Zhu Houzhao’s language (can Zhu Houzhao speak Portuguese)

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Among the 16 emperors of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Houzhao is a controversial figure – almost as many people like and hate him.

People who like him think that he is resolute and resolute in dealing with things and kills the eunuch Liu Jin immediately; Do everything personally. He is an emperor on horseback. He has driven many times to quell domestic and foreign troubles. People who hate him think that he is a fatuous emperor because of his extravagant politics and chaotic personal life.

In these two statements, the public said that the public and the woman said that the woman was right, and no one could persuade anyone. If you want me to say that, both of these statements have some truth, but neither is completely correct. Perhaps, combining these two statements is the complete Zhu Houzhao.



However, Zhu Houzhao has a special talent and a very high language talent – he is the only emperor in China who can speak Portuguese. What’s the matter?

At the end of the 15th century, Europe discovered a new route to Asia. At that time, Portugal was in its heyday. It took advantage of the sea power to seize cities and territories around the world and seize colonies. In 1514, the Portuguese came to the coast of Guangdong, China, to conduct business and trade activities. The Chinese call Portugal the “franc machine”. Later, the army of the Ming Dynasty obtained an iron after-loaded smooth-bore cannon after driving out Portuguese pirates, which was called “Franco cannon”.

In 1517, Portuguese King Manuel I sent his fleet to occupy Malacca, an important town in Southeast Asia. After that, Manuel I officially took up the idea of China. Of course, Manuel I dared not look down on China, an ancient and huge empire. Instead of declaring war directly, he sent a diplomatic envoy, Pirezzi, to enter the Pearl River inland river under the protection of eight ships led by the Portuguese captain Fernando Perez de Andrade, to Guangzhou Huaiyuan Posthouse (the area around the 18th West Gate of Guangzhou today), ready to carry out diplomatic negotiations with the Ming Dynasty, negotiate trade and other related matters.

Piazzi is the first time to come to China and can’t speak Chinese. In order to facilitate communication, Piraizi hired a translator who is familiar with Chinese in Malacca, called Huozheyasan.

Interestingly, the Portuguese knew that the Chinese did not like them, so they forced to “wrap their heads with white cloth, such as dressing back”, disguised as Muslims, and claimed to pay tribute to China. Chen Jin, the governor of Guangdong and Guangxi, believed it and received them in Guangzhou. But later, Chen Jin saw their tricks and arranged them to study Chinese etiquette at Guangxiao Temple, and reported the matter to the imperial court.

At the beginning of 1518, the Ming Dynasty came back and asked the Governor of Guangdong and Guangdong to buy the special products brought by the Portuguese into silver; The Portuguese diplomatic envoy Pirezzi was allowed to enter Beijing alone, and the rest of the personnel and ships withdrew from China and returned to Portugal. The Portuguese did not achieve their goal and were unwilling to give up. They tried to make trouble along the coast of Guangzhou, but were attacked head-on by the army of the Ming Dynasty. They had to retreat to Tuen Mun Island and wait for the opportunity.

Pillaizi saw that this was not the way to drag on, so he had to pay off officials in Guangdong, hoping to persuade the imperial court to allow them to meet the Chinese emperor. As the saying goes, “Money can make the devil go away.” Before long, the imperial court allowed Pillaizi to lead a team to meet Zhu Houzhao.

At that time, Zhu Houzhao was touring around Nanjing, so Pillaizi and others went straight to Nanjing. However, Zhu Houzhao seemed to be deliberately teasing them. Instead of meeting them in Nanjing, he went straight back to Beijing. So, Pillaizi and his party went to Beijing again.

Zhu Houzhao finally met Piraizi and his party. He did not have much interest in the issues of trade and trade proposed by the Portuguese people. Instead, he had a good talk with the translator, Ya San San, and learned Portuguese from him. Although Zhu Houzhao is “naughty”, he really has a talent for language. It won’t be long before he can speak fluent Portuguese and can talk with Portuguese.

Later, Zhu Houzhao also left the third fireman in the court so that he could consult him in Portuguese at any time. The fireman Yassan and Jiang Bin, another favorite minister of Zhu Houzhao, got into a hot fight and swaggered in the court, causing many ministers’ dissatisfaction.

On April 20, 1521, Zhu Houzhao died of illness. On the day of Zhu Houzhao’s death, the Empress Dowager, according to the opinions of the ministers, issued an order to arrest Jiang Bin, and soon ordered him to be executed for plagiarism. Then, he colluded with Jiang Bin and put him to death.

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