Plantilla:Infobox Military Conflict

The Jingkang Incident (靖康事變), the Humiliation of Jingkang (靖康之恥), or the The Disorders of the Jingkang Period (靖康之乱) [1] took place in 1127 when invading Jurchen soldiers from the Jin Dynasty besieged and sacked Bianliang (Kaifeng), the capital of the Song Dynasty of China. The Jin forces abducted Emperor Qinzong, his father Emperor Emeritus Huizong, along with many members of the imperial court.

This ended the era known as the Northern Song Dynasty, when the Song Dynasty controlled most of China. The rest of the imperial family was forced to flee and establish a new government, now known as the Southern Song, at Lin'an, which was to become their capital. This incident is so named because this was the major incident during the short reign of Emperor Qinzong, whose era name was "Jingkang" (靖康).

Background[editar | editar código]

In 1120 AD, Jin & Northern Song joined forces to attack Liao, an empire ruled by the Khitan people in the north. Both countries had agreed that, if victorious, Jin would get a large portion of the Northern Liao land and Song would get a relatively smaller portion in the southern Liao region, called the Sixteen Prefectures. The Jin army soon sacked the Liao capital Shangjing and ended the Liao dynasty. The Song army in the south, however, could not even penetrate Liao’s defensive positions and the army was defeated by the remaining Liao troops afterwards. This exposed the limitation of the Song army, as well as the corruption and bureaucracy in Song’s imperial court. At the end, the Jin army took control of the entire Liao territory.

After the fall of Liao, Song court wanted the Sixteen Prefectures as promised. Jin sold the land at a price of 300,000 bolts of silk and 200,000 ounces of silver. This price was considered to be extremely generous because it was the tribute that Song was already paying to the former Liao dynasty annually since the Shanyuan Treaty of 1005 AD.

Prelude to the war[editar | editar código]

In 1123, three years after the fall of Liao, a Jin general called Zhang Jue (張覺) defected to the northern Song dynasty (both they and Zhang Jue were Han Chinese). Since he was governor of the Jin-controlled Pingzhou Prefectures, an area just north of the Sixteen Prefectures on the other side of the Great Wall, the Pingzhou Prefectures were also merged into Song territory. The imperial court initially welcomed the defection and awarded Zhang an honorific title and land. Jin, on the other hand, sent a small army aimed to overturn the defection but was defeated by Zhang’s troops. [2]

Soon after that, the Song court realized Zhang’s defection would only bring more hostile actions from the north. [3] Zhang Jue was executed in the winter of 1123. [4] This came too late: in the fall of 1125, Emperor Taizong of Jin issued an order of full scale attack on Song territories. [5]

First Siege of Kaifeng[editar | editar código]

Taizong’s armies invaded Song territory from the west and from the north. The Northern Force took swift action, sacked Qinhuangdao in October of 1125, sacked Baoding, Dingzhou, Zhengding and Xingtai in January of the year after. The Northern Force did not meet much resistance as most of the Song generals surrendered themselves and the cities as soon as the Jin army arrived. On the other hand, the Western Force was held up near the cities of Datong and Taiyuan from the very beginning and did not make much progress for the rest of the war. In February of 1126, the Northern Force crossed the Yellow River and began the siege of Kaifeng, the capital city of Song. Before the invaders surrounded the city, Emperor Huizong (徽宗) abdicated in favour of his twenty-six-year old son who became Emperor Qinzong (钦宗) and fled to the countryside with his entourage. Jin’s Northern Force faced difficult siege fighting that was not designed for cavalries as Kaifeng put up a fight in the face of invaders. At the same time, Jin's Western Force was still held up in Datong area and could not come to aid. In an effort to end the battle sooner, the young emperor sent his brother Zhao Gou, who later on became the first emperor of Southern Song Dynasty, to the enemy camp for peace talks. Taizong ordered to take Zhao Gou as hostage until the Song court came up with a ransom. Eventually, the Song court came forth with the money and the city of Taiyuan was also given to Jin as a “good faith gift.” Soon, Zhao Gou was released and the Northern Force started to withdraw.

Second Siege of Kaifeng[editar | editar código]

Everything went back to normal as soon as the invaders retreated: lavish parties continued to be held daily at the imperial palace. The “run-away emperor” – Huizong returned from the countryside, and joined the parties that were being held by his son. Song generals suggested that large numbers of troops ought to be garrisoned along the border of the Yellow River. Qinzong rejected the proposal by citing that the Jin might never come back. Many experienced generals who defended the city in the first siege of Kaifeng were removed from the capital and posted elsewhere in the country. Many army groups were decommissioned or sent back to their origins.

Three months after the first siege of the city. Jin sent two ambassadors to Song. The two ambassadors were nobles from the former Liao Dynasty. Qinzong misjudged the situation and believed that they could be used to turn against their Jin ruler. The emperor sent a coded letter which was sealed in candle wax, inviting them to join Song to form an Anti–Jin alliance. The two handed the letter to Taizong right away. Furious, the Jin emperor ordered an even bigger army to attack Song. This second campaign would eventually topple the Northern Song Dynasty.

