Wuyue (simplified Chinese: 吴越; traditional Chinese: 吳越; pinyin: Wúyuè; Shanghainese: Wu Chinese pronunciation: [ɦuɦyɪʔ]; Japanese: 呉越 Goetsu), 907–978, was an independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907–960) of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, whose family name remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.
China during the early Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. A prefix of "F." indicates a city suffixed with "-fu", a prefix of "Z." indicates a city suffixed with "-zhou".
|Status||Tributary state of Later Liang, Later Tang, Later Jin, Liao, Later Han, Later Zhou and Song|
|Capital||Qiantang (Main court; Capital) |
Yuezhou (Eastern court)
|Common languages||Wu Chinese|
|Qian Chu (Qian Hongchu)|
|Historical era||Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period|
• Fall of the Tang Dynasty
• Submitted to Song
|Currency||Chinese cash, Chinese coin|
|Today part of||People's Republic of China|
Beginning in 887, the Qian family provided military leaders to the Tang Dynasty. Qian Liu was named Prince of Yue in 902, with the title of Prince of Wu added two years later. In 907, when the Tang Dynasty fell and was replaced in the north by the Later Liang, 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 period which would last until the founding of the Song Dynasty in 960.
With its capital in Hangzhou, also called "Xifu", the kingdom included present-day Zhejiang, Shanghai, along with the southern portion of Jiangsu Province. It also later absorbed some of the northern part of 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 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) 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.
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.
(main capital or western capital)
(eastern capital; modern day Shaoxing)
(modern day Ningbo and Zhoushan)
(roughly modern day Lishui city)
(not the capital)
(roughly modern day Jinhua city)
(roughly modern northwestern Zhejiang province)
(roughly modern Shanghai and its surrounding environs,
along with Jiaxing prefecture in Zhejiang province)
(acquired after the fall of Min)
|Anguo Yijin Military Prefecture
(once called Yijin military prefecture)
Former Administrative Divisions
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.
In 935, Wuyue established official diplomatic relations with Japan. The kingdom also took advantage of its maritime location to maintain diplomatic contacts with north China, the Khitans, Bohai, and the Korean states of Later Baekje, Goryeo, and Silla. Buddhism played a large role in the diplomatic relations with Japan and Goryeo. 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 offering to buy any sutras, however none were available. In 961, Qian Chu sent fifty precious objects and a letter to Goryeo inquiring about the missing sutras, and Gwangjong sent the monk Jegwan (Chinese: 諦觀) with a complete set of Tiantai sutras.
In 978, in the face of certain annihilation from northern imperial Chinese troops, the last king of Wuyue, Qian Chu, pledged allegiance to the Song Dynasty, 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.
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, and architecture, temple decoration, and religious sculptures related to 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), has distinctive cuisine and other cultural traits. The Baochu Pagoda, constructed during the reign of Qian Chu, was one of many temples and pagodas built under the patronage of the Wuyue kings.
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.
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, which ensured both a unified Chinese nation and that the region would not be ravaged by war.
During the early Song Dynasty, the Qian royal family were treated as second only to the ruling Zhao imperial family, as reflected in the Hundred Family Surnames. 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.
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.
|Temple Names||Posthumous Names||Personal Names||Period of Reigns||Era Names and respective range of years|
|太祖||Tài Zǔ||Tha Tsu||武肅王||Wǔ Sù Wáng||Vu Soh Waon||錢鏐||Qián Liú||Zi Leu||907–932||Tianyou (天祐)：907|
|世宗||Shì Zōng||Sy Tson||文穆王||Wén Mù Wáng||Ven Moh Waon||錢元瓘
|Zi Nyoe Cioe
(Zi Zoe Cioe)
|成宗||Chéng Zōng||Zen Tson||忠獻王||Zhōng Xiàn Wáng||Tson Shie Waon||錢佐
(Qián Hóng Zuǒ)
(Zi Ghon Tsu)
|Did not exist||N/A||N/A||忠遜王||Zhōng Xùn Wáng||Tson Sen Waon||錢倧
(Qián Hóng Zōng)
(Zi Ghon Tson)
|Did not exist||N/A||N/A||忠懿王||Zhōng Yì Wáng||Tson I Waon||錢俶
(Qián Hóng Chù)
(Zi Ghon Tsoh)
Qian Chu submitted to the Song Dynasty 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.
