Shang Yang (Chinese: 商鞅; c. 390 – 338 BCE), also known as Wei Yang (Chinese: 衞鞅) and originally surnamed Gongsun, was a prominent legalist scholar. Born in Wey, Zhou Kingdom, he was a statesman and reformer of the State of Qin during the Warring States period of ancient China. His policies laid the administrative and political foundations that would enable Qin to conquer all of China, uniting the country for the first time and ushering in the Qin dynasty. He and his followers contributed to the Book of Lord Shang, a foundational work of what has modernly been termed Chinese Legalism.
Statue of pivotal reformer Shang Yang
Shang Yang is born as the son of a concubine to the ruling family of the minor state Wey (衛). His surname (氏, lineage name) is Gongsun and his personal name Yang. As a member of the Wey family, he is also known as Wei Yang.
At a young age, Yang studied law and obtained a position under Prime Minister Shuzuo of Wei (魏, not the same as his birth state). With the support of Duke Xiao of Qin, Yang left his lowly position in Wei to become the chief adviser in Qin. His numerous reforms transformed the peripheral Qin state into a militarily powerful and strongly centralized kingdom. Changes to the state's legal system (which were said to have been built upon Li Kui's Canon of Laws) propelled the Qin to prosperity. Enhancing the administration through an emphasis on meritocracy, his policies weakened the power of the feudal lords.
In 341 BC, Qin attacked the state of Wei. Yang personally led the Qin army to defeat Wei, and eventually Wei ceded the land west of the Yellow River to Qin. For his role in the war, Yang received 15 cities in Shang as his personal fief and became known as the lord of Shang (Shang Jun) or Shang Yang. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, with his personal connections while serving in the court of Wei, Shang Yang invited Gongzi Ang, the Wei general, to negotiate a peace treaty. As soon as Ang arrived, he was taken prisoner, and the Qin army attacked, successfully defeating their opponents.
Mark Edward Lewis once identified his reorganization of the military as responsible for the orderly plan of roads and fields throughout north China. This might be far fetched, but Yang was as much a military reformer as a legal one. Yang oversaw the construction of Xiangyang.
He is credited by Han Fei, often considered to be the greatest representative of Chinese Legalism, with the creation of two theories;
Believing in the rule of law and considering loyalty to the state above that of the family, Yang introduced two sets of changes to the State of Qin. The first, in 356 BCE, were:
Yang introduced his second set of changes in 350 BCE, which included a new standardized system of land allocation and reforms to taxation.
The vast majority of Yang's reforms were taken from policies instituted elsewhere, such as from Wu Qi of the State of Chu; however, Yang's reforms were more thorough and extreme than those of other states, and monopolized policy in the hands of the ruler. Under his tenure, Qin quickly caught up with and surpassed the reforms of other states.
Yang introduced land reforms, privatized land, rewarded farmers who exceeded harvest quotas, enslaved farmers who failed to meet quotas, and used enslaved subjects as (state-owned) rewards for those who met government policies.
As manpower was short in Qin relative to the other states at the time, Yang enacted policies to increase its manpower. As Qin peasants were recruited into the military, he encouraged active migration of peasants from other states into Qin as a replacement workforce; this policy simultaneously increased the manpower of Qin and weakened the manpower of Qin's rivals. Yang made laws forcing citizens to marry at a young age and passed tax laws to encourage raising multiple children. He also enacted policies to free convicts who worked in opening wastelands for agriculture.
Yang partly abolished primogeniture (depending on the performance of the son) and created a double tax on households that had more than one son living in the household, to break up large clans into nuclear families.
Yang moved the capital to reduce the influence of nobles on the administration.
Deeply despised by the Qin nobility, Yang could not survive Duke Xiao of Qin's death. The next ruler, King Huiwen, ordered the nine familial exterminations against Yang and his family, on the grounds of fomenting rebellion. Yang had previously humiliated the new duke "by causing him to be punished for an offense as though he were an ordinary citizen." According to Zhan Guo Ce, Yang went into hiding and at one point Yang tried to stay at an inn. The innkeeper refused because it was against Yang's laws to admit a guest without proper identification, a law Yang himself had implemented.
