The first scholar of the Ming Dynasty was buried alive

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Some people have ink in their lives, which makes them deadly dark.

The 13th year of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty (1415), the 13th day of the first month. The royal guards commander Jigang presented Zhu Di with a list of prisoners to be pardoned.

Chu Di caught a glimpse of a person’s name from the dense names and asked:

“Are you still there?”

Is Xie Jin still alive?

According to the written records alone, we can’t guess Zhu Di’s tone when he uttered these words: is it a soft voice of emotion or a heavy language of criticism?

But Ji Gang didn’t have this doubt. He was in front of the emperor at that time and had no obstacle to understand Zhu Di’s tone and even his intention.

Ji Gang returned to the prison, drunk Xie Jin with wine, and then ordered people to bury him in the snow.

On that day, there was heavy snow in the city.

Xie Jin, pawn. He was 47 years old. From regaining freedom, there was only a glimpse of the emperor.

It’s pathetic and pathetic that you can’t get rid of the number of hits!



? Xie Jin is known as one of the three talents of the Ming Dynasty.



If the value of life is measured by its length, Xie Jin cannot remain famous in history. But the meaning of life is marked by its thickness. Xie Jin’s short life is a big book.

He was born in an imperial family in Ji’an Prefecture, Jiangxi Province. When he was young, he was called a “talented man”. Later generations called him, together with Yang Shen and Xu Wei, the “three great talents of the Ming Dynasty”. In addition to their brilliant talents, these three people were also displaced by twists and turns, threatening you.

Tangbohu: why didn’t I be selected into the “three talents of the Ming Dynasty”?

The three brothers: you are not miserable enough!

Many years after Xie Jin’s death, his colleague and good friend yangshiqi wrote an epitaph for him. He recalled the past and said that he could write poems at the age of seven. He also wrote quite well. He could recite thousands of words every day at the age of ten and never forget them.

During the song and Ming Dynasties, Jiangxi was a strong province in the imperial examination.

In the 20th year of Hongwu (1387), Xie Jin, 18, took part in the provincial examination and easily won the first place in the province – xie Yuan. There are not many famous Xie Yuan in history. Tangbohu is one, and Xie Jin is also one.

The next year, Xie Jin worked hard and became a high school scholar, the youngest in the list.

Talent is pressing + luck is bursting. The road of life is too smooth. Young people are not crazy, which lays the foundation for understanding Jin.

He entered the official career when he was less than 20 years old, and he was around the emperor.

Zhu Yuanzhang, the old emperor, killed countless people all his life. Suddenly, he had a good impression of the young reserve bureaucrats. One day he called Xie Jin to talk about current politics and encouraged him to say:

“I and you are just monarchs and ministers. I am grateful to you and your father and son. We should tell them everything we know.”

Xie Jin did not regard himself as an outsider. He wrote a ten thousand word book that day and presented it to Zhu Yuanzhang.

This famous “the great Pao Xi Feng affair” has been written extensively, ranging from the harsh punishment, improper employment and extravagance of the imperial court, to what books Zhu Yuanzhang should read and should not read.

Most historians of later generations believed that a young trainee official picked up the emperor’s words and said everything he really knew, which was a typical childish disease in officialdom. Later, Xie Jin’s fate went up and down, and it seemed that he had written the ending at this time.

However, according to Shang Zhuan, a historian, many of the suggestions in the Wanyan book are what Zhu Yuanzhang is doing or considering to do. It is hard to imagine that this Wanyan book was not made out of Zhu Yuanzhang’s own intention.

The fact may be that Zhu Yuanzhang chose a young official who was new to officialdom and did not know much about the world as a cut-off point for policy promotion and a typical example of criticizing current abuses.

Xie Jin was certainly kept in the dark. His lifelong personality ideal was to be an imperial teacher, so his enthusiasm was high, and he promoted the writing of the article entirely by virtue of his talent. On the same day, he handed in the job.

Zhu Yuanzhang was very satisfied and praised him for his talent.

