Emperor Xizong of Jin
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Emperor Xizong of Jin
Emperor Xizong of Jin
Emperor of the Jin dynasty
Reign10 February 1135 - 9 January 1150
PredecessorEmperor Taizong of Jin
SuccessorWanyan Liang
Born28 February 1119
Died9 January 1150(1150-01-09) (aged 30)
SpouseEmpress Daoping
Consort Xian
Consort De
Lady Jiagu
Lady Zhang
Lady Peiman
Zhao Jingu
Zhao Saiyue
Zhao Feiyan
Zhao Yuqiang
Zhao Yupan
Zhao Jinnu
Zhao Chuanzhu
Zhao Jinyin
Zhao Tanxiang
Wanyan Ji'an
Wanyan Daoji
Princess of Zheng
Princess of Ji
Princess of Dai
Princess of Liang
Princess of Shen
Full name
Wanyan Dan (sinicised name)
Hela (Jurchen name)
Era dates
Tianhui (; 1135-1138)
Tianjuan (; 1138-1141)
Huangtong (; 1141-1149)
Posthumous name
Emperor Hongji Zuanwu Zhuangjing Xiaocheng (?) (after 1179)
Emperor Wuling (?) (1161-1179)
Prince Donghun () (1150-1161)
Temple name
Xizong () (after 1187)
Minzong () (1161-1187)
FatherWanyan Zongjun
MotherLady Pucha

Emperor Xizong of Jin (28 February 1119 - 9 January 1150), personal name Hela, sinicised name Wanyan Dan, was the third emperor of the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty, which ruled northern China between the 12th and 13th centuries. He reigned for about 15 years from 1135 to 1150. During his reign, the Jin dynasty launched several military campaigns against the Han Chinese-led Southern Song dynasty in southern China.

Early life

Hela was the eldest son of Shengguo (; also known as Wanyan Zongjun ?), the eldest son of Aguda (Emperor Taizu), the founder and first emperor of the Jin dynasty. His mother was Lady Pucha (), whom he posthumously honoured as "Empress Huizhao" (?). When Emperor Taizu died in 1123, the throne was passed on to his younger brother, Wuqimai (Emperor Taizong). Wanyan Zonghan and Wanyan Xiyin, who used to be Emperor Taizu's chief advisers, convinced Emperor Taizong to designate Hela as his heir apparent (anban bojilie; ) in 1132, so Hela became the new emperor in 1135 when Emperor Taizong died.[1]

Wars against the Southern Song dynasty

In 1137, Emperor Xizong abolished the Qi kingdom, a vassal state of the Jin dynasty ruled by Liu Yu (), a former Song dynasty official. The Jin dynasty started peace negotiations with the Southern Song dynasty. In 1139, the Jin and Song dynasties arrived at a treaty, with the latter agreeing to be a tributary vassal state under the former. In return, the Jin dynasty returned control of Henan and Shaanxi provinces to the Song dynasty. However, in 1140, Emperor Xizong decided to wage war against the Song dynasty so he ordered the general Wanyan Zongbi to lead Jin forces to attack and seize back Henan and Shaanxi. In 1141, Wanyan Zongbi and his army were defeated by Song forces led by Yue Fei and Han Shizhong; the Jin dynasty agreed to negotiate for peace again with the Song dynasty.

Internal politics

Emperor Xizong was very fond of Han Chinese culture because of the influence of his adoptive father, Wanyan Zonggan (?), so he reformed the political institutions and modelled them after Han Chinese ones, while at the same time encouraging talented Han Chinese to serve in his government. In 1136, Emperor Xizong ordered Wanyan Zonggan, Wanyan Zongpan (?) and Wanyan Zonghan to take charge of reforming the government and creating the Three Departments system.

Emperor Xizong abolished the traditional bojilie () system that he inherited from his predecessors. The bojilie system allowed the Jurchen ruler to choose an heir apparent from among male relatives in the same generation as him, usually his brothers. However, Emperor Taizong, who succeeded his brother Emperor Taizu, made an exception when he chose Emperor Xizong (Emperor Taizu's grandson) as his heir apparent instead of choosing from among his sons. Wanyan Zongpan, the eldest son of Emperor Taizong, was very unhappy when the bojilie system was abolished because this meant that he would have no chance to become emperor.

Between 1138 and 1139, Wanyan Zongpan tried to seize power and start a rebellion but was defeated and executed. Since then, the political arena was dominated by Wanyan Zonghan, Wanyan Zonggan and Wanyan Zongbi; Emperor Xizong had little or no say in politics. After Wanyan Zongbi died in 1148, Emperor Xizong gained an opportunity to participate in politics, but his wife, Lady Peiman (Empress Daoping), started to interfere in politics. Emperor Xizong's two sons, Wanyan Ji'an (?) and Wanyan Daoji (?), died in 1143 and 1144 respectively. Emperor Xizong felt depressed by the loss of his sons that he developed an addiction to alcohol and started neglecting state affairs. He also became more violent and ruthless, and started killing people indiscriminately. One of his victims was Ambaghai, a Mongol chieftain and great-granduncle of Genghis Khan.

Emperor Xizong was overthrown and murdered by his chancellor, Digunai, and other court officials in a coup d'état on 9 January 1150.[2]


  • Father: Shengguo (), sinicised name Wanyan Zongjun (?), posthumously honoured as Emperor Huizong ()
  • Mother: Lady Pucha (), posthumously honoured as Empress Huizhao ?)
  • Spouse: Lady Peiman (), posthumously honoured as Empress Daoping (?), bore Wanyan Ji'an
  • Concubines:
    • Samao (), widow of Emperor Xizong's younger brother Wanyan Yuan ()
    • Consort Xian (), bore Wanyan Daoji
    • Consort De (), also known as Lady Wugulun (?)
    • Lady Jiagu ()
    • Lady Zhang ()
    • Lady Peiman ()
    • Zhao Jingu (), Lady Qingfu (?), 12th daughter of Zhao Ji
    • Zhao Saiyue (), Lady Huafu (?), 19th daughter of Zhao Ji
    • Zhao Feiyan (), daughter of Zhao Yu ()
    • Zhao Yuqiang (), daughter of Zhao Shu ()
    • Zhao Yupan (), Lady Jiade (?), eldest daughter of Zhao Ji
    • Zhao Jinnu (), Lady Rongde (?), second daughter of Zhao Ji
    • Zhao Chuanzhu (), Lady Ningfu (?), 16th daughter of Zhao Ji
    • Zhao Jinyin (), Lady Lingfu (?), 18th daughter of Zhao Ji
    • Zhao Tanxiang (), third daughter of Zhao Cai ()
  • Sons:
  • Daughters:
    • Princess of Zheng (?), married Pucha Dingshou (?), mother of Empress Qinhuai (?; Emperor Zhangzong's empress consort)
    • Princess of Ji (?), adoptive mother of Empress Qinhuai
    • Princess of Dai (?), married Tangkuo Bian ()
    • Daughter, name unknown, mother of Tushan Gongbi (?)
    • Princess of Liang ()
    • Princess of Shen (?), married Tushan Yi ()


  1. ^ Tao (1976), p. 37
  2. ^ Robert Hymes (2000). John Stewart Bowman (ed.). Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-231-11004-4.
  • Jing-shen Tao, "The Jurchen in Twelfth-Century China". University of Washington Press, 1976, ISBN 0-295-95514-7.

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