Since most of the Jin troops just got back from their first expedition and had not even unpacked, the army was quickly mobilized. The Jin army formed two army groups, the Northern Force and the Western Force, just like last time. In fact, the two army groups even took the same route as their last expedition.

In September of 1126, the two Jin army groups set foot in Song. Unlike last time, the Western Force was able to sack Datong within only one month. Cities like Luoyang and Zhengzhou surrendered themselves, clearing the way to the capital. The Northern Force sacked Baoding, Dingzhou and Zhengding in September, regrouped and crossed the Yellow River in November. It then went on a rampage and sacked Qingfeng, Puyang and other satellite cities around the capital in December. By the middle of December, the two forces regrouped at Kaifeng and the capital was finally besieged.

Unlike the first siege, Kaifeng’s defenses in the second siege had some fatal flaws:

  1. Due to the lack of experienced generals and personnel, the whole defense process was unorganized with no–prioritization.
  2. The Jin army was much bigger than the last time. Taizong sent a 150,000 strong force, having learnt from the first siege, when the Western Force was held up in Datong and could not advance on Kaifeng. This time, however, Datong was sacked within a month, and the full strength of the Western force was under the city walls.
  3. Although Qinzong called for help and many responded, the rapidity of deployment of Jin troops made it impossible to aid the city. Song troops from all over the country, including Zhao Gou’s troops came to Kaifeng but were not able to get into the city.
  4. Qinzong's trust in a minister who claimed he could bring "divine soldiers" (神兵) from the Heaven to the battleground was misplaced, causing much wasted time and human life.

On the 19th of January, 1127, Kaifeng fell. Emperor Qinzong and his father Huizong were captured by Jin army and the Northern Song Dynasty fell.

Abduction[editar | editar código]

On March 20, 1127 AD, Jin troops summoned the two captured emperors to their camps. Awaiting them was a directive from Taizong that they were to be demoted to commoners, stripped of their ceremonial trappings and Jin troops would compound the imperial palace. This was just the beginning of weeks of looting, rapes, arson and execution of prisoners of war and civilians.

According to the Accounts of Jingkang (靖康稗史箋證), Jin troops looted the entire imperial library and the decorations in the palace. Jin troops also abducted all the female servants and imperial musicians. [6] The royal family was abducted and their residences were looted. [7] All the female prisoners were ordered, on pain of death, to serve the Jin troops no matter what rank in society they had previously held.[8] A Jin general wanted Huizong’s daughter for his son, against the emperor's wishes. Later on, in an act of revenge, the emperor’s concubines were also given to the general’s son by Taizong. [9]

Taizong feared that the remaining Song troops would launch a counter offensive to reclaim the capital. Therefore, he made Kaifeng a small local center for the prefecture and ordered all the assets to be transferred back to Jin’s capital – Zhongdu (now Beijing) in the north. The prisoners would march back to the capital along with the assets. Over 14,000 people, including the entire royal family (except Zhao Gou) went on this “one-way” journey. Their entourage—almost all the ministers and generals of Northern Song Dynasty—suffered from sickness, dehydration and exhaustion, and many never made it. [10] Upon arrival, everybody had to go through a Jurchen ritual where the person has to be naked and wearing only sheep skins. Empress Zhu committed suicide because she could not bear the humiliation. Men were sold into slavery in exchange for horses with a ratio of ten men for one horse. Women were sold into brothels or offered for public bidding. Anybody could buy an “ex–royal” for less than ten ounces of gold. [11]

Aftermath and appraisal[editar | editar código]

The scale of destruction and devastation was unprecedented: treasures, art collections, scrolls from the imperial library and human lives were lost on a scale that the Chinese had never seen before. Due to the heavy damage to the country's economy and military, and the loss of talented manpower, the Southern Song Dynasty would never recover the lost territories, despite many attempts. It would take another 200 years, in Ming Dynasty, to claim back all the territories that Song Dynasty lost.

Many foreign–sounding, non-traditional Chinese family names existing in China today can date back to this incident, as the Han Chinese were forced to adapt a Jin last name. In fact, many members of the royal family of Qing Dynasty hold a last name of “Jue Luo” (觉罗), it is believed that they were the descendants of Huizong and Emperor Qinzong.[12]

Researchers in China who published their findings in the People's Political Consultative Daily in 2001, pointed out that this incident led to the transformation of Women's Rights after Song Dynasty. Since almost the entire royal family was sold into slavery or brothel, Chinese rulers after Song emphasized the importance of Sexual norm, especially a woman's chastity and loyalty towards her husband. Chinese rulers of later dynasties instructed that when a woman is confronted between the choice of survival or the honor of chastity, survival is not an option. [13]

Archivo:Four Generals of Song.jpg

The "Four Generals of Zhongxing" painted by Liu Songnian during the Southern Song Dynasty. Yue Fei is the second person from the left. It is believed to be the "truest portrait of Yue in all extant materials."[14]

Cultural references[editar | editar código]

See also[editar | editar código]

Further reading[editar | editar código]

  • Kaplan, Edward Harold. Yueh Fei and the founding of the Southern Sung. Thesis (Ph. D.) -- University of Iowa, 1970. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1970.

