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100 Famous Women in China (1 Viewer)

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]20. Cai Wenji (afemale musician and poetess)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Cai Wenji (176--249AD) was the daughter of the famous literary man and calligrapher, CaiYi (133-1932 AD). He also knew mathematics, astronomy, and music.Growing up in such a family environment, Cai Wenji was talented andversed in music. She was a musician as well as a poetess. She couldplay zither and had the ability to tell which string on the zitherwas broken by the sound when other people were playing and a stringsuddenly broke. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] She was married toMr. Wei, but he died after only one year. As she did not bear anychildren for him, she was sent back to her father's home. Then whenXiongnu tribe in the north invaded the area where she lived, she wascaptured and was forced to marry the chieftain at the age oftwenty-three. She gave birth to two sons for him, and stayed therefor twelve years. She learned to play the reed pipe, a musicalinstrument of the tribe, and also learned their language. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] When the warlordCao Cao (155—220 AD) was in power, he thought of Cai Wenji, thedaughter of Cai Yi, who had been his tutor when he was young. So CaoCao sent a messenger to give the chieftain a thousand taels of goldand a pair of white jade to redeem Cai Wenji, who was then back toher family alone, leaving her two son with the father. Then she wasmarried to Dong Si and bore a son and a daughter for him. Her fatheralready died. She wrote down four hundred articles of her father'swriting from memory. It was because in the warring chaos, most of herfather's writings were lost. She handed down to us only a longautobiographic poem and song words to the music of the reed pipe,called “Eighteen Beats of Reed Pipe.” (A beat means a stanza inher poetic song words.) These were her own composition. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]21. Xun Guanniang (akungfu girl)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Xun Guanniang(303—360 AD) was the first girl in the history of China, who hadkungfu and could fight on horseback. She was born a hundred yearsearlier than Hua Mulan (412—502 AD). She was the great greatgranddaughter of Xun Yu (163—212 AD), who was a famous adviser ofthe warlord Cao Cao.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] It was in thesecond warring period (265—589 AD), and in the third moon of 317AD, when Xun Guanniang was only thirteen. Her father, Xun Song(263—329 AD) was a general guarding Wan town. Du Zeng, amagistrate, wanted to betray the emperor and took Wan town as hisbase. He commanded his two thousand soldiers and came to surround thetown. There were only one thousand men for the defense. The attacklasted for several days and Du Zeng could not take the town yet. Butcasualties on both sides increased. Besides, the provisions were lessand less in the town since it was surrounded by the enemy. Thesituation was so serious that someone must volunteer to break enemy'ssurrounding line to get reinforcement from other cities. For a coupleof days, no one volunteered. General Xun Song wanted to go himself.But as he was the commander, people could not defend the town withouthis leadership. At that critical moment, the girl of thirteen stoodforth for the difficult task. Others were doubtful whether a girl ofsuch age could succeed. She analyzed that the enemy's soldiers wereall exhausted. They looked okay in the daytime, but in the night theymust fall in sound sleep. She added that if she could have a fewbravest fighters with her, they could steal through enemy's lineunder the cover of night. No one could disagree, or they would alldie, if not in combat, but of starvation.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Thus they brokethrough the line with little fighting. When they reached the nearestcity, the magistrate there agreed to help. So when the reinforcementcame to attack the enemies from the back, the defenders in the townwent out to attack from front. Du Zeng was defeated and the town wassafe. The girl was praised by all the townsfolk that she could finishsuch a difficult job at so young age. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]22.Liu Lanzhi (a woman of tragic death)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]LiuLanzhi (?--?) was the wife of a petty official, Jiao Chongqing(?--?), living in Lujiang town of present Anhui province, towards theend of East Han dynasty (25—220 AD). She was a nice girl from awell-to-do family. She could weave at thirteen, could make dress atfourteen, could play harp at fifteen, and could read classics atsixteen. She married her husband at seventeen.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Jiaofamily consisted of the old widow, his mother, her mother-in-law, andhis young sister. At first the couple lived a harmonious life. Buthis mother was very picky and fastidious. She did not like herdaughter-in-law for no reason at all. Perhaps, like other old widows,she depended on her son as her life company after the death of herhusband. Now the daughter-in-law came and it seemed as if she tookaway her life company and left her alone. Therefore, she hated thewife of her son and tried to drive her away. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Sheoften complained to her son that his wife was not nice to her anddisobeyed her. In fact, the daughter-in-law was very nice and filialto her. She listened to her mother-in-law for whatever she said.Anyway, the mother decided to get rid of his wife. In old China,there were seven rules for a wife to be driven back to where she camefrom, i.e., the house of her parents. The seven rules were that shedisobeyed her mother- or father-in-law; that she did not bear a son(a daughter did not count); that she was lewd; that she jealous ifher husband had concubines; that she had severe diseases; that sheliked to gossip; and that she stole from her husband's house for thefamily of her parents. She did not bear any children for her son yet.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] JiaoChongqing was a filial son and under the pressure of his mother, whooften threatened her son with suicide if he did not send his wifeaway. He had one day to harden up his heart and bid farewell to hiswife. He promised her to get her back some day when he persuaded hismother to accept her. But Liu Lanzhi had no confidence about it. Shewent back to the home of her parents, to whom it was a disgrace thattheir daughter was sent back. So they had to marry their daughter toanother man. The daughter could not disobey her parents and agreed tomarry again. But in her mind, she determined to end her life to therule that a woman should never remarry. The night before her weddingday to another man, she went out and threw herself in a pond near herhome. When Jiao Chongqing heard of the death of his ex-wife, hehanged himself on the branch of a tree in the courtyard of his home.They were buried together at the foot of Huagai Mountain. Localpeople grew pine trees and cypresses around their grave. An anonymouspoet wrote a long poem about their sad story. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Alegend developed that there were a pair of mandarin ducks flyingabout the trees, crying bitterly. Young couples in the subsequentdynasties came to visit their tomb in hopes that the deceased couplewould bless them to have a happy result for their love.[/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
23.Diao Chan (the third beauty of the four beauties)
DiaoChan (?--?) was the third beauties of the four beauties in thehistory of China. (As for the fourth beauty Imperial Concubine Yang,please read my book Love Tales of Ancient China.) Her surnamewas Ren and her given name was also unknown. Her own parents wereunknown, too. Being beautiful and clever, she was selected at the ageof fifteen to enter the palace and appointed to be a handler ofheadwear for the empress and concubines. Her job title was Diaochan.Hence, historians called her Diaochan.
Thenthere was a riot in the palace, and Diaochan escaped from the palace.She was then adopted by Wang Yong (137—192 AD) as his daughter.Wang Yong was an official of high rank towards the end of East Handynasty. At that time, Dong Zhuo was in power as head of courtiers.He was a corrupt man. Wang Yong and other courtiers wanted to killhim. Once Cao Cao, a petty officer then, went to assassinate him, butfailed and escaped. The event was that Cao Cao had a good dagger andknew that Dong Zhuo liked good weapons. Therefore, carrying thedagger, he went to see Dong Zhuo, who was then napping. When Cao Caowas about to draw out the dagger to stab Dong, suddenly Dong openedhis eyes and asked Cao what he was doing. Cao said that he got a gooddagger and came to offer it to Dong. As Dong took it, Cao badefarewell and fled out of the capital secretly.
SoWang Yong had no chance to kill Dong. When he adopted the girl, awonderful idea struck him. Dong was a lewd man and liked beautifulgirls. Therefore, Wang Yong made up a scheme called “BeautyEntrapment.” Dong Zhuo had an adopted son by name of Luu Bu (?--199AD), who was known as the bravest and more skillful knight at thetime. Luu was young and still single.
Thetrick was carried out like this. First Wang Yong invited Luu fordinner at home. When dinner went on midway, Wang let Diaochan comeout to toast Luu. At the first sight of the girl, Luu fell in lovewith her right off as she was such a beauty. Wang thereby promised tomarry the girl, declared as his daughter, to Luu. Luu was glad andgrateful.
Nextday, Wang Yong invited Dong Zhuo for dinner at his home. When Dongcame, Wang let Diaochan come out to toast Dong. The girl was declaredto be a singsong girl to entertain guests. As she was so beautiful,Dong liked her at once. When dinner was over, Dong took the girl withhim even without asking for the permission of Wang. If the girl wasdeclared as Wang's daughter, Dong could not take her away so freely.But a singsong girl had no status in society, Dong could do anythingwith her as he liked. Because Dong was so powerful, Wang could notsay NO to him. If the girl was declared to be his daughter, Wangcould say NO. That was the point of the trick. So far so good for theruse.
Afew days later, Luu Bu came to ask when the wedding could take place.Wang was silent. Luu inquired again, and again no answer. At last,Luu forced Wang for an immediate reply. Want sighed and said withtears in his eyes, “A few days ago, I invited your (adoptive)father for dinner. When he saw my daughter, he just took her awaywithout even asking my permission.” Hearing this, Luu began to hateDong for robbing him of his wife. But he did not go to see Dong todemand an explanation. He was a bit afraid of his adoptive father.
