Hongwu Emperor

Hongwu Emperor
Hongwu Emperor
Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
Reign 23 January 1368[1] – 24 June 1398
(&1000000000000003000000030 years, &10000000000000152000000152 days)
Predecessor Dynasty established
Successor Jianwen Emperor
Emperor of China
Reign 14 September 1368 – 24 June 1398
(&1000000000000002900000029 years, &10000000000000283000000283 days)
Predecessor Emperor Huizong of Yuan
Successor Jianwen Emperor
Spouse Empress Xiao Ci Gao
Noble Consort Cheng Mu, concubine
Consort Li, concubine
Consort Ning, concubine
Consort Hui, concubine
Consort Zhuang Jing An Rong Hui, concubine
Consort Jiang, concubine
Consort Zhao, concubine
Consort Zhao Jing Chong, concubine
Consort An, concubine
Consort Ding, concubine
Consort Shun, concubine
Consort Shun, concubine[2]
Consort Xian, concubine
Consort Hui, concubine[2]
Consort Li, concubine[2]
Consort Kung, concubine
Consort Han, concubine
Consort Yu, concubine
Consort Yang, concubine
Conosrt Zhou, concubine
Li Jiehao, concubine
Beauty Lady Choi, concubine
Beauty Lady Zhang, concubine
Lady Gao, concubine
Zhu Biao, Crown Prince Yiwen
Zhu Shuang, Prince Min of Qin
Zhu Gang, Prince Gong of Jin
Zhu Di, Yongle Emperor
Zhu Su, Prince Ding of Zhou
Zhu Zhen, Prince Zhao of Chu
Zhu Fu, Prince of Qi
Zhu Zi, Prince of Dan
Zhu Qi, Prince of Zhao
Zhu Tan, Prince Huang of Lu
Zhu Chun, Prince Xian of Shu
Zhu Bai, Prince Xian of Xiang
Zhu Gui, Prince Jian of Dai
Zhu Ying, Prince Zhuang of Su
Zhu Zhi, Prince Jian of Liao
Zhu㮵, Prince Jing of Qing
Zhu Quan, Prince Xian of Ning
Zhu Pian, Prince Zhuang of Min
Zhu Hui, Prince of Gu
Zhu Song
Prince Xian of Han
Zhu Mo, Prince Jian of Shen
Zhu Ying, Prince Hui of An
Zhu Jing, Prince Ding of Tang
Zhu Dong, Prince Jing of Ying
Zhu Yi, Prince Li of Yi
Zhu Nan
Princess Lin'an
Princess Ning
Princess Chongning
Princess Anqing
Princess Runing
Princess Huaiqing, Marchioness of Yongchun
Princess Daming, Marchioness of Luancheng
Princess Fuqing
Princess Shouchun
a daughter
Princess Nankang
Princess Zhenyi of Yongjia
a daughter
Princess Hanshan
Princess Ruyang
Princess Baoqing
Full name
Family name: Zhū (朱)
Birth name: Chóngbā (重八)[3]
Given name: Xīngzōng (興宗), later Yuánzhāng (元璋)[4]
Courtesy name: Guóruì (國瑞)
Era name and dates
Hóngwǔ (洪武): 23 January 1368 – 5 February 1399[5]
Posthumous name
Emperor Kaitian Xingdao Zhaoji Liji Dasheng Zhishen Renwen Yiwu Junde Chenggong Gāo
Temple name
Míng Tàizǔ
Father Zhu Shizhen
Mother Chen Erniang
Born 21 October 1328(1328-10-21)
Haozhou, Anhui, Yuan Empire
Died 24 June 1398(1398-06-24) (aged 69)
Nanjing, Jiangsu, Ming Empire
Burial Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Nanjing

The Hongwu Emperor (Chinese: 洪武帝; Wade–Giles: Hung-wu Ti; 21 October 1328 – 24 June 1398), known variably by his given name Zhu Yuanzhang (Chinese: 朱元璋; Wade–Giles: Chu Yuan-chang) and by his temple name Taizu of Ming (Chinese: 明太祖; literally "Great Ancestor of Ming"), was the founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China. His era name, Hongwu, means "vastly martial".