Once people are positively motivated, they will have the courage to rush forward and completely forget to assess the safety of the road ahead. Not long after that, Xie Jin presented the elaborately crafted ten strategies of Taiping.

Xie Jin’s spirit of calmness was gradually aroused at this time. Pointing the country and devising strategies, it seems that it is between the paper and pen of its own size. He thought too simply about the governance of the Empire and the handling of officialdom.

This famous scholar obviously did not review the political past of this dynasty. More than a decade ago, an official named yeboju wrote in the book of ten thousand words that “it was too extravagant to grant vassals”. Zhu Yuanzhang was furious and said that he had evil intentions and deliberately alienated the royal family. As a result, yeboju was arrested and imprisoned, starving to death.

Xie Jin also mentioned the hidden danger of enfeoffing the kings in the early Ming Dynasty in his ten strategies of Taiping. Historically, this is a correct prediction; But politically, this is a taboo topic.

This time he was lucky. The ten strategies of Taiping were cold, the emperor was ruthless, and Zhu Yuanzhang was suddenly dissatisfied, but it was hidden in his heart and has not yet been shown.

Imperial officialdom also regarded Xie Jin as a arrogant scholar.





What really made Zhu Yuanzhang impatient with Xie Jin was that the old emperor suddenly realized that there was a meddlesome and prickly official in the well behaved and stereotyped bureaucratic group.

He is righteous and indifferent, and takes pen as his sword. He just turns officialdom into Jianghu.

Xie Jin, relying on his excellent pen and a cavity of warm blood, wrote his defense and petition on behalf of others in the imperial court, just like a Xiake.

In the 13th year of Hongwu reign (1380), Prime Minister huweiyong was killed. The case involved 15000 people and was a major case in the Hongwu Dynasty. Hong Wu 23 (1390), the Korean Duke Li Shanchang was forced to commit suicide.

Xie Jin stood up and drafted a memorial for Li Shanchang to defend his grievances for the doctor kingdom of Yu. The article is boundless and wonderful, which is worthy of being the first talent of the Ming Dynasty. It is said that even the angry Zhu Yuanzhang unconsciously reread it.

“I secretly saw that the Grand Master Li Shanchang and his majesty worked together to die in order to win the world. He was the first honorary minister. He was granted the title of Duke when he was born, the title of king when he was dead, the title of Princess when he was male, and his relatives were all favored. The distinction between people and ministers is extremely high, and it is enough to volunteer. There is no way to increase the wealth of the world. If it is said that he intended to help Hu Weiyong, it is still unknown. Now it is a great fallacy to say that he wants to help Hu Weiyong… It is only the meritorious minister who can help Hu Weiyong to succeed, It’s just that the grand master has been granted a king and the Lord has been appointed a concubine. How can there be any more rich and noble people today? Moreover, a good leader does not know that the destiny of heaven cannot be sought, and he will take the world in a hundred battles and be in danger! “

The reason is clear enough: Li Shanchang, who has long been a supreme minister, has no reason to assist huweiyong in plotting chaos unless he usurps the throne and stands on his own feet.

The memorial went on to say that lishanchang is dead. I just hope your majesty will warn in the future. Now people all over the world say that “the merits are as good as Li Shanchang, and so it is.” I am afraid that the hearts of the people in the four directions will collapse.

Such a straightforward and stabbing warning is simply bold.

Xie Jin said that I also know that “when words come out, disaster will follow. However, I am ashamed to stand in the holy Dynasty without admonishing people”. He expressed his determination to go through fire and water and die without regret.

Despite the fierce wording, Xie Jin did not taboo others to know about his ghostwriting, so Zhu Yuanzhang soon learned that Xie Jin handed out the “dagger”.

Then, it happened to know that Jin wrote an article to impeach yuan Tai, the governor of the capital.

Yuan Tai relied on his power and power to commit many illegal acts. Everyone was indignant, but they were afraid and dared not speak. Only Xie Jin, who was envious of evil and awe inspiring in righteousness, wrote down Yuan Tai’s crime and punishment in a penetrating way, “heaven and earth are incompatible, and people and gods are angry together”.

