Zhu Yujian

Zhu Yujian (Chinese: 朱聿鍵; pinyin: Zhū Yùjiàn; 1602 – 6 October 1646), the Prince of Tang, reigned as the Longwu Emperor (Chinese: 隆武; pinyin: Lóngwǔ) of the Southern Ming dynasty from 18 August 1645, when he was enthroned in Fuzhou, to 6 October 1646, when he was captured and executed by a contingent of the Qing army.[1] He was an eighth generation descendant of Zhu Jing, Prince Ding of Tang, who was the 23rd son of Ming founder Zhu Yuanzhang.[2]

Longwu Emperor
Emperor of the Southern Ming dynasty
ReignAugust 1645 – October 1646
PredecessorHongguang Emperor
SuccessorShaowu Emperor
Yongli Emperor
Prince of Tang
Tenure18 July 1632 – 17 December 1632 (1st tenure)
21 July 1645 – 18 August 1645 (2nd tenure)
PredecessorZhu Shuohuang, Prince Duan (as 1st tenure)
Zhu Yuse, Prince Min (as 2nd tenure)
SuccessorZhu Yuse, Prince Min (as 1st tenure)
Zhu Yuyue (as 2nd tenure)
Commendery Prince of Nanyang
under Prince of Tang line
Tenure1644 – 21 July 1645
Born25 June 1602
Died6 October 1646(1646-10-06) (aged 44)
SpouseEmpress Xiaoyixiang
IssueZhu Linyuan, Crown Prince Zhuangjing
Full name
Zhu Yujian (朱聿鍵)
Era name and dates
Longwu (隆武; 1645–1646): August 1645 – October 1646
Posthumous name
Emperor Peitian Zhidao Hongyi Sumu Siwen Lie Wu Minren Guangxiao Xiang
Temple name
Shaozong (紹宗)
HouseHouse of Zhu
FatherZhu Qisheng
MotherLady Mao

Early lifeEdit

Before ascending to the throne, he followed his father as the Prince of Tang, their fief being situated in Nanyang prefecture, in Henan province. In 1636, he was stripped of his title by the Chongzhen Emperor and put under house arrest in Fengyang. His former title was transferred to his younger brother Zhu Yumo (朱聿鏌). In 1641, the latter committed suicide when Li Zicheng invaded Nanyang. After the death of the Chongzhen Emperor 1644, his successor on the Ming throne, the Hongguang Emperor, released the Prince of Tang from his arrest.

As emperorEdit

When Qing forces captured Nanjing in June 1645, he fled to Hangzhou. In August of the same year, at the behest of several high officials, he ascended to the Ming throne in Fuzhou, taking the reign title Longwu (隆武; pinyin: Lóngwǔ). His era name means "Plentiful and martial". After a promising start, Fujian's geographical position on the margin of the empire, cut off from the heartland by several mountain ranges, as well as his lack of effective troops and the failure on part of the officialdom to find a united stance doomed the Longwu government. When Qing forces invaded Fujian in the late summer of 1646, Zheng Zhilong, the emperor's strongest ally, surrendered while his son Zheng Chenggong (the famous Koxinga) retreated to the sea.

The Prince of Tang was left with a dwindling court. On 6 October 1646, he was captured and immediately executed.


Against the Ming policy of keeping imperial princes out of politics, the Prince of Tang early on showed interest in the government of the empire and strove for a larger role of the princes in it. His initiatives had brought him under house arrest during the reign of the Chongzhen Emperor, but his knowledge of history and of Ming institutions, paired with a diligent personality, made him take his imperial role seriously.[3]

Zhu Yujian is said to have had a very close relationship with his wife, who had shared his hardship when he was incarcerated.[3] Contrary to Chinese custom, he steadfastly declined to take any concubines.


Patrilineal descent

Zhu Yujian was the senior-most male-line descendants of Zhu Jing, Prince Ding of Tang, the 23rd son of Zhu Yuanzhang, after his father's death. Therefore, he was an eighth cousin of Wanli Emperor. This chart only showed the latest actual title of the person(s).

  1. Zhu Yuanzhang, the Hongwu Emperor, 1328-1398
  2. Zhu Jing, Prince Ding of Tang, 1386-1415 (23rd son)
  3. Zhu Qiongda, Prince Xian of Tang, 1412-1475 (4th son & 2nd son as son by primary consort)
  4. Zhu Zhizhi, Prince Zhuang of Tang, 1432-1485 (2nd son)
  5. Zhu Miqian, Comm. Prince Gongjing of Wencheng, d.1516 (3rd son)
  6. Zhu Yuwen, Prince Jing of Tang, 1490-1560
  7. Zhu Zhouyong, Prince Shun of Tang, 1538-1564
  8. Zhu Shuohuang, Prince Duan of Tang, d.1630
  9. Zhu Qisheng, the Hereditary Prince of Tang, d.1629 (1st son)
  10. Zhu Yujian, the Longwu Emperor, 1602-1646 (1st son)



  1. ^ Struve 1988, pp. 665 (date of enthronement) and 676 (date of capture and execution).
  2. ^ Struve 1988, p. 665, note 24.
  3. ^ a b Struve 1988, p. 669.


  • Struve, Lynn A. (1988). "The Southern Ming, 1644–1662". In Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett (ed.). The Cambridge History of China, Volume 7, The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Zhu Yujian
Born: 1602 Died: 1646
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Zhu Shuohuang, Prince Duan
Prince of Tang
(1st tenure)

Succeeded by
Zhu Yuse, Prince Min
Preceded by
Created by Ming dynasty
Commandery Prince of Nanyang
under Prince of Tang line

Succeeded by
Princedom later repealed, for regency of the Ming dynasty
Preceded by
Zhu Yuse, Prince Min
Prince of Tang
(2nd tenure)

Succeeded by
Zhu Yuyue
Preceded by
Hongguang Emperor
Emperor of the Southern Ming dynasty
Succeeded by
Shaowu Emperor and Yongli Emperor