Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors

Becoming the head of the world, holding the right to life and death of a country, but these Emperors did not care about politics, but were absorbed in pursuing their own passions.

From the first king, Xia Yu (Xia Dynasty) to the last one – Pu Yi (Qing Dynasty), China has experienced 67 dynasties with 446 emperors. To some extent, the Emperors will be the ones who will completely decide the fate of the country. Although they are the king of a country, they also have their own passions like many other men.

Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors
Tuc Tong Street.

Duong Tuc Tong (711 – 762), real name Ly Hanh, was the 8th Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. When An Loc Son rebels captured the capital Truong An (756), his father, Duong Huyen Tong Ly Long Co, had to flee to Chengdu; Ly Hanh was proclaimed Emperor by the ministers and the people in Linh Vu on August 12, 756.

However, during his lifetime, Duong Tuc Tong was a person with a passionate passion for Chess. He even neglected to play chess because of the minister’s chapters about the battlefield situation during the rebellion. To prevent his courtiers from hearing the sound of his chess playing, the king also changed the material of the chess pieces from metal to wood.

At the end of his life, because Tuc Tong trusted the eunuch Ly Phu Quoc too much, he became a powerful god in the court, opening the eunuch corruption in the next dynasties. In 762, not long after the death of the Supreme Emperor Huyen Tong, Tuc Tong fell ill and died due to grief.

Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors
Image of playing Cuju in ancient times.

Duong Hy Tong (862 –888), formerly Ly Nghiem, in 873 changed to Ly Huyen, an emperor of the Tang Dynasty. He was the fifth prince of Tang Yizong and the brother of Emperor Zhaozong. Tang Hyzong was a famous king who was good at Cuju.

Cuju is an ancient Chinese ball game and is considered by FIFA to be the earliest form of football played by mankind. Duong Hy Tong is so passionate about this sport that he often kicks for a few hours, even forgetting to eat. He also repeatedly ordered local officials to recruit people to join the team. Many of them have been promoted because of their ability to play Cuju well. However, many people also lost their lives when they made mistakes while playing with the Emperor.

Nam Duong Hau Chu (937 – 978), real name Ly Duc, commonly known as Ly Hau Chu, was the last king of Southern Tang during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.

Although a king who was said to be inept and incompetent, he was widely known as a prominent Chinese poet, word, painter and calligrapher of the 10th century. He is considered a person who has a profound knowledge of the word genre in the first place, so he is called “The Ancient of Gods from the Emperor”.

He reigned from 961 to 976, then was captured by the mighty Song army attacking his country. Later, Tong Thai Tong ordered Ly Hau Chu to be poisoned to death, ending his life after 2 years of being imprisoned under this former emperor.

Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors
Portrait of Minh Vu Tong.

Minh Vu Tong (1491 – 1521) was the 11th Emperor of the Ming Dynasty in Chinese history. During his 16 years in office, he only used the era name Chinh Duc, so historians in history also call him Chinh Duc De.

Although described by history books as an adulterous, licentious emperor with many strange hobbies. However, there is also a lot of evidence to prove that he was a capable and decisive Emperor, such as his killing of the treacherous Luu Can, pacifying the chaos of Ning Vuong…

Every day, he indulged himself in activities such as horseback riding and hunting, regardless of the government. This king was also an alcoholic, he claimed to take the eunuch Luu Can every night to drink wine and “have fun” with a few beauties. Minh Vu Tong thought that being Emperor was not fun, so he decided to make himself a General. He personally led troops to the battlefield to kill the enemy. After returning triumphantly, satisfied that he had “made merit” , Minh Vu Tong promoted himself to the position of Thai Master (a high title in the ancient Chinese court).

Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors
Tong Huy Tong.

Tong Huy Tong (1082-1135), alias Trieu Cat, was the 8th Emperor of the Northern Song Dynasty. In addition to being the king of a country, he is also known as an excellent poet, painter, musician and calligrapher. Having a passionate passion for the arts, he also assembled an entourage of writers and artists by his side. He patronized many artists at the court and in his royal collection more than 6,000 paintings are known.

However, in order to cater for his personal interests, he expended a lot of the imperial manpower and treasury on many luxurious activities. Not only that, the country during his reign was degraded due to inaccurate decisions made on foreign policy. The end of his reign also marked a disastrous period for the Song Dynasty.

Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors
Minh The Tong.

Minh Shi Tong (1507 – 1567), was the 12th Emperor of the Ming Dynasty in Chinese history. He ruled for a total of 45 years, from 1521 to 1567, becoming one of the longest-serving Chinese Emperors on the throne.

In the early years of his throne, Minh The Tong could be considered a wise man when carrying out reforms, taking care of national affairs, decisive policies, eliminating eunuchs, consolidating borders, appearing a period of time. “Reviving the situation”, bringing Dai Minh Quoc up. However, in the last 18 years of his reign, The Tong gradually neglected politics, did not bother to set up the court, and the national law was gradually abolished.

Minh The Tong really loves cats. He raised two pet cats named Tuyet Mi and Su Mao. Legend has it that he “loved” these two cats very much, even giving them perks and titles, making the concubines in the harem also jealous. Minh The Tong all day just played with cats and even neglected national affairs for nearly 20 years. When Tuyet Mi and Master Mao died, he had people build coffins, built graves and wrote poems dedicated to them on their tombstones.

Little-known pleasures and passions of Chinese emperors
Minh Hy Tong.

Minh Hy Tong (1605-1627), ie Thien Khai De, real name Chu Do Hieu, was the 16th emperor of the Ming Dynasty. According to historical records, Hy Tong is the most special emperor in the history of the Ming Dynasty in particular and in the history of China in general, because when he grew up he did not receive any formal education.

Even more special, as an Emperor, he had a passionate passion for carpentry. Every day, Minh Hy Tong is only busy with tools such as hammers, axes, wood shavings… but he doesn’t care about political affairs. It is known that the king showed an interest in wood carving from an early age. When he ascended the throne, he continued to pursue his hobby. The king’s woodcarving art is very skillful and sophisticated, it is reported that this Emperor is the one who built the model of the Qianqing Palace in the Chinese Forbidden City.