Wuyue
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Wuyue (;
Shanghainese Shanghainese, also known as the Shanghai language, Shanghai dialect, or Hu language, is a Wu Chinese Wu (Chinese character: , , Mandarin: ) is a group of linguistically similar and historically related Sinitic languages spoken primarily ...
: ), 907–978, was an independent coastal kingdom founded during the
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (), from 907 to 979 was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century history of China, Imperial China. Five states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain (China), Central Plain ...
(907–960) of
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...
. It was ruled by the Haiyan Qian clan (海盐钱氏), whose family name remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.


Founding

Beginning in 887, the Qian family provided military leaders (or ''
jiedushi The ''jiedushi'' (), or jiedu, was a title for regional military governors in China which was established in the Tang dynasty, Tang dynasty and abolished in the Yuan dynasty, Yuan dynasty. The post of ''jiedushi'' has been translated as "milit ...
'') to the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
.
Qian Liu Qian Liu (10 March 852Academia Sinica Chinese-Western Calendar Converter

Qian Liu
was named Prince of
Yue Yue or Yueh (Yüeh) may refer to: Locations *Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, ad ...

Yue
in 902, with the title of Prince of
Wu
Wu
added two years later. In 907, when the Tang Dynasty fell and was replaced in the north by the
Later Liang Later Liang may refer to the following states in Chinese history: * Later Liang (Sixteen Kingdoms) (後涼; 386–403), one of the Sixteen Kingdoms * Western Liang (555–587), also known as Later Liang (後梁), a state during the Southern and Nor ...
, military leaders in the south formed their own kingdoms. Qian Liu used his position to proclaim himself the King of Wuyue. This signaled the beginning of the
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (), from 907 to 979 was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from ...
period which would last until the founding of the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
in 960.


Origin of name

The name Wuyue comes from the combination of Wu Kingdom and Yue Kingdom, two ancient kingdoms during the
Spring and Autumn period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
from 770 to 476 BC.


Territorial extent

With its capital in
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
, also called "Xifu", the kingdom included present-day
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
,
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
, along with the southern portion of Jiangsu Province. It also later absorbed some of the northern part of
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, sub ...

Fujian
when the Min Kingdom fell in 945. The territorial extent of Wuyue roughly corresponded to the territories of the ancient Yue, but not the ancient Wu—which led to charges by the neighboring Wu (also known as Southern Wu) that Wuyue had designs on its territory, and the name was a source of tension for years between the two states. In the early decades of its existence, Wuyue bordered the Min Kingdom on its south and the
Southern Tang Southern Tang () was a state in Southern China that existed during Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, which proclaimed itself to be the successor of the former Tang Dynasty. The capital was located at Jinling, Nanjing in present-day Jiangsu ...
Kingdom on its west and north. With the rebellion of Yin from the Min from 943 to 945, Wuyue briefly had a third border. However, before long, Wuyue was completely encircled (except for the
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% o ...

East China Sea
) as both Yin and Min were absorbed by the Southern Tang. The population was approximately 550,700 households, with many people living in commercial centers and major seaports..


Administrative divisions

Wuyue was not a large kingdom compared to many of its neighbors. Although initially 12 prefectures (州), it later consisted of 13 prefectures and 86 counties or sub-prefectures (縣). Fuzhou was incorporated into Wuyue as its 13th prefecture, after the Min court declared allegiance to it as they were besieged by Southern Tang. Former Administrative Divisions *
Changzhou Changzhou ( Changzhounese: ''Zaon Tsei'', ) is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), off ...

Changzhou
(常州) from 886–891 CE, ceded to
Yang Xingmi Yang Xingmi (; 852''Spring and Autumn Annals of the Ten Kingdoms''vol. 1 – December 24, 905Academia Sinica]Chinese-Western Calendar Converter''Zizhi Tongjian'', :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷265, vol. 265.), né Yang Xingmin (楊行愍, name changed 886) ...
* Runzhou District, Runzhou (潤州) from 886–891 CE, ceded to
Yang Xingmi Yang Xingmi (; 852''Spring and Autumn Annals of the Ten Kingdoms''vol. 1 – December 24, 905Academia Sinica]Chinese-Western Calendar Converter''Zizhi Tongjian'', :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷265, vol. 265.), né Yang Xingmin (楊行愍, name changed 886) ...


Reign of Qian Liu

Under Qian Liu's reign, Wuyue prospered economically and freely developed its own regional culture that continues to this day. He developed the coastal kingdom's agriculture, built seawalls, expanded Hangzhou, dredged rivers and lakes, and encouraged sea transport and trade. On his death-bed he urged a benign administration of state affairs and his words were strictly followed by four succeeding kings.


Foreign diplomacy

In 935, Wuyue established official diplomatic relations with
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
. The kingdom also took advantage of its maritime location to maintain diplomatic contacts with north
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, the
Khitans The Khitan people (Khitan small script The Khitan small script () was one of two writing systems used for the now-extinct Khitan language Khitan or Kitan ( in large script or in small, ''Khitai''; , ''Qìdānyǔ''), also known as Liao, is a ...
,
Bohai
Bohai
, and the
Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...

Korea
n states of
Later Baekje Hubaekje or Later Baekje (, ) was one of the Later Three Kingdoms of Korea, along with Taebong, Hugoguryeo and Silla. It was officially founded by the disaffected Silla general Gyeon Hwon in 900, and fell to Taejo of Goryeo, Wang Geon's Goryeo a ...
,
Goryeo Goryeo (; ) was a Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at or near the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel, North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (th ...
, and
Silla Silla or Shilla (57 BCE57 BCE according to the '' Samguk Sagi''; however Seth 2010 notes that "these dates are dutifully given in many textbooks and published materials in Korea today, but their basis is in myth; only Goguryeo may be traced ...

