Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Yu the Great -- Defender of Huge Flood and the Founder of the Xia Dynasty 

A long time ago, there was a severe flood which caused many damages. A lead officer named Gun, a descendent of King Huang Di, stole some special earth from heaven.


Gun put the special earth, which could grow permanently and would never be used up, into the flood to block and defend it. Soon, unfortunately, he was found out and sentenced to death for stealing treasures from the heaven and failed to manage the flood by simply blocking. 


Soon, his son Yu was nominated by the King Yao to be the next leader to defend the huge flood. Unlike his father, Yu didn’t use the special earth to block or plug the flood. Instead, he led people to dredge river ways, which was proved to be better and more efficient. After decades of hard work, Yu finally diverted all the water into seas and achieved success. 

Years later, Yu got the throne from King Shun, because of his great contribution, excellent leadership and good reputation. Afterwards, he was respected as King Yu or Yu the Great (2314 B.C. — 2198 B.C.). 


After Yu became a king, he organized and divided his whole country into nine states, based on geological differences, and named his kingdom the Xia.


Then he invited all clan leaders and held a big alliance meeting, in which he established his absolute and superior power over all the other lords, after he sentenced a disobey lord to death. He also established a comprehensive tribute and tax system, based on different products and geology situation in those nine states.


From that time on, Yu’s kingdom became an actual empire with a centralized government and a powerful monarch; and his kingdom Xia turned to be the first dynasty in the history of China. The organization of tribal confederacy officially ended by Yu. 


Before Yu passed away, he abdicated the throne to another talented person; this person, then, gave the throne back to Yu’s son after Yu passed away. Yu’s son was an excellent monarch with great reputation, he gained all the people’s respect; so this time, he directly wear the crown and became the next king of the Xia Dynasty. 


Decades later, Yu’s son passed his throne to his own son and terminated the Abdication System officially. Since then, all the Chinese kings and emperors gave the throne to their sons, unless they didn’t have one or were forced to abdicate. 


During the period of defending the flood, Yu set his feet in many places in China, both cultivated and undiscovered. He used many tools to measure mountains and rivers, to document the weather and inhabitants and products of different places; there were many myths and legends about him brave fighting with mythical monsters as well. 


Consequently, though it is widely suspected and challenged, Yu and his assistant were frequently believed as the writer of the magical book, the Classic of Mountains and Seas.


King Si Shaokang

-- Rebuilder of the Xia Dynasty 

Ancestor of Si Shaokang (1972 B.C — 1912 B.C.), grandson of Yu the Great, lost his throne because of his absurd and irresponsible behaviors.


Afterwards, Xia Dynasty was ruled by some powerful kings outside of Yu’s family for almost a hundred years.


Shaokang’s father took back the throne, but soon lost in a battle to an enemy regime again; he committed suicide after his palace was finally invaded. Shaokang’s mother, fortunately, escaped from a dog hole and gave birth to him. 


Thanks to his mother, Shaokang survived and grew up into a decent and smart young man, who always remembered his origin and responsibility. He tried to meet people who were against his enemy regime and allied with them. They sent beauty spy and planned some assassinations.


After years of difficult fights, Shaokang finally killed his enemy and then perished his regime. Forty years after his father’s death, Shaokang rebuilt the Xia Dynasty and claimed himself the new king. The throne had finally come back to Yu’s family. 


Shaokang's miserable experiences in his early years didn’t beat him down; instead, they made him a strong and ambitious monarch. Besides reestablished his ancestor’s kingdom and took back the throne, he brought stable and prosperous lives to his people.