Wanyan Liang

Digunai (24 February 1122 – 15 December 1161), also known by his sinicised name Wanyan Liang and his formal title Prince of Hailing (or Hailing Wang), was the fourth emperor of the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty of China. He was the second son of Wanyan Zonggan (完顏宗幹), the eldest son of Aguda (Emperor Taizu) (the founder of the Jin dynasty). He came to power in 1150 after overthrowing and murdering his predecessor, Emperor Xizong, in a coup d'état. During his reign, he moved the Jin capital from Shangjing (present-day Acheng District, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province) to Yanjing (present-day Beijing), and introduced a policy of sinicisation. In 1161, after the Jin dynasty lost the Battle of Caishi against the Southern Song dynasty, Digunai's subordinates rebelled against him and assassinated him. After his death, even though he ruled as an emperor during his lifetime, he was posthumously demoted to the status of a prince – "Prince Yang of Hailing" – in 1162 by his successor, Emperor Shizong. However, in 1181, Emperor Shizong further posthumously demoted him to the status of a commoner, hence he is also known as the "Commoner of Hailing".

Prince of Hailing
Wanyan Digunai cropped.jpg
Emperor of the Jin dynasty
Reign9 January 1150 – 15 December 1161
PredecessorEmperor Xizong of Jin
SuccessorEmperor Shizong of Jin
Born24 February 1122
Died15 December 1161(1161-12-15) (aged 39)
SpouseEmpress Tudan
Consort Yuan
Tangkuo Dingge
Consort Chen
Consort Li
Tangkuo Shigge
Pucha Alihu
Consort Zhao
Consort Rou
Lady Yelü
Lady Gao
Lady Nan
Tangkuo Puluhuzhi
Pucha Chacha
Wanyan Guangying
Wanyan Yuanshou
Wanyan Guangyang
Xiao Yu's daughter-in-law
Wugulun Yi's wife
Wanyan Liang (sinicised name)
Digunai (Jurchen name)
Era dates
Tiande (天德; 1149–1153)
Zhenyuan (貞元; 1153–1156)
Zhenglong (正隆; 1156–1161)
Posthumous name
Prince Yang of Hailing (海陵煬王)
Commoner of Hailing (海陵庶人)
FatherWanyan Zonggan
MotherLady Da
Wanyan Liang
Wanyan Liang
Traditional Chinese完顏亮
Simplified Chinese完颜亮


Digunai was the second son of Woben (斡本; also known as Wanyan Zonggan 完顏宗幹), a son of Aguda (Emperor Taizu), the founder of the Jin dynasty. His mother was, Lady Da, came from an elite family of Balhae descent.[1] Emperor Taizu's brother and successor, Emperor Taizong, started a series of wars between the Jin and Song dynasties. During the reign of Emperor Xizong, who succeeded Emperor Taizong, Wanyan Zonggan was described as the most influential man in the Jin imperial court.[2]

Digunai, who was an army marshal under Emperor Xizong, overthrew the emperor in a coup d'état in 1150 and replaced him.[3] Having seized the throne through illegitimate means, Digunai was suspicious of other members of the Jurchen aristocracy, and, immediately upon taking the throne, started eliminating potential rivals. He ordered the massacre of the descendants of Emperor Taizong, so as to secure the position of the lineage of Emperor Taizu, to which he belonged.[4]


Digunai capitalised on the Jin dynasty's "superior status" vis-à-vis the Song dynasty after its victory over the latter in 1141, and sought to make the Jin dynasty the sole Chinese empire. To legitimise himself as a sinicised ruler, in 1150 he lifted Emperor Taizong's prohibition of wearing Han Chinese dress, and adopted an array of Han Chinese practices and institutions, such as holding of sacrificial ceremonies in the northern and southern suburbs of his capital in 1149 (cf. ceremonies conducted at the Temple of Earth and Temple of Heaven in Beijing during the Ming and Qing dynasties), the use of the imperial carriage in 1151, a system of feudal rights in 1156, and the Song dynasty's shan-hu (山呼) style of court ceremonies in 1157.[5] Digunai also introduced the imperial examination system in 1150 and set up the Imperial Academy in the following year.[5] In his pursuit for greater sinicisation and the desire to acquire the Mandate of Heaven, Digunai moved his imperial court from Shangjing (present-day Acheng District, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province to Yanjing (present-day Beijing) in 1153. In 1157, he ordered the destruction of the imperial palaces in Shangjing.[5]

