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Wu Zetian 則天武后/武則天

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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Feb 2020 at 15:39

Yesterday, I saw an NHK TV documentary about Wu Zetian 則天武后, the only empress in the history of China who ruled during the Tan Dynasty. (wiki: alternatively named Wu ZhaoWu Hou (Empress Wu), during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou, in English as Empress Consort Wu, was a Chinese sovereign who ruled unofficially as empress consort, and later officially as regentempress dowager, and empress regnant (皇帝) during the brief Zhou dynasty (, 690–705).


It is said that she was evil and atrocious woman who did the vilest deeds and used deceit to acquire a position of supreme authority.



However, the truth was that she was a respectful woman that had challenged the patriarchal society at that time.


In a nutshell, she was not someone who was only attached to the power but one who genuinely wanted to reform society.  In this documentary the famous Japanese author, Asada Jiro doubted the original assumption. 


Her restructuring of the 科挙(kakyo), an examination for students who want to be government officials granted exclusively to children of upper-class citizens, was a testament of her willingness to create equality through societal reforms when she made it available regardless of class.


Another interesting thing about her is that nothing was written on her tombstone, contrary to legendary and powerful emperors whose tombstones are engraved with many quotes.  I found it very cool of her!


It proves that she was not interested in showing off her power.  


I believe in this hypothesis more than all the other speculations that have been spread the world over.



昨日、NHKで則天武后についてのドキュメンタリーを見ました。中国の唐の時�£で唯一天皇にまでな�£た女性です。さんざん悪事や策略を働き最高権力の地位を獲得したと言われてきました。しかし、本当は男社会の�£�に挑んだのです。このドキュメンタリーではある日本の作家、浅田次郎が仮説に疑いをかけ、簡単に言うと、彼女は権力に執着していたのではなく、純粋に社会を変えたか�£たと伝えていました。社会の変革に貢献し、例えば、科挙(役人になるための試験)が当時は上流の子弟だけに支配されていたが、彼女の改革以降誰にでも受けれる試験とな�£たのです。又、墓碑に何も書かれていないのがか�£こよか�£たです。通常墓碑には色んな言葉が刻まれているものですから、彼女が権力に興味のなか�£た証だと思いました。他に言われている彼女の悪女説よりもこの仮説は信じれると思いました。




Edited by Kiritsubo - 21 Feb 2020 at 16:20
Things they find unattractive in women: Hair tucked behind the ears Doing nothing but housework Wantonness Being pious and stuffy Garlic breath Cursive writing
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Vanuatu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2020 at 01:21
Hello Kiritsubo, 

Wu Zetian is active on Twitter Tongue


Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2020 at 08:49
In the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" about a Jewish family in 19th century Russia, the father had a blessing he would say.  "May the Lord bless and keep the Czar away as far as possible."  I think if one was a Chinese aristocrat, one might agree with the sentiment in regards to Wu Zetian.  But, I do think that it is hard to assess her and her rule merely from a wikipedia article.  Was she unnecessarily harsh?  I do not know, compared to what?  If you were a peasant or a merchant, it sounds like her reign would be stable enough.  It is hard to tell from a wikipedia article what her contribution to art or culture was.

But, not only is it hard to assess her from a wikipedia article, but also Chinese history is so vast, and it is hard to get a sense of who she was from ancient sources who are more interested in giving the official story, instead of insight into her interesting life.

She was definitely an interesting figure, a very powerful and ambitious individual.  I am glad to have read a little about her.


Edited by franciscosan - 24 Feb 2020 at 09:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fusong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2020 at 01:04
Wu Zetian from what I remember reading in John Keynes book 'China:A  History' out manuvered her own son to take supreme power. However, this was actually a prudent choice considering that her regime was mostly a politcally stable period, and lets face it stable periods without too many calamities were everything.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kiritsubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 02:27
Hi,Franciscosan!  Thank you for your reply!  The above writing is not from the knowledge from Wikipedia.  I only quote the 則天武后’s profile from Wikipedia.  Just wanted to correct it.  Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 04:54
Originally posted by Kiritsubo Kiritsubo wrote:

Hi,Franciscosan!  Thank you for your reply!  The above writing is not from the knowledge from Wikipedia.  I only quote the 則天武后’s profile from Wikipedia.  Just wanted to correct it.  Thank you.

Haha! the reason I told you Empress Wu Zetian is active on Twitter is because the persona works in actual facts about what She, the Empress had done and what she wanted in her lifetime. 
Maybe you do not access Twitter, ?

I just wanted to correct any idea that my post wasn't relevant to your topic! Haha!
Wink 



Edited by Vanuatu - 19 Mar 2020 at 04:56
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 12:55
I think that it is very hard to access rarities such as female Chinese Emperors, or female Pharaohs (Hatsepshut), because they are very rare in history, and because there is resistance to them, not only in their time, but also in the historical record.  The time is remote and sources are biased.  I don't think we even have a good understanding of the bias either.  It is not like we can say the sources said "X" and since it is bias, we can say the situation at the time was the opposite of "x".

Good to see that you are still around Kiritsubo,
Hope you are well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kiritsubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2020 at 22:46
haha, thank you, franciscosan and Vanuatu! I'm glad that this thread, 則天武后 dicusccusion has been quite lively! Yes! I'm still around! I come back from time to time!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2020 at 22:48
I hope you do. Wink
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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