Yang was executed by jūliè (車裂, dismemberment by being fastened to five chariots, cattle or horses and being torn to pieces); his whole family was also executed. Despite his death, King Huiwen kept the reforms enacted by Yang. A number of alternate versions of Yang's death have survived. According to Sima Qian in his Records of the Grand Historian, Yang first escaped to Wei. However, he was hated there for his earlier betrayal of Gongzi Ang and was expelled. Yang then fled to his fiefdom, where he raised a rebel army but was killed in battle. After the battle, King Hui of Qin had Yang's corpse torn apart by chariots as a warning to others.
Following the execution of Yang, King Huiwen turned away from the central valley south to conquer Sichuan (Shu and Ba) in what Steven Sage calls a "visionary reorientation of thinking" toward material interests in Qin's bid for universal rule.
The Canon of Laws or Classic of Law (Chinese: 法经; pinyin: Fǎ Jīng) is a lost legal code that has been attributed to Lǐ Kuǐ (Chinese: 李悝), a Legalist scholar and minister who lived in the State of Wei during the Warring States Period of Chinese history (475-220 BCE). This code has traditionally been dated to the early fourth century BCE, but scholars now widely consider it to be a forgery from the fifth or sixth century CE.According to the traditional account, which first appeared in the monograph on law (Xingfa zhi 刑法志) of the Book of Jin, the Canon of Laws was the earliest legal canon of ancient China and became the basis for all later legal works. It is said that Legalist reformer Shāng Yǎng (Chinese: 商鞅) took it to the State of Qin where it became the basis of the law of the State of Qin (Chinese: 秦律; pinyin: Qīn Lü) and later the law of the Qin Dynasty.Although the original text has been lost, according to later records the Canon of Laws comprised six chapters:
Theft and robbery law (Chinese: 盗法; pinyin: Dào Fǎ)
Treason law (simplified Chinese: 贼法; traditional Chinese: 賊法; pinyin: Zéi Fǎ)
Prisoner or extent of justice law (Chinese: 囚(或网)法; pinyin: Qiú Fǎ huò Wǎng Fǎ)
Law of arrest (Chinese: 捕法; pinyin: Bǔ Fǎ)
Miscellaneous law (Chinese: 杂法; Chinese: 雜; pinyin: Zá Fǎ)
Law of possession (Chinese: 具法; pinyin: Jù Fǎ)Duke Xiao of Qin
Duke Xiao of Qin (Chinese: 秦孝公; pinyin: Qín Xiào Gōng, 381–338 BC), given name Quliang (Chinese: 渠梁; pinyin: Qúliáng), was the ruler of the Qin state from 361 to 338 BC during the Warring States period of Chinese history. Duke Xiao is best known for employing the Legalist statesman Shang Yang from the State of Wey (衛), and authorizing him to conduct a series of ground breaking political, military and economic reforms in Qin. Although the reforms were controversial and drew violent opposition from many Qin politicians, Duke Xiao supported Shang Yang fully and the reforms did help to transform Qin into a dominant superpower among the Seven Warring States.Fa (concept)
Fa (Chinese: 法;Mandarin pronunciation: [fà]) is a concept in Chinese philosophy that covers ethics, logic, and law. It can be translated as "law" in some contexts, but more often as "model" or "standard." First gaining importance in the Mohist school of thought, the concept was principally elaborated in Legalism. In Han Fei's philosophy, the king is the sole source of fa (law), taught to the common people so that there would be a harmonious society free of chance occurrences, disorder, and "appeal to privilege". High officials were not to be held above fa (law or protocol), nor were they to be allowed to independently create their own fa, uniting both executive fiat and rule of law.Xunzi, a philosopher that would end up being foundational in Han dynasty Confucianism, also took up fa, suggesting that it could only be properly assessed by the Confucian sage (ruler), and that the most important fa were the very rituals that Mozi had ridiculed for their ostentatious waste and lack of benefit for the people at large.Han Feizi
The Han Feizi (Chinese: 韓非子) is an ancient Chinese text attributed to foundational political philosopher, "Master" Han Fei. It comprises a selection of essays in the "Legalist" tradition on theories of state power, synthesizing the methodologies of his predecessors. Its 55 chapters, most of which date to the Warring States period mid-3rd century BC, are the only such text to survive intact. Easily one of the most important philosophical classics in ancient China, it touches on administration, diplomacy, war and economics, and is also valuable for its abundance of anecdotes about pre-Qin China.
