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Hongxi Emperor

Hongxi Emperor

emperor of the Ming Dynasty
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro emperor of the Ming Dynasty
A.K.A. Emperor Jingtian Tidao Chuncheng Zhide Hongwen Qinwu Zhangsheng Daxiao Zhao, Zhao Di, Zhu Gaozhi, Ren Zong, Hongxi, Renzong, Zhu Gaochi, Jingtian tidao chuncheng zhide hongwen qinwu zhangsheng daxiaozhao huangdi
Countries Ming dynasty
Occupations Ruler
Gender male
Birth 16 August 1378 (Beijing)
Death 29 May 1425 (Beijing)
Star sign Leo
Mother: Empress Xu (Cheng)
Father: Yongle Emperor
Siblings: Princess ChangningPrincess YongpingPrincess XianningPrincess AnchengZhu GaoxiZhu GaoxuZhu Gaosui Princess Yong'an
Spouse: Empress Zhang
Children: Xuande EmperorZhu ZhanshanZhu ZhanaoZhu ZhanjiZhu ZhanshanZhu Zhankaifranzingxxx klindixfranzingxxx klindixPrincess Qinghe Zhu ZhangangZhu ZhanyinZhu ZhanjunZhu ZhanyongPrincess JiaxingPrincess YanpingPrincess QingdouPrincess Zhending
The details

The Hongxi Emperor (洪熙 [xʊ̌ŋɕí]; 16 August 1378 – 29 May 1425), personal name Zhu Gaochi (朱高熾), was the fourth emperor of the Ming dynasty of China. He succeeded his father, the Yongle Emperor, in 1424. His era name "Hongxi" means "vastly bright".


Zhu Gaochi was born on 16 August 1378 and was educated by prominent Confucian tutors. He often acted as regent in Nanjing or Beijing during his father's northern military campaigns.

He was disinterested in military matters but had prowess in archery.

Already in May 1421, during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, an order was issued for the suspension of Zheng He's maritime expeditions, apparently on account of their cost (although the order apparently did not affect the 6th voyage of Zheng He, staged around that time). Zhu Gaochi, as soon as he was enthroned as the Hongxi Emperor in September 1424, cancelled Zheng He's maritime expeditions permanently, arguably burned down the fleet or left the ships to decompose, and abolished frontier trade of tea for horses as well as missions for gold and pearls to Yunnan and Vietnam. He restored disgraced Confucian officials, such as the Yongle Emperor's minister of revenue Xia Yanji (imprisoned since 1421), and reorganized the administration to give high ranks to his close advisors. Hanlin academicians became grand secretaries, and they dismantled his father's unpopular militaristic policies to restore civil government. The Hongxi Emperor improved finances by canceling requisitions for lumber, gold, and silver. Taxes were remitted so that vagrant farmers could return home, especially in the overburdened Yangtze River Delta. The Hongxi Emperor appointed a commission to investigate taxes. He overruled his secretaries by ordering that grain should be sent immediately to relieve disaster areas.

The Hongxi Emperor ordered that the capital be moved back to Nanjing from Beijing (which had been made the capital by the Yongle Emperor in 1421). However he died, probably of a heart attack, a month later in May 1425. His son had been declared heir apparent and became the Xuande Emperor at age 26. Although the Hongxi Emperor had a short reign, he is credited with reforms that made lasting improvements, and his liberal policies were continued by his son.


  1. Empress Chengxiaozhao, of the Zhang clan (誠孝昭皇后 張氏; 1379 – 1442)
    1. Zhu Zhanji, Xuanzong (宣宗 朱瞻基; 1399 – 1435)
    2. Zhu Zhanyong, Prince Yuejing (越靖王 朱瞻墉; 1405 – 1439)
    3. Zhu Zhanshan, Prince Xiangxian (襄憲王 朱瞻墡; 1406 – 1478)
    4. Princess Jiaxing (嘉興公主; 1409 – 1439)
  2. Noble Consort Gongsu, of the Guo clan (恭肅貴妃 郭氏; 1392 – 1425)
    1. Unnamed daughter
    2. Zhu Zhankai, Prince Tenghuai (滕懷王 朱瞻塏; 1409 – 1425)
    3. Zhu Zhanji, Prince Liangzhuang (梁莊王 朱瞻垍; 1411 – 1441)
    4. Zhu Zhanshan, Prince Weigong (衛恭王 朱瞻埏; 1417 – 1439)
  3. Consort Gongjingxian, of the Li clan (恭靜賢妃 李氏)
    1. Zhu Zhanjun, Prince Zhengjing (鄭靖王 朱瞻埈; 1404 – 1466)
    2. Zhu Zhanyin, Prince Qixian (蘄獻王 朱瞻垠; 1406 – 1421)
    3. Zhu Zhan'ao, Prince Huaijing (淮靖王 朱瞻墺; 1409 – 1446)
    4. Princess Zhending (真定公主; d. 1450)
  4. Consort Zhenjingshun, of the Zhang clan (貞靜順妃 張氏; d. 1419)
    1. Zhu Zhangang, Prince Jingxian (荊憲王 朱瞻堈; 1406 – 1453)
  5. Consort Gongyihui, of the Zhao clan (恭懿惠妃 趙氏)
    1. Princess Qingdou (慶都公主; 1409 – 1440), personal name Yuantong (圓通)
  6. Consort Zhenhuishu, of the Wang clan (貞惠淑妃 王氏; d. 1425)
    1. Unnamed daughter
  7. Consort Hui'anli, of the Wang clan (惠安麗妃 王氏; d. 1425)
  8. Consort Gongxishun, of the Tan clan (恭僖順妃 譚氏; d. 1425)
  9. Consort Gongjingchong, of the Huang clan (恭靖充妃 黃氏; 1396 – 1425), personal name Jindi (金娣)
  10. Consort Daoxili, of the Li clan (悼僖麗妃 李氏)
  11. Consort Zhenjingjing, of the Zhang clan (貞靜敬妃 張氏; d. 1440)
  12. Unknown
    1. Princess Qinghe (清河公主; d. 1433)
    2. Princess De'an Daojian (德安悼簡公主)
    3. Princess Yanping (延平公主)
    4. Princess Deqing (德慶公主)
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