In the middle of the 14th century, with famine, plagues and peasant revolts sweeping across China, Zhu became a leader of an army that conquered China, ending the Yuan Dynasty and forcing the Mongols to retreat to the Mongolian steppes. With his seizure of the Yuan capital (present-day Beijing), he claimed the Mandate of Heaven and established the Ming Dynasty in 1368.


Early life

Zhu Yuanzhang was born in a poor peasant family in a village in Zhongli (鍾離, present day Fengyang, Anhui).[6] His father was Zhu Shizhen (朱世珍, original name Zhu Wusi 朱五四) and his mother was Chen Erniang. He had seven older siblings, several of whom were "given away" by his parents, as they did not have enough food to support the family.[7] When he was 16, the Yellow River broke its banks and flooded the lands where his family lived. Subsequently, a plague killed his family, except one brother.

Destitute, Zhu Yuanzhang accepted a suggestion to take up a pledge made by his late father, and became a novice monk at the Huangjue Temple,[8] a local Buddhist monastery. He did not remain there for long as the monastery ran short of funds and he was forced to leave.

For the next few years, Zhu Yuanzhang led the life of a wandering beggar and personally experienced and saw the hardships of the common people. After about three years, he returned to the monastery and stayed there until he was around 24 years old. He learned to read and write during the time he spent with the Buddhist monks. Although he did not become a Buddhist in later years, he still remained sympathetic towards Buddhism.

Rising in rebellion

The monastery where Zhu Yuanzhang lived was eventually destroyed by an army that was suppressing a local rebellion. In 1352, Zhu joined one of the many insurgent forces that had risen in rebellion against the Mongol-ruled Yuan Dynasty. Zhu rose rapidly through the ranks and became a commander. His rebel force later joined the Red Turbans, a millenarian sect related to the White Lotus Society, and one that followed cultural and religious traditions of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and other religions. Widely seen as a defender of Confucianism and neo-Confucianism among the predominant Han Chinese population in China, Zhu emerged as a leader of the rebels that were struggling to overthrow the Yuan Dynasty.

Establishment of the Ming Dynasty

In 1356, Zhu Yuanzhang's army conquered Nanjing, which became his base of operations and the official capital of the Ming Dynasty during his reign. Zhu's government in Nanjing became famous for good governance and the city attracted vast numbers of people fleeing from other more lawless regions. It is estimated that Nanjing's population increased by 10 times over the next 10 years.[9] In the meantime, the Yuan government had been weakened by internal factions fighting for control and it made little effort to retake the Yangtze River valley. By 1358, central and southern China had fallen into the hands of different rebel groups. During that time, the Red Turbans also split up. Zhu became the leader of a smaller faction (called "Ming" around 1360) while the larger faction, under Chen Youliang, controlled the center of the Yangtze River valley.

Zhu was able to attract many talents into his service. One of them was Li Shanchang, who advised Zhu: "Build high walls, stock up rations, and don't be too quick to call yourself a king." Another, Jiao Yu, was an artillery officer who later compiled a military treatise outlining the various types of gunpowder weapons. Another one, Liu Ji, became one of Zhu's key advisors, and edited the military-technology treatise titled Huolongjing in later years.

Starting from 1360, Zhu and Chen Youliang fought a protracted war for supremacy over the former Red Turban territory. The pivotal moment in the war was the Battle of Lake Poyang in 1363, one of the largest naval battles in history. The battle lasted three days and ended with the defeat and retreat of Chen's larger sized navy. Chen died a month later in battle. Zhu did not participate personally in any battles after that and remained in Nanjing, where he directed his generals to go on campaigns.

In 1367, Zhu's forces defeated Zhang Shicheng's Kingdom of Dazhou, which was centered in Suzhou and had previously included most of the Yangtze River Delta and the Song Dynasty's capital city of Hangzhou.[10][11] This victory granted Zhu's Ming government authority over the lands north and south of the Yangtze River. The other major warlords surrendered to Zhu and on 20 January 1368, Zhu proclaimed himself Emperor of the Ming Dynasty in Nanjing and adopted "Hongwu" as his regnal title. His dynasty's mission was to drive away the Mongols and restore Han Chinese rule in China.

