He was born Xiong Zhen
(熊珍) and King Zhao was his posthumous title. Documents
unearthed in the former state also show his title as King Shao
(卲王). King Zhao was the son of King Ping of Chu.
In 506 BCE, King Helü of the
State of Wu
State of Wu led an army to invade Chu.
His army was commanded by the military strategist Sun Tzu, author of
The Art of War, as well as Wu Zixu, a Chu exile whose father and
brother were killed by King Ping of Chu. The Wu army routed the Chu
army at the historic Battle of Boju, and the Chu commander Nang Wa
fled to the state of Zheng.
The Wu army pursued the remaining Chu troops, won several more
battles, and captured Ying, the capital of Chu. Chu general Shen Yin
Shu defeated the Wu army but was severely wounded, and was killed by a
Chu officer at his own request. King Zhao was forced to flee.
During the escape he was wounded by a Chu arrow at
Yunmeng from where
he made his way through Yun to the State of Sui in northern Hubei. Chu
Minister of State Shen Baoxu (申包胥) meanwhile headed for the
State of Qin to plead for assistance from their army. At first, the
Qin ruler Duke Ai was non-committal in his response but after Shen
spent seven days kneeling and wailing in the Qin palace courtyard,
Duke Ai was moved by his devotion and agreed to send troops to assist
Chu. Thereafter the Wu army retreated and King Zhao returned to the
Chu capital at Ying.
In 489 BCE, King Zhao witnessed the inauspicious meteorological
phenomenon known as “Clouds like numerous red birds pressing the day
to fly” (雲如眾赤鳥，夾日以飛). Not long afterwards, King
Fuchai of Wu attacked the State of Chen and Chen requested assistance
from King Zhao. The king led his troops personally and was killed
during a subsequent battle.
King Zhao was married to Zhen Jiang (貞姜), daughter of the Marquess
of Qi (齊侯) whilst his mother was Bo Ying (伯嬴). He also had one
sister and at least three elder brothers born by concubines, namely
Shen (王子申), Jie (王子结) and Qi (王子啟), sometimes known
by their courtesy names as Zixi (子西), Ziqi (子期) and Zilü
^ a b Sima Qian. "楚世家 (House of Chu)". Records of the Grand
Historian (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 10 March 2012.
Retrieved 1 March 2012.
^ Dong Shan (董珊) Excavated document: Posthumous names of the Chu
kings –appendix to the Zuo Zhuan, Archaeological Records Research
Journal, Volume 2, Shanghai Fudan University Publishing, August 2008.
^ a b c Zuo Qiuming. "BOOK XI. DUKE DING".
Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and
English). Retrieved 30 November 2011.
King Zhao of Chu
House of Mi
Died: 489 BC
King Ping of Chu
King of Chu
King Hui of Chu
Monarchs of Chu
Xiong Yan (elder)
Xiong Yan (younger)