Oneday, Luu came to Dong's residence and met Dong in the Fengyi Arbor inthe garden. Chinese people liked to give names to their arbors andpavilions so that when they mentioned the names they knew where theywould meet. When they were talking in the arbor, Diaochanintentionally came bringing cups of tea. She looked at Luu with tearyeyes as if saying that she really loved Luu, but was unwillinglytaken by Dong. Luu met with Diaochan's eyes, but he could say nothingbefore Dong. Dong detected the love eye contact between the girl andLuu. He flared up and wanted to kill Luu, but Luu ran away. When Dongtold it to one of his advisers, he said that Dong should not offendsuch a brave general for a girl and that Dong should give the girl toLuu so Luu would be thankful to him and even willing to die for him.Dong considered it over and over and made his final decision tofollow the advice. When he talked to the girl, she started to crybitterly, saying that she did not like Luu, and that if she wasforced to leave Dong, she would rather kill herself. Finally Dong lether stay with him. The trick went on smoothly.
Atlast all courtiers encouraged and instigated Luu to kill Dong. Theysaid that as a young hero, Luu should not let his wife be occupied byanother man and that he must take her back. The only way to take thegirl back was to kill Dong. Luu thus made up his mind and killedDong. Then he took Diaochan to his residence and married her.
Nolong afterwards, some Dong's followers revolted and Luu escaped withDiaochan to a small town called Xiapi. Wang Yong was killed by thefollowers. After the death of Dong Zhuo, Cao Cao rose in power andconquered the followers. Then he attacked Luu Bu, who was killed. Asfor the end of Diaochan, there were two legends. One was that shehanged herself to follow her husband Luu Bu to Hades. The other wasthat Cao Cao captured her after the death of Luu, and no one knewwhat became of her later.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]24. Xie Daoyun (afamous poetess)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Xie Daoyun (350—405AD) was a famous poetess in the history. With the above two, BanZhao, Cai Wenji and she were known as the three talented women in theearly history of China. She was the niece of Xie An (320—385 AD), afamous politician and general, and the daughter-in-law of Wang Xizhi(303—361 AD), a renowned calligrapher. The most known event of herwas that one day in winter when it was snowing heavily, the flakeswere hovering down. Xie An, one of his nephews and the girl weregathering to look at the flying snow flakes. Xie An asked who coulduse something in comparison to describe the flying snow flakes. Thenephew said, “Casting salts into the air is the right comparison.”But the girl said, “It's better to compare it to the catkins flyingin the wind.” Catkins were better comparison than salts to the snowflakes. So poets in subsequent dynasties said that she had catkintalent. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] It was a traditionthat on the third day of her marriage, a girl could return to thehome of her parents and the parents would inquire her what she feltabout the marriage. So did her parents to her, she was dissatisfiedwith he husband. When her parents said that he was a good man withoutany defects in his character. She answered that he was okay, but agood-for-nothing while his cousins and his brother were all talentedand had their own careers. Once the brother (also a famouscalligrapher as the father) of her husband was cornered in a debateby a quest. She came out to his rescue. She put the guest in a cornerby her eloquence and reasoning. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Then some rebelscame and killed her husband. When she heard of it, she ran out with asword, but was captured after she killed several rebels. The leaderof the rebels respected her bravery and faithfulness to her husband,and let her go. She lived the rest of her life as a widow. Themagistrate learned her fame and came to visit her. She had a screenput between herself and the guest. They had a pleasant conversation.After it, the magistrate expressed his admiration of her talent. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]25.Liu Chuyu (having thirty love mates)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]LiuChuyu (446—465 AD) was princess Shanyin. Her husband (446—482 AD)was the son of an official of high rank. Once the princess said tothe emperor, his brother, “We come from the same father. Althoughwe have the difference of sex, why you can have many women while Ican have only one man? It's not fair to me.” Therefore, theemperor, Liu Ziye (449—465 AD), got thirty handsome men for her.Courtier Zhu Yuan (435—482 AD) was very handsome. But he was anupright person. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] However,the princess wanted to take a look at him first, secretly, to see ifshe liked him. The emperor sent for the courtier in his royal study,and the princess peeped at him from behind a screen. After she seteyes on him, she liked him very much. She asked the emperor to lethim accompany her for ten days. So the emperor ordered Zhu Yuan tostay in a special pavilion for ten days. In the night of the firstday, the princess went to see him and wanted to sleep with him. Butas soon as the princess approached him, Zhu Yuan stood up to salutethe princess. For the whole night, he stood there with little moveabout. The princess said, “You look a man, but you don't act like aman.” He replied, “As a man, I can't do such a thing.” Whateverthe princess did to force him, he would never give in. On the lastday of the ten days, the princess had to let him go. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] LiuYu (439—472 AD) was the uncle of the emperor. He always thoughtthat the throne should belong to him. Then on the twenty-ninth day ofthe eleventh moon in 465 AD, he sent someone to kill the emperor andmade himself the emperor, Emperor Ming. Next day, he gave an edict inthe name of the empress dowager to order the princess to commitsuicide for the reason that she was a lewd woman. The princess mustobey the order of her mother. Therefore, she hanged herself. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]26. Pan YuEr (awoman who could whip the emperor)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Pan YuEr (?--?) wasnot only beautiful with white skin and fine figure, but the mostfamous feature of her beauty was her lovely little feet. She was bornin a vendor's family. Her father, almost illiterate, gave her thename called Nizi (literally meaning “Little Girl”). Such a namewas deemed vulgar. But her beauty attracted everyone who caught sightof her. They lived from hand to mouth, and so, when she grew intoteenage, she often went to help her father sell things. She wasfamiliar with market and trading. Once her mother had a chance toenter the palace as a wet nurse to feed the crown prince. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] It was not until498 AD when the crown prince succeeded the throne and became theemperor. As he often heard the mother, his wet nurse, talk about thegirl, he had always yearned for her. Now he sent for her to thepalace and made her the imperial concubine. Her beauty stunned him ashe first set eyes on her. Her white skin glittered like pure jade. Sohe changed her name to YuEr (literally meaning “Jade Girl”). Hehad a new hall built for her. The floor was covered with engravedlotus patterns so that every step of her landed her on a lotuspattern. It was called that her steps produced lotus flowers. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Her feet were sosmall and lovely. He was a foot fetishist. He liked to caress herwhite feet and kiss her toes one by one and licked them in turns.Sometimes he bit her big toe and when she felt a big painful, shebeat his back with a stick. And he liked it. He was a masochist. Inthe long Chinese history, Pan YuEr was the sole concubine who couldbeat the emperor like whipping a slave. Instead of a concubinewaiting on the emperor, this emperor liked to wait on her. He madetea for her and massaged her back and legs. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Once she said tothe emperor that she had liked the life in a market place. Therefore, he built a market for her, and let maids and eunuchs play the rolesof traders and customers. Sometimes, the emperor would let sometraders pretend to offend some rules and be brought to the presenceof Pan YuEr, who would decide how to punish them. She enjoyed thisvery much. Once YuEr pretended to be the owner of a wine shop andstood behind the counter to sell wine, and the emperor played thepart of the customer. And sometimes the emperor acted like a butcherstanding behind a booth to sell pork, and the concubine came as abuyer. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] This life style ofthe imperial couple enraged courtiers. Some of them criticized theemperor. The emperor killed them. He even killed his kinsfolk tillone day his brother, afraid of being killed, too, could no longerendure it. He marched his troops to surround the capital and killedthe emperor. He gave the girl to one of his generals as a reward forhis merits. The general held a banquet to celebrate it. When all theguests wanted to see the beauty that they had heard of so much and solong, the general led them to his bedroom, where the girl should stayto wait for his arrival for the night. But as the door was openedthey saw the girl hanging herself from the beam, and still lookingbeautiful. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]27. Xu Zhaopei (thewoman having makeup on half of her face)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Xu Zhaopei (?--549AD) was the wife of Emperor Yuan of Liang dynasty (502—557 AD),which was a short dynasty during the second warring period. In thetwelfth moon of 517 AD, she went to where the emperor lived. On herway there, there were strong winds that blew down houses, then snowstorm came. When she arrived there, there were pealing thunders thatshattered a pillar. All these were considered as bad omen. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] After marriage, shebore a son and a daughter for him. As the emperor had one eye blind,Xu did not like him and was often rude to him. The emperor dislikedher, too. Once when he went to her room, she only put the makeup onhalf of her face to imply that the emperor had only one eye good. Sothe emperor was enraged and seldom to see her ever since. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] She then hadadultery with some other people. The first one was a monk and sheoften went to his temple. The second one was Ji, a favorite courtierof the emperor. They had the action in the temple, too. After theaction, they lay on bed and composed poems to each other. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Xu was a jealouswoman. Whenever the emperor liked someone, she would find a way tomurder her. Although the emperor disliked her, he liked her son andmade him the crown prince. But the son died in a battle. The emperorforced her, the mother, to commit suicide. Finally she threw herselfinto a well and drowned inside it. Then the emperor revealed her lewdaction to let people know it so that he forced her to make suicidewas not without reason. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]28. Lou Zhaojun (shemarried a common man, but became emperor finally)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Lou Zhaojun (501—562AD) had a legendary life. Her father was a courtier of high rank.When she grew up, many official families came to see her father toask for her hand, but she denied all the suitors. She wanted to finda man fit to be her husband. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] One day, she saw aman, a general, called Gao Huan (496—547 AD), doing some work atthe battlements. She knew how to read the face. His face showed thathe would be a leader of a state some day. Therefore, she married him.Although a general, he had no money. She gave him money and let himuse it to make friends with all the known heroes of the time.Besides, she offered stratagems so that he could win merits inbattles. He was promoted to be the premier. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] When Gao Huan gotpowerful enough, she helped him to establish a new state, named NorthQi. Gao became the emperor and she was the empress. She had born sixsons and two daughters for him. Three of her sons were emperors indifferent times. Her daughters both became empresses of other states.She was frugal by nature. As the empress she would weave and sewherself. She treated her own children and the children of otherconcubines equally. Once she made sacrifice for her husband.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] To strengthen hispower for the situation, he should marry the princess of Ruru State.When he asked his empress if this was right for him to do, EmpressLou gave her ascent without hesitation. When Princess Ruru came, shelet her be the empress and herself be the concubine. For that, shewas praised by people in the small empire. The emperor had one wifeand ten concubines. He had fifteen sons and three daughters in all. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Once when she waspregnant and got into hard labor, someone wanted to send urgentmassage to the emperor, but she would not agree. At last she gavebirth to twin babies, a son and a daughter. When the emperor returnedand learned the condition, he was greatly moved. