tongzhi emperor

According to Chinese legend, when the tyrant King Zhou of Shang ruled the land more than 4,000 years ago, a horse, a donkey, an ox and a deer went into a cave deep in the forest to meditate and on the day the King executed his virtuous minister Bigan, the animals awoke from their meditation and turned into humans. They entered society, learned of the King’s heinous acts and wanted to take recourse against the King, who was powerful. So they transformed themselves into one creature that combined the speed of the horse, the strength of the ox, the donkey’s keen sense of direction and the nimble agility of the deer. This new animal then galloped to the Kunlun Mountains to seek the advice of the Primeval Lord of Heaven. The Lord was astonished at the sight of a creature that had antlers of a deer, hooves of an ox, face of deer and tail of a donkey. “It’s unlike any of four creatures!” he exclaimed. Upon learning of the animal’s quest, Lord gave his blessing and dispatched the creature to his disciple the sage Jiang Ziya, who was battling the King. Jiang Ziya rode the creature to victory over the King and helped found the Zhou Dynasty. After fulfilling its vow, the milu settled in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The animal became a symbol of good fortune and was sought by later emperors who believed eating the meat of the milu would lead to everlasting life. By the Han Dynasty, about 2,000 years ago, the milu was already extinct in the wild, but kept in imperial hunting grounds.

Père David’s deer, also known as the Milu, is a semi-aquatic species of deer that is native to China.  It is extinct in the wild, and can only be found in captivity.

In the late 19th century, the world’s only herd belonged to Tongzhi, the Emperor of China. The herd was maintained in the Nanyuang Royal Hunting Garden in Nan Haizi, near Peking. In 1895, one of the walls of the hunting garden was destroyed by a heavy flood of the Yongding River, and most of the animals escaped and were killed and eaten by starving peasants. Fewer than thirty Père David’s Deer remained in the garden. Then in 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the garden was occupied by troops and the remaining deer were shot and eaten, leaving the animal extinct in its native China.

A few of the deer had previously been illegally transported to Europe for exhibition and breeding. After the extirpation of the Chinese population in 1900, Herbrand Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford, was instrumental in saving the species. He acquired the few remaining animals from European zoos and nurtured a herd at Woburn Abbey. Threatened again by both World Wars, the species survived largely due to the efforts of Bedford and his son Hastings, later 12th Duke of Bedford. The current world population, now found in zoos around the world, stems from the Woburn Abbey herd.

When the species was assessed for the IUCN Red List (1996), it was classified as “critically endangered” in the wild, under criterion “D”: “[wild] population estimated to number less than 50 mature individuals”. Since October 2008, they have been listed as extinct in the wild, as all populations are under captive management. In spite of the small population size, the animals do not appear to suffer genetic problems from the genetic bottleneck. The captive population in China has increased in recent years, and the possibility remains that free-ranging populations can be reintroduced in the near future.

An empress by any other name

Empress Cixi was originally Concubine Yi. When she and the dowager empress Zhen successfully staged a coup to overthrow the regents of the 5-year-old Emperor Tongzhi (Concubine Yi’s son), both women took new names to mark the event. The Dowager Empress Zhen became “Ci'an” meaning “kindly and serene.” Concubine Yi became “Cixi” meaning “kindly and joyous.” This would remain her name until her death, forty-seven year later.

Empress Dowager Cixi, a powerful and charismatic woman who effectively controlled China for 47 years, from 1861 to her death in 1908

During the late 1860s, China was ruled by the Tongzhi Emperor - a member of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan and the tenth emperor of the Qing Dynasty.

Although the Tongzhi Emperor was formally in charge of the country between 1861 and 1875, his reign was largely overshadowed by the rise of his mother Empress Dowager Cixi - a powerful and charismatic woman who effectively controlled China for 47 years, from 1861 to her death in 1908.

Internally, the Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864) - a quasi-Christian religious movement led by the so-called ‘Heavenly King’ Hong Xiuquan, raided roughly a third of Chinese territory for over a decade until they were finally crushed in the Third Battle of Nanking in 1864.

Arguably one of the largest wars in the 19th century in terms of troop involvement, there was massive loss of life, with a death toll of about 20 million.

Towards the end of the Taiping Rebellion came the Dungan Revolt (1862–77) - a largely chaotic uprising by China’s Muslim minorities on the western banks of the Yellow River.

Infighting and the lack of a common cause eventually led to the revolt collapsing, with tens of thousands of Muslims subsequently leaving the Yellow River area and moving to south eastern Russia, as well as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Another dominant feature of the period was the arrival and massive expansion of Western colonial missionaries attempting to spread Christianity following the end of the Second Opium War in 1860.

Over the following decades Christian missions were set up in every province and major city in China, with more than 2,500 evangelists working there by the turn of the century.


anonymous asked:

Could you give us more information about Empress Cixi and how you could possibly see that historical reign play out in LoK?

Sure! This is going to be a truncated (and late D: ) answer for now since I don’t have my computer with me and am typing on mobile, so I’ll probably expand on this later. But I’ll give you a start!

Empress Dowager Cixi was the mother of the Tongzhi Emperor (r. 1861-1875), one of the last emperors of China. The Qing Dynasty was a conquest dynasty–meaning ethnic Manchu invaders conquered the native Han Chinese and established the Qing dynastic era. She has a reputation for being a bit of a despot: when her son took the throne he was just a little kid, and Cixi removed his other regents from power and ruled essentially as an unchallenged empress in her son’s name until his death, when she instated her nephew on the throne. She spent lavishly, she spent often, and she ruled with an iron fist. She resisted Western reforms in government but supported military and technological reforms. The debate is whether she really was a despotic dragon lady ruler or just a woman who ruled just like any other man.

SO knowing this, knowing LoK’s timeline, and knowing how at least in appearance the Earth Queen seems clearly modeled after her, I could guess political corruption in the EK, tensions with EK’s history with FN colonization and resistance on peace talks especially wrt the United Republic (former EK satellite colonies), a wild grasp of power from a great ancient nation that’s developing too quickly for its leaders to keep up

How this fits with opening the spirit portals–I don’t know and I’m excited to learn!!