In 1368, Ming armies headed north to attack territories that were still under the Yuan Dynasty's rule. The Mongols gave up their capital city of Khanbaliq (Dadu, present-day Beijing) and the rest of northern China in September 1368 and retreated to Mongolia. The Ming army captured the last Yuan-controlled province of Yunnan in 1381 and China was unified under the Ming Dynasty's rule.


Zhu proclaimed himself Emperor of China in 1368. His capital city remained in Nanjing and "Hongwu" was adopted as his regnal title.

Under Hongwu's rule, the Mongol bureaucrats who dominated the government in the Yuan Dynasty's time were replaced by Han Chinese officials. Hongwu revamped the traditional Confucian examination system, from which potential state officials were selected from, based on merit and their knowledge of literature and philosophy. Candidates for positions in the civil service and the officers corps of the military were required to pass the imperial examination, as required by the Classics. The Confucian scholar-bureaucrats, previously marginalized during the Yuan Dynasty, were reinstated to their predominant roles in the government.

Mongol related things, including garments and names, were discontinued from use and boycotted. There were also attacks on palaces and administrative buildings previously used by the Yuan rulers.[12]

Land reform and peasantry

As Hongwu came from a peasant family, he was aware of how peasants used to suffer under the oppression of the scholar-bureaucrats and the wealthy. Many of the latter, relying on their connections with government officials, encroached unscrupulously on peasants' lands and bribed the officials to transfer the burden of taxation to the poor. To prevent such abuse, Hongwu instituted two systems: Yellow Records and Fish Scale Records. These systems served to secure both the government's income from land taxes and affirm that peasants would not lose their lands.

However, the reforms did not eliminate the threat of the bureaucrats to peasants. Instead, the expansion of the bureaucrats and their growing prestige translated into more wealth and tax exemption for those in the government service. The bureaucrats gained new privileges and some became illegal money-lenders and managers of gambling rings. Using their power, the bureaucrats expanded their estates at the expense of peasants' lands through outright purchase of those lands and foreclosure on their mortgages whenever they wanted the lands. The peasants often became either tenants or workers, or sought employment elsewhere.[13]

Since the beginning of the Ming government in 1357, great care was taken by Hongwu to distribute land to peasants. One way was through forced migration to less dense areas.[14][15] Some of those people were tied to a pagoda tree in Hongdong (洪洞大槐樹) and moved.[16] Public works projects, such as the construction of irrigation systems and dikes, were undertaken in an attempt to help farmers. In addition, Hongwu also reduced the demands for forced labour on the peasantry. In 1370, Hongwu ordered that some lands in Hunan and Anhui should be given to young farmers who had reached adulthood. The order was intended to prevent landlords from seizing the land, as it also decreed that the titles to the lands were not transferable. During the middle part of his reign, Hongwu passed an edict, stating that those who brought fallow land under cultivation could keep it as their property without being taxed. The policy was well received by the people and in 1393, cultivated land rose to 8,804,623 ching and 68 mou, something not achieved during any other Chinese dynasty.[citation needed]

Hongwu instigated the implanting of 50,000,000 trees in the vicinity of Nanjing, reconstructing canals, irrigation, and transporting southern people to the north for repopulation. He successfully managed to increase the population from 60 to 100 million.[17]


Hongwu realized that the Mongols still posed a threat to China, even though they had been driven away after the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty. He decided to reassess the orthodox Confucian view that the military was an inferior class to the scholar bureaucracy. Hongwu kept a powerful army which in 1384 he re-organized using a model known as the Wèisuǒ system (simplified Chinese: 卫所制; traditional Chinese: 衛所制; literally "guard battalion"). Each military unit consisted of 5,600 men divided into five battalions and ten companies.[18] By 1393 the total number of Wèisuǒ troops had reached 1,200,000. Soldiers were also assigned land on which to grow crops whilst their positions were made hereditary.This type of system can be traced back to the Fǔbīng System (Chinese: 府兵制) of the Sui and Tang Dynasties. While the Ming army was initially very effective, it lost its capacity for offensive operations after the death of the Yongle Emperor, and was defeated by the Mongols in 1449 during the Tumu Crisis.[citation needed]

