Kong Jia

Kǒng Jiǎ (孔甲) was a king of ancient China,[1] family name Sì (姒), the 14th ruler of the semi-legendary Xia dynasty. He possibly ruled 31 years.[2]

Kong Jia
King of the Xia dynasty
Reign1789 – 1758 BC
PredecessorJin of Xia
SuccessorKing Gao
IssueKing Fa
FatherBu Jiang


Kong Jia was a son of King Bù Jiàng[3] and an unknown woman and grandson of King Xie of Xia.

His uncle was King Jiong of Xia and his cousin was King Jǐn.[4]

He had many beautiful concubines. He fathered Gāo and was a grandfather of King Houjin.[5]


In the Grand Historian, King Kong Jia didn't get the throne from his father, the 13th king of Xia Dynasty, because of him being superstitious and absurd. After his father died, his uncle and cousin became the 14th and 15th king of Xia kingdom. When they all died, Kong Jia finally ascended to the throne and became the 16th king of his country. Some years later, a celestial gave King Kong Jia two dragons; but Kongjia couldn't feed them by himself, so he found two people to keep these dragons for him. The first person accidentally killed one dragon; he didn't know how to deal with the dragon's body, so he made it a delicious meal and provided to Kong Jia. After this horrible behavior was found out, this person ran away with his whole family. The second dragon keeper was very straight-forward and displeased Kong Jia many times; so he was sentenced to death and poorly buried outside of the capital city.

After King Kong Jia departed, his son King Gao ascended to the throne.[6]

According to the Bamboo Annals, Kong Jia lived in the Xia capital of Xi River (西河).[7]

In the third year of his reign, he hunted at the Fu Mountains (萯山) in Dongyang (东阳).

He composed a song called Eastern Sound (东音), which is also called Song of Broken Axe (破斧之歌).

Kong Jia was very superstitious and all he cared about was alcohol. From his time on, the power of Xia started to decline, and the vassal kings (诸侯) of Xia grew more powerful. During his reign, he stripped power from one of the nobles, Shiwei (豕韦).[8]


  1. ^ China at War: An Encyclopedia by Xiaobing Li
  2. ^ Milton Walter Meyer: China: A Concise History, page 126.
  3. ^ Xia Dynasty
  4. ^ Chinese archaeological abstracts: prehistoric to Western Zhou by Albert E. Dien, Jeffrey K. Riegel, Nancy Thompson Price. Online version.
  5. ^ Records of the Grand Historian, vol. Han Dynasty I, translated by Burton Watson (Columbia University, Revised Edition, 1993)
  6. ^ "King Kong Jia of Xia Dynasty".
  7. ^ James Legge (1865), The Chinese Classics, Volume 3, part 1.
  8. ^ Franke, Herbert and Rolf Trauzettel, Das chinesische Kaiserreich, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1968, ISBN 3-596-60019-7
Kong Jia
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of China
1789 BC – 1758 BC
Succeeded by