The Good, The Bad, And The Cunning—Stuff Empress Ki Did Part II
In the previous post, we talked about the [mostly] bad things that Empress Ki did, but that was probably because historians like to vilify her, as they have done with so many women. But the thing is, for her to stay top dog, she had to think like one, and there were other things that she did, to make sure that she could represent the people.
Empress Ki Does Research
The thing is, the Empress did a lot of research. She read this book called The Conduct of Filial Piety. and also read up on all the virtuous empresses throughout history so that she could emulate them as well as possible. I totes wouldn’t be surprised if she herself had read up on a lot of Chinese culture and did her best to assimilate into Chinese society as well.
And Puts Them Into Practice
So… like when people sent food and goods as tribute, Empress Ki made sure that all of these went to ancestral temples before she had a go at them. Also, during the amine of 1359, she gave rice porridge to peeps who were hungry, and gave gold, silver, silk and millet so that peeps could bury the 100,000 peeps who had died. Also, when it came to her birthday she was all, “Nah, it’s cool. I ain’t gonna celebrate it ‘cause it’s not in accord wit’ our rites, k? K”
Participation In Politics
Lotsa peeps didn’t like how Empress Ki participated in politics, especially when she fought for this official called Togtõ, who was forced to resign in 1344. Somehow, she managed to reinstate him in 1349 after makin’ some noise in court, though that totally wasn’t appreciated by the peeps in court ‘cause she was seen as interfering. After Togtõ was reinstated, Yuan politics changed, but she soon ousted the dude when it was apparent that he totes wasn’t gonna help her lobby her son to become crown prince.
Shit Starts Happenin’ In Korea
So remember that time Ki Cheol was ousted ‘cause he was actin’ like he had more authority than the Korean monarch? Yeah, well, another source says that Ki Cheol was leading a pro-Mongol faction, and that didn’t sit well wit’ King Kongmin, who was the king of Goryeo, who obviously thought that Goryeo would totes be much better without Mongol influence. Empress Ki told her brother not to rock the boat, but King Kongmin of Goryeo had enough of that shiz, and rebelled against the Mongols after executing him. Well, there was also the Red Turban rebellion, which spelled the end of the Yuan dynasty, but that’s for the next post.
Next: The Downfall Of The Yuan Dynasty, and Empress Ki’s Death or, Hey, where did she go?
Source: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: Tang Through Ming, 618-1644, edited by Lily Xiao Hong Lee, Sue Wiles
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