Training was conducted within local military districts. In times of war, troops were mobilized from all over the empire on the orders of the War Ministry, and commanders were appointed to lead them to battle. After the war, the army was disbanded into smaller groups and sent back to their respective districts, and the commanders had to return their authority to the state. This system helped to prevent military leaders from having too much power. However, one disadvantage was that the military was under the control of a civilian official for large campaigns, instead of a military general.[citation needed]

Consolidating control

Hongwu was infamous for killing many people and his purges.[19] He used many tortures, especially flaying and slow slicing.[20][21][22] He expected everyone to obey his rule.[23][24] One of his generals, Chang Yuchun, carried out massacres in some places[25][26] in Shandong and Hunan provinces to avenge resistance against his army.[27][28][29][30][31] As time went on, Hongwu became increasingly fearful of rebellions and coups, even going so far as to order the execution of those of his advisers who dared criticize him. A story goes that a Confucian scholar who was fed up with Hongwu's policies decided to go to the capital and berate the emperor. When he gained an audience with the emperor, he brought his own coffin along with him. After delivering his speech he climbed into the coffin, expecting the emperor to execute him. The emperor however, impressed by this show of bravery, chose to spare the scholar's life. He was also said to have ordered the massacre of several thousand people living in Nanjing after having heard one talked about him without respect.[32][33][34] In 1380 after much killing, a thunderbolt hit his palace and he stopped the massacres for some time as he was afraid divine forces would punish him.[35]

Hongwu also noted the destructive role of court eunuchs under the previous dynasties. He drastically reduced their numbers, forbidding them to handle documents, insisting that they remained illiterate, and executing those who commented on state affairs. Hongwu had a strong aversion to the eunuchs, epitomized by a tablet in his palace stipulating: "Eunuchs must have nothing to do with the administration." However, this aversion to eunuchs being in the employ of an emperor was not popular with Hongwu's successors, and eunuchs soon returned to the emperors' courts after Hongwu. In addition to Hongwu's aversion to eunuchs, he never consented to any of his imperial relatives becoming court officials. This policy was fairly well-maintained by later emperors, and no serious trouble was caused by the empresses or their relatives.

Hongwu attempted, and largely succeeded in, the consolidation of control over all aspects of government, so that no other group could gain enough power to overthrow him. He also buttressed the country's defenses against the Mongols. As emperor, Hongwu increasingly concentrated power in his own hands. He abolished the chancellor's post, which had been head of the main central administrative body under past dynasties, by suppressing a plot for which he had blamed his chief minister. Many argue that the Hongwu Emperor, because of his wish to concentrate absolute authority in his own hands, removed the only insurance against incompetent emperors.[citation needed] However Hongwu's actions were not entirely one-sided since he did create a new post, called "Grand Secretary", to take the place of the abolished prime minister. Ray Huang argued that Grand-Secretaries, outwardly powerless, could exercise considerable positive influence from behind the throne.[citation needed] Because of their prestige and the public trust which they enjoyed, they could act as intermediaries between the emperor and the ministerial officials, and thus provide a stabilising force in the court. He executed tens of thousand officials and their relatives over sedition, treason, corruption and other charges.[36][37][38][39][40]

One of the reasons why Hongwu eliminated the offices of grand councilor, particularly the chancellor, was due to Hu Weiyong's attempt to usurp the throne. Hu was the Senior Grand Councilor and a close friend of the emperor. He was later executed. His actions greatly shocked the emperor and led the emperor to greatly distrust his high officials. To that end, he completely eliminated all the chancellors and established four advisors or the Grand-Secretaries to work closely with, who were intellectually able, though low ranking. Eliminating the office of the chancellor was the very step that increased the emperor's autocracy in the government.