Han Fei's writings were very influential on the future first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. After the early demise of the Qin dynasty, Han Fei's philosophy was officially vilified by the following Han Dynasty. Despite its outcast status throughout the history of imperial China, his political theory continued to heavily influence every dynasty thereafter, and the Confucian ideal of a rule without laws was never again realized. Shu Han's chancellor Zhuge Liang demanded emperor Liu Shan read the Han Feizi for learning the way of ruling.
Though differing considerably in style, the coherency of the essays lend themselves to the possibility that they were written by Han Fei himself, and are generally considered more philosophically engaging than the Book of Lord Shang.Heya
Heya or Hey Ya may refer to:
Hey (interjection), an interjection
Heya (sumo) from the Japanese word for "room" (部屋), also in compounds -beya, or Sumo-beya, an organization of sumo wrestlers (pronounced beya when in compound form)
Heya TV, from the Arabic word for "Hers", an Arabic-language Lebanese television channel, carried on UBI World TV
Heya wa Howa, alternative title of Howa wa heya ("Him and Her"), Egyptian TV show
He Ya (Chinese: 河丫), a minor character related to Shang Yang in the Chinese television series The Qin Empire
Hey'a, a variant name for Islamic religious policeKing Huiwen of Qin
King Huiwen of Qin (Chinese: 秦惠文王; 356–311 BC), also known as Lord Huiwen of Qin (Chinese: 秦惠文君) or King Hui of Qin (Chinese: 秦惠王), given name Si (駟), was the ruler of the Qin state from 338 to 311 BC during the Warring States period of Chinese history and likely an ancestor of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. He was the first ruler of Qin to style himself "King" (王) instead of "Duke" (公).Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
Fajia (Chinese: 法家; pinyin: Fǎjiā) or Legalism is one of Sima Tan's six classical schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. Roughly meaning "house of Fa" (administrative "methods" or "standards"), the "school" (term) represents some several branches of realistic statesmen or "men of methods" (fashu zishi) foundational for the traditional Chinese bureaucratic empire. Compared with Machiavelli, they have often been considered in the Western world as akin to the Realpolitikal thought of ancient China, emphasizing a realistic consolidation of the wealth and power of autocrat and state, with the goal of achieving increased order, security and stability. Having close ties with the other schools, some would be a major influence on Taoism and Confucianism, and the current remains highly influential in administration, policy and legal practice in China today.Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one person, emphasizing a merit system administrator Shen Buhai (c. 400 BC – c. 337 BC) may have had more influence than any other, and might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration. Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist. The correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive (Wu wei) ruler responsible for examination into performance, claims and titles likely also informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao (name that cannot be named) that "gives rise to the ten thousand things."Concerned largely with administrative and sociopolitical innovation, Shang Yang (390–338 BC) was a leading reformer of his time. His numerous reforms transformed the peripheral Qin state into a militarily powerful and strongly centralized kingdom. Much of Legalism was "principally the development of certain ideas" that lay behind his reforms, and it was these that helped lead to Qin's ultimate conquest of the other states of China in 221 BC.Shen's most famous successor Han Fei (c. 280 – 233 BC) synthesized the thought of the other "Fa-Jia" in his eponymous text, the Han Feizi. Written around 240 BC, the Han Feizi is commonly thought of as the greatest of all Legalist texts, and is believed to contain the first commentaries on the Tao te Ching in history. The grouping together of thinkers that would eventually be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to him, and The Art of War would seem to incorporate Taoist philosophy of inaction and impartiality, and Legalist punishment and rewards as systematic measures of organization, recalling Han Fei's concepts of power (shi) and tactics (shu). Attracting the attention of the First Emperor, It is often said that succeeding emperors followed the template set by Han Fei.Calling them the "theorists of the state", sinologist Jacques Gernet considered the Legalists/Fa-Jia to be the most important tradition of the fourth and third centuries BC, the entire period from the Qin dynasty to Tang being characterized by its centralizing tendencies and economic organization of the population by the state. The Han dynasty took over the governmental institutions of the Qin dynasty almost unchanged. Endorsement for the "school" of thought peaked under Mao Zedong, hailed as a "progressive" intellectual current.Li Kui (legalist)