Silla
. Buddhism played a large role in the diplomatic relations with
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
and
Goryeo Goryeo (; ) was a Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at or near the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel, North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (th ...
. Japanese and Korean monks traveled to Wuyue, while monks from Wuyue went to Japan and Korea as well. The rulers of Wuyue also tried to find sutras that had been lost during the turbulent final years of the Tang. In 947, Qian Zuo sent gifts to Japan and offered to buy any sutras; however none were available. In 961,
Qian Chu Qian Chu (September 29, 929 – October 7, 988, courtesy name Wende), known as Qian Hongchu before 960, was the last king of Wuyue, reigning from 947 until 978 when he surrendered his kingdom to the Song dynasty. Life Qian Chu came to power aft ...
sent fifty precious objects and a letter to Goryeo inquiring about the missing sutras, and Gwangjong sent the monk Jegwan () with a complete set of
Tiantai Tiantai or T'ien-t'ai () is an East Asian Buddhist East Asian Buddhism or East Asian Mahayana is a collective term for the schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism Mahāyāna (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhist traditions, ...
sutras..


Fall of the kingdom

In 978, in the face of certain annihilation from northern imperial Chinese troops, the last king of Wuyue,
Qian Chu Qian Chu (September 29, 929 – October 7, 988, courtesy name Wende), known as Qian Hongchu before 960, was the last king of Wuyue, reigning from 947 until 978 when he surrendered his kingdom to the Song dynasty. Life Qian Chu came to power aft ...
, pledged allegiance to the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, saving his people from war and economic destruction. While Qian Chu nominally remained king, Wuyue was absorbed into the Song Dynasty, effectively ending the kingdom. The last king died in 988.


Legacy


Cultural legacy

The Wuyue Kingdom cemented the cultural and economic dominance of the Wuyue region in China for centuries to come, as well as creating a lasting regional cultural tradition distinctive from the rest of China. The leaders of the kingdom were noted patrons of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, and
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
,
temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...

temple
decoration, and religious sculptures related to
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
. The cultural distinctiveness that began developing over this period persists to this day as the Wuyue region speaks a dialect called Wu (the most famous variant of which is
Shanghainese Shanghainese, also known as the Shanghai language, Shanghai dialect, or Hu language, is a Wu Chinese Wu (Chinese character: , , Mandarin: ) is a group of linguistically similar and historically related Sinitic languages spoken primarily ...
), has distinctive
cuisine A cuisine is a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, List of cooking techniques, techniques and dish (food), dishes, and usually associated with a specific culture or geographic region. Regional food preparation traditions ...
and other cultural traits. The
Baochu Pagoda Baochu Pagoda () is a pagoda A pagoda is an Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispher ...

Baochu Pagoda
, constructed during the reign of Qian Chu, was one of many temples and pagodas built under the patronage of the Wuyue kings.


Infrastructure

The physical legacy of the Wuyue Kingdom was the creation of the system of canals and dikes which allowed the region to become the most agriculturally rich region of China for many centuries. As a result, shrines to Qian Liu sprang up all across the region, and many can still be found today.


Personal legacy

Qian Liu was often known as the "Dragon King" or the "Sea Dragon King" because of his extensive hydro-engineering schemes which "tamed" the seas. The kings of Wuyue continue to enjoy positive treatment in orthodox history. They were popularly revered because of the hydro-engineering works, ensuring the economic prosperity of the region, and for finally surrendering to the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, which ensured both a unified Chinese nation and that the region would not be ravaged by war. During the early
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, the Qian royal family were treated as second only to the ruling Zhao imperial family, as reflected in the ''
Hundred Family Surnames The ''Hundred Family Surnames'' (), commonly known as ''Bai Jia Xing'', also translated as ''Hundreds of Chinese Surnames'', is a classic Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Repub ...
''. Subsequently, many shrines were erected across the Wuyue region where the kings of Wuyue were memorialised, and sometimes, worshipped as dictating weather and agriculture. Many of these shrines, known as "Shrine of the Qian King" or "Temple to the Qian King", remain today, the most popularly visited example being that near West Lake in
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
. Qian Liu reputedly had more than a hundred sons born to many different wives and concubines. His progeny were posted to various parts of the kingdom. The Qian family remains very widely spread throughout the region. Several branches are considered "prominent families" (望族) in their local areas.Pan (1937)


Rulers

Qian Chu Qian Chu (September 29, 929 – October 7, 988, courtesy name Wende), known as Qian Hongchu before 960, was the last king of Wuyue, reigning from 947 until 978 when he surrendered his kingdom to the Song dynasty. Life Qian Chu came to power aft ...
submitted to the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
in 978 and continued to reign nominally, successively as King of Huaihai, King of Hannan, King of Hanyang and Prince of Xu, and finally Prince of Deng, until his death in 988. After his death he was also posthumously created King of Qin.


Rulers family tree


References


Citations


Sources

* Chavannes, Edouard. "Le royaume de Wou et de Yue", ''T'oung Pao'' 17: 129–264 (1916). * * * {{coord missing, China Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Former countries in Chinese history 10th-century establishments in China 907 establishments 978 disestablishments 10th-century disestablishments in China States and territories established in the 900s States and territories disestablished in the 970s Wu (region)