In contrast to the traditions of the Tang and Song dynasties, which rarely imposed corporal punishment on the members of the society's educated elites, Digunai continued the Khitan and Jurchen tradition of floggings with gusto, sometimes enjoying personally watching his subjects – including chancellors, censors, and a princess – beaten with poles or whips.[4]


Digunai's attempts to conquer the Southern Song dynasty and unify China under the Jin dynasty's rule ended in failure when his fleet was defeated by Song forces[6] at the battles of Tangdao and Caishi in 1161. Many of his officers defected and in some places the people rebelled against him.[7] His subordinates conspired against him and assassinated him on 15 December 1161 in a military camp near the Yangtze River.[8] Digunai's cousin, Wulu, who had led a rebellion against Digunai's rule, was proclaimed the new emperor.[7]



  • Father: Woben (斡本), sinicised name Wanyan Zonggan (完顏宗幹)
  • Mother: Lady Da (大氏), posthumously honoured as Empress Cixian (慈憲皇后)


  • Empress Tudan (徒單皇后; d.1170), of the Tudan clan
    • Alubu (阿魯補), sinicised name Wanyan Guangying (完顏光英), Crown Prince (太子)
  • Noble Consort, of the Tangkuo clan (貴妃 唐括氏), personal name Dingge (定哥)
  • Consort Yuan (元妃 大氏), of the Da clan
    • Wanyan Yuanshou (完顏元壽), Prince of Chong (崇王
  • Consort Li , of the Tangukuo clan ( 麗妃唐括氏), personal name Shigge (石哥)
    • Shensi'abu (完顏矧思阿補), Prince of Su (宿王)
  • Consort Chen, of the Xiao clan (宸妃 蕭氏)
  • Consort Li, of the Yelü clan (麗妃 耶律氏)
  • Consort Zhao, of the Pucha clan (昭妃 蒲察氏), personal name Alihu (阿里虎)
  • Consort Zhao (昭妃), personal name Alan (阿懶)
  • Consort Rou, of the Yelü clan (柔妃 耶律氏)
  • Consort Zhao, of th Wanyan clan (昭妃完顏氏), Wanyan Zongwang's daughter, personal name Shigu (什古), formally known as Princess Shouning (壽寧縣主)
  • Consort Shu, of the Wanyan clan (淑妃完顏氏) , personal name Pula (蒲剌), Wanyan Zongbi's daughter, formally known as Princess Jingle (靜樂縣主)
  • Consort Shu, of the Wanyan clan (淑妃完顏氏), personal name Shigu'er (師姑兒), Wanyan Zongjun's daughter
  • Shaliguzhen (莎里古真), Princess Huntong (混同郡君), Consort Gui (貴妃)
  • Chongjie (重節), Lady of Cheng (郕國夫人), Consort Zhao (昭妃)
  • Nailahu (奈剌忽), Consort Yuan (元妃), ex-wife of Zhang Ding'an (張定安)
  • Consort Li , of Tanguko clan (麗妃唐括氏),, personal name Puluhuzhi (魯胡只), cousin of Tangkuo Dingge and Tangkuo Shigge
  • Pucha Chacha (蒲察叉察), daughter of Princess Qingyi (慶宜公主)
  • Zhaoyuan (昭媛), of the Yelü clan (耶律氏)
  • Xiuyi (修儀), of the Gao clan (高氏)
  • Cairen (才人), of the Nan clan (南氏)
    • Wanyan Guangyang (完顏廣陽), Prince of Teng (滕王)
  • Unknown:
    • Henü (合女), Princess of Rong (榮國公主), married Tushan Sila (單術斯剌)
    • Daughter, name unknown, married Xiao Yu's (蕭玉) son
    • Daughter, name unknown, married Wugulun Yi (烏古論誼)

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Sloane, Jesse D. “Mapping a Stateless Nation: 'Bohai' Identity in the Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries.” Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, no. 44, 2014, p. 381. JSTOR, https://www.hjstor.org/stable/44511247?seq=17#metadata_info_tab_contents. Accessed 29 June. 2021.
  2. ^ Tao, p. 43
  3. ^ Chinese History – Jin Dynasty 金 (1115–1234) event history
  4. ^ a b Tao, p.45
  5. ^ a b c Tao, p.44
  6. ^ Tao, pp. 23–24
  7. ^ a b Tao, p. 70
  8. ^ 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.