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Once he wasdefeated. A general came to offer to lead an army for the revenge.The emperor was glad and about to consent, but empress Lou said no.She explained that if the general had an army under command, whetherhe won or lost in the fight, he would never come back to obey him anymore. He would be independent with an army in his control. So theemperor did not let the general go. The general later did betrayanother emperor in another state.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] When the emperor,Gao Huan, died, his eldest son Gao Cheng became the emperor. LouZhaojun, as empress dowager, controlled the power. When Gao Chengdied, her son Gao Yang took the throne. Not long later, Gao Yangdied, too. His son, Gao Yin, succeeded the throne. Gao Yin was thegrandson of Lou. As Gao Yin was not a good emperor, the empressdowager deposed him and made him Prince JiNan. Then her another sonGao Yan was made the emperor. Not long afterwards, Gao Yan also died.She made her another son Gao Zhan the emperor, and made two othersons the princes. She died at the age of sixty-two.[/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]29. Mu Huanghua (anempress became the bawd)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Mu Huanghua (?--?)was the third empress of the emperor Gao Wei, the last emperor ofNorth Qi dynasty. Her mother was a maid in the family of somecourtier. Then she was raped by the coutier and bore the girl. Whenthe girl grew up, she went to the palace. At first she was the maidof the first empress of the emperor. Once the emperor saw her andliked her. She became his concubine. In 572 AD, she was made theempress when the original empress died. In 577 AD, another stateinvaded North Qi and took the capital. The emperor and Mu had toescape. But the emperor was captured, and Mu ran away to ChangAncity, where to make her living, she opened a brothel and became thebawd. Her brothel was at the time well-known on both sides of theYangtze River. This was a weird experience to her from an empress toa bawd. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]30.Hua Mulan (the first of the four heroines)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]HuaMulan (412—502 AD) was one of four heroines in Chinese history,fighting in the battlefield. The other three were Fan Lihua (Tangdynasty), Mu Guiying (North Song dynasty), and Liang Hongyu (SouthSong dynasty). Her story goes back to the second warring period. Shehad an elder sister and younger brother. But both of them could notfight. When Mulan was still young, a minority in the north invadedher country. Then an order was issued that every family must have oneman to join the army for defense against the invasion. Mulan's fatherwas too old. Her brother was too young. When a little girl she likedto learn how to fight as her father knew the fighting skills. She wasjust grown up, and so she offered to go instead of her father, butin disguise of a young man, using her brother's name,. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Atthat time, the government of the country did not supply a fighterwith necessary equipment such as weapon, horse, armor and helmet,etc. Therefore, she had to go to the market to buy all these forherself. She was attired as a man should wear. Then she rode to theregistration at the recruit's site. She was sent to the frontier withother recruits. She fought bravely in the battlefields and won a lotof merits. No one knew that she was a woman. After twelve years, shereturned victoriously. Then she was known to her fellow fighters thatshe was a woman, which was at the time deemed cheating. The emperorreceived her and for her great merits, she was pardoned for thecheating of a good kind. The emperor wanted to let her be an officialof high rank in the government, but she excused herself, saying thather father was old, and she must go home to take care of him. So theemperor let her go. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Herlegend was written down in a long poem called “[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Songof Mulan[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif].”In Tang dynasty, a temple was built in memory of her, and a statue ofher was carved and put in the temple. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]31.Yang Lihua (sharing the title of empress with other four women)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]YangLihua (561—609 AD) was the wife of Emperor Xuan (559—580 AD) ofNorth Zhou dynasty (557—581 AD), a short dynasty in the northernChina in the second warring period. Her father was Yang Jian (541—604AD). Later he began a new dynasty, Sui dynasty, and became emperorWen. Sui dynasty ended the second warring period and united China.Her mother was Empress Dugu. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] In573 AD, when she was only thirteen, she married Emperor Xuan andbecame one of the four empresses. It was the only emperor in thehistory, who made all his four women empresses. Then he liked thewife of his nephew, who had to rebel and was killed. The emperor tookthe nephew's wife as his fifth empress. As the emperor led a lewdlife, all the courtiers opposed him. Yang Jian at the time was apowerful courtier and supported by others, he deposed the emperor,who died soon after. Then Yang Jian became the emperor of Sui dynasty(581—618 AD). Yang Lihua, his daughter, could not still have thetitle of empress, and so her father made her Princess Lepin, till herdeath at the age of forty-nine.[/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]32.Zhang Lihua (empress with special long hair)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ZhangLihua (560—589 AD) was the favorite concubine of Chen Shubao(553—604 AD). When Chen Shubao was still the crown prince of Chendynasty (557—589 AD), located to the south of Yangtzer Rivertowards the end of the second warring period, Zhang Lihua was thenonly ten and entered the palace as the maid to a concubine of thecrown prince. When she grew up, she was so beautiful and clever. Themost conspicuous thing about her was her long black hair, more thantwo meters long. She was proud of her long hair. Every morning shespent a lot of time to comb her hair and did her hair up into astylist knot. When the crown prince saw her one day, her beauty wasso attractive to him that he took her as his concubine. He liked herlong hair very much, which was unique. The crown prince was a famouspoet.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] In582 AD, the crown prince succeeded the throne and Zhang became hisfavorite concubine. This emperor was talented in music andliterature. His poems were so well-known and many handed down to us.One of his famous poems runs as follows:[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Upon west tower alone, wordless,
The moon looks like a hook.