Li Kui (Chinese: 李悝; pinyin: Lǐ Kuī; Wade–Giles: Li K'uei, 455–395 BC) was an ancient Chinese government minister and court advisor to Marquis Wen (r. 403–387 BC) in the state of Wei. In 407 BC, he wrote the Book of Law (Fajing, 法经), which was the basis for the codified laws of the Qin and Han dynasties.
His political agendas, as well as the Book of Law, had a deep influence on later thinkers such as Han Feizi and Shang Yang, who would later develop the philosophy of Legalism based on Li Kui's reforms.Li Si
Li Si (; c. 280 BC – September or October 208 BC) was a Chinese politician of the Qin dynasty, well known Legalist writer and politician, and notable calligrapher. He served as Chancellor (or Prime Minister) from 246–208 BC under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang, the king of the Qin state and later the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty; and Qin Er Shi, Qin Shi Huang's eighteenth son and the Second Emperor. Concerning administrative methods, Li Si "indicated that he admired and utilized the ideas of Shen Buhai", repeatedly referring to the technique of Shen Buhai and Han Fei, but regarding law followed Shang Yang.Stanford University's John Knoblock considered Li Si "one of the two or three most important figures in Chinese history". Having a clear vision of universal empire and "one world comprising all Chinese, bringing with universal dominion universal peace", Li Si was "largely responsible for the creation of those institutions that made the Qin dynasty the first universal state in Chinese history".
Li Si assisted the Emperor Shi Huangdi in unifying the laws, governmental ordinances, weights and measures, and standardized chariots, carts, and the characters used in writing... [facilitating] the cultural unification of China. He "created a government based solely on merit, so that in the empire sons and younger brothers in the imperial clan were not ennobled, but meritorious ministers were", and "pacified the frontier regions by subduing the barbarians to the north and south". He had the weapons of the feudal states melted and cast into musical bells and large human statues, and relaxed taxes and the draconian punishments inherited from Shang Yang.List of Chinese philosophers
This article is a list of Chinese philosophers.Nine familial exterminations
The nine familial exterminations or nine kinship exterminations (simplified Chinese: 株连九族; traditional Chinese: 株連九族; pinyin: zhū lián jiǔ zú; literally: 'guilt by association of nine of a group/clan'; also known as zú zhū (族誅), literally "family execution" and miè zú (灭族/滅族), literally "family extermination" or "execution of nine relations") was the most serious punishment for a capital offense in Ancient China. A collective punishment typically associated with offenses such as treason, the punishment involved the execution of all relatives of an individual, which were categorized into nine groups. Nine exterminations were often done by slow slicing. The occurrence of this punishment was somewhat rare, with relatively few sentences recorded throughout history. There were also variants of the punishment found in ancient Korea and Vietnam (the most prominent example being the execution of most of the family members of Nguyễn Trãi).Qin dynasty
The Qin dynasty (Chinese: 秦朝; pinyin: Qíncháo; Wade–Giles: Chʻin²-chʻao²) was the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin state (modern Gansu and Shaanxi), the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the Legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States period. In the mid and late third century BC, the Qin state carried out a series of swift conquests, first ending the powerless Zhou dynasty, and eventually conquering the other six of the Seven Warring States. Its 15 years was the shortest major dynasty in Chinese history, consisting of only two emperors, but inaugurated an imperial system that lasted from 221 BC, with interruption and adaptation, until 1912 CE.
