Six gentlemen of the Hundred Days' Reform

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The six gentlemen of the Hundred Days' Reform (Chinese: 戊戌六君子; pinyin: Wùxū liù jūnzǐ) refers to a group of six Chinese intellectuals who the Empress Dowager Cixi allegedly had arrested and executed for their attempts to implement the Hundred Days' Reform. The most vocal and prominent member in the group of six was Tan Sitong. Kang Guangren is also notable as he was Kang Youwei's younger brother, and his execution was ordered because of his connection to his brother's ideology. These executions were a part of the large purge in which about 30 men were arrested, imprisoned, dismissed from office, or banished. In many cases the family members of these men were arrested as well.[1]

Beheaded bodies on the ground in Caishikou Execution Grounds 1905, the Qing dynasty execution grounds where the six gentlemen were beheaded.

On September 21, 1898, after growing intolerance of the Guangxu Emperor's hundred days' reform, Cixi and Ronglu successfully attempted a coup d'état in which all substantive power was taken from the Guangxu Emperor and assumed by Ci Xi, and the six troublesome reformers influencing Guangxu were arrested.[2] The traditional view is that Cixi was the main instigator of these executions, however evidence has surfaced that the conservative "Iron Hat" faction might have threatened her by having a Chinese-Muslim army close to Beijing.[3] The six stood trial on September 28 and were beheaded at Caishikou in Beijing. The six were beheaded in the following order: Kang Guangren, Yang Shenxiu, Yang Rui, Lin Xu, Tan Sitong, and Liu Guangdi.

Their names are:

  • Tan Sitong (Chinese: 譚嗣同)
  • Lin Xu (Chinese: 林旭)
  • Yang Rui (Chinese: 楊銳)
  • Yang Shenxiu (Chinese: 楊深秀)
  • Liu Guangdi (Chinese: 劉光第)
  • Kang Guangren (Chinese: 康廣仁)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seagrave, Sterling, and Peggy Seagrave. Dragon Lady: The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of China. New York: Knopf, 1992. 239. Print.
  2. ^ "Six Gentlemen of the Hundred Days Reform - China culture". Cultural China. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Seagrave, 238.