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The current article presents a stereotyped and one-sided view of the Wanli Emperor as "unmotivated and avaricious" without considering the greater picture, in particular, the inherent problems of the Ming governing system and the difficulties faced by an Emperor confined to the Forbidden City, educated, cloistered and frustrated by a fractious and moralistic bureaucracy. The view presented in this article is heavily slanted towards the Fairbanks article cited. For a different view, I suggest the book "1587: A Year of No Significance"  by Ray Huang. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bathrobe (talk • contribs)
A note on the Chinese historiographical pattern of praising founding emperors at the expense of their predecessors (who were often characterized in stock terms like "unmotivated and avaricious") might at least alert readers to the origins of this story, which bears a questionable relation to the historical Wanli emperor and emerges from a different set of rules than encyclopedia history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk)
The article presents a fairly standard narrative of the Wanli Emperor. Actually Fairbank's narratve is based on Ray Huang, who is very negative in his appraisal of the Wanli Emperor. I have consequently removed the POV tag.--Niohe 05:05, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Belated response: I've read 1587, and it does not adopt the 'very negative' appraisal of the Wanli Emperor that Niohe claims it does. Unless there is other material by Ray Huang that does. 1587 is essentially a condemnation of Chinese traditional governance based on Confucianism and tries to excuse a lot of what Wanli did.
I have reinstated the POV tag. This may or may not be a "fairly standard narrative," but it is not supported by Huang's account, and language such as "was an unmotivated and avaricious ruler who allowed his country to fall apart" is an opinion that would need to be attributed to a specific, reputable scholarly work. Dactylion (talk) 22:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Huang's book actually blames most of the problem on the mandarinate, with Wanli cast as a semi-victim. I'm looking for my copy so I can expand on that. Wanli seems to be almost a Chinese version of the English King Richard III - vilified without actually deserving it. The fact that he feuded with the mandarinate plays a part, too - after all, they were the ones writing the histories. I've removed or rephrased some of the really bad negative stuff, and hope to find more material that's at least neutral.Shandong44 (talk) 20:00, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
The interwiki links to his two consorts leads to two later years Qing empresses, which obviously could not have been his consorts. BTW I agree that this article is far from neutral. Example, this sentence "this personal rebellion against the bureaucracy was not only bankruptcy but treason." Also this article is suffering from unnecessary repetitions, missing links (the “Middle Reign“ section and “Late Reign” have none) and missing information (like stating that “The Yang Yin Long rebelled” without explaining what is The Yang Yin Long). Avihu 17:03, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
By the way, who the heck is Tony Wanli? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 18:05, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
What on earth is the deal with translating "Emperor" in the posthumous name and nothing else? We should give the full Chinese posthumous name, and then give the English translation. john k (talk) 22:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
What? No listing of a myriad of spellings for this guy's name? No use in this English version of Wikipedia of alphabet characters that don't exist in the English alphabet? You're just going to leave it at Wanli? How very, very un-Wiki-like. Where's the controversy, where's the drama, the recondite references? For shame! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 18:53, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Most of the material seems to be covered in Mote's Imperial China: 900-1800, so I will try to insert some inline citations. I'm also trying to get the 7th volume of Cambridge History of China, which might have material that doesn't agree with the Yale "party line."Shandong44 (talk) 20:00, 28 August 2014 (UTC)