References[editar | editar código]

  1. Coblin, W. South. "Migration History and Dialect Development in the Lower Yangtze Watershed," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Volume 64, Number 3, 2002): 529–453. Page 533.
  2. 《金史·太宗本纪》:『十一月壬子,命宗望問闍母罪,以其兵討張覺。』 ("November of 壬子 year, the [Jin] emperor sent troops for Zhang Jue's defection.")
  3. 《遼史·天祚帝本纪》:『金人克三州,始來索倉,王安中諱之。索急,斬一人貌類者去。金人曰,非倉也,以兵來取。安中不得已,殺倉,函其首送金。』 ("After Jin troops sacked 3 cities, Jin sent diplomats for Zhang Jue. Panicking, Wong (a Song General) killed someone who looked like Zhang and mailed the head. Jin recognized the face and attacked again.")
  4. 《金史·叛臣列傳》:『安中不得已,引覺出。數以罪,覺罵宋人不容口,遂殺覺函其首以與金人。』("Wong was forced to beheaded Zhang and sent the head to Jin.")
  5. 《金史·太宗本纪》:『十月甲辰,詔諸將伐宋。以諳班勃極烈杲兼領都元帥,移賚勃極烈宗翰兼左副元帥先鋒,經略使完顏希尹為元帥右監軍,左金吾上將軍耶律余睹為元帥右都臨,自西京入太原。六部路軍帥撻懶為六部路都統,斜也副之,宗望為南京路都統,闍母副之,知樞密院事劉彥宗兼領漢軍都統,自南京入燕山。』("October of 甲辰 year, the [Jin] emperor appointed a few generals and attacked Song from the west and north.")
  6. 「二十四日,开宝寺火。二十五日,虏索国子监书出城。」次年正月,「二十五日,虏索玉册、车辂、冠冕一应宫廷仪物,及女童六百人、教坊乐工数百人。二十七日,虏取内侍五十人」("On 24th, the temple was on fire. 25th, the imperial library was emptied out." "January 25th of the next year, varies items were looted out from the palace, alone with 600 female servants, a few hundred imperial musicians. 27th, some 50 servants were abducted.)
  7. 「二十七日,金兵掠巨室,火明德刘皇后家、蓝从家、孟家,沿烧数千间。斡离不(完颜宗望)掠妇女七十余人出城。」("On 27th, Jin troops looted out the residencies of empress Lui, Lan Meng and others. They also abducted some 70 women out of the city.")
  8. 「烈女张氏、曹氏抗二太子意,刺以铁竿,肆帐前,流血三日。初七日,王妃、帝姬入寨,太子指以为鉴,人人乞命。」("Empress Zhang & Cao refused. They were speared and bled to death for 3 days. Everybody begged for their lives afterwards.")
  9. 完颜宗翰大怒道:「昨奉朝旨分虏,汝何能抗令?堂上客各挈二人。」徽宗道:「上有天,下有帝,人各有女媳。」然而无用,设也马北上途中就以富金为妻,回到上京后,金太宗诏许,「赐帝姬赵富金、王妃徐圣英、宫嫔杨调儿、陈文婉侍设也马郎君为妾。」 (完颜宗翰 was mad and said:"I was ordered to take you as a prisoner, how can you refuse my order? I asked you because I respect you, not because you have the right to refuse." Emperor Huizhong said:"Above there is Heaven, below there are Emperors and everybody has their children." The protest was not effective. The Jin Emperor later on ordered:"Huizhong's concubine Xue, concubine Yang and concubine Chen are all given as a good will gift from the Jin Emperor.")
  10. 「临行前俘虏的总数为14000名,分七批押至北方,其中第一批宗室贵戚男丁二千二百余人,妇女三千四百余人」,靖康二年三月二十七日,「自青城国相寨起程,四月二十七日抵燕山,存妇女一千九百余人。」("A total number of 14,000 captives were sent to the north in 7 groups. The first group contained males 2,200, females 3,400, all royal members or nobles, [and] set off on March 27th. When they arrived on April 27th, only 1,900 females survived.")
  11. 「以八金买倡妇,实为亲王女孙、相国侄妇、进士夫人」 ("8 ounces of gold could buy female slaves, who were princesses, wives of ministers.")
  12. 《黑龙江志稿•氏族》:「觉罗者,传为宋徽、钦之后。」("People who hold the last name of `Jue Luo'(觉罗) were believed to be the descendants of Huizong & Qingzhong.)
  13. <<靖康之難中恥辱的女性>> (The Women in the Jingkang Incident),People's Political Consultative Daily, Oct 23rd, 2001
  14. Shao Xiaoyi. Yue Fei's facelift sparks debate. China Daily. Retrieved on 2007-08-09.
  15. James T. C. Liu. "Yueh Fei (1103-41) and China's Heritage of Loyalty." The Journal of Asian Studies. Vol. 31, No. 2 (Feb., 1972), pp. 291-297

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