Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Bi-sexual King Fu Jian -- A Talented and Spoony Monarch in the History of China with Tragic Ending

Fu Jian (338 -- 385) was a typical, but extraordinary king in the turbulent era, the Three Kingdoms, Jin, North & South Dynasties, in the history of China.

 

He had experienced lots of wars, gained the throne through killing, achieved remarkable accomplishments, but ended up tragically.  

Overthrowing of Tyrant and Obtaining of the Throne 

When Fu Jian was born, China was separated into many small regimes; he was a royal member of a small kingdom.

 

After he grew up, he inherited his father’s title and served in the military for a while.

 

The current king, Fu Jian’s cousin, was widely considered as a tyrant. 

 

Therefore, many generals and nobles supported Fu Jian and initiated a coup, which Fu killed his cousin and then became the next king.

 

Then Fu Jian met the most important minister for his new empire, who then became his best friend.

 

After Fu gained the throne, he tried everything to develop his kingdom.

 

One day, he heard about a recluse living in Mount Hua, who was quite intelligent and insightful; so Fu paid a visit there and invited him back.

This anchoret named Wang Meng, born into a poor family and then practice Taoism in the mountain, then became Fu’s trusted and most powerful minister.

 

In an era of aristocracy, Meng’s promotion and power encountered a great deal of challenges from nobles, however, Fu Jian was quite a strong patron that supported Meng until his last day.  

Excellent King Fu Jian and His Sucessful Reforms

King Fu Jian and his minister Wang Meng then applied a series of reforms, including encouragement of agriculture, education and business, while more officers were selected based on knowledge and talent, etc.

 

Consequently, citizens’ living conditions were largely improved; more qualified officers were serving in an efficient and uncorrupted government, while many unskillful aristocrats were banished from the political center.

 

Fu Jian shared most of natural resources with his citizens, and led his queen to participate in actual farm works. 

 

Their reform, obviously, jeopardized many aristocrats’ benefits; then five of Fu Jian’s brothers allied together and initiated a war against Fu.

 

Fu’s army triumphed in the end; then he further divided noble clans in his kingdom into smaller groups, and commanded them to migrate to further places around the border.

 

Years later, Fu Jian’s kingdom became quite strong and prosperous; he then defeated many other small countries and unified the northern China, while only a kingdom in the south confronting his big empire. 

 

Bisexual Fu Jian and His Two Beautiful Lovers

One of his defeated countries had a very beautiful princess, so Fu Jian took her as his concubine, and asked her brother, a 12-year-old attractive prince, to come along.

 

Then Fu Jian, this bisexual king, only loved those two.

 

This prince, whose kingdom was perished and was forced to serve their enemy, however, never loved Fu Jian back.

 

At first, he was obedient, and had pleased the King Fu Jian well. After he grew up, he moved out of Fu's royal palace, under the strong suggestion of minister Wang Meng.

 

Anyway, Fu Jian gave him a fancy palace and assigned him a political position. 

Before the most talented minister and trusted friend Wang Meng passed away, he suggested Fu Jian to keep developing the kingdom and not to attack the empire in the south.

But Fu Jian didn’t listen to him, since he was ambitious and so close to the unification of the whole of China.

Big Lose to General Xie An of the Southern Kingdom

Some years after Wang Meng departed, King Fu Jian organized all soldiers of his country and decided to march southward.

 

He led 800,000 of his fine warriors, ambitiously, initiated the war against the big country in the south; however, was defeated by around 80,000 soldiers of the south, commanded by an all mighty genius Xie An.

General Xie An was born into a noble family in the southern kingdom, but was never interested in politics.

 

He spent most of his time, just as artists Ji Kang and Ruan Ji of this period, reading and writing and traveling and enjoying the nature; also, his calligraphy, poems and articles were quite famous in the history of China.

 

His reputation and talent impressed many people, but Xie An kept rejecting offers from his king for several times.

But Xie An finally accepted an offer in his 40s, to save his clan; and years later, to save his country. 