Zhu Yuanzhang was obviously very dissatisfied with the “Xiashi” appearing in the imperial court. He completely ignored Xie Jin’s memorials. He not only pardoned yuan Tai, but also accused Xie Jin of lacking self-restraint.

Before long, Xie Jin’s father untied the and went to Beijing to see Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu Yuanzhang said, take your son home and let him continue his studies. Ten years later, it is not too late to make great achievements.

In other words, the emperor dismissed Xie Jin in a decent way.

This was the 24th year of Hongwu (1391), and it was only three years since he was divorced from Jin and became an official.

Xie Jin later reflected on his first official career. From the high point to the low point, it was because he did not know how to bend his knees and was too arrogant and arrogant, which led to constant slander.





22 years old, high spirited and arrogant. Xie Jin, a promising young man full of knowledge, could only follow the supreme instructions and return home with his father to receive re education.

Rural life is only accompanied by poetry and books, and there is no place to talk about depression.

Seven or eight years passed in a flash. Xie Jin returned to the spotlight of history again. It was in May of the 31st year of Hongwu (1398) that Zhu Yuanzhang died of illness.

Hearing the news, Xie Jin rushed to Nanjing immediately. His sadness may not lie in the death of Zhu Yuanzhang, but in the promise that Zhu Yuanzhang would make great use of ten years later. Now he is buried together.

The result of Xie Jin’s entry into the DPRK was very unfortunate.

At the imperial court, everyone remembered that the time limit for Zhu Yuanzhang to send Xie Jin home was ten years. It is now less than ten years since Xie Jinguan brought him to the court, so someone impeached him for violating the imperial edict. Not only that, but also his family situation was clear. He said that his mother died and was not buried. His father was 90 years old, and he went to the capital to ask for an official?

Xie Jin, who had been living in seclusion for eight years, was Dangdang Dang. As soon as he appeared, all the lights went out, and he was suddenly set up as a double-sided model of disloyalty and unfilial.

This mood is really sad.

The new emperor Jianwen conveyed his punishment and demoted him to Hezhou Wei in Lintao, Shaanxi Province to serve as an ordinary official. Being relegated so far away is almost the same as being exiled.

In his late thirties, Xie Jin felt more sorrowful about life. He reflected on himself again. He felt that he was tired of his reputation and paid for his pride all his life, so he sighed in the poem:

At an early age, I climbed the dragon to Tianfu, and became famous all over the world.

When I came back, I was separated and closed. Unexpectedly, I was even more afflicted by my name.

During the eight years, Xie Jin had two big stumbles in a row, and he doubted the creed of life.

It was bitterly cold in the northwest. Depressed, he soon fell ill. In desperation, he finally lowered his proud head and wrote a letter to Donglun, the Minister of rites, for help.

The words in this letter are bitter enough to move the government and the public. Especially at the beginning of the letter, Xie Jin said that he had written tens of thousands of words on several occasions that the enfeoffment of the kings might repeat the rebellion of the seven kingdoms in the early Han Dynasty, but no one listened. Unfortunately, he is really right now.

Xie Jin’s mention of this matter was tantamount to expressing his position to the imperial court. He was not only a firm supporter of the new emperor’s policy of cutting vassals, but also had given early warning.

Many people say that talented people are often ill fated because they do not know the world and the hidden rules of officialdom. In fact, this is not the case.

It’s not that they don’t understand, it’s that they disdain it. As long as they are willing to break down their pride and wash away their pride, they will not be inferior to human beings.

Xie Jin’s letter moved Dong Lun. Donglun recommended Xie Jin to Emperor Jianwen, and Xie Jin was immediately recalled to the capital.

However, Xie Jin was not put in important position. In the Jianwen Dynasty, he was always a junior official with the lowest grade. A large part of the reason is that he still has too much morale and chivalry. Although he has been at home for eight years, although he has been demoted to the border area, and although he is middle-aged, he has not been completely transformed. This made him out of tune with the atmosphere of the whole officialdom at that time.

