Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Ji Chang and Ji Fa -- Creators of the Longest Dynasty in History of China

Father of Ji Chang (1152 B.C. — 1056 B.C.), the former lord of Zhou clan, was sabotaged and captured by Shang’s current king (Di Xin’s grandfather); he soon was dead in prison.

 

Ji Chang then inherited as the next lord and started to prepare for revenging.

 

He attracted many civilians to move to his land because of his benevolence personality and policy, extended the territory by defeating or allying many nearby regions and nominated an intelligent person Jiang Shang (or Jiang Ziya) as the important minister. 

Ji Chang once was captured in Shang’s capital city by King Di Xin, for having conquered many small regimes and increasing authority among other lords.

 

During this captive period, Ji Chang wrote an exceptional book, which contained the deduction of Eight Diagrams and some fundamental ideology of both Confucianism and Taoism of Chinese culture.

 

Later Chang’s sons and Jiang Shang paid many tributes to Di Xin in exchange for Chang’s freedom; Di Xin was satisfied about their tributes and “loyalty” and released Chang soon.

After Chang passed away, his son Ji Fa (1085 B.C. — 1041 B.C.) inherited his title and became next lord of Zhou. He continued to respect Jiang Shang as his important minister and getting ready to revenge.

 

Soon they found the King Di Xin sent his major army to fight far away; so they decisively attacked Shang’s capital city and won.

 

After they perished Shang Dynasty officially, Ji Fa established his new empire, the Zhou Dynasty. His late father Ji Chang was respected as the first king (King Wen of Zhou) and himself as the second (Zhou Wu Wang, King Wu of Zhou). 

King Ji Fa subinfeuded many lands to those lords with great contributions to Zhou; former nobles, such as descendants of King Huang Di, King Yao and Shun, were given fiefs and titles as well.

 

He also established a more centralized political management system, which granted the king more powers and strengthened the consolidation of the whole kingdom.

 

Decades later, Ji Fa passed the throne to his first son and asked his brother to assist the new king.

 

In the following 40 years, a whole system including worship ceremony, strict hierarchy and social estate, rules and regulations was built.

 

This was the first flourishing age of Zhou Dynasty in the history of China, when people lived in peace and wealth and had fewer crimes. 

 

Ji Chang and Ji Fa had a huge fan named Confucius, who thought highly of these two benevolence kings and the kingdom that they built together.

 

The first flourishing age of Zhou was an ideal and perfect empire in many of Confucius' articles, when kings were intelligent and caring, lords were loyal and well-behaved, civilians were diligent and stable, and everyone lived in a society with strict hierarchy and proper ceremonies.