Budai, Hotei or Pu-Tai (Chinese: 布袋; pinyin: Bùdài; Japanese: 布袋, translit. Hotei; Vietnamese: Bố Đại) is a semi-historical monk as well as deity who was introduced into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. He allegedly lived around the 10th century in the Wuyue kingdom. His name literally means "Cloth Sack", and refers to the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying as he wanders aimlessly. His jolly nature, humorous personality, and eccentric lifestyle distinguishes him from most Buddhist masters or figures. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the "Laughing Buddha" (Chinese: 笑佛; pinyin: Xiào Fó). The main textual evidence pointing to Budai resides in a collection of Zen Buddhist monks’ biographies known as the "Jingde Chuandeng Lu", also known as The Transmission of the Lamp.Chinese calendar
The traditional China calendar (officially known as the Rural Calendar [農曆; 农历; Nónglì; 'farming calendar']), or Former Calendar (舊曆; 旧历; Jiùlì), Traditional Calendar (老曆; 老历; Lǎolì) or Lunar Calendar (陰曆; 阴历; Yīnlì; 'yin calendar'), is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. It is defined by GB/T 33661-2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on 12 May 2017.
Although modern day China uses the Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar governs holidays (such as the Chinese New Year) in China and in overseas Chinese communities. It lists the dates of traditional Chinese holidays and guides people in selecting auspicious days for weddings, funerals, moving, or starting a business.
Like Chinese characters, variants of this calendar are used in different parts of the Chinese cultural sphere. Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryukyu Islands adopted the calendar, and it evolved into Korean, Vietnamese, and Ryukyuan calendars. The main difference from the traditional Chinese calendar is the use of different meridians, which leads to some astronomical events—and calendar events based on them—falling on different dates. The traditional Japanese calendar also derived from the Chinese calendar (based on a Japanese meridian), but its official use in Japan was abolished in 1873 as part of reforms after the Meiji Restoration. Calendars in Mongolia and Tibet have absorbed elements of the traditional Chinese calendar, but are not direct descendants of it.Days begin and end at midnight, and months begin on the day of the new moon. Years begin on the second (or third) new moon after the winter solstice. Solar terms govern the beginning and end of each month. Written versions in ancient China included stems and branches of the year and the names of each month, including leap months as needed. Characters indicated whether a month was long (大, 30 days) or short (小, 29 days); stem branches for the first, eleventh, and 21st days, and the date, stem branch and time of the solar terms.Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period
The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907-979) was an era of political upheaval in 10th-century Imperial China. Five states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain, and more than a dozen concurrent states were established elsewhere, mainly in South China. It was the last prolonged period of multiple political division in Chinese imperial history.Traditionally, the era started with the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907 AD and ended with the founding of the Song dynasty in 960. Many states had been de facto independent kingdoms long before 907. After the Tang had collapsed, the kings who controlled the Central plain crowned themselves as emperors. War between kingdoms occurred frequently to gain control of the central plain for legitimacy and then over the rest of China. The last of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms states, the Northern Han, was not vanquished until 979.Hangzhou Wuyue Qiantang F.C.
