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Koxinga (國姓爺)


Ian_Lee

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Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功), who was better known in the West as Koxinga, was really the rare kind of hero in Chinese history.

First, Zheng belonged to those that you would never imagine dying for the harsh-rule Ming Dynasty. Zheng was a mixed-blood (His mother was a Japanese from Nagasaki). Zheng's father was a pirate that became turncoat twice (first to Ming then to Qing).

So Zheng Jr should not be a bit emotionally attached to Ming, then why was he the last one to fight for Ming even at the risk of his father's life?

Strange.

But Zheng's accomplishment was amazing. He was:

(1) The first real Chinese naval general in history (Okay if you count Zheng He then he was the second). Throughout all the years before he conquered Taiwan, his navy just based on the two islands of Kinmen and Xiamen but gave the formidable 8-Banner Army big headache.

(2) Zheng was the first Chinese who defeated a western power. His capture of Taiwan from the Dutch in 1661 predated Qing's defeat of Russia at Nerchinsky for 27 years.

(3) The first Chinese strategist that western powers fear -- When General Zheng stated that he planned to attack Luzon, the Spaniards were so scared that they slaughtered over 10,000 Chinese in Luzon.

Too bad General Zheng died at the young age of 37.

General Zheng didn't receive any praise from Qing after death understandably. (But I feel strange that how come there is no Zheng memorial in Mainland and only one Zheng Temple in Tainan on Taiwan.)

But Zheng was very popular after his death in Japan. The famous playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon wrote a Kabuki play Kokusenya Kassen (国性爺合戦) in the 18th century.

Well, Ming started with Zheng He and ended with Zheng Chenggong. Both were despised (the former an enunch and Moslem while the latter was mixed blood and pirate) by the society but devoted their best for Ming.

How ironic is history!

I heard that CCTV had produced a drama series Zheng Chenggong with HK TV actor Ho Kar King acting as General Zheng. Did anybody watch it?

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Amdir_Flassion

Why is he also called 國姓爺? Is that his Japanese name or a title given to him by the Ming resistance?

And btw, where is Luzon? As in the Phillipines? You mean he had the means to attack the Spaniards in the Phillipines?

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  • 2 weeks later...
General Zheng didn't receive any praise from Qing after death understandably. (But I feel strange that how come there is no Zheng memorial in Mainland and only one Zheng Temple in Tainan on Taiwan.)

What about the huge statue next to Gulang Yu in Xiamen?

My take on Zheng is that he was basically considered a loser as he tried to defend the Ming dynasty against the Qing dynasty and lost. Subsequently he went to Taiwan (which nobody else really cared about) and kicked out the Dutch. His name and story has been revived in more recent years for propaganda purposes vis-a-vis Taiwan is part of China, blah, blah, blah.

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Wix:

I don't know there is a huge Koxinga statue in Xiamen (I guess it must be built recently for united front purpose).

Actually I learnt the story of Zheng Chenggong from my primary grade 4 Social Study class in HK. The textbook grouped about dozen historical figures and labeled them as Chinese heroes.

Most of them were losers in that time but posed great influence in the subsequent generations.

The other heroes were like Su Wu -- the Han mission head who was interned by the Xiong Nu for decades at Baikal Sea and Wen TianZhang -- the last Song retainer who steadfastly refused to surrender to Kublai Khan.

In Chinese history, usually it is the losers who were memorized.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Why is he also called 國姓爺? Is that his Japanese name or a title given to him by the Ming resistance?

His family name is Zheng, but ,to his heroic exploits, the emperor of Ming give him the right to use the emperor's family name--- Zhu. So his is called "Guo Xing Ye" -- Lord has the empire's family name.

------------------------------------------------

Guo Xing Ye is NOT the first naval general of our country! The first is Xu Cheng (徐承) about 2500 years ago --he is the naval general of Fu Chai the King of Wu (吴王夫差). He attacked Kingdom Qi (齐国) from the see, and was defeated...

-------------------------------------------------

I'm a Hua Xia (华夏人) We have topknots(发髻), we're wearing beautful Hanfu (汉服)---- we'd like death than being tartar barbarians!!!(我们宁死不作鞑子!!!)

So one thirds of our population died at the fall of Ming....

So we now again wearing our ancient Hanfu, topknots....

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I'm a Hua Xia (华夏人) We have topknots(发髻), we're wearing beautful Hanfu (汉服)---- we'd like death than being tartar barbarians!!!(我们宁死不作鞑子!!!)

So one thirds of our population died at the fall of Ming....

So we now again wearing our ancient Hanfu, topknots....

:shock::shock::shock:

wow, are you really so nationalistic?

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Some more interesting facts about Koxinga.

Other than the twice turned-coat Zheng Sr., the Zheng family adhered strictly to the Confucian tradition.

When the news of the death of the last Ming Emperor was heard, Koxinga's mother, the lady from Nagaski, hanged herself.