Therefore, Xie Jin lost his voice and became a silent man in history.





It was not until Zhu Di seized the throne of his nephew and the political revolution that Xie Jin avoided the fate of being buried in the world of history.

The change of Jingnan was the biggest political reshuffle in the early Ming Dynasty. Standing in line is a decision that every imperial official must make, and the result of standing in line is often related to life and death.

The most typical is Fang Xiaoru, who is not afraid of the ten tribes in Zhulian.

Zhu Di asked Fang Xiaoru, the scholar of the Jianwen Dynasty, to draft the imperial edict for him. Fang Xiaoru vowed to die and became a model of loyalty in the Jianwen Dynasty.

Xie Jin, who was popular in the Jianwen Dynasty, followed some officials of the Imperial Academy and took the initiative to welcome the new Lord.

Many people often compare the choices of Fang and Xie to observe the personality of the two most famous talents at that time. Some historical materials even say that Xie Jin, the night before he decided to go to Zhu Di, made an impassioned speech at a friend’s house, vowing to live or die with the old owner. These stories are probably arranged to emphasize that Xie Jin is a hateful chameleon, and may not be credible.

In the changing situation, Xie Jin didn’t choose Fang Xiaoru’s path, so it was obvious that he could not escape the heavy criticism of middle age. However, it should be noted that Xie Jin, who was aloof and aloof all his life, suddenly became greasy?

This has something to do with his long-term inaction in the Jianwen Dynasty.

Fang Xiaoru was loyal for good reason, because he was a close Minister of emperor Jianwen. Xie Jin was obviously unwilling. If he was allowed to wipe the hot spot of Jianwen emperor’s distress with his death, it is estimated that he would look down on himself – which onion do you think is worthy of death loyalty?

In the power transfer within the first family of the Ming Dynasty, Xie Jin completed his identity transformation without feeling guilty.

The only thing he needs to hide is that the prediction of “enfeoffment and disaster” advocated by the Hongwu and Jianwen dynasties has become politically incorrect by the Yongle dynasties. At this time, he stopped talking about the apriority of the original prediction.

Zhu Di is famous for his bloodthirsty in history. While he slaughtered officials of the old Dynasty in the name of investigating the treacherous party, Xie Jin was promoted all the way and reached the peak of his life.

If living in this age, Xie Jin, who is probably proud of his life, can’t help singing “there is spring in the wild lily”?





According to the textual research of the historian’s biography of Shang Dynasty, the officials who organized a group with Xie Jin to welcome Zhu Di into Nanjing were mostly above Xie Jin, but they were not promoted as quickly as Xie Jin.

Other officials were basically promoted to the next level. Only Xie Jin, who seemed to have taken a helicopter, was promoted from nine rank Imperial College to six rank Imperial College.

What kind of magic did Xie Jin do to Zhu Di, so that the new emperor, who kills people without blinking an eye, had to raise his official rank eight to express his love?

There is no clear record in history books.

According to the legend of the Shang Dynasty, it was probably because Xie Jin drafted the imperial edict for Zhu Di.

Yes, it’s the dengji imperial edict that fangxiaoru would rather die than follow.

Later, Xie Jin’s friends recalled that at the beginning of Zhu Di’s accession to the throne, all the important announcements and speeches of the imperial court were written by Xie Jin.

Although there was no direct reference to dengji imperial edict (presumably because Fang Xiaoru’s resistance made it a disgrace for his successors to draft dengji imperial edict), looking at this important document that laid the legitimacy of Zhu Di’s ascendancy, I’m afraid that only Xie Jin was able to write it.

Dengji imperial edict explains Zhu Di’s position in place of Zhu Yunwen in this way: Zhu Di cited “Zuxun” and set up an army to fight against the Qing emperor. He wanted to follow the story of Duke Fu’s becoming king. However, when he attacked Nanjing, jianwenjun burned himself to death. In desperation, forced by public opinion, he had to reluctantly ascend the throne.

Chu Di was quite satisfied with this explanation. For the next five years, Xie Jin, who was very talented, was regarded as a treasure and favored by heaven.

