Monthly Archives: May 2015

The only empress in Chinese history – Wu Ze Tian

One day I was doing some research on how to improve Chinese listening, and I stumbled upon a Chinese soap called Wu Mei Niang Chuan Qi (The legend of Wu Ze Tian).

Out of curiosity I started watching it and little did I know, I have become obsessed about it, and the more I watch the more I become interested in the actual history.

From Qin Shi Huang (259 BC – 210 BC) to the last emperor Pu Yi (1906 – 1967), there were about 400 monarchs in China. Among them Wu Ze Tian was special because she was the only woman, and she was also a great politician.

Wu Ze Tian was born in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), living her early years in ‘the Reign of Zhen Guan’ (627 – 649), the most prosperous period in Chinese history.

After ‘the Reign of Zhen Guan’, Tang Gao Zong inherited the crown, and his wife Wu Ze Tian became the Empress. Due to Tang Gao Zong’s sickness, Wu Ze Tian assisted him in solving governmental affairs and gradually gained ruling power. Later she claimed the crown and renamed the dynasty as Zhou (683 – 705).

Under the feudalism society men are superior to women, which means men should always be respected and women should remain subordinate. But Wu Ze Tian was an exception and her wisdom, courage and ability enabled her to rule the whole country for nearly half a century and maintained the society’s stability and prosperity. Her ruling paved the way for the coming of the Flourishing Kai Yuan Reign Period (713 – 741).

Wu Ze Tian designed a special tombstone for herself – there is not a single word on it. People tried to interpret and a possible meaning could be: the deeds have been done by her best ability, leaving it to be judged by the world.

Here is the link to the soap, which is a great way to sharpen up your listening.