Zhu Houcong - Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty
Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Houcong (1507-1566), was a cousin of Emperor Wuzong.
Emperor Wuzong of the Ming Dynasty was immeasurably dissolute after succeeding the throne, and died at an early age of 31, leaving no heir. Then in 1521 AD, the 15-year-old Zhu Houcong was chosen to become the emperor and changed the title of the reign to Jiajing the next year. He reigned for 45 years.
At the beginning of his reign, Emperor Shizong abolished corrupt policies adopted by the previous emperor, and then the affairs of the state took on a brand-new outlook. He cracked down on the forces of previous courtiers, the royal family and his relatives that had made great contributions to the state, and held plenary authority over internal and external affairs, which resulted in intensive concentration of the imperial power. Emperor Shizong also attached importance to the cabinet's functions and paid attention to suppressing the power of eunuchs. At the same time, he became increasingly decadent. He not only abused financial resources of the people in constructions, but also had a blind faith in alchemists. He was so devoted in Taoism that he paid excessive attention to his Taoist pursuits in hopes of finding medicines to prolong his life while ignoring affairs of the state. As a result, the officials were corrupt, boundary affairs were lax due to negligence, and the southeastern coastal area was frequently invaded and severely damaged by Japanese pirates.
In 1566 AD, Emperor Shizong died and was buried in Yongling.
Ming DynastyWidth: 7cm Height: 5.5cm