Huo Yi

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Huo Yi
Area Commander of Nanzhong (南中都督)
In office
263 (263) – ? (?)
MonarchCao Huan
General Who Stabilises the South (安南將軍)
In office
263 (263) – 263 (263)
MonarchLiu Shan
Administrator of Jianning (建寧太守)
In office
? (?) – 263 (263)
MonarchLiu Shan
Personal details
FatherHuo Jun
Courtesy nameShaoxian (紹先)

Huo Yi (fl. 221–260s), courtesy name Shaoxian, was a military general of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period of China. His father, Huo Jun, served under Liu Bei, the founding emperor of Shu. During his service under the Shu emperor Liu Shan, Huo Yi suppressed tribal rebellions in the restive Nanzhong region and maintained peace in the area. After Shu was conquered by its rival state Cao Wei in 263, Huo Yi surrendered to the Wei regime and was permitted to remain in charge of keeping the peace in Nanzhong. In return, Huo Yi became a Wei subject and presumably continued serving under the Jin dynasty, which replaced the Wei regime in 265.


Huo Yi's father was Huo Jun, a general who served under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty and died sometime in the late 210s. In 221, Liu Bei declared himself emperor and established the state of Shu Han, after which he appointed Huo Yi as a taizi sheren (太子舍人; an attendant to the crown prince). Liu Bei died in 223 and was succeeded by his son Liu Shan, who appointed Huo Yi as an Internuncio (謁者) after his enthronement. Between 227 and 234, when Shu's chancellor-regent Zhuge Liang was stationed in Hanzhong Commandery during the launching of a series of military campaigns against Shu's rival state Cao Wei, he requested for Huo Yi to be transferred to his office. Huo Yi worked together with Zhuge Liang's adoptive son Zhuge Qiao during this period of time.[1]

Huo Yi was appointed as a Gentleman of the Yellow Gate (黃門侍郎) after Zhuge Liang died in 234. Later, when Liu Shan designated his son Liu Xuan as his heir apparent, he appointed Huo Yi as a zhongshuzi (中庶子; an aide) to Liu Xuan. Liu Xuan enjoyed horse-riding and archery and used to behave recklessly, but Huo Yi managed to use teachings from ancient classics to persuade Liu Xuan to improve his behaviour and he succeeded in doing so. He was later reassigned to be in charge of military affairs in the Nanzhong region in the southern part of Shu. When the tribal peoples in Yongchang Commandery (永昌郡) caused trouble, Huo Yi was appointed as the Administrator of Yongchang and was ordered to lead troops to attack the tribes. Huo Yi achieved victory as he killed the tribal chiefs, destroyed their bases and restored peace at the borders of Yongchang. For his contributions, he was promoted to General Who Inspects the Army (監軍將軍) and appointed as the Administrator of Jianning Commandery (建寧郡), effectively being in charge of affairs in Nanzhong.[2]

In 263, Huo Yi was promoted to the position of General Who Stabilises the South (安南將軍). Later that year, the state of Cao Wei launched a campaign against Shu with the aim of vanquishing its rival state. When Huo Yi received news of the invasion, he wanted to lead troops from Nanzhong to assist in the defence of the Shu capital Chengdu, but Liu Shan rejected Huo Yi's suggestion and surrendered to the Wei general Deng Ai, bringing an end to the Shu regime. Huo Yi donned mourning garments and lamented the fall of Shu for three days, after which his subordinates urged him to follow in his lord's footsteps by surrendering to Wei as well. Huo Yi refused to surrender and stated that he would fight to the death unless he was assured that Liu Shan was safe and was treated well after submitting to Wei. Upon receiving news that Liu Shan was not harmed and had moved from Chengdu to the Wei capital Luoyang, he officially surrendered to Wei. The Wei regent Sima Zhao was very pleased so he appointed Huo Yi as the Area Commander (都督) of Nanzhong and allowed the latter to remain in charge of Nanzhong.[3][4]

Huo Yi later sent troops to assist Lü Xing (呂興) in pacifying the three commanderies of Jiaozhi (交阯), Rinan (日南) and Jiuzhen (九真). For his contributions, he received a marquis title and other rewards from the Wei imperial court. Huo Yi's grandson, Huo Biao (霍彪), served as the Administrator of Yuexi/Yuesui Commandery (越嶲郡) during the Jin dynasty.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (子弋,字紹先,先主末年為太子舍人。後主踐阼,除謁者。丞相諸葛亮北駐漢中,請為記室,使與子喬共周旋游處。) Sanguozhi vol. 41.
  2. ^ (亮卒,為黃門侍郎。後主立太子璿,以弋為中庶子,璿好騎射,出入無度,弋援引古義,盡言規諫,甚得切磋之體。後為參軍庲降屯副貳都督,又轉護軍,統事如前。時永昌郡夷獠恃險不賔,數為寇害,乃以弋領永昌太守,率偏軍討之,遂斬其豪帥,破壞邑落,郡界寧靜。遷監軍將軍,領建寧太守,還統南郡事。) Sanguozhi vol. 41.
  3. ^ (漢晉春秋曰:霍弋聞魏軍來,弋欲赴成都,後主以備敵旣定,不聽。及成都不守,弋素服號哭,大臨三日。諸將咸勸宜速降,弋曰:「今道路隔塞,未詳主之安危,大故去就,不可苟也。若主上與魏和,見遇以禮,則保境而降,不晚也。若萬一危辱,吾將以死拒之,何論遲速邪!」得後主東遷之問,始率六郡將守上表曰:「臣聞人生於三,事之如一,惟難所在,則致其命。今臣國敗主附,守死無所,是以委質,不敢有貳。」晉文王善之,又拜南中都督,委以本任。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 41.
  4. ^ (景耀六年,進號安南將軍。是歲,蜀并于魏。弋與巴東領軍襄陽羅憲各保全一方,舉以內附,咸因仍前任,寵待有加。) Sanguozhi vol. 41.
  5. ^ (後遣將兵救援呂興,平交阯、日南、九真三郡,功封列侯,進號崇賞焉。弋孫彪,晉越嶲太守。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 41.