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Wu (Chinese: 吳; Old Chinese: *ŋʷˤa) was one of the states during the Western Zhou Dynasty
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. Wu was located at the mouth of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
east of the State of Chu. Its first capital was at Meili (probably in modern Wuxi) and was later moved to Gusu (modern central Suzhou) and then Helu City (the old town of present-day Suzhou).

Contents

1 History 2 Kings of Wu family tree 3 Culture

3.1 Literature

4 Legacy

4.1 Possible connection with ancient Japan 4.2 Wu in astronomy

5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading

History[edit] The rulers of the State of Wu had the surname Ji (姬), the same as the Zhou royal family. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, this was because the rulers of Wu are descended from Taibo, the elder uncle of King Wen. Realizing that his youngest brother, Jili, was wiser than he and deserved to inherit the throne, Taibo fled to Wu and settled there with his other brother Zhongyong. They established their first capital at Meili (梅里), believed to be today's Meicun
Meicun
in Wuxi. The State of Jin aided Wu's rise to power as a useful ally against the State of Chu. In 584 BC, Wu rebelled against Chu upon the advice of Wuchen, a Jin minister who defected from Chu. Afterwards, Wu would be a constant threat to the Chu until its demise. Wu fomented rebelliousness among Chu's vassals in the Yangtze valley. In 506 BC, Wu launched a surprise attack and occupied the capital of Chu. Afterwards, Wu was briefly the most powerful nation and turned to other campaigns, defeating the State of Qi
State of Qi
in 484 BC. Ironically, Wu was later threatened by an upstart state to its own south, Yue; Chu then aided Yue's rise as a counter to Wu. Although Wu won a major victory against Yue in 494 BC, it failed to completely subjugate it, in part because of Yue's timely bribing of an important Wu minister. While Wu was engaged in a military campaign in the north, Yue launched a surprise attack on Wu in 482 BC and conquered the capital. Over the next decade, Wu was unable to recover and Yue absorbed the state in 473 BC. Wu, Yue, and Chu all proclaimed themselves kings in the 6th century BC, showing the drastic weakening of the Zhou court's authority during the Spring and Autumn period. Wu and Yue were masters of metallurgy, fabricating excellent swords with incised messages, geometric patterns, and inlaid gold or silver. Wu and Yue swords tend to use much more tin than copper compared to those of other states. Wu often sent swords as gifts to northern states, such as Qi and Cai. Examples include the spearhead of King Fuchai and the sword of Prince Guang. Kings of Wu family tree[edit] The kings of Wu claimed descent from Wu Taibo, the uncle of King Wen of Zhou. Their ancestral name was Ji and their clan name was Gufa.[1]

State of Wu

Tai King of Zhou 周太王

(1)Taibo 太伯

(2) Zhongyong 仲雍

Jili King of Zhou 季歷

(3)Jijian 季简

Chang 昌 Wen of Zhou 周文王 1099–1152BC –1056-1050

(4)Shuda 叔达

Wu of Zhou ?–1046–1043BC

(5)Zhouzhang 周章

Yuzhong 虞仲 State of Yu 虞国 Zhou dynasty

(6)Xiongsui 熊遂

(7)Kexiang 柯相

(8)Qiangjiuyi 彊鳩夷

(9)Yuqiaoyiwu 餘橋疑吾

(10)Kelu 柯卢

(11) Zhouyao 周繇

(12) Quyu 屈羽

(13) Yiwu 夷吾

(14) Qinchu 禽处

(15) Zhuan 转

(16)Pogao 颇高

(17) Goubei 句卑

(18) Quqi 去齐

(19) Shoumeng 寿梦 ?–586–561 BC

(23)Liao 僚 ?–527–515 BC

Jueyou 蹶由

(20) Zhufan 诸樊 ?–561–548 BC

(21) Yuji 余祭 ?–548–531 BC

(22) Yumei 餘昧 ?–531–527 BC

Yanyu 掩余

Zhuyong 烛庸

Jizha 季札

Crown Prince Zhufan 太子诸樊

Qingji 庆忌

Tong 通

(23) Helü 阖闾 ?–515–496 BC

Fugai 夫概 ?–505 BC-?

Cheng 逞

Zhonglei 终累

(24) Fuchai 夫差 ?–496–473 BC

Zishan 子山

Crown Prince You 太子友

Prince Gucao 王子姑曹

Prince Di 王子地

Culture[edit] The Records of the Grand Historian
Records of the Grand Historian
states that the people in Wu wore their hair short and sported tattoos. This observation is likely meant to illustrate their supposed barbarism, as in Sima Qian's time neither men nor women were allowed to cut their hair or otherwise modify their body - doing so was considered an offence against the ancestors from which one had inherited one's physical features. Wu rulers did not receive Chinese-language posthumous names after death. Literature[edit] As Sun Zi
Sun Zi
served under King Helü, his Art of War
Art of War
was possibly written or edited in Wu. Legacy[edit] "Wu" continues to be used as a name for the region around Suzhou
Suzhou
and Shanghai
Shanghai
and their regional speech, Wu Chinese. It was employed by other states and princes holding power in the region, most notably Eastern Wu
Eastern Wu
of the Three Kingdoms, and Wu and Wuyue
Wuyue
of the Ten Kingdoms. Possible connection with ancient Japan[edit] Ambassadorial visits to Japan
Japan
by the later Chinese dynasties Wei and Jin recorded that the Wō people(Yamato) of Japan
Japan
claimed to be descendants of Taibo of Wu, traditionally believed to be the founder of Wu.[2] Genetic and archeologic researches link the early Japanese people(Yayoi) with the Yangtze river
Yangtze river
and the early inhabitants, the Yue people, which are also the source of the later Wu people.[3] Wu in astronomy[edit] Wu, together with Yue, is represented with the star Zeta Aquilae
Zeta Aquilae
in asterism Left Wall, Heavenly Market enclosure
Heavenly Market enclosure
(see Chinese constellations).[4] See also[edit]

King of Wu Wu Zixu Yue Sun Tzu

References[edit]

^ 曹锦炎 [Cao Jinyan]. 吴王寿梦之子剑铭文考释 ["Textual Research on King Shou Meng of Wu's Son's Sword Inscription"]. 文物 [Wénwù, Cultural Relics]. Feb 2005. (in Chinese) ^ Encounters of the Eastern Barbarians, Wei Chronicles ^ http://www.trussel.com/prehist/news111.htm ^ AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 6 月 23 日 (in Chinese)

Further reading[edit]

Zhengzhang Shangfang 1990. "Some Kam-Tai Words in Place Names of the Ancient Wu and Yue States" [古吴越地名中的侗台语成份]. In Minzu Yuwen 6. (in Chinese)

v t e

Zhou dynasty
Zhou dynasty
states

Spring and Autumn

Major states

Cai Cao Chen Chu Jin Lu Qi Qin Song Wey Wu Yan Yue Zheng

Minor states

Ba Bei (zh) Chao Dao Dai Deng E Eastern Guo Western Guo Gumie Guzhu Han Hua Huang Huo Ji Jia (zh) Ju Lai Liang Liao Lü Luo (zh) Pi Qǐ Quan Rui Ruo Shēn Shěn Sui Tan Tang Xi Xian Xing Xu Yang Yiqu Yu Zhongshan Zhoulai Zou

Warring States

Seven states

Chu Han Qi Qin Wei Yan Zhao

Minor states

Ba Cai Dai Lu Shu Song Teng Wey Yiqu Yue Z

.