Withthe solitary Chinese parasol,
The deep backyard locking the coolautumn in.

Scissor'd, but not sever'd,
Put in order, yetin disorder,
Is the parting sorrow;
There's an unusualsensation at heart.
[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]As Zhang Lihua coulddance gracefully, the emperor composed a famous piece of music, andZhang Lihua danced to it. The imperial couple led a lewd anddissipated life. At that time, all the separate independent states tothe north of the Yangtze River were conquered by Sui dynasty. Onlythe Chen dynasty to the south of the Yangtze River still survived. In589 AD, Sui army came to the capital. When the imperial couple wasreported that Sui army entered the city, they tied themselvestogether and jumped into a well. But as the well was an old onewithout water in it, they did not die. Then Sui soldiers got themout. Zhang Lihua was killed because the commander thought that as shewas so beautiful, if the Sui emperor saw her, he would take her to behis concubine, which might cause Sui dynasty to collapse like thisChen dynasty. The Chen emperor was captured and taken to beimprisoned and died a few years later. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]33.Empress Dugu (empress who'd not let emperor have other women)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]EmpressDugu (543—602 AD) was the wife of Yang Jian (541—604 AD), EmperorWen of Sui dynasty (581—618 AD). She bore a daughter, Yang Lihua(see above), and sons, Yang Yong (568—604 AD) and Yang Guang(569—618 AD). [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Dugumarried the emperor at fourteen. She was a very jealous woman. Whenshe married him, they had an agreement that he would never touch anyother women. She abolished the system that an emperor could have manyconcubines. She would not allow her husband to have any concubines.Once he had an action with a girl in the palace, the girl was laterkilled by Dugu. Luckily for her, she had born children for him. Shealso forbade her sons to have more than one woman. She forbade thepalace maids to put on makeup and to gain access to the emperorwithout her permission. She even interfered with the courtiers intheir marital affairs. Once a courtier's wife died, and he marriedanother woman. Dugu let the emperor demote him, because her idea inmarriage was that if a man could not be faithful to his wife andneeded another woman, how could he be loyal to the sovereign? So shewanted to maintain one husband and one wife system. Besides, if awoman was not allowed to remarry as a tradition, a man should not beallowed to remarry, too. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Anyway,she was just in dealing with state affairs. She often offered heropinions to the emperor and he always thought that her opinions wereright. Once one of her cousins committed some severe crime, andaccording to the law, he must be executed. However, the emperor,considering his relationship with the empress, intended to pardon himfrom his death sentence. When Dugu learned it, she said that the lawmust be just, and could not be disregarded owing to specialconditions. The cousin thereby was executed. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Oncean official presented to her a box of costly pearls. She said to him,“This is not what I need. You can use them as rewards to soldierswho are fighting at the frontier.” She never gave her relativespositions of high ranks. At first, as Yang Yong was the eldest son,he was made the crown prince. Nevertheless, he sought obscenity andmerry-making, which the emperor and empress disliked. Besides, thecrown prince had four concubines and ignored his wife. All that wasagainst the wishes of the empress. Therefore, he was deposed and hisbrother Yang Guang was made the crown prince. The empress died beforethe emperor in the eighth moon of 602 AD, at the age of fifty.[/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]34. Xiao Meiniang(an empress married many times)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Xiao Meiniang (582AD--? ) was the wife of Emperor Yang (Yang Guang) of Sui dynasty. Hewas the second and last emperor of Sui dynasty. She was a princess ofEmperor Ming (542—585 AD) of West Liang dynasty (555—587 AD). Asshe was born in the second moon, superstitious tradition said that agirl born in the second moon could not bear sons. So she was given tothe uncle, and when the uncle died, she was adopted by her maternaluncle, who was poor, and she must do all the housework. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] When Yang Guang wasstill crown prince, his father wanted to choose a wife for him. Thesuperstitious tradition had it that the birthday and birth time ofboth the girl and the boy should be given to a fortune-teller, whowould tell if that of the girl and that of the boy were fit to eachother. If they were not fit, and the girl and boy married, misfortunewould befall them. All the girls in the area were not fit to be thewife of the crown prince by the calculation of the fortune-teller.Finally a fit girl was found. She was Xiao Meiniang. Therefore, shebecame the wife of the crown prince. When the crown prince succeededthe throne, she was made the empress. She bore two sons and adaughter for him. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] The emperor was alewd and corrupt man. But he had a great job done. It was the GreatCanal, beginning from Luoyang city to Hangzhou city. It made thetransportation of goods from south to north easier than before. Itwas finished by connecting some natural rivers through a lot ofdigging. But some historians said that the purpose of the emperorwanted to make the Great Canal was that he wanted to travelcomfortably on the ship to Yangzhou city, where the most beautifulpeonies grew. And it was also said that women in Yangzhou city wereall beautiful. When he stayed there to enjoy his extravagant days, hewas murdered by a general he trusted. Then there rose many warlordsall over the nation.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] There were twolegends about her end. One was that after the death of the emperorshe left the palace and wandered with her grandson like vagabondstill her death without remarrying. The other was that she was takenby the general who had murdered the emperor. When the general died, awarlord got her. Then she was captured by the chieftain of a minorityin the north. Finally the famous Emperor Taizong (599—649 AD) ofTang dynasty (618—907 AD) conquered the minority and took her backto the capital. It was said that she became the wife of the Tangemperor. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]35. Hongfu(literally meaning red duster)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Hongfu (?--?) wasthe nickname and her real name was Zhang Chuchen. But better known asHongfu in the history. Her father was a general and killed in abattle. Her mother was taken by Yang Su (544-606 AD) a general, andlater the first courtier of Sui dynasty, as a wet nurse. She broughther daughter with her. So Hongfu grew up in the residence of Yang Su,and in her girlhood, she became a waiting girl to Yang Su. She oftenstood a little behind him when he sat on the chair to receive guests.On such occasions, She often held a red duster in hand, hence hernickname. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] There was a youngman by name of Li Jing (571—649 AD). He was a man of talent andambition, a strategist as well. Therefore, he came to the capital toseek for fame and a bright future. As he could not directly go to seethe emperor, he went to see Yang Su first and became one of Yang'shangers-on, which meant people having food and board in Yang'sresidence working like advisers. At first, Yang did not think much ofLi Jing as he had so many hangers-on in his residence. Once Yang hada talk with him and came to know that this man was talented. But hedid not recommend him to the emperor, which was what Li desired.Therefore, Li was disappointed. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] When Yang had thetalk with Li, Hongfu was present and had also such opinion of him.She admired him to much that one night she went to see him in hisroom, just as Li was sad and uncertain of his future. When he heardthe knock at his door he opened it and saw the girl who had stoodbehind Yang in his conversation with Yang. When Hongfu was invited inand sat down, she revealed her purpose to come. She offered herselfto be his life mate. Li was so happy and accepted. Then they elopedunder the cover of night. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] The couple weredisguised as merchants and went to ChangAn city where another Lifamily lived as magistrate, and afterwards, this Li family united thewhole country and established Tang dynasty (618—907 AD). Li Jingwent to visit Li Shiming, the famous Emperor Taizong later, to offerhis service. Li Shiming thought highly of him. When Sui dynastycollapsed with the murder of the Sui emperor, there arose manywarlords. Although there were constant wars among the warlords,historians did not define this period of time as a warring period,because it lasted very short, only for seven years and the wholenation was united by Tang dynasty. As Li Shiming wanted to unite thenation,he accepted all the known heroes that came to serve him. Inthe wars conquering other warlords, Li Jing and Hongfu, who couldfight, achieved a lot of merits. When the Tang dynasty united thecountry, Li Jing was rewarded with the title of Duke Weiguo. AndHongfu was his ladyship. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]36. Princess Pinyang(a female commander)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Princess Pinyang(580—623 AD) was the sister of Emperor Taizong by the name of LiXiuning. She was the only woman in the history who organized andcommanded an army. Other women before her, if they could fight, justfought as a female general, not commanding an army. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] In the fifth moonof 617 AD, Li family decided to subdue all the warlords and unitedthe country. At the time Princess Pinyang was in ChangAn city whilethe Li family lived in Taiyuan city. She was married to a general andlived in ChangAn city with her husband. When she got the informationthat her family would take up arms against all the warlords, shestarted to recruit enough men to form an army. Her husband went toTaiyuan city first to join in the combats. There were some smallgroups of rebels. She sent someone to persuade them one by one tojoin her army, which enlarged greatly. She even defeated severalattacks from the army of Sui dynasty. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] After the death ofEmperor Yang of Sui dynasty, there were warlords occupying separate independent areas. It was the duties of Emperor Taizong now to wipeout all the warlords. And the princess only stayed in the pass calledWoman Pass, which was the throat to enter where there was the base ofLi family. She must guard it. Her task was very important. If anywarlord entered the Pass, the safety of her family would bethreatened. Anyway, she defended the Pass well against any attackstill the unity of the nation. The name of the Pass was in memory ofher. When she died, the army under her command held a militaryfuneral for her. It was the only funeral that was held by an army fora female in the history. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]37. Empress Changsun( a virtuous woman, never jealous)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Empress Changsun(03/15/601—07/28/636 AD) was the wife of the famous Emperor Taizong (599—649 AD) of Tang dynasty (618—907 AD). Her father was ageneral in Sui dynasty and died when she was only eight years old.She was brought up by her maternal uncle. She married Emperor Taizongat the age of thirteen when Emperor Taizong was then only Prince Qin.She was the ladyship of the prince Qin. The crown prince was theeldest brother of Prince Qin, and he had a younger brother. The threeof them vied for the throne, of course, like in many dynasties. Thecrown prince was no good as a ruler, and the younger brother was afighter, not fit to be a ruler. To be a ruler needed many qualities.Only Prince Qin had such qualities. Therefore, all the generals ofTang dynasty supported him. It was not just because they thoughtPrince Qin was a talented man, suitable to be the emperor, but alsobecause they had fought together with him so long in the process ofsubduing all the warlords. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] On the second dayof the seventh moon in 626 AD, there was a coup d'état. Helped bythe generals, Prince Qin killed his two brothers and became EmperorTaizong. His father was on the throne at the time, but he could notcontrol the situation as all the generals did not listen to him, andonly obey his second son. Therefore, after the coup d'état, thefather gave up the throne to the son and became the retired emperor. Ladyship Zhangsun was due to be the empress. She bore for theemperor three sons and four daughters. Later her youngest son becamethe crown prince and then the emperor, Emperor Gaozong, the husbandof Empress Wu the Great. That's another book I wrote. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] She was a virtuouswoman, never jealous. She treated other concubines and maids andeunuchs nicely. So the palace was peaceful, no competitions betweenconcubines for the special favor of the emperor. She often educatedthe children, no matter those of her own or those of otherconcubines, equally that they must be frugal, not extravagant. Shealways gave the emperor good advice, and whenever the emperor madeany mistakes, she would persuade him to correct them. She evendissuaded the emperor to give her own brother a powerful position,lest the brother turned arrogant because he had power and then madeunpardonable mistakes. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] When she wasseriously sick, the emperor wanted to have a ceremony in a temple topray for her quick recovery, but she disagreed to it. She was not asuperstitious person. She did not believe in prayer to make sicknessbetter. She died at the age of thirty-six. When she was sepulcheredin imperial grave, the emperor did two things for her that no otheremperors did before or after for their spouses. Firstly he had acollage built in front of her grave and let some maids live therelike to wait on her as if she was still alive. Secondly he had a hightower built in the palace so that whenever he thought of his empress,he could mount it to watch her grave. However, for this tower, heaccepted the advice of a courtier later and demolished it. [/FONT]
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]38.Fan Lihua (the second of the four heroines)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]FanLihua (?--?) lived in the reign of Emperor Taizong. She was one ofthe four heroines. Her father was originally a general of the Suidynasty. When this dynasty was overthrown, he escaped to a minorityin the west of present China. When Tang dynasty sent army to conquerthat minority, Fan Lihua helped her father to resist Tang army. Butonce when she saw the son of the commander of Tang army, who came outof the camp, to fight, she fell in love with him. Therefore, she andher father surrendered to Tang dynasty and Fan Lihua married the sonof the commander of Tang dynasty. She had great fighting skills andknew strategies. She helped the Tang army to conquer the minority.Later when some tribe in the northwest invaded Tang dynasty, Herfather-in-law was made the commander of Tang army again. She went asa female general and fought together with her husband against theinvaders. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Whenher father-in-law died in the battlefield, she, not her husband,succeeded the position of the commander, as she could fight betterand knew how to use stratagems while her husband could only fight.They returned after victory and owing to her great merits, she wasgiven the title of Marquise of Weining. She bore four sons. The thirdson was a naughty one, and often did something wrong. Once, byaccident, the third son killed a prince. That was a serious crime.Therefore the whole family were executed. Only Fan Lihua and two ofher sons escaped before the execution happened. [/FONT]
 

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