Zhu Biao (Chinese: t 朱標, s 朱标, p Zhū Biāo; 10 October 1355 – 17 May 1392) was the Hongwu Emperor's first son and crown prince of the Ming Empire. His early death created a crisis in the dynasty's first succession that was resolved by the successful usurpation of his brother Zhu Di as the Yongle Emperor, an act with far-reaching consequences for the future of China.
While his father completed his rebellion against the Yuan Dynasty, Zhu Biao was generally kept away from the front lines and provided with the most esteemed Confucian scholars of his time as tutors. Particularly by comparison with his father or brother, Zhu Biao is remembered as being soft-hearted. The official History of Ming records him once questioning his father why so many of the ministers and generals who had aided him in forming the Ming Empire were being rewarded with death or banishment. His father replied that they were like thorns on a vine; not trusting Zhu Biao to do it himself, the Hongwu Emperor was kindly removing them before passing it on to his son.
Like his son, the Jianwen Emperor, Zhu Biao had a deep appreciation for traditional Chinese culture: he was involved in a survey of Xi'an and Luoyang as potential capitals for the dynasty when he fell ill and died in 1392 at the age of 36. He was posthumously honored with the title Crown Prince Yiwen (懿文太子) by his father and Xingzong (明兴宗), Emperor Kang (康皇帝, lit. "Emperor of Health") by his son.
After his younger brother Zhu Di usurped the throne, he was posthumously demoted back to Crown Prince Yiwen. During Southern Ming, he was again posthumously restored as Xingzong and Emperor Kang.
After his first son, Zhu Xiongying, Zhu Biao followed the practice of including a generation name into the personal names of his other children. The names followed a generation poem:
This poem would've governed the first character of the personal names of the next 20 emperors of China, but only the first two were officially ever used. After the usurpation of the Prince of Yan Zhu Di, the Jianwen Emperor was said to have died in a fire and his surviving children were killed or kept in isolation to prevent rivals from the throne, and the younger sons of Zhu Biao were also kept under house arrest or killed. But during Republic of China, the politician Wang Pixu (王丕煦) wrote a county chronicle for Laiyang, in which it was recorded that Zhu Yuntong had many descendants there through his son Zhu Wenkun (朱文坤).
- Zhu Xiongying, Prince Huai of Yu (虞懷王朱雄英), born on 1 December 1374, died on 12 June 1382(1382-06-12) (aged 7)
- The Jianwen Emperor
- Zhu Yuntong, Prince Dao of Wu (吳悼王朱允熥), born 1378, demoted to Prince of Guangze and later commoner 1402, died 1417 (aged 38–39), posthumously restored
- Zhu Yunjian, Prince Min of Heng (衡愍王朱允熞), born 1385, demoted to Prince of Huaien and later commoner and died 1402 (aged 16–17), posthumously restored
- Zhu Yunxi, Prince Jian of Xu (徐簡王朱允𤐤), born on 13 July 1391, demoted to Prince of Fuhui 1402, changed to Prince of Ouning 1404, died on 3 February 1407(1407-02-03) (aged 15), posthumously restored
- Princess Jiangdu (江都公主), married Guan Xuan (耿璿)
- Princess Yilun (宜倫郡主), married Yu Li (于礼)
- Princess Nanping (南平郡主)