Zhu Gaoxu

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Zhu Gaoxu
Prince of Han
Spouse Lady Wei
Issue Zhu Zhanhe, Heir Apparent Yi Zhuang
Zhu Zhanqi, Heir Apparent
Zhu Zhanci, Prince of Jiyang
Zhu Zhanyu, Prince of Linzi
Zhu Zhanyi, Prince Zichuan
Zhu Zhanxing, Prince of Changle
Zhu Zhanping, Prince of Qidong
Zhu Zhandao, Prince of Rencheng
Zhu Zhanchang, Prince of Haifeng
Zhu Zhanbang, Prince of Xintai
Full name
Zhu Gaoxu 朱高煦
Father Yongle Emperor
Mother Empress Ren Xiao Wen
Born (1380-12-30)30 December 1380
Died 6 October 1426(1426-10-06) (aged 45)

Zhu Gaoxu (Chinese: 朱高煦; 30 December 1380 - 6 October 1426), Prince of Gaoyang (高陽王, created 1395), later the Prince of Han (漢王, created 1404) was the second son of the Yongle Emperor and Empress Ren Xiao Wen. Gaoxu fought with his elder brother Zhu Gaozhi for the throne.

Early life[edit]

Young Gaoxu was very interested in the military and was known as a great general. Fighting many battles against Mongol tribes with his father, Gaoxu become a favorite of Yongle for his military successes. But he disobeyed imperial instructions and was exiled to the small fief of Le'an in Shandong in 1416 and not allowed to leave the city without imperial permission.[citation needed]


In Shandong, Gaoxu lived as a farmer but secretly trained his army since he had always intended to rebel. Through the years, Gaoxu gained much more power and recruited many generals including General Wu Sien from the marine division.[citation needed]

At the time his nephew became Xuande Emperor, Gaoxu started his rebellion. The new emperor himself led 20,000 troops in his attack against Gaoxu. General Wu Sien betrayed him and turned to attack Gaoxu. Soon afterward, Gaoxu lost the battle and then surrendered. He was reduced to a commoner, six hundred rebelling officials were executed, and 2,200 were banished.[citation needed]


The Emperor did not wish to execute his uncle at the start, but later events angered the Emperor so much, that Zhu Gaoxu was executed through fire torture, and all Zhu Gaoxu's sons were executed as well. It is very likely that Zhu Gaoxu's arrogance, which is well detailed in many historic texts, offended the Emperor. A theory states that when the Emperor went to visit his uncle, Zhu Gaoxu intentionally tripped the Emperor.[citation needed]


  • "Early Ming China" by Edward Dreyer (1982).