Jiajing Emperor

Jiajing嘉靖(* September 16, 1507; † January 23, 1567 ) Birth name: Zhu Houcong朱 厚 熜, Temple name: Shizong世宗, was the eleventh Chinese emperors of the Ming Dynasty. He ruled from 1521 to 1567 over China.


Zhengde Emperor had no sons, so that the dragon throne was inherited by Jiajing, Zhengde had adopted the above. Jiajing was a descendant of a younger son of Emperor Chenghua and a concubine from Hangzhou. His mother was introduced by a eunuch and trained, for example, she learned to recite hundreds of Tang poems to impress the emperor. Jiajing was chosen as heir to the throne since the age of twelve, but his adoption status hurt him, and he tried to erase this fact. Officially was given, he would have inherited the throne alone about his biological parents. He gave his father a posthumous title of Emperor and his mother made for Empress Dowager. The mausoleum of his parents, he was consuming rebuild as emperor grave. As the founder of a new branch line of the ruling dynasty he built his own mausoleum in the Ming Tombs as magnificent and extensive as that of Emperor Yongle.

Jiajing was considered moody and short-tempered, sometimes inconsiderate of everyone. As a result, he escaped in 1542 only about an assassination attempt carried out by his own concubines. Eighteen palace girl tried to strangle the emperor of the night while he slept, but they used the wrong rope, so that their plan failed. In addition, one of the girls warned the Empress Mother, so that all were executed except her.

Jiajings first wife Chen died in 1528 after a miscarriage, which had triggered an outburst of the emperor. His second wife Zhang was discontinued in 1534 without giving reasons and died shortly afterwards. The third Empress catch was those who had given the reference to the assassination. His concubine was posthumously raised you to the Empress, after her son became emperor Longqing.

Style of government

As Jiajing ascended the throne, he cleaned with the help of the Empress Dowager and the United Secretariat of the court of those eunuchs who had so blatantly abused their power under Zhengde. There were confiscated by the chief eunuch alone 70 boxes of gold and 2,200 silver boxes and the Imperial Treasury returned. As a devout Daoist he submitted to the rules of Daoism and followed the maxim of action through non-action. As a result, the Emperor drew back from the government stores, but ministers appointed enabled and the United secretaries who had to reign in his stead. The length of the Jiajing reign was the Middle Kingdom stability, but the passivity of the emperor favored corruption among officials. Large tax reforms such as reform of the labor ministry ensured that one could henceforth pay corvee and taxes with coins only. The financial reforms helped China's economy to rapidly recover after the devastating earthquake in Shaanxi in 1556, when the Yellow River then had burst its banks and 830,000 people were killed. Nevertheless, Jiajing was not finished with external problems. In the north succeeded Altan Khan reunite the Mongol tribes and invade China. In the year 1542 its troops looted within a month the border region, took 200,000 Chinese hostage, stole a million boxes of merchandise as well as horses and burned thousands of homes. In 1550 the Mongols even managed to push forward to Beijing, only the massive troop presence to Beijing held the invaders, and only with difficulty, the Mongols could be thrown back into the steppe. In the southeast, dominated Japanese who Wokou, and other pirates the coasts of China. Trade with Japan was then adjusted, after which the relations with Japan were getting worse. This led to smuggling by Chinese traders and even more Japanese pirates, because you Chinese goods very appreciated in Japan. The government, however, was unable to control all waters. In response Jiajing ordered the destruction of all the junks in 1525 with more than three masts, to prevent the smuggling. In 1550, he even forbade the total foreign trade in shark - jin decree. These restrictive edicts were as good as ever not followed, the smuggling to Japan went on, and in 1555 even pioneered a group of only 70 pirates the way to Nanjing and pillaged the region for two and a half months undisturbed. In 1560, 6,000 Japanese landed and ravaged the province of Fujian. Only Jiajings successor Longqing succeeded to these handicaps, and he allowed the foreign trade again. The second longest with 45 years of reign during the Ming Dynasty possibly ended by an overdose of mercury.

Religious setting

Is unique among the Ming emperors Jiajing that was an ardent admirer of Taoism, who sought relentlessly for the elixir of immortality. He spent huge sums to build Taoist temple in Beijing, equipped with special equipment for producing elixirs made ​​of pearls, amber and gold. Alone to perform a single Taoist ceremony, which lasted about twelve hours thousands of ounces of gold were spent. Here, texts are written in gold dust, which the literary gathering up with their writing brushes. The Emperor repeatedly sought contact with the spirit world, Omen gave most attention, however, tried to suppress Buddhism. Even the Buddhist temple in the Forbidden city he removed in 1536. He also forbade the use of images in Confucian temples.


Grave of the parents of Jiajing in Zhongxiang