Yang Huiyu

Yang Huiyu (214–278), formally known as Empress Jingxian, semi-formally known as Empress Dowager Hongxun (弘訓太后), was an empress dowager of the Jin dynasty of China. She was the third wife of Sima Shi, a regent of the Cao Wei state in the Three Kingdoms period. Her father, Yang Chai (羊茝), was a commandery administrator while her mother was a daughter of the Han dynasty historian and musician Cai Yong. Her brother was Yang Hu, a military general who served under the Jin dynasty.

Yang Huiyu
Empress Dowager of the Jin Dynasty
Died278 (aged 64)
SpouseSima Shi
Posthumous name
Empress Jingxian (景獻皇后)
FatherYang Chai
MotherCai Yan's sister


In 234, Sima Shi poisoned his first wife, Xiahou Hui because she suspected that he wanted to usurp Cao Wei's power. Later, Sima Shi married another noblewoman (a daughter of Wu Zhi), but not long after they divorce. So he decides to propose a political marriage to Yang Huiyu, because she was a politicized, talented, intelligent and generous woman.

Yang Huiyu did not have any sons with Sima Shi – who did not have any sons with his prior wives or concubines, either. As a result, his brother Sima Zhao became the regent after his death. After Sima Zhao's death, his son Sima Yan usurped the throne from the last Cao Wei emperor Cao Huan and established the Jin dynasty with himself as the new emperor. In recognition of his uncle's contribution, he honoured Yang Huiyu as an empress dowager in 266 and housed her in Hongxun Palace (which is why she was semi-formally known as Empress Dowager Hongxun). It was said that it was at her insistence that Emperor Wu also posthumously honoured Sima Shi's first wife, Xiahou Hui, as Empress Jinghuai. She died in 278 at the age of 65 (by East Asian age reckoning) and was buried with honours due an empress beside Sima Shi.


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