Xie Jin became the first cabinet minister of the Ming Dynasty and Zhu Di’s most trusted courtier.

There is an example that can prove Xie Jin’s trust: at the beginning of his succession, Zhu Di asked Xie Jin and others to review thousands of memorials made by his officials during the Jianwen Dynasty, and clearly indicated that except for the useful imperial economic data, other things related to pacification and the removal of vassals would be burned.

Among them, there should be Xie Jin’s proposal to cut down the fan that year. Zhu Di’s move shows his absolute trust in Xie Jin and is not an old debt.





Talented people can be put in important positions, after all, because they are talented.

Xie Jin’s main work in Yongle Dynasty was probably equivalent to the Minister of publicity + Minister of culture.

One is the revision of Taizu’s records, which is an official document revised and written by the Jianwen Dynasty. It involves all the contents of the change of Jingnan. It needs to be redacted and beautified, you know. Among them, Xie Jin’s “brilliant pen” is indispensable.

The other is to preside over the compilation of Yongle grand ceremony. Xie Jin is good at compiling history in prosperous times, and he is willing to do it.

From the history of that time, Xie Jin could not avoid becoming a scholar’s Fatalism as a tool for the imperial power to publicize the rule of culture and whitewash the peace.

However, it would also be a realistic way for him to hide the edges and corners of his character so honestly that he could be a greasy official for the rest of his life and wait for his glorious retirement.

Xie jinpianbu.

Character decides fate, which is often believed.

All along, Xie Jin has a complex of emperor and teacher.

The establishment of a crown prince was a top priority in imperial politics. There were many lessons in history that the failure to establish a crown prince led to power infighting and even subversion. Xie Jin, as a popular man beside the emperor, did not want to see the tragedy repeated. Therefore, he took the initiative to intervene in the dispute over the establishment of the reserve.

Just in this case, it once again exposed the foolishness and sweetness of literati talents.

The dispute over the throne has always been the most sensitive political issue. Even the ministers who were close to the emperor avoided it, and they used the emperor’s family affairs as an excuse to avoid being involved.

Xie Jin could not have been unaware of the danger of touching on such political issues, but he could not sit back and watch the emperor hesitate on this issue, which led to the change of the Empire, so he jumped on it decisively.

Zhu Di liked his second son, zhugaoxu, who had made meritorious contributions to the Jingnan revolution, but he did not like his eldest son, zhugaochi, who was fat and gentle. Xie Jin, on many occasions, politely advised Zhu Di to persuade him to make his eldest son Zhu gaochi the crown prince.

Once, Zhu Di asked him privately what he thought of the matter of Chu Jun. Xie Jin did not avoid, nor did he play a word game. He directly replied: “the emperor’s eldest son, Ren Xiao, has the heart of the world.” He saw that Zhu Di was not satisfied with the answer, and then said, “good Saint sun.” It means that although you think Zhu gaochi is ordinary, he has a good son, that is, your eldest grandson Zhu Zhanji. Let Zhu gaochi succeed to the throne, and Zhu Zhanji can take over as emperor in the future.

It is said that this is why Chu Di finally decided on a prince.

However, the talkative Xie Jin obviously offended zhugaoxu, who was left out of the throne.

Zhu gaoxu repeatedly spoke ill of Xie Jin in front of Zhu Di. Perhaps out of the psychological compensation, Zhu Di knew that it was Zhu gaoxu’s fault


, or gradually estranged from understanding Jin.

Xie Jin exhorted Zhu Di to restrain Zhu gaoxu. Zhu Di shouted angrily, saying that Xie Jin was “alienating flesh and blood”. Finally, zhugaoxu spread a rumor that Xie Jin had leaked the dispute over the throne to the outer court, and Zhu Di relegated Xie Jin to Guangxi.

This is the spring of the fifth year of Yongle (1407). The good days of Xie Jin came to an end.





Bad luck just started.

Later, Xie Jin was demoted from Guangxi to Jiaozhi (now the north and south of Vietnam).