He was extremely authoritarian, a virtual dictator, and governed directly over all affairs. Hongwu personally wrote essays posted in every village throughout China warning the people to behave, and of the horrifying consequences if they disobeyed.[17]

Legal code

The legal code drawn up in the time of the Hongwu Emperor was considered one of the great achievements of the era. The History of Ming mentioned that as early as 1364, the monarchy had started to draft a code of laws. This code was known as Code of the Great Ming or Laws of the Great Ming (大明律). The emperor devoted much time to the project and instructed his ministers that the code should be comprehensive and intelligible, so as not to allow any official to exploit loopholes in the code by deliberately misinterpreting it. The Ming code laid much emphasis on family relations. The code was a great improvement on the code of the earlier Tang Dynasty in regards to the treatment of slaves. Under the Tang code, slaves were treated as a species of domestic animal; if they were killed by a free citizen the law imposed no sanction on the killer. Under the Ming Dynasty, the law protected both slaves and free citizens.


Supported by the scholar-bureaucrats, Hongwu accepted the Confucian viewpoint that merchants were solely parasitic. Hongwu felt that agriculture should be the country's source of wealth and that trade was ignoble. As a result, the Ming economic system emphasized agriculture, unlike the economic system of the Song Dynasty, which had preceded the Mongols and had relied on traders and merchant for revenues. Hongwu also supported the creation of self-supporting agricultural communities.

However, Hongwu's prejudice against merchants did not diminish the numbers of traders. On the contrary, commerce increased significantly under Hongwu due to the growth of industry throughout the empire. This growth in trade was due in part to poor soil conditions and the overpopulation of certain areas, which forced many people to leave their homes and seek their fortunes in trade. A book titled Tu Pien Hsin Shu,[citation needed] written during the Ming Dynasty, gave a detailed description about the activities of merchants at that time.


Chang Yuchun was a Hui general under the command of the Hongwu Emperor. He led a military campaign north and conquered the Yuan Dynasty's capital of Khanbaliq and ended Mongol rule in China.

Hongwu ordered the construction of several mosques in Nanjing, Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian,[41] and had inscriptions praising Muhammed placed in mosques. He rebuilt the Jinjue Mosque in Nanjing and large numbers of Hui people moved to the city during his rule.[42]

He also wrote a 100 word praise on Islam, Allah and the prophet Muhammad. He had around 10 Muslim generals in his military,[43] including Chang Yuchun, Lan Yu, Ding Dexing, Mu Ying, Feng Sheng and Hu Dahai. In addition, Hongwu's spouse, Empress Ma, descended from a Muslim family while he was originally a member of a Muslim rebel group led by Guo Zhixin.[41][44]

Hui scholars like Yusuf Haji Chang have claimed the Hongwu Emperor was Muslim, due to his intimate relations with Muslims, but the majority of academics reject this theory.[45]

Foreign policy

Hongwu was a non interventionist, refusing to intervene in a Vietnamese invasion of Champa to help the Chams, only rebuking the Vietnamese for their invasion, being opposed to military action abroad.[46] He specifically warned future Emperors only to defend against foreign barbarians, and not engage in military campaigns for glory and conquest.[47] Hongwu was advised to concentrate on defending against the Rong and Di "Barbarians", rather than attacking.[48]

However, Hongwu had harsh words for those who tried to threaten China. He send a message to the Japanese that his army would "capture and exterminate your bandits, head straight for your country, and put your king in bonds", due to consistent raiding by Japanese Wokou pirates.[49]

Loose tea

To combat corruption in the tea trade, Hongwu ordered the ceasing of compressed tea production. He decreed that tea take a simpler and less currency-ready form. The change was a vital development for further innovation in tea culture. Hongwu's 17th son, Zhu Quan, also wrote the Tea Manual (茶谱).

Development of the Ming Dynasty

A stele carried by a giant stone tortoise at the Hongwu Emperor's Mausoleum

Although Hongwu's rule saw the introduction of paper currency, its development was stifled from the beginning. Not understanding inflation, Hongwu gave out so much paper money as rewards that by 1425, the state was forced to reintroduce copper coins because the paper currency had sunk to only 1/70 of its original value.