Hangzhou Wuyue Qiantang F.C. (Chinese: 杭州吴越钱唐足球俱乐部) is a professional Chinese football club that currently participates in the China League Two. The team is based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.Hōkyōintō
A hōkyōintō (宝篋印塔) is a Japanese pagoda, so called because it originally contained the Hōkyōin (宝篋印) dharani (陀羅尼) sūtra. A Chinese variant of the Indian stūpa, it was originally conceived as a cenotaph of the King of Wuyue – Qian Liu.Jingci Temple
Jingci Temple (simplified Chinese: 净慈寺; traditional Chinese: 淨慈寺; pinyin: Jìngcí Sì) is located at the foot of Huiri Peak of Nanping Hill. It is the second prominent Buddhist temple beside West Lake in Hangzhou, China. Together with Lingyin Temple, it is called the jewel of the southern and northern hills. The temple was claimed as a key national Buddhist temple in Han areas by the State Council in 1983.Liuhe Pagoda
Liuhe Pagoda (Chinese: 六和塔; pinyin: Liùhé Tǎ; Wu: Loh-vhu Da), literally Six Harmonies Pagoda, is a multi-story Chinese pagoda in southern Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. It is located at the foot of Yuelun Hill, facing the Qiantang River. It was originally constructed in 970 by the Wuyue Kingdom, destroyed in 1121, and reconstructed fully by 1165, during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279).Luo Yin
Luo Yin (c. 833 – 26 January 910, courtesy name Zhaojian), born Luo Heng, was a poet of the late Tang and early Wuyue dynasties. Luo's poetry was widely read and cherished, but he was unsuccessful in life; having failed the imperial examination 10 times, he was penniless until the warlord and Wuyue founder Qian Liu gave him official posts in his hometown Hang Prefecture. Luo was said to be very ugly and arrogant.Qian (surname)
Qian (simplified Chinese: 钱; traditional Chinese: 錢; pinyin: Qián; Wade–Giles: Ch'ian²; Shanghainese: [ʑ̊i]), also spelt Chin, Chien, Tsien, or rarely Zee, is a common Chinese family name. The name literally means "money". Today, it is ranked 92nd in terms of population in mainland China. Qian is listed at the second place in the Song Dynasty text Hundred Family Surnames. As the royal surname of the kingdom of Wuyue, Qian was regarded as second only to Zhao, the imperial surname of the Song.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.Qian Hongzong
Qian Hongzong (錢弘倧) (928 – 971?), known as Qian Zong (錢倧) during Song, courtesy name Longdao (隆道), nickname Wanjin (萬金), formally King Zhongxun of Wuyue (吳越忠遜王), was the fourth king of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue. He ruled for only seven months before being deposed by the general Hu Jinsi in a coup.Qian Hongzuo
Qian Hongzuo (錢弘佐) (August 14, 928 – June 22, 947), courtesy name Yuanyou (元祐), formally King Zhongxian of Wuyue (吳越忠獻王), possibly with the temple name of Chengzong (成宗), was the third king of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Wuyue.Qian Liu
Qian Liu (10 March 852 - 6 May 932, courtesy name Jumei), known as Qian Poliu during his childhood, was a warlord of the late Tang dynasty who founded the Wuyue kingdom.Qian Yuanguan
Qian Yuanguan (錢元瓘) (November 30, 887 – September 17, 941), born Qian Chuanguan (錢傳瓘), formally King Wenmu of Wuyue (吳越文穆王), courtesy name Mingbao (明寶), was the second king of the state of Wuyue, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period of China. During his reign, his kingdom was centred on modern Zhejiang. He ascended to the throne in 932, when his father Qian Liu (King Wusu) left the state in his hands, to 941. He was the father to all three of Wuyue's subsequent kings.Wu (region)
Wu (traditional Chinese: 吳; simplified Chinese: 吴; pinyin: Wú) refers to a region in China whose core area is around Lake Tai in Jiangnan (the south of the Yangtze River). The Wu region was historically part of the ancient Yang Province in southeastern China. The name "Wu" came from the names of several historical kingdoms based in that area.Wu Chinese
Wu (Shanghainese: [ɦu˨ ɲy˦]; Suzhou dialect: [ɦəu˨ ɲy˦]; Wuxi dialect: [ŋ˨˨˧ nʲy˨], Changzhou dialect) is a group of linguistically similar and historically related varieties of Chinese primarily spoken in the whole city of Shanghai, Zhejiang province and the southern half of Jiangsu province, as well as bordering areas.
Major Wu varieties include those of Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Wenzhou/Oujiang, Jinhua and Yongkang. Wu speakers, such as Chiang Kai-shek, Lu Xun and Cai Yuanpei, occupied positions of great importance in modern Chinese culture and politics. Wu can also be found being used in Pingtan, Yue opera, and Shanghai opera, the former which is second only in national popularity to Peking opera; as well as in the performances of the popular entertainer and comedian Zhou Libo. Wu is also spoken in a large number of diaspora communities, with significant centers of immigration originating from Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingtian and Wenzhou.
