Chu (Ten Kingdoms)

Capital Changsha
Languages Middle Chinese
Government Monarchy
   907-930 Ma Yin
  950-951 Ma Xichong
Historical era Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
   Became the State 907 907
  establishment of the Kingdom 927
   Ended by Southern Tang 951 951
Currency Silk, Coin (Iron)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Tang Dynasty
Southern Tang

Chǔ (楚), often referred to as Ma Chu (马楚) or Southern Chu (南楚) to distinguish it from other historical states called Chu, was a kingdom in southern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960). It existed from 907 to 951.


Ma Yin was named regional governor by the Tang court in 896 after fighting against a rebel named Yang Xingmi. He declared himself as the Prince of Chu with the fall of the Tang Dynasty in 907. Ma’s position as Prince of Chu was confirmed by the Later Tang in the north in 927 and was given the posthumous title of King Wumu of Chu.

Territorial extant

The capital of the Chu Kingdom was Changsha (Tanzhou).[1] Present-day Hunan and northeastern Guangxi were under the control of the kingdom.


Chu was peaceful and prosperous under Ma Yin's rule, exporting horses, silk and tea. Silk and lead coinage were often used as currency, particularly with external communities which would not accept other coinage of the land. Taxation was low for the peasantry and merchants.

Fall of Chu

After Ma Yin died the leadership was subject to struggle and conflict which resulted in the fall of the kingdom. The Southern Tang, fresh from its conquest of the Min Kingdom, took advantage and conquered the kingdom in 951. The ruling family was removed to the Southern Tang capital of Jinling. However, the following year, Chu generals rose against Southern Tang and expelled the Southern Tang expeditionary force, leaving the former Chu territory to be ruled by several of those generals in succession until 963, when the territory was seized by Song Dynasty. During these post-Chu years of de facto independence, the center of power was usually at Lang Prefecture (朗州, in modern Changde, Hunan).


Sovereigns in Chu Kingdom 907-951 (+ Rulers of Formerly Chu Lands 951-963)
Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miao4 hao4) Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 ) Personal Names Period of Reigns Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years
Did not exist Wǔmù Wáng 武穆王 Mǎ Yīn|馬殷 907-930 Did not exist
Did not exist None (commonly known as Prince of Hengyang (衡陽王, Héngyáng Wáng)) Mǎ Xīshēng|馬希聲 930-932 Did not exist
Did not exist Wénzhāo Wáng 文昭王 Mǎ Xīfàn|馬希範 932-947 Did not exist
Did not exist None (commonly known as Deposed Prince (廢王, Fèi Wáng)) Mǎ Xīguǎng|馬希廣 947-950 Did not exist
Did not exist Gōngxìao Wáng 恭孝王 Mǎ Xī'è|馬希萼 950 Did not exist
Did not exist Did not exist Mǎ Xīchóng|馬希崇 950-951 Did not exist
Did not exist Did not exist Líu Yán|劉言 951-953 Did not exist
Did not exist Did not exist Wáng Kúi|王逵 953-956 Did not exist
Did not exist Did not exist Zhōu Xíngféng|周行逢 956-962 Did not exist
Did not exist Did not exist Zhōu Bǎoquán|周保權 962-963 Did not exist

Ma rulers family tree



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