During Hongwu's reign, the early Ming Dynasty was characterized by rapid and dramatic population growth, largely due to the increased food supply from Hongwu's agricultural reforms.[50] By the end of the dynasty, the population had risen by as much as 50%. This was stimulated by major improvements in agricultural technology, promoted by the pro-agrarian state which came to power in the midst of a pro-Confucian peasant's rebellion. During Hongwu's reign, living standards also greatly improved.[citation needed]


Hongwu died on 24 June 1398 after reigning for 30 years at the age of 69. After his death, his physicians were penalized.[51] The Hongzhi Emperor and Jiajing Emperor's physicians were executed.[52] He was buried at Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum on the Purple Mountain, east of Nanjing.


Historians consider Hongwu to be one of the most significant emperors of China. As historian Ebrey puts it "Seldom has the course of Chinese history been influenced by a single personality as much as it was by the founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang."[53] His rise to power was fast despite him having from a poor and humble origin. In 11 years he went from being a penniless monk to the most powerful warlord in China. Five years later, he became emperor of China. Simon Leys described him as:-

'an adventurer from peasant stock, poorly educated, a man of action, a bold and shrewd tactician, a visionary mind, in many respects a creative genius; naturally coarse, cynical, and ruthless, he eventually showed symptoms of paranoia, bordering on psychopathy.'[54]

The folk song Fengyang Flower Drum (凤阳花鼓) was credited to him.[55] His portraits were controversial.[56]


Parents and ancestors

  • Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Zhu Zhongba (朱仲八)
  • Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Zhu Bailiu (朱百六), posthumously honored as Emperor Xuan (玄皇帝) with the temple name of Dezu (德祖)
  • Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Hu (胡氏), posthumously honored as Empress Xuan (玄皇后)
  • Great-Grandfather
    • Zhu Sijiu (朱四九), posthumously honored as Emperor Heng (恆皇帝) with the temple name of Yizu (懿祖)
  • Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Hou (侯氏), posthumously honored as Empress Heng (恆皇后)
  • Grandfather
    • Zhu Chuyi (朱初一), posthumously honored as Emperor Yu (裕皇帝) with the temple name of Xizu (熙祖)
  • Grandmother
    • Lady Wang (王氏), posthumously honored as Empress Yu (裕皇后)
  • Father
    • Zhu Shizhen (朱世珍, original name Zhu Wusi 朱五四) (1283–1344), posthumously honored as Emperor Chun (淳皇帝) with the temple name of Renzu (仁祖)
  • Mother
    • Chen Erniang, posthumously honored as Empress Chun (淳皇后)

Hongwu's parents, grand-parents. great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents were given posthumous Imperial titles.

The great-great-grandfather of the Emperor was given the posthumous name of Emperor Xuan and the temple name of Dezu, and the great-great-grandmother was given the title of Empress Xuan. The great-grandfather was given the posthumous name of Emperor Heng and the temple name of Yizu, and the great-grandmother was given the title of Empress Heng. The grandfather of the Emperor was given the posthumous name of Emperor Yu and the temple name of Xizu, and the grandmother was given the title of Empress Yu. The father of the Emperor was given the posthumous name of Emperor Chun and the temple name of Renzu, and the mother of the Emperor, whose maiden name was Chen, was given the title of Empress Chun.[57]