Suzhou has traditionally been the linguistic center of Wu and was likely the first place the distinct variety of Sinitic known as Wu developed. Suzhou dialect is widely considered to be the most linguistically representative of the family. It was mostly the basis of the Wu lingua franca that developed in Shanghai leading to the formation of standard Shanghainese, which as a center of economic power and possessing the largest population of Wu speakers, has attracted the most attention. Due to the influence of Shanghainese, Wu as a whole is incorrectly labelled in English as simply, "Shanghainese", when introducing the language family to non-specialists. Wu is the more accurate terminology for the greater grouping that the Shanghainese variety is part of; other less precise terms include "Jiangnan speech" (江南話), "Jiangzhe (Jiangsu–Zhejiang) speech" (江浙話), and less commonly "Wuyue speech" (吳越語).
The Wu group (Southern Wu in particular) is well-known among linguists and sinologists as being one of the most internally diverse among the Sinitic groups, with very little mutual intelligibility between varieties across subgroups. Among speakers of other Sinitic languages, Wu is often subjectively judged to be soft, light, and flowing. There is an idiom in Mandarin that specifically describes these qualities of Wu speech: Ngu nung nioe ngiu (吴侬软语), which literally means "the tender speech of Wu". On the other hand, some Wu varieties like Wenzhounese have gained notoriety for their high incomprehensibility to both Wu and non-Wu speakers alike, so much so that Wenzhounese was used during the Second World War to avoid Japanese interception.Wu dialects are typified linguistically as having preserved the voiced initials of Middle Chinese, having a majority of Middle Chinese tones undergo a register split, and preserving a checked tone typically terminating in a glottal stop, although some dialects maintain the tone without the stop and certain dialects of Southern Wu have undergone or are starting to undergo a process of devoicing. The historical relations which determine Wu classification primarily consist in two main factors: firstly, geography, both in terms of physical geography and distance south or away from Mandarin, that is, Wu varieties are part of a Wu–Min dialect continuum from southern Jiangsu to Fujian and Chaoshan. The second factor is the drawing of historical administrative boundaries, which, in addition to physical barriers, limit mobility and in the majority of cases more or less determine the boundary of a Wu dialect.
Wu Chinese, along with Min, is also of great significance to historical linguists due to their retention of many ancient features. These two languages have proven pivotal in determining the phonetic history of the Chinese languages.
More pressing concerns of the present are those of language preservation. Many within and outside of China fear that the increased usage of Mandarin may eventually altogether supplant the languages that have no written form, legal protection, or official status and are officially barred from use in public discourse. However, many analysts believe that a stable state of diglossia will endure for at least several generations if not indefinitely.Wu Chinese-speaking people
The Wu Chinese people, also known as Wuyue people, (simplified Chinese: 吴越人; traditional Chinese: 吳越人; pinyin: Wúyuè rén; Shanghainese: [ɦuɦyɪʔ ɲɪɲ]) Jiang-Zhe people (江浙民系) or San Kiang (三江) are a major subgroup of the Han Chinese. They are a Wu Chinese-speaking people who hail from southern Jiangsu province, the entirety of the city of Shanghai and all of Zhejiang province, as well as smaller populations in Xuancheng prefecture-level city in southern Anhui province, Shangrao, Guangfeng and Yushan counties of northeastern Jiangxi province, and some parts of Pucheng county in northern Fujian province.Wuyue culture
Wuyue culture (Chinese: 吳越文化) refers to the regional Chinese culture of the Wuyue people, a Han Chinese subgroup that has historically been the dominant demographic in the region of Jiangnan (entirety of the city of Shanghai and the province of Zhejiang, the southern portion of Jiangsu province and the eastern portion of Anhui province). Wuyue culture is known for its characteristics of being delicate, graceful and refined, having preserved many unique cultural traditions not existing in other regions of China.Yue (state)
Yue (Chinese: 越; Old Chinese: *[ɢ]ʷat), also known as Yuyue, was a state in ancient China which existed during the first millennium BC – the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods of China's Zhou dynasty – in the modern provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Jiangsu. Its original capital was Kuaiji (modern Shaoxing); after its conquest of Wu, the Kings of Yue moved their court north to the city of Wu (modern Suzhou).
|Rulers family tree|
|Ten Kingdoms (States)|
|De facto independent entities|