Yangzhou massacre

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This article is about the 1645 massacre. For the 760 massacre, see Yangzhou massacre (760).
Yangzhou massacre
Traditional Chinese 揚州十日
Simplified Chinese 扬州十日
Literal meaning Ten Days of Yangzhou
An artist conception of the massacre from the late Qing dynasty

The Yangzhou massacre took place in 1645 in Yangzhou, China, during the Qing dynasty. Mass killings of residents in Yangzhou were conducted by Qing troops under the command of Prince Dodo after they conquered the city from forces loyal to the Southern Ming regime of the Hongguang Emperor.

The massacre lasted ten days after the city fell on May 20, 1645. Traditionally, the number of victims was reported as close to 800,000, although some modern scholars consider it an exaggeration.[1] The defending commander, Shi Kefa, was also executed by Qing forces after he refused to submit to their authority.

The alleged reasons for the massacre were:

  • To punish the residents because of resistance efforts led by the Ming official Shi Kefa.
  • To warn the rest of the population in Jiangnan of the consequences of resisting the invaders.

The book An Account of Ten days at Yangzhou by Wang Xiuchu, (English translation and annotation by Lynn A. Struve[2]) was a first-person eyewitness account of the massacre. Following are excerpts from Wang Xiuchu's report (in Struve's translation):

Books written about the massacres in Yangzhou, Jiading and Jiangyin were later republished by anti-Qing authors to win support in the leadup to the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Struve (1993) (note at p. 269), following a 1964 article by Zhang Defang, notes that the entire city's population at the time was not likely to be more than 300,000, and that of the entire Yangzhou Prefecture, 800,000.
  2. ^ Struve (1993, pages 28-48
  3. ^ 朱子素, 嘉定屠城紀略
  4. ^ 韓菼, 江陰城守紀