Formal Title Maiden Name Birth Death Father Mother Issue Notes
Empress Xiao Ci Gao
Family name:
Ma (馬)
Suzhou, Anhui
1382 Ma Gong
Lady Zheng
Zhu Biao, Crown Prince Yiwen
Zhu Shuang, Prince Min of Qin
Zhu Gang, Prince Gong of Jin
Zhu Di, Yongle Emperor
Zhu Su, Prince Ding of Zhou
Princess Ning
Princess Anqing
Noble Consort Cheng Mu
Family name:
Sun (孫)
1374 Princess Huaiqing
Consort Li
Family name:
Li (李)
Shouzhou Li Jie
Consort Ning
Family name:
Guo (郭)
Haozhou Guo Shanfu
Consort Hui
Family name:
Guo (郭)
Guo Zixing
Zhu Tan, Prince Huang of Lu
Zhu Chun, Prince Xian of Shu
Zhu Gui, Prince Jian of Dai
Zhu Hui, Prince of Gu
Princess Zhenyi of Yongjia
Princess Ruyang
Consort Zhuang Jing An Rong Hui
Family name:
Cui (崔)
Consort Jiang
Family name:
Jiang (江)
Consort Zhao
Family name:
Zhao (趙)
Zhu Mo, Prince Jian of Shen
Consort Zhao Jing Chong
Family name:
Hu (胡)
Consort An
Family name:
Zheng (鄭)
Princess Fuqing
Consort Ding
Family name:
Da (達)
Zhu Fu, Prince of Qi
Zhu Zi, Prince of Dan
Consort Shun
Family name:
Hu (胡)
Zhu Bai, Prince Xian of Xiang
Consort Shun
Family name:
Im (任)
Goryeo Was Korean
Consort Xian
Family name:
Li (李)
Zhu Jing, Prince Ding of Tang
Consort Hui
Family name:
Liu (劉)
Zhu Dong, Prince Jing of Ying
Consort Li
Family name:
Ge (葛)
- - - - -
Consort Kung
Family name:
Kung (碽)
Goryeo - - - - Was given to the Hongwu Emperor as tribute from Goryeo; speculated by some to be the biological mother of the Yongle Emperor
Consort Han
Family name:
Han (韓)
Goryeo - - - Zhu Zhi, Prince Jian of Liao
Princess Hanshan
Was Korean
Consort Yu
Family name:
Yu (余)
- - - - -
Consort Yang
Family name:
Yang (楊)
- - - - Zhu Quan, Prince Xian of Ning
Consort Zhou
Family name:
Zhou (周)
- - - - Zhu Pian, Prince Zhuang of Min
Zhu Song, Prince Xian of Han
Lee Jieyu
Family name:
Lee (李)
Goryeo - - - - Was Korean
Beauty Lady Cui
Family name:
Choi (崔)
Goryeo - - - - Was Korean
Beauty Lady Zhang
Family name:
Zhang (張)
- - - - Princess Baoqing
Lady Gao
Family name:
Gao (郜)
- - - - Zhu Ying, Prince Zhuang of Su Was not given a formal consort name

Hongwu treated his ladies-in-waiting badly, forcing them to live in the palaces for life without freedom and behind cemented walls.[58][59] He massacred thousands of them.[60][61][62] He restricted the freedom of many concubines and killed several.[63][64][65] He also forced many of them to commit suicide and ordered that they will be buried with him after his death.[66] Hongwu had several Korean concubines, including Lady Han, who bore him a son, and Lady Kung.[67]


Number Name Formal Title Born Died Mother Spouse Issue Notes
1 Zhu Biao
Crown Prince Yiwen
10 October 1355 17 May 1392 Empress Xiao Ci Gao Lady Chang
Lady Lü
Zhu Xiongying, Prince Huai of Yu
Zhu Yunwen, Jianwen Emperor
Zhu Yuntong, Prince of Wu
Zhu Yunjian, Prince of Heng
Zhu Yunhuo, Prince Jian of Xu
Princess Jiangdou
Princess Yilun
unnamed daughter
Princess Nanping
2 Zhu Shuang
Prince Min of Qin
3 December 1356 9 April 1395 Empress Xiao Ci Gao Lady Wang
Lady Deng
Zhu Shangbing, Prince Huai of Qin
Zhu Shanglie, Prince Yijian of Yongxing
Zhu Shangyu, Prince Daoxi of Bao'an
Zhu Shangzhou, Prince Gongjing of Xingping
Zhu Shanghong, Prince Huaijian of Yongshou
Zhu Shangkai, Prince of Anding
Princess Pucheng
Princess Chang'an
3 Zhu Gang
Prince Gong of Jin
18 December 1358 22 April 1398 Empress Xiao Ci Gao Lady Xie Zhu Jixi, Prince Ding of Jin
Zhu Jiye, Prince of Gaoping
Zhu Jihuang, Prince of Jin
Zhu Jixuan, Prince of Qingcheng
Zhu Jihuan, Prince of Ninghua
Zhu Jilang, Prince of Yonghe
Zhu Jihe, Prince of Guangchang
two unnamed daughters
Princess Rongcheng
4 Zhu Di
The Yongle Emperor 2 May 1360 12 August 1424 Empress Xiao Ci Gao Xu Yihua, Empress Ren Xiao Wen
20 concubines
Zhu Gaochi, Hongzhi Emperor
Zhu Gaoxu, Prince of Han
Zhu Gaosui, Prince Jian of Zhao
Zhu Gaoxi
Princess Yong'an
Princess Yongping
Princess Ancheng
Princess Xianning
Princess Changning
5 Zhu Su
Prince Ding of Zhou
8 October 1361 2 September 1425 Empress Xiao Ci Gao
6 Zhu Zhen
Prince Zhao of Chu
5 April 1364 22 March 1424 Consort Chong Zhu Mengwan, Prince Zhuang of Chu
7 Zhu Fu
Prince of Qi
1364 1428 Consort Ding Zhu Xianting
Zhu Xianhuo, Prince Daoyin of Le'an
Zhu Xian

