Liu Chong

Liu Min (劉旻) (c. 895[1] – 954[2]), named Liu Chong (劉崇) before 951,[4] also known by his temple name Shizu (世祖), was the founding emperor of imperial China's Northern Han state during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. He was an ethnic Shatuo and the younger brother of Later Han's founder Liu Zhiyuan.

Emperor Shizu of Northern Han
Emperor Shizu of (Northern) Han (more...)
1st emperor of Northern Han
Claimed predecessorLiu Chengyou, nephew and last emperor of Later Han
SuccessorLiu Chengjun (Emperor Ruizong), son
Born895 or January 896[1]
Tang Empire
Died954 [2] (aged 59[3])
Taiyuan, Northern Han (today's Taiyuan, Shanxi)
  • Liu Yun (劉贇), son
  • Liu Chengjun (劉承鈞), son
  • Liu Gao (劉鎬), son
  • Liu Kai (劉鍇), son
  • Liu Qi (劉錡), son
  • Liu Xi (劉錫), son
  • Liu Xian (劉銑), son
  • daughter, mother of Liu Ji'en and Liu Jiyuan
Family name: Liú ()
Given name: Chóng (), changed to Mín () in 951[4]
Era dates
Qiányòu (), continued from Later Han's Emperor Gaozu and Emperor Yin
Year 4: 9 February 951 – 29 January 952
Year 5: 30 January 952 – 17 January 953
Year 6: 18 January 953 – 5 February 954
Year 7: 6 February 954 – 26 January 955
Regnal name
Emperor Shénwǔ (皇帝) (951[2])
Temple name
Shìzǔ (; "Generational Forefather")
MotherLady An (安氏)

Liu Chong created Northern Han in the Shatuo base in modern Shanxi after his eldest son was killed in 951 by general Guo Wei, who overthrew Later Han to found the Later Zhou. In 954, Liu Chong was defeated by Guo's successor Chai Rong in the Battle of Gaoping and died soon afterwards.

Early lifeEdit

The young Liu Chong drank and gambled and was once sentenced to join the military with his face tattooed.[3]

During Later JinEdit

When Liu Zhiyuan became the military governor of Hedong (河東; roughly modern Shanxi), he named Liu Chong his chief director (都指揮使).[3]

Formation of the Northern HanEdit

Liu Min was the brother of Liu Zhiyuan, the founder of the Later Han, which was the last of three successive Shatuo Turk dynasty. The Later Han fell in 950 with the rise of the Later Zhou. Liu Min declared himself the legitimate successor of the Later Han, and formed the Northern Han (sometimes called Eastern Han) kingdom in Shanxi, the traditional power base of the Shatuo Turks.

Relations with neighborsEdit

The kingdom was wedged between its two larger, more powerful neighbors, the Later Zhou to the south, and the Khitan Liao Dynasty to the north. Liu Min restored traditional ties with the Khitans, who served as protectors to the Northern Han Kingdom, allowing it to last later than any of the other kingdoms traditionally listed as one of the Ten Kingdoms

Personal informationEdit

  • Father
    • Liu Dian (劉琠), posthumously honored Emperor Zhangsheng with the temple name of Xianzu
  • Mother
    • Lady An, Lady Dowager of Wu, posthumously honored Empress Zhangyi
  • Wife
  • Concubine
    • Consort Wang (915-971)
  • Children
    • Liu Chengyun or Liu Yun, the Duke of Xiangyin (created 951, killed by Guo Wei 951)
    • Liu Chengjun (Liu Jun) (劉承鈞), later Emperor Ruizong
    • Liu Hao (劉鎬), killed by Liu Jiyuan ~968
    • Liu Kai (劉鍇), killed by Liu Jiyuan ~968
    • Liu Qi (劉錡), killed by Liu Jiyuan ~968
    • Liu Xí (劉錫, note different tone than his brother), killed by Liu Jiyuan ~968
    • Liu Xǐ (劉銑, note different tone than his brother)
    • At least three more sons
    • Princess, mother of Liu Ji'en and Liu Jiyuan


  1. ^ a b From his date and Chinese age at death we can deduct that he was born some time between 30 January 895 and 18 January 896.
  2. ^ a b c Zizhi Tongjian, ch. 290.
  3. ^ a b c Wudai Shiji, ch. 70.
  4. ^ a b Zizhi Tongjian, ch. 290. Many Chinese emperors changed their given names to rarely encountered characters to alleviate the burden of the populace who must observe naming taboo.


  • Mote, F.W. (1999). Imperial China (900-1800). Harvard University Press. pp. 11–15. ISBN 0-674-01212-7.
  • (in Chinese) Xue Juzheng; et al., eds. (974). Wudai Shi (五代史) [History of the Five Dynasties].
  • (in Chinese) Ouyang Xiu (1073). Wudai Shiji (五代史記) [Historical Records of the Five Dynasties].
  • (in Chinese) Sima Guang (1086). Zizhi Tongjian (資治通鑑) [Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government].
Regnal titles
Preceded by
None (traditionally), claimed to be succeeding Liu Chengyou of Later Han
Emperor of Northern Han
Succeeded by
Liu Chengjun (Emperor Ruizong)
Emperor of China (Central Shanxi)