Liu Wuzhou - Initial Establishment of Dingyang

Initial Establishment of Dingyang

Liu Wuzhou's clan was originally from Hejian Commandery (河間, roughly modern Baoding, Hebei). His father Liu Kuang (劉匡) relocated to Mayi (馬邑, in modern Shuozhou, Shanxi). Liu Wuzhou's mother was Liu Kuang's wife Lady Zhao. Liu Wuzhou was known for his strengths and skills at archery, and he often spent time congregating with people with similar dispositions. His older brother Liu Shanbo (劉山伯) was not pleased with this, and often rebuked him, stating, "You are careless with your friendships, and one day you will destroy our clan." Liu Wuzhou therefore left home and went to Sui Dynasty's eastern capital Luoyang, where he served under the general Yang Yichen. During Yang's participation of the campaigns against Goguryeo, Liu Wuzhou, on account of his accomplishments, was made a Xiaowei (校尉) -- an army officer rank just below a general.

At some later point, Liu Wuzhou returned home and continued to be a Xiaowei for the commandery militia. At that time, the commandery governor Wang Rengong (王仁恭), who was corrupt and unable to care for the poor, was impressed with Liu for his fame in the commandery, and he gave Liu the command of his personal guards. Liu carried on an affair with one of Wang's servant girls, and was afraid that he would be punished if news leaked. He therefore told the people of the commandery that Wang was unwilling to aid the poor and the famished -- causing there to be general discontent among the people. He then took leave on account of illness, but when the local gentry came visiting him, he invited them to a feast and declared his intent to rebel; they agreed to join him. In spring 617, he took his men to the commandery government and killed Wang. The people of the commandery submitted, and he opened up the food storages to feed the poor. He gathered about 10,000 soldiers and declared himself commandery governor, and he submitted to Eastern Tujue. When officials of the nearby Yanmen Commandery (雁門, roughly modern Xinzhou, Shanxi), Chen Xiaoyi (陳孝意) and Wang Zhibian (王智辯) attacked him, he struck back in conjunction with Eastern Tujue, killing Wang and forcing Chen to flee. He then captured Loufan Commandery (樓煩, part of modern Xinzhou) and pillaged Fenyang Palace (汾陽宮) -- one of the numerous subsidiary palaces that Emperor Yang built around the empire -- and took the ladies in waiting and gave them to Eastern Tujue's Shibi Khan Ashina Duojishi as a tribute; in return, Ashina Duojishi sent him horses. Liu then also captured Dingxiang Commandery (定襄, roughly modern Hohhot, Inner Mongolia). Ashina Duojishi then created him "Dingyang Khan" -- i.e., "the Khan who rules over Yang." (Yang was the name of Sui's imperial clan.) Ashina Duojishi also bestowed on Liu a great banner with a symbol of a wolf's head. Liu then declared himself emperor. He created his wife Lady Ju empress, and he changed his era name to further show independence from Sui. Soon, he captured Yanmen as well. (The Sui general in charge at Taiyuan, Li Yuan, was unable to stop Liu, and it was partly because of this that Li Yuan's son Li Shimin was able to persuade Li Yuan to rebel as well to avoid possible punishment by Emperor Yang, and Li Yuan did so later in 617, capturing the capital Chang'an and declaring Emperor Yang's grandson Yang You emperor (as Emperor Gong); in 618, after hearing of Emperor Yang's death at Yangzhou, had Emperor Gong yield the throne to him, establishing Tang Dynasty as its Emperor Gaozu.) In spring 619, Ashina Duojishi apparently was planning a launch a major incursion into Chinese territory, and he had Liu and another rebel ruler, Liang Shidu the Emperor of Liang, join him, but Ashina Duojishi soon died, and Tujue abandoned the campaign.

Read more about this topic:  Liu Wuzhou

Famous quotes containing the word initial:

    For those parents from lower-class and minority communities ... [who] have had minimal experience in negotiating dominant, external institutions or have had negative and hostile contact with social service agencies, their initial approaches to the school are often overwhelming and difficult. Not only does the school feel like an alien environment with incomprehensible norms and structures, but the families often do not feel entitled to make demands or force disagreements.
    Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (20th century)