Just imagine. So many so-called Ming scholars just shaved their head and kept pigtails then swore allegiance to the new Qing Emperor while a Japanese lady would sacrifice herself for the cause of Ming!

On the other hand, when Koxinga heard his son committing adultery with his wet nurse, he ordered to put his son to death. In Ming court, even the Emperor committed such immoral act. But Koxinga thought it was a big offense against Confucian thought.

When the 8-Banner Army stormed south, all those Ming resistance crumbled. Those bandit groups (peasant uprising heroes per Marxist standard) which dethroned Ming were like mice facing cats under the chase of 8-Banner Army.

But only Koxinga could stage a counter-attack. He almost recaptured Nanking from Qing.

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  • 9 months later...
Why is he also called 國姓爺? Is that his Japanese name or a title given to him by the Ming resistance?

Another good question is why is he called Koxinga in the West. I think Koxinga is the Dutch mispronunciation of 國姓爺. Consonant-sounding syllables were pronounced harder in the Fukienese language back then. After the Zheng family came to Tainan from Fujian, the Dutch settlers at Tainan misinterpreted the harsh pronunciation sounds as "Koxinga".

Koxinga's father, 鄭芝龍, was probably the richest man in the world at that time.

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In order to cut off support for Koxinga and his family in Taiwan, the Qing instituted one of the most draconian forced relocations in history. It happened before Kangxi took power. In 1661 and 1662, the regent Oboi ordered all Chinese residing in the coastal provinces to move 20 miles inland. Furthermore all the homes and villages were destroyed. Anyone who tried to return to their homes on the coast were beheaded on the spot. This forced relocation may have caused over a million deaths due to the resulting famine.

As a young boy, Kangxi hated Oboi. He had a group of young boys trained in the martial arts surround the regent in the courtyard. The boys then took Oboi to prison where he perished.

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The epic saga between Koxinga and the Manchus also involved bitter family animosities. Koxinga's continued resistance prompted the Manchus to sentence 鄭芝龍 to death by the brutal method of peeling a thousand pieces of his father's flesh, with the intent of death occurring on the thousandth piece. The Manchus later commuted the sentence to the milder punishment of decapitation.

Ian, I am not sure if Koxinga's Japanese mother really hanged herself. Other sources say that she was raped and killed by the Manchus. Regardless of how she died, her death roused Koxinga to revenge.

During Koxinga's rapid advancement towards Nanjing, many former Ming followers switched their allegiance to the Manchus. One of them was 施琅. In retaliation, Koxinga had 施琅's father, brother, and son executed.

Kangxi's admiral in the naval campaign against the Zheng family in Taiwan 25 years later was none other than 施琅. Not surprising the admiral eagerly took upon the role and succeeded.

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koxinga wasnt the first naval commander in ming history. minus cheng ho there is another guy a few decades b4 koxinga. his name was wang zhi and he was a great pirate. in ming records it was said that he led hundreds of vessals against the ming navy, and won. he occupied a few islands off kyushu, japan, and was friendly with the japanese daimyo at nagasaki.

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Actually after Koxinga died, Zheng Jr proposed to Qing court "One Country Two Systems".

Zheng Jr would switch allegiance to Qing but in return he asked Kang Xi to let them retain the Ming costumes like the Koreans did.

But Qing Court refused.

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  • 4 months later...

He is definitely capable general but not as good as many chinese historian seen him as.

After koxinga mother died, he did launch attack aginst the qing but suffered heavy losses and a lot of his officer was killed. Finally, he has no choice but retreated to Taiwan.

Also, Koxinga army are far larger than dutch forces.

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  • 2 weeks later...
miss_China_so_much
I feel strange that how come there is no Zheng memorial in Mainland and only one Zheng Temple in Tainan on Taiwan.

There is one in Nan'An (where his father was born). The Island of Nan'Ao in Guang'Dong is famous because of having a lot of stuff do to with him (http://www.nanfangdaily.com.cn/southnews/zt/rdzt/040329gd/200411220001.asp)

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June 30, 2005

Dear Friends:

Even now (thousands of years after his death), we "Flower Summer People" are still benefiting from the "acomplishments of Kwan Chung".

Under the principle of "Heaven Down Big Same" shouldn't "Within the Four Seas, All Men Are Brothers (aka Tales from the Water Margin)"? Or should we cling to the pc belief that "Yi Di still has King no equivalent Great Summer dearth thereof"?

We Sons of Hwang Di will make honorable mention in the Guinness Book of Records for the "Exhaust Loyalty" event. Japanese soldiers were discovered hiding in the jungles of the Phillipines 30-35 years after WWII (one was even reported some weeks ago, although not verified). Some southern Americans are still fighting the Civil War (ended 1865). "Small Witch See Big Witch", when you consider that we "Flower Summer People" are still in mourning for the Ming's (1368-1644). A record of 361 years of "exhausting loyalty".

Finally, lets hear it for all those glorious "LOSERS" (by buttoning up from the right and turning ewes into goats). Hear! Hear!

P5

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