(Some) China history in bite size

By Cubie - March 23, 2013

Disclaimer: My knowledge of history is very subpar...

  1. Ming Dynasty started after conquering China, thus ending the Yuan Dynasty (Mongol)
  2. The first 3 emperors of Ming Dynasty - Hongwu Emperor, Jianwen Emperor and Yongle Emperor. These are the era name. (Example: Zhu Yuanzhang was the given name for Hongwu Emperor.)
  3. Jianwen Emperor is the grandson of Hongwu Emperor, the son of the initial crown prince who passed away before succeeding his father.
  4. Jianwen era was short, as he was taken over by his 4th uncle, Yongle Emperor via Jingnan Campaign (civil war)
  5. The given name for Yongle Emperor was Zhu Di, later assumed Prince of Yan.
  6. Zheng He (or Cheng Ho) was born Ma He, later known as Ma Sanbao when he served Prince of Yan. He was conferred the surname Zheng, following his contribution in one of the battles.
  7. Zheng He is the Laksamana (Admiral) Cheng Ho whom I read in History classes in school. He led seven sea expeditions and one of the gifts he brought back was a giraffe. There's even a San Bao Temple in Malacca, Malaysia.
  8. Yongle Emperor moved his capital to Beijing and started the construction of Forbidden City, now known as Gugong.
  9. The dynasty after Ming was Qing (Manchurian, that was the era where men wear the queue hairstyle)
  10. The 4th emperor in Qing Dynasty was Kangxi Emperor.
  11. There were some dispute in Kangxi Emperor's succession but eventually he was succeeded by his 4th son, Yongzheng Emperor (given name Yinzhen)
  12. Yongzheng Emperor was succeeded by his son, Qianlong Emperor.

In my desperation to cram in and remember somewhat of China History, I googled for facts based on some TV dramas that I have watched. These TV drama somewhat loosely adapted parts of the history. Of course, scrapped off all the romantic bits, none of those are real.

However now everytime I think of Zheng He, I remember him as this. = ="
Source: Link
But I think he was more like this...

Source: Link
And my memory version of Yongzheng Emperor is this...

Source: Link but I think the author got it from here
But according to wiki, he looked like this...
Source: Link

Before I got carried away, my friend very promptly reminded me that Zhuge Liang does not look like this.
Source: Link

Side note: Off to hols soon!

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  1. Movies are clearly better than reality!

    PS: When I think of China's history, I think "very ancient, very long, very complicated". Then my brain short-circuits and I watch a Yimou Zhang movie. ;)

  2. LOL.. i like your approach of watching a Yimou Zhang movie.. haha