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Chen Li (emperor)

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Chen Li
Emperor of Chen Han
PredecessorChen Youliang
Yuan Zhizheng 11
Ming Yongle 6
Joseon Taejong 8
(朝鮮太宗八年, 태종 8년)
Chen Li
Era name and dates
Deshou (德壽): 1363–1364
DynastyChen Han
FatherChen Youliang

Chen Li (simplified Chinese: 陈理; traditional Chinese: 陳理; 1351–1408[1]) was the second and the last emperor of the Chinese Chen Han dynasty.[2] He reigned from 1363 to 1364.


Chen Li was born in Mianyang (沔阳 now Xiantao, Hubei) as the second son of Chen Youliang, the first emperor of the Chen Han during the Yuan-Ming transition. His brother, Chen Shan (陈善), was a crown prince who joined the Ming army.

In 1363, his father, Chen Youliang, was shot by an arrow in the Battle of Poyang Lake. His brother, Chen Shan, fled to the Ming. Later, Zhang Dingbian (张定边) and other top generals protected Chen Li and his descendants, escorting Chen to Wuchang, where Chen succeeded the throne and changed era name to Deshou (德寿).[3][4] In the winter of the same year, Zhu Yuanzhang personally visited Wuchang.[5]

Chen Youliang's father, Chen Pucai, was named Marquess of Cheng'en (承恩侯),[a] his eldest brother, Chen Youfu (陈友富), was named Earl of Guiren (归仁伯), and his second brother, Chen Youzhi, was named Earl of Huai'en (怀恩伯). He posthumously presented his fourth brother, Chen Youren (陈友仁), as King of Kangshan (康山王), and ordered the relevant officials to set up a temple to offer sacrifices, and his fifth brother, Chen Yougui (陈友贵), was in charge of sacrifices.[6]

In 1364, he surrendered to Zhu Yuanzhang of the rising Ming dynasty. Zhu then appointed him Marquis of Gui'de (归德侯). Chen was later sent to Korea, where he became known as King Chen. In Korea, Chen settled down and had children, starting the Yangsan Jin Clan (see below).


Some of Chen Li's descendants after the Chen Han and Ming have the surname Cheng ().[citation needed]

Yangsan Jin clan[edit]

According to Korean and Chinese historical sources, in 1372, he migrated to Goryeo and had offspring, starting the Yangsan Jin clan. One of his known sons was Chen Mingshan (陈明善).[7]

On 19 May 1372, Chen Li and Ming Sheng (明升) arrived in Korea with a group of 27 people, who were received by the King of Korea. At that time, Chen Li was 22 years old.[8]

After Chen Li arrived in Korea, he was called Chen Wang (陈王) or King Chen. On 6 June, King Gongmin (恭愍王) gave Chen Li nine bamboo cloths (苎布). Chen was also given some land, a wife, housemaid, and food. During this time he had children, including Chen Mingshan. Chen Li passed away due to illness but is survived by his descendants in Korea and the Yangsan Jin Clan.[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ These are imperial titles for nobles.


  1. ^ 朝鮮太宗實錄卷15, 8年(1408 戊子/永樂6年) 6月28日(乙巳):「順德侯陳理卒。 理卽友諒之子也。 有子曰明善。 及卒,賻米豆五十石、紙百卷,賜棺槨,仍咨報于禮部。」
  2. ^ 明史列傳第十一
  3. ^ 《明史·卷一百二十三·列传第十一》:友谅从舟中引首出,有所指捴,骤中流矢,贯晴及颅死。军大溃,太子善儿被执。太尉张定边夜挟友谅次子理,载其尸遁还武昌。
  4. ^ 《明史·卷一百二十三·列传第十一》:子理既还武昌,嗣伪位,改元德寿。是冬,太祖亲征武昌。
  5. ^ 《明史·卷一百二十三·列传第十一》:明年二月再亲征。其丞相张必先自岳州来援,次洪山。常遇春击擒之,徇于城下。必先,骁将也,军中号“泼张”,倚为重。及被擒,城中大惧,由是欲降者众。太祖乃遣其故臣罗复仁入城招理。理遂降,入军门,俯伏不敢视。太祖见理幼弱,掖之起,握其手曰:“吾不汝罪也。”府库财物恣理取,旋应天,授爵归德侯。
  6. ^ 《明史·卷一百二十三·列传第十一》:太祖平武昌,封普才承恩侯,友富归仁伯,友直怀恩伯,赠友仁康山王,命所司立庙祀之,以友贵祔。
  7. ^ 《明史》列傳第十一 (Mingshi)
  8. ^ 《高丽史·世家卷四十三·恭愍王六》:乙丑,陈理、明升等男妇共二十七人入京。理升诣阙。王出御报平厅。 理升拜于阶上王坐受之。礼讫坐于使臣之下。 升年十八,理年二十二。
  9. ^ 《高丽史·世家卷四十三·恭愍王六》:辛巳,赐陈理明升苎布九匹。
  10. ^ 《朝鲜太宗实录》Records of Choseon Korea

Further reading[edit]