The Qin sought to create a state unified by structured political power and a large military supported by a stable economy. The central government moved to undercut aristocrats and landowners to gain direct administrative control over the peasantry, who comprised the overwhelming majority of the population and labour force. This allowed ambitious projects involving three hundred thousand peasants and convicts, such as connecting walls along the northern border, eventually developing into the Great Wall of China.The Qin introduced a range of reforms such as standardized currency, weights, measures, and a uniform system of writing, which aimed to unify the state and promote commerce. Additionally, its military used the most recent weaponry, transportation, and tactics, though the government was heavy-handedly bureaucratic. Han dynasty Confucians portrayed the dynasty as a monolithic tyranny, notably citing a purge known as the burning of books and burying of scholars although some modern scholars dispute the veracity of these accounts.
When the first emperor died in 210 BC, two of his advisers placed an heir on the throne in an attempt to influence and control the administration of the dynasty. These advisors squabbled among themselves, resulting in both of their deaths and that of the second Qin Emperor. Popular revolt broke out and the weakened empire soon fell to a Chu general, Xiang Yu, who was proclaimed Hegemon-King of Western Chu, and Liu Bang, who later founded the Han dynasty. Despite its short reign, the dynasty greatly influenced the future of China, particularly the Han, and its name is thought to be the origin of the European name for China.Rites of Zhou
The Rites of Zhou (Chinese: 周禮; pinyin: Zhōu lǐ), originally known as "Officers of Zhou" (周官; Zhouguan) is actually a work on bureaucracy and organizational theory. It was renamed by Liu Xin to differentiate it from a chapter in the Book of History by the same name. To replace a lost work, it was included along with the Book of Rites and the Etiquette and Ceremonial – becoming one of three ancient ritual texts (the "Three Rites") listed among the classics of Confucianism.
In comparison with other works of its type, the Rite's ruler, though a sage, does not create the state, but merely organizes a bureaucracy. It could not have been composed during the Western Zhou, and was probably based on Warring States period societies. Michael Puett and Mark Edward Lewis compares its system of duties and ranks to the "Legalism" of Shang Yang.Shang Yang (artist)
Shang Yang (Chinese: 尚扬; born 1942, former name Shang Nengquan) is a contemporary Chinese painter based in Beijing and is considered one of the most important painters of the life-stream movement. Known for his oriental humanist thought he believes landscapes are living things and puts their spirit into his brushwork. In 1965 he graduated from the Hubei Art Academy, where he then taught for several years. He received his masters from the Hubei Art Academy in 1981. Yang became the Associate President in 1989. Shang Yang became a Professor and the Officer-in-Charge of Fine Arts at the Research Institute of South China Normal University in 1993. Also in 1993, he became the Vice President of the Chinese Art painting Society. Shang Yang has exhibited extinsively in China since the 1980s, including at Shanghai Biennale in 1996, and has shown internationally at galleries in London, Paris, Tokyo, St. Petersburg, and Helsinki.
