Wu Shihuo

Wu Shihuo
Born 559
Died 635 (aged 76)
Spouse Lady Xiangli
Lady Yang
Issue Wu Yuanqing
Wu Yuanshuang
Wu Shun, Lady of Han
Wu Zhou, Empress Wu Zetian
Lady Wu, Lady of Guo
Father Wu Hua

Wǔ Shìhuò (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; 559-635 CE) was the father of Wu Zetian, the only woman in the history of China to assume the title of Empress Regnant. Posthumously honored with the title of King Zhongxiao[a], Wu was the son of Wu Hua[b] and became a timber merchant. He was also known as the Duke of Ying[c] and King of Wei[d] serving as army commander[e] of Yingyang Prefecture[f] during the final years of Emperor Yang of Sui (r. 605-618 CE) and subsequently as Minister of Revenue[g] and superintendent of Jingzhou City, Hubei during the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang (r. 627-649 CE).

Initially, Wu married a woman from the Xiangli family, who gave birth to two sons named Wu Yuanqing[h] and Wu Yuanshuang.[i] Later he remarried a woman from the noble Yang family[j] of the Hong Nong region. She was daughter, niece, and sister to several ministers and a close relation of the imperial family. By her, Wu had three daughters: Wu Shun[k] (later the Lady of Han[l]), Wu Zhao[m] (Empress Wu Zetian[n]) and the Lady of Guo.[o]

After Wu died in 635 CE his two sons were rude to their stepmother so Wu Zetian banished her half-brothers from the imperial court. At the same time she named her sister Madam Han's son Helan Minzhi[p] as heir to her father. However, Wu Zetian became displeased with Helan Minzhi's conduct and sent him into exile where he died. Thereafter she recalled Wu Yuanshuang's son Wu Chengsi[q] from exile and made him Wu Shihou's successor.

Posthumously, Wu Shihou received the titles of Zhou Zhongxiao Emperor[r] and Supreme Founding Emperor of the Southern Zhou Dynasty (690–705).[s]


This article is based on a translation of Chinese Wikipedia.


a: ^ Chinese: 忠孝王; pinyin: Zhōngxiào Wáng
b: ^ simplified Chinese: 武华; traditional Chinese: 武華; pinyin: Wǔ Huá
c: ^ simplified Chinese: 應国公; traditional Chinese: 應國公; pinyin: Yìngguó Gōng
d: ^ Chinese: 魏王; pinyin: Wèi Wáng
e: ^ simplified Chinese: 队正; traditional Chinese: 隊正; pinyin: duìzhèng
f: ^ simplified Chinese: 鹰扬府; traditional Chinese: 鷹揚府; pinyin: Yīngyáng Fǔ
g: ^ simplified Chinese: 工部尚书; traditional Chinese: 工部尚書; pinyin: Gōngbù Shàngshū
h: ^ simplified Chinese: 武元庆; traditional Chinese: 武元慶
i: ^ Chinese: 武元爽; pinyin: Wǔ Yuánshuǎng
j: ^ simplified Chinese: 杨氏; traditional Chinese: 楊氏; pinyin: Yáng Shì
k: ^ simplified Chinese: 武顺; traditional Chinese: 武順; pinyin: Wǔ Shùn
l: ^ simplified Chinese: 韩国夫人; traditional Chinese: 韩國夫人
m: ^ Chinese: 武曌
n: ^ simplified Chinese: 武则天; traditional Chinese: 武則天
o: ^ Chinese: 郭夫人
p: ^ simplified Chinese: 贺兰敏之; traditional Chinese: 賀蘭敏之; pinyin: Hèlán Mǐnzhī
q: ^ Chinese: 武承嗣; pinyin: Wǔ Chéngsì
r: ^ Chinese: 周忠孝太皇
s: ^ simplified Chinese: 南周太祖无上孝明高皇帝; traditional Chinese: 南周太祖無上孝明高皇帝; pinyin: Nán Zhōu Tàizǔ Wú Shàng Xiào Míng Gāo Huángdì
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