Founding Emperor of Ming Dynasty

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Founding Emperor of Ming Dynasty
Founding Emperor of Ming Dynasty.jpg
DVD cover art
Also known as 'Zhu Yuanzhang'
Genre Historical drama
Written by Zhu Sujin
Directed by Feng Xiaoning
Starring Hu Jun
Ju Xue
Yin Guohua
Zheng Xiaoning
Opening theme Yingxiong Mowen Chushen (英雄莫问出身) performed by Zhi Yu
Ending theme Tongnian Women Shi Pengyou (童年我们是朋友) performed by Liu Yanyan
Composer(s) Li Ge
Country of origin China
Original language(s) Mandarin
No. of episodes 46
Executive producer(s) Yang Yubing
Fang Quanning
Producer(s) Feng Xiaoning
Location(s) Hengdian World Studios
Cinematography Feng Xiaoning
Zheng Jie
Feng Feng
Editor(s) Feng Xiaoning
Shen Lei
Running time 45 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Shanghai Three Nine Culture Development Co., Ltd.
China International Television Corporation
Original network CCTV
First shown in 2006
Founding Emperor of Ming Dynasty
Chinese 朱元璋

Founding Emperor of Ming Dynasty is a Chinese television series based on the life of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. Directed by Feng Xiaoning and starring Hu Jun as the emperor, the series was first aired on CCTV in China in 2006.


Turmoil engulfs China in the final years of the Mongol-ruled Yuan dynasty as the government degenerates into corruption while rebel forces sprout throughout the land to overthrow the Yuan regime. Somewhere in the wilderness, Zhu Chongba, a young cowherd, stands on a huge rock and proclaims to his friends, "I, Emperor Zhu, will reward each of you with a large piece of rice cake when I ascend the throne one day!" Around the same time, his parents died of starvation at home.

To give his parents a proper funeral, Zhu becomes a novice monk at a local monastery and spends part of his childhood there. A few years later, the monastery is destroyed so he has no choice but to become a beggar. One day, he encounters Yuan soldiers and narrowly escapes death, but is captured by some rebels, who suspect that he is a spy and want to kill him. At this critical moment, he is saved by a girl, and he joins Guo Zixing's rebel army later.

Zhu Chongba proves his capability on the battlefield and wins the favour of Guo Zixing. Guo gives Zhu Chongba a new name, "Yuanzhang", and arranges for his goddaughter, Lady Ma, to marry Zhu. From then on, Zhu Yuanzhang starts his journey towards becoming an emperor. He earns the support of talented men, such as Xu Da, Chang Yuchun, Lan Yu, Li Shanchang and Liu Bowen, triumphs over his nemesis Chen Youliang at the Battle of Lake Poyang, overthrows the Yuan Dynasty, and finally establishes the Ming dynasty.

Zhu Yuanzhang initiated a beginning for a golden era of China under the reigns of his successors. He implemented land reforms to prevent peasants from being abused by wealthy landlords and bureaucrats; harshly punished officials found guilty of corruption; drafted the Code of the Great Ming; introduced policies to help the country recover from the effects of war. However, he also used ruthless and brutal means to consolidate power: he killed some of his subjects who had contributed greatly to the founding of his empire for fear that they would rebel against him.


  • Hu Jun as Zhu Yuanzhang
    • Zhou Ti as Zhu Yuanzhang (teenager)
  • Ju Xue as Empress Ma
  • Yin Guohua as Hu Weiyong
  • Zheng Xiaoning as Liu Bowen
  • Chen Changhai as Li Shanchang
  • Ebusi Yonglin as Xu Da
  • Yang Hongwu as Tang He
  • Hou Xiangling as Zhu Biao
  • Zhou Zhengbo as Yang Xian
  • Qian Yifei as Song Lian
  • Xu Shouxin as Lü Xu
  • Zeng Ang as Lan Yu
  • Li Haifeng as Chang Yuchun
  • Yao Changjiang as Erhu
  • Bobo Gan as Yu'er
  • Chen Ming as Liu Lian
  • Wang Yuzhang as Guo Zixing
  • Lü Yiding as Guo Tianxu
  • Bao Depan as Sun Deya
  • Li Ming as Chen Youliang
  • Yao Yuxing as Chen Li
  • Gao Huailiang as Zhang Shicheng
  • Li Jieni as Han Lin'er
  • Tu Men as Toqto'a
  • Liu Dong as Dahu
  • Zhou Yang as Li Jin
  • Zheng Jie as Wu Feng
  • Ren Suyun as Ma Sandao
  • Ran Weiqun as Lu Mingyi
  • Gao Sen as Master Peng
  • Yang Si as Qian'er
  • Xu Ailin as Qing'er (Xiaoqing)
  • Zhou Junhao as Zhu Yunwen
  • Qian Lin as Zhu Di


The series was released in Japan under the title 大明帝国 朱元璋 in a three box DVD set.

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