Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Xi Shi -- First Honey Trap in History of China with Mysterious Ending

Wars and Resentments of Kingdom Wu and Yue

About 2,500 years ago, after overlords of Zhou Dynasty Lv Xiaobai and Ji Chonger all departed, there were some other ambitious lords who flourished their states and expanded their territories; however, none of them achieved the great success and held huge alliance meetings like those two overlords did.


During that period, power and land kept transferring among different states in the history of China; soon the Empire Wu became a strong and large kingdom, assisting by Sun Tzu and his minister friend. 


When the king of Wu led his army attacking the state of Yue, he got shot and soon passed away. His crown prince Fu Chai, a brave and ambitious monarch, inherited the title and almost perished Empire Yue. 


Fu Chai captured the Lord of Yue and humiliated him for years. Ministers of Yue started to collect treasure and beauties and tried to bribe important nobles of kingdom Wu. In addition, the lord of Yue, named Gou Jian, was very humble and cautious; he volunteered to be a servant of Fu Chai and did a very good job.

Appear and Training of Beauty Spy Xi Shi

Three years later, a stunningly beautiful woman named Xi Shi was consecrated to Fu Chai, which made him very happy and soon released Gou Jian. 

Xi Shi was top of the Four Beauties in the history of China, also was the first famous honey trap or beauty spy.


Born into a family of poverty, she used to do laundry with her mother for living. Fishes in the river were impressed by her beauty, so that they would hide and forget to swim when they saw Xi Shi showing up by the river.


Some ministers of Yue selected her and trained her to sing, dance and act decently for three years, and then sent her to the king of Wu. 


Finishing of Mission and Perishment of Kingdom Wu

Fu Chai was originally a talented and diligent monarch in history of China; he ran his empire well and had won in many battles and expanded his territory with assistant of Sun Tzu and his minister friend.


However, after he laid his eyes on Xi Shi for the first time, he was so attracted and indulged with her beauty, talent, and softness; he loved her accompany very much and paid less attention to his kingdom. 

On the contrary, lord Gou Jian never forgot the humiliation and his biggest failure. He ate the worst food and slept in the hardest bed, to remind himself to work harder and seek for revenge. Soon, his state became wealthier and his army much stronger.


Twenty years later, Gou Jian finally won over the Fu Chai’s army and soon occupied Wu’s capital city. Fu Chai, the ambitious king of a huge empire, the monarch who was once full of accomplishments, committed suicide; the kingdom Wu perished since then.


Mysterious Ending of Beauty Xi Shi

There are many different versions about what happened to this famous beauty in the history of China.


In one version she committed suicide. After twenty years of living together, she had already fallen in love with Fu Chai; she could not betray her kingdom Yue, so she finished her mission, but chose to die with her beloved one. 


Another frequently documented version is that she was put into a bag and thrown into a river. Some said this was done by people from kingdom Wu, because they blamed her to be the reason of the perishing of their country. Some said this was done by Gou Jian or his queen, both because they thought Xi Shi’s beauty could ruin Yue as well, just like what she did to Wu. 


And there was another saying, which was the one most people would like to believe, that the minister who trained her as a honey trap quitted his job and took her away. After they both finished their mission and helped their king finish vengeance and defeat Wu, they changed their names, buried their past and travelled around other states together. 

Ancient Relics About Xi Shi and the Kings

Swords that King Fu Chai and King Gou Jian had used are now excavated and collected in different museums in China; a bronze drinking vessel of Fu Chai, with an inscription saying that this was made for a beloved woman, is lying on a display table as well. These ancient relics, which had been buried for over two thousand years, keep telling these epic and thrilling stories. 

Excavated Sword of Fu Chai, the king of Wu

Excavated Sword of Gou Jian, the king of Yue