Li Houzhu (Plantilla:Zh-cpl, 936–978), also known as Houzhu of Southern Tang (南唐後主, literally "the latter lord of Southern Tang"), personal name Li Yu (李煜), né Li Congjia (李從嘉), courtesy name Chongguang (重光; pinyin: chòngguāng), posthumously known as Prince of Wu (吳王), was a Chinese poet and the last ruler of the Southern Tang Kingdom from 961 to 975 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period; he has been called the "first true master" of the ci form (Indiana Companion p. 555).
Ascension to the throneEditar
Li Houzhu’s father Li Jing, the second ruler of the Southern Tang, died in 961. Li ascended the throne in 961, and immediately accepted a role subservient to the Song Dynasty to the north, and in many respects, was little more than a regional ruler in the face of the growing power of the Song Dynasty.
Fall of the Southern Tang KingdomEditar
Of the many other kingdoms surrounding the Southern Tang, only Wuyue to the northeast had yet to fall. The Southern Tang’s turn came in 975 when Song Dynasty armies invaded and took Li Houzhu and his family captive and brought them to the Song capital at present-day Kaifeng.
Devotion to the artsEditar
Li Houzhu devoted much of his time to pleasure-making and literature, and this is reflected in his early poems. However, his best-known poems were composed during the years after the Song formally ended his reign in 975. He was created the Marquess of Wei Ming (Chinese: 違命侯; literally, the Marquess of Disobeyed Edicts). Li's works from this period dwell on his regret for the lost kingdom and the pleasures it had brought him.
He developed the ci by broadening its scope from love to history and philosophy, particularly in his later works. He also introduced the two stanza form, and made great use of contrasts between longer lines of nine characters and shorter ones of three and five. Only 45 of his poems survive, thirty of which have been verified to be his authentic works, the other of which maybe are composed by other writers. His story remains very popular in many Cantonese operas. In 2006, a 40-episodes wuxia TV series named 'Li Hou Zhu yu Zhao Kuang Yin' or 'Li Hou Zhu and Zhao Kuang Yin' was made, with main stars Nicky Wu (as Li Hou Zhu), Huang Wen Hao (as Emperor Taizu) and Liu Tao (as Empress Zhu, wife of Li Hou Zhu).
He was poisoned by the Song emperor Taizong in 978, after he had written a poem that, in a veiled manner, lamented the destruction of his empire and the rape of his second wife Empress Zhou the Lesser by the Song emperor. After his death, he was posthumously created the Prince of Wu (吳王).
- Nienhauser, William H (ed.), ed (1986). The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature.. ISBN 0-253-32983-3.
- Mote, F.W. (1999). Imperial China (900-1800). Harvard University Press. pp. 11, 14-16. ISBN 0-674-01212-7.