In the eighth year of Yongle (1410), Xie Jin entered the capital to play his part. Zhu Di happened to lead the troops to the Northern Expedition and was not in the capital. Xie Jin paid an audience with the prince zhugaochi, and then returned to Jiaozhi.

When zhugaoxu learned about this, he reported to Zhu Di that Xie Jin deliberately met the crown prince while the emperor was out. The implication is that the prince and Xie Jin may have an evil plot.

Zhugaoxu’s move is vicious enough to kill two birds with one stone.

As a result, Xie Jin was arrested and imprisoned the following year for this unwarranted crime.

When Xie Jin was relegated to prison, no one in the court came out to speak for him. One reason may be that the murderous atmosphere of the Yongle Dynasty scared the officials. They didn’t have the courage to intervene. Especially when it comes to the emperor’s family affairs, we all know that the water is too deep, and we would rather keep silent to ensure peace. Another reason is that Xie Jin is usually bohemian and likes his colleagues in Zangfu’s court. He has no scruples, thus offending many important officials. These people not only don’t help him speak, but also throw stones at him at the critical moment.

In yangshiqi’s works, Xie Jin is a chivalrous scholar with a good relationship:

“In my life, I value justice more than profit. When I meet with people’s worries and sufferings, I often hide it in my heart and do my best to do it. I am deeply rooted in the past and the descendants of famous and virtuous aristocratic families. I am a little broad-minded and don’t care about details. I have an open mind outside and inside. There is no cliff. Although I am a wild husband and a child, I am happy to be close to them.”

Maybe Xie Jin’s character is like this. People who don’t have much contact with him will like him very much, but those who work with him as officials will inevitably hate his talent and lack of madness.

No character can avoid offending anyone. Xie Jin would not force himself to become another person in order to have both hands out when he was in trouble.

He regards Li Bai as an idol, and finds his spiritual self from Li Bai everywhere in his life and Poetry:

I am not an ordinary person who wanders about. I don’t feel sad when I am free.

Reading and learning are enemies of thousands of people. Wealth and honor will be ignored.

Look, such a magnificent spirit of wealth and wealth is possessed by Li Bai.

Unfortunately, Xie Jin’s time was much more violent than Li Bai’s in the Tang Dynasty. Li Bai could easily find friends to share wine in the Tang Dynasty, but Xie Jin could hardly find friends in the Ming Dynasty.

He is so unique and rare among the purged bureaucrats.

Li Bai’s style of celebrity demeanor is not the product of politics in the early Ming Dynasty at all. It can only be said that some people are not ordinary birds by nature, but they have also paid a painful price for freedom and the sky.

From June of the ninth year of Yongle (1411), Xie Jin began to live in prison for three and a half years. It was not until the first month of the 13th year of Yongle (1415) that Zhu Di mentioned his name for the last time, completely ignoring the old favor and perhaps full of hate.

The most ruthless emperor heart.

The commander of the royal guards made Ji Gang understand, returned to the prison, drunk Xie Jin with wine, and then ordered people to bury him in the snow.

On that day, there was heavy snow in the city.

Xie Jin, pawn. He was 47 years old. From regaining freedom, only a quick glance and casual question from the emperor.

He was originally nominated as a prisoner to be pardoned. It’s just a matter of luck.

Xie Jin may have imagined his own death in his mind for countless times. For such a “Li Bai style” ending, he must feel that death is worth it:

The bachelor doesn’t have to laugh at my husband and wife. He is honest and upright with you for thousands of years—— Xie Jin’s stone quarrying and hanging Li Taibai


1. (Qing Dynasty) zhangtingyu et al.: history of the Ming Dynasty, Zhonghua Book Company, 1974

2. Shang Zhuan: On Xie Jin, research on Ming history, Vol. 1, Huangshan publishing house, 1991

3. Meng Sen: Ming history handout, Zhonghua Book Company, 2006

4. chendonggen: on the creation of Xie Jin, a talented scholar in the early Ming Dynasty, Journal of culture, 2013, issue 6

5. picture source: photo network authorization

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