Shang Yang's work often appropriates images from traditional Chinese landscape painting, which are screened onto the canvas by a machine; he then distorts the image with graffiti or obtrusive geometrical designs. His works combine avant-garde exploration and solid artistic skill to create unique works of expressionism oil painting.Shangyang (rainbird)
The Shangyang (商羊), (or shang yang) in Chinese mythology was a rainbird (i.e. it could predict rain). It was one of several important mythical birds in this tradition. The Shangyang was particularly associated with the Lord of Rain, Yu Shi. Once the Shangyang was supposed to have visited the royal court at Qi, where it performed a dance upon its one leg, whereupon an embassy was sent inquire of the meaning of this event to Confucius in the neighboring state of Lu: the Shangyang was known to Confucius, who predicted imminent heavy rain and advised the digging of drainage and the raising of dikes. As a result of following the sage's advise, Qi was spared calamity due to the ensuing inundation, whereas the other states who did not heed the advice were heavily damaged. This legendary incident has been often used to illustrate the folly of those who refuse to heed the words of the wise. Mythographer Lihui Yang associates Yu Shi with the Bi Fang bird , instead.Shen Buhai
The Chinese statesman Shen Buhai (Chinese: 申不害; c. 400 BC – c. 337 BC) was Chancellor of the Han state under Marquis Zhao of Han for fifteen years, from 354 BC to 337 BC. A contemporary of syncretist Shi Jiao and Legalist Shang Yang, he was born in the State of Zheng, and was likely a minor official there. After Han conquered Zheng in 375 BC, he rose up in the ranks of the Han officialdom, dividing up its territories and successfully reforming it. Though not dealing in penal law himself, his administrative innovations would be taken into "Chinese Legalist" statecraft by Han Fei, his most famous successor, and Shen Buhai's book most resembles the Han Feizi (though more conciliatory). He died of natural causes while in office.
Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one individual, emphasizing a merit system figures like 4th century BC reformer Shen Buhai may have had more influence than any other, and might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration. Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist, while the correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive (Wu-wei) ruler and the handling of claims and titles likely informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao (name that cannot be named) that "gives rise to the ten thousand things." He is attributed the dictum "The Sage ruler relies on standards and does not rely on wisdom; he relies on technique, not on persuasions."The Book of Lord Shang
The Book of Lord Shang (Chinese: 商君書; pinyin: Shāng jūn shū) is an ancient Chinese text from the 3rd century BC, regarded as a foundational work of "Chinese Legalism". The earliest surviving of such texts (the second being the Han Feizi, which is generally considered more philosophically engaging), it is named for and to some extent attributed to major Qin reformer Shang Yang, who served as minister to Duke Xiao of Qin (r. 361 – 338 BC) from 359 BC until his death in 338 BC and is generally considered to be the father of that state's "legalism".The Book of Lord Shang includes a large number of ordinances, essays, and courtly petitions attributed to Shang Yang, as well as discourses delivered at the Qin court. The book focuses mainly on maintaining societal order through a system of impartial laws that strictly mete out rewards and punishments for citizens' actions. The first chapters advise promoting agriculture and suppressing other low-priority secondary activities, as well as encouraging martial virtues for use in creating and maintaining a state army for wars of conquest.Yuan Center
The Yuan Center of Art (Chinese: 北京元艺术中心) is a multifunctional arts center and gallery located in the Haidian district of Beijing, China. The center houses four large exhibition halls for visual art, an experimental theatre, conference and symposia spaces, and a restaurant. The design concept of the building integrates the elements of architectural minimalism with a traditional Chinese construction pattern called “jiugongge”. A recent show, entitled After Culture: An Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Painting, featured the work of several major Chinese artists, including Ma Kelu, Shang Yang, Ma Lu, Ding Fang, and Peng Si. It was curated by Peng Feng, the prominent art critic and Professor of Aesthetics at Peking University, who also serves on the Yuan Center's directorial board.
A leading exhibitor of contemporary Chinese art, the Yuan Center is located near the center of Beijing, unlike the 798 Art Zone in outlying Dashanzi.Zhang Yi (Warring States period)
Zhang Yi (before 329 BC – 309 BC) was born in the Wei state during the Warring States period of Chinese history. He was an important strategist in helping Qin to dissolve the unity of the other states, and hence pave the way for Qin to unify China. He was an advocate of horizontal alliance, unlike Su Qin; both were adherents of the School of Diplomacy.
|Hanyu Pinyin||Shāng Yāng|
|Gwoyeu Romatzyh||Shang Iang|
|Yale Romanization||Sēung Yēung|
|Baxter–Sagart (2014)||*s.taŋ ʔaŋ|
|Schools of Thought|