 

As a civil minister, a classy poet and a passionate traveler, Xie An was a calm and brave general as well. 

 

He led his soldiers successfully defeated the ten times more enemies when he was a 63-year-old man, and then further expanded the territory. 

 

Afterwards, Xie An resigned again and passed away old, peacefully. 

 

King Fu Jian, however, was quite sad and shamed about this huge failure.

 

Around 700, 000 of his brave soldiers were captured or killed; his kingdom was separated again, by several uprising armies.

 

To his surprise, many leaders of inside rebellions were those compiled nobles from small regimes that Fu Jian conquered before, whom he fully trusted and well treated.

 

Vengeance From Fu Jian's Lover - the Beautiful Prince 

Later, a rebel army marched to Fu Jian’s capital. He found out that the leading general was the beautiful prince, whom he truly loved.

 

However, the prince didn’t think the same way; he only wanted to seek for revenge and get his lost country back.

 

Fu Jian tried many times, wondering if they could get back together, or at least call a truce for old times’ sake. But all the romance and affection, on the prince’s perspective, was pure shame and insult. 

 

King Fu Jian then was enclosed in his capital city by his beloved prince for several months, until Fu was out of any resources and got hurt in a battle.

 

Again, after Fu escaped out of the city, soon was betrayed by a general whom he trusted for a long time.

In the end, Fu Jian killed his two daughters himself, trying to avoid them being insulted; later he was assassinated, his queen and his son committed suicide afterwards.

 

The capital city, a big and prosperous metropolis of Fu Jian’s huge empire, soon became a living hell.

 

After the beautiful vengeance prince set his army marched into the city, endless fire and robbery and slaughter happened, countless innocent civilians lost their lives. 

 

Fu Jian could be defined as a talented and caring king in the history of China, whose achievements were remarkable.

 

However, he was not good at reading people and sometimes was far too indulgent; most of those people that Fu Jian well treated and trusted, all betrayed him in the end.

 

The prince that Fu Jian loved hurt him most and destroyed his capital city; his trusted captain murdered him, while many of his former generals divided his empire.

 

It was not wrong to be a forgiving and kind monarch, however, the object and timing should be chosen carefully. 

 

Liu Ziye -- A Cruel and Incestuous King

Liu Ziye (449 -- 466) was a king, but none of his behaviors seemed like a normal human being would do, let alone a noble born and well educated king.

 

There were many controversial monarchs in the history of China, but Liu Ziye was pure negative.

 

He ascended to the throne when he was 15 and was assassinated in his 17; however, everything he did in those two years made him the most incestuous and pervert monarch in the history of China ever.

 

Probably only words like cruel, ridiculous, or even freakish could be used to describe him. 

When Ziye’s father passed away and he became the king, he was quite happy and never showed grief or other appropriate feelings when a person lost his beloved father.

 

When his mother was sick, he never paid visits to her, because he thought that there were many ghosts in a sick person’s bedroom. 

 

But Liu Ziye loved his natural sister; they lived together after their parents passed away. They could not get married officially, so he found 30 handsome male concubines for his sister, after she was already married to a noble born officer.

 

Soon, he forced his aunt to sleep with him, then killed his aunt’s husband and all the ministers who disagreed with his freakish behavior. 

 

During a royal banquet, Liu Ziye asked his trusted followers to close the door and let them rape all the princesses and noble ladies whomever they liked, no matter whether these women were married or not, with or without children.

 

One princess fought back intensely and just wouldn’t give up, she was beaten to death; her 3 children were killed cruelly afterwards.

 

Then Liu Ziye asked all his followers and those poor women to run through his garden naked, while he had lots of fun watching. 

Liu Ziye also captured his 3 uncles who might have threatened his throne.

 

He put his uncles into mud and made them eat food from the mud, naked.

 

His uncles tried to entertain and please him at the beginning, in order to survive; but after suffering many life and death moments, they killed Liu together, then one of them became the next king.