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  • Hongwu emperor — or Hung wu emperor orig. Zhu Yuanzhang born Oct. 21, 1328, Haozhou, China died June 24, 1398 Founder of China s Ming dynasty. A poor peasant orphaned at 16, he entered a monastery to avoid starvation. Later, as a rebel leader, he came in contact… …   Universalium

  • Hongwu — /hawng wooh /, n. Pinyin. (Zhu Yuanzhang) Hung wu. * * * ▪ emperor of Ming dynasty Introduction Wade Giles romanization  Hung wu , posthumous name (shi)  Gaodi , temple name (miaohao)  Taizu , original personal name (xingming)  Zhu Chongba ,… …   Universalium

  • Emperor of China — For the volcano in Indonesia, see Emperor of China (volcano). Emperor is the normal translation of 皇帝 (huangdi), a Chinese term that is not to be confused with the homophonic 黄帝, which refers to the Yellow Emperor. Emperor of China Former… …   Wikipedia

  • emperor — emperorship, n. /em peuhr euhr/, n. 1. the male sovereign or supreme ruler of an empire: the emperors of Rome. 2. Chiefly Brit. a size of drawing or writing paper, 48 × 72 in. (122 × 183 cm). [1175 1225; ME empero(u)r < AF; OF empereor < L… …   Universalium

  • Emperor Gaozong of Tang — (zh cp|c=唐高宗|p=Táng Gāozōng) (July 21, 628 [ [http://www.sinica.edu.tw/ftms bin/kiwi1/luso.sh?lstype=2 dyna=%AD%F0 king=%A4%D3%A9v reign=%ADs%C6%5B yy=2 ycanzi= mm=6 dd= dcanzi=%A9%B0%B1G 兩千年中西曆轉換 ] ] December 27, 683 [… …   Wikipedia

  • Yongle Emperor — Emperor of China Reign 17 July 1402 12 August 1424 ( 1000000000000002200000022 years, 1000000000000002600000026 days) …   Wikipedia

  • Jianwen Emperor — Emperor of China Reign 30 June 1398 – 13 July 1402 ( 100000000000000040000004 years, 1000000000000001300000013 days) Predecessor Hongwu …   Wikipedia

  • Yongle emperor — or Yung lo emperor orig. Zhu Di born May 2, 1360, Yingtian [Nanjing], China died Aug. 5, 1424, Yumuchuan, Inner Mongolia Third emperor of China s Ming dynasty, which he raised to its greatest power. Son of the Hongwu emperor, founder of the Ming …   Universalium

  • Yang Hongwu — (楊弘武) (d. June 12, 668 [ [http://www.sinica.edu.tw/ftms bin/kiwi1/luso.sh?lstype=2 dyna=%AD%F0 king=%B0%AA%A9v reign=%C1%60%B3%B9 yy=1 ycanzi= mm=4 dd=27 dcanzi= 兩千年中西曆轉換 ] ] ) was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Hongzhi Emperor — Hongzhi redirects here. For the founder of Falun Gong, see Li Hongzhi. Hongzhi Emperor Emperor of China Reign 22 September 1487 – 8 June 1505 ( 10000000000000017000000 …   Wikipedia

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