Zhu Ju

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Zhu Ju
Imperial Chancellor (丞相)
In office
249 (249) – 250 (250)
Monarch Sun Quan
Preceded by Bu Zhi
General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍)
In office
246 (246) – 250 (250)
Monarch Sun Quan
General of the Left (左將軍)
In office
229 (229) – 246 (246)
Monarch Sun Quan
Personal details
Born 194[1]
Suzhou, Jiangsu
Died 250 (aged 56)[1]
Spouse(s) Sun Luyu (m. 229)
Occupation Official, general
Courtesy name Zifan (子範)
Peerage Marquis of Yunyang (雲陽侯)

Zhu Ju (194–250),[1] courtesy name Zifan, was an official and military general of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. A son-in-law of Wu's founding emperor Sun Quan, Zhu Ju served briefly as the fifth Imperial Chancellor of Wu from 249 to 250.


Zhu Ju was from Wu County (吳縣), Wu Commandery (吳郡), which is in present-day Suzhou, Jiangsu. He was described as good-looking, physically strong, and adept in debating. In the early 220s, he was recruited by Sun Quan, the King of Wu, to serve as an Attendant of Miscellaneous Affairs (五官郎中) and Imperial Clerk (侍御史). Around the time, Ji Yan, a Master of Writing in the Selection Bureau (選曹尚書), wanted to dismiss several officials because he perceived them to be corrupt and incompetent. However, Zhu Ju disagreed with Ji Yan because he was worried that the abrupt dismissal of so many officials would lead to instability in the Wu government. He urged Ji Yan to not penalise those officials for their transgressions, and instead allow them to remain in office to make amends for their mistakes. He also suggested that Ji Yan praise the honest and hardworking officials and give encouragement to the underperforming ones. Ji Yan refused to listen to Zhu Ju and met his downfall later.[2][a]

When Sun Quan considered the calibre of his subjects, he often experienced feelings of frustration and regret because he missed Lü Meng (died in 220) and Zhang Wen (deposed in 224) and could not find anyone to succeed them. Later, he felt that Zhu Ju was proficient in handling both civil and military affairs, and had the potential to inherit the legacies of Lü Meng and Zhang Wen. As such, he appointed Zhu Ju as Colonel Who Establishes Righteousness (建義校尉) and ordered him to garrison at Hushu (湖孰; in present-day Jiangning District, Nanjing, Jiangsu).[3]

In 229, after Sun Quan declared himself emperor and established the state of Eastern Wu with its capital in Jianye (in present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu), he arranged for Zhu Ju to marry his daughter Sun Luyu.[4] Zhu Ju was also promoted to General of the Left (左將軍) and enfeoffed as the Marquis of Yunyang (雲陽侯).[5]

During the Jiahe era (232–238) in Sun Quan's reign, large copper coins were manufactured in Wu, with each large coin equivalent in value to 500 small coins. Zhu Ju's army was to receive a salary of 30,000 strings of coins, but the coppersmith Wang Sui (王遂) secretly took some of the coins for himself. Zhu Ju's army was paid less than expected. Lü Yi, the supervisor of the audit bureau, suspected Zhu Ju of embezzling military funds, so he had the finance officer in Zhu's army arrested and interrogated. The officer died under torture during the interrogation. Zhu Ju felt that the officer died a wrongful death so he had the officer properly buried. Lü Yi wrote to Sun Quan and claimed that Zhu Ju conspired with the finance officer to embezzle military funds and the fact that Zhu had the officer properly buried served as evidence of the conspiracy. When Zhu Ju was repeatedly summoned to meet Sun Quan for questioning, he was unable to explain himself so he laid down on a straw mat to await his fate. Some months later, another inspector Liu Zhu (劉助) discovered the truth and reported that the coppersmith Wang Sui was actually the culprit, thereby clearing Zhu Ju's name. Sun Quan was very moved when he learnt the truth and he said, "Even Zhu Ju fell victim to injustice, much less other officials and the people." He then punished Lü Yi and rewarded Liu Zhu with a million coins.[6]

In 246, Zhu Ju was promoted to General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍). Three years later, he was appointed as the Imperial Chancellor (丞相) in addition to his role as General of Agile Cavalry.[7] Around the time, there was a rivalry between two of Sun Quan's sons – Sun He, the Crown Prince, and Sun Ba, the Prince of Lu – over the succession to their father's throne. Zhu Ju was very open and vocal in pledging his support to Sun He, whom he deemed the legitimate heir apparent.[8][9] In 250, Sun Quan forced Sun Ba to commit suicide and put Sun He under house arrest with the intention of deposing him later. When Zhu Ju, Qu Huang (屈晃) and others heard about it, they covered their heads in mud, tied themselves up, and came to beg Sun Quan to release Sun He. When Sun Quan saw them, he felt angry and scolded them for creating a disturbance. After Zhu Ju and Qu Huang repeatedly pressured Sun Quan to spare Sun He, the emperor got fed up with them and ordered them to be flogged 100 times.[10] Qu Huang was later removed from office and sent back to his hometown,[11] while Zhu Ju was demoted to the position of an assistant official in Xindu Commandery (新都郡; around present-day Chun'an County, Zhejiang). While Zhu Ju was en route to Xindu, Sun Hong (孫弘), a supporter of Sun Ba, spoke ill of Zhu Ju in front of Sun Quan. At the time, as Sun Quan was sick, Sun Hong took advantage of the situation to forge an imperial decree in Sun Quan's name ordering Zhu Ju to commit suicide. Zhu Ju thought that the decree was genuine so he took his own life as ordered. He was 57 (by East Asian age reckoning) when he died.[12]


Zhu Ju married Sun Quan's daughter Sun Luyu. She remarried Liu Zuan (劉纂) after Zhu Ju's death.[13]

Zhu Ju had two sons, Zhu Xiong (朱熊) and Zhu Sun (朱損), who were commissioned as military officers during the reign of Sun Liang. Sun Luban (Sun Luyu's sister) falsely accused them of causing Sun Luyu's death, which led to Sun Liang ordering Ding Feng to execute them.[14][15] Zhu Sun married a younger sister of Sun Jun (Sun Chen's cousin).[16]

During the reign of Sun Xiu, Zhu Ju was posthumously honoured for his contributions to Wu. Zhu Ju and Sun Luyu's daughter, Empress Zhu, married Sun Xiu.[4] Besides, Zhu Ju's grandson Zhu Xuan (朱宣; Zhu Xiong's son) inherited his grandfather's title "Marquis of Yunyang" and married a princess. He was appointed as General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍) during the reign of Sun Hao.[17]


Zhu Ju was known for being polite and humble. He was also very generous with his wealth and used it to help the needy, to the point where he was often short of money even though he received a high salary.[18] Chen Shou, who wrote Zhu Ju's biography in the Sanguozhi, appraised Zhu and Wu Can as follows, "Wu Can and Zhu Ju met with unlucky fates and died in the name of righteousness. What a pity!"[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See Ji Yan's article for more details on this incident.


  1. ^ a b c The Zizhi Tongjian vol. 75 mentioned that Zhu Ju died in 250. The Sanguozhi vol. 57 claimed that Zhu Ju was 57 (by East Asian age reckoning) when he died. By calculation, Zhu Ju's birth year should be around 194.
  2. ^ (朱據字子範,吳郡吳人也。有姿貌膂力,又能論難。黃武初,徵拜五官郎中,補侍御史。是時選曹尚書曁豔,疾貪汙在位,欲沙汰之。據以為天下未定,宜以功覆過,棄瑕取用,舉清厲濁,足以沮勸,若一時貶黜,懼有後咎。豔不聽,卒敗。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  3. ^ (權咨嗟將率,發憤歎息,追思呂蒙、張溫,以為據才兼文武,可以繼之,自是拜建義校尉,領兵屯湖孰。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  4. ^ a b (孫休朱夫人,朱據女,休姊公主所生也。) Sanguozhi vol. 50.
  5. ^ (黃龍元年,權遷都建業,徵據尚公主,拜左將軍,封雲陽侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  6. ^ (嘉禾中,始鑄大錢,一當五百。後據部曲應受三萬緡,工王遂詐而受之,典校呂壹疑據實取,考問主者,死於杖下,據哀其無辜,厚棺斂之。壹又表據吏為據隱,故厚其殯。權數責問據,據無以自明,藉草待罪。數月,典軍吏劉助覺,言王遂所取,權大感寤,曰:「朱據見枉,況吏民乎?」乃窮治壹罪,賞助百萬。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  7. ^ (十二年春三月, ... 四月, ... 丙寅,驃騎將軍朱據領丞相,燎鵲以祭。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  8. ^ (赤烏九年,遷驃騎將軍。遭二宮搆爭,據擁護太子,言則懇至,義形於色,守之以死, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  9. ^ (殷基通語載據爭曰:「臣聞太子國之本根,雅性仁孝,天下歸心,今卒責之,將有一朝之慮。昔晉獻用驪姬而申生不存,漢武信江充而戾太子冤死。臣竊懼太子不堪其憂,雖立思子之宮,無所復及矣。」) Tongyu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  10. ^ (權沈吟者歷年,後遂幽閉和。於是驃騎將軍朱據、尚書僕射屈晃率諸將吏泥頭自縛,連日詣闕請和。權登白爵觀見,甚惡之,勑據、晃等無事忩忩。 ... 又據、晃固諫不止。權大怒, ... 據、晃牽入殿,杖一百, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  11. ^ (吳歷曰:晃入,口諫曰:「太子仁明,顯聞四海。今三方鼎跱,實不宜搖動太子,以生衆心。願陛下少垂聖慮,老臣雖死,猶生之年。」叩頭流血,辭氣不撓。權不納晃言,斥還田里。孫皓即位,詔曰:「故僕射屈晃,志匡社稷,忠諫亡身。封晃子緒為東陽亭侯,弟幹、恭為立義都尉。」緒後亦至尚書僕射。晃,汝南人,見胡沖荅問。) Wu Li annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  12. ^ (... 遂左遷新都郡丞。未到,中書令孫弘譖潤據,因權寢疾,弘為昭書追賜死,時年五十七。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  13. ^ (吳歷曰:纂先尚權中女,早卒,故又以小虎為繼室。) Wu Li annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 50.
  14. ^ (孫亮時,二子熊、損各復領兵,為全公主所譖,皆死。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  15. ^ (亮內嫌綝,乃推魯育見殺本末,責怒虎林督朱熊、熊弟外部督朱損不匡正孫峻,乃令丁奉殺熊於虎林,殺損於建業。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  16. ^ (太平中,孫亮知朱主為全主所害,問朱主死意?全主懼曰:「我實不知,皆據二子熊、損所白。」亮殺熊、損。損妻是峻妹也,) Sanguozhi vol. 50.
  17. ^ (永安中,追錄前功,以熊子宣襲爵雲陽侯,尚主。孫皓時,宣至驃騎將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  18. ^ (謙虛接士,輕財好施,祿賜雖豐而常不足用。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  19. ^ (評曰: ... 吾粲、朱據遭罹屯蹇,以正喪身,悲夫!) Sanguozhi vol. 57.