Buyantu Khan - Khagan of the Mongol Empire
Buyantu Khan, also known as Emperor Renzong of Yuan (Chinese: 元仁宗, 1286-1320), born Ayurbarwada, was the Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty in East Asia and Khagan of the Mongol Empire.
Ayurbarwada was the first Mongolian emperor who actively supported and promoted the mainstream Chinese culture. He who was mentored by Confucian academic Li Meng succeeded peacefully to the throne and reversed his older brother Khayisan's policies. More important, Ayurbarwada reinstituted the civil service examination system in the Yuan.
Struggle for Succession
Ayurbarwada was the second son of Darmabala and Dagi (Targi) of the Khunggirat, and a great-grandson of Kublai Khan (r.1260-94). He had been tutored by the Confucian scholar Li Meng, who strongly affected his future political attitudes since his early teens.
In 1305 Bulugan Khatun removed Ayurbarwada from the court and sent him to Honan as the prince of Huai-ning. However, his uncle Temur Khan died without an heir on 2 February, 1307, because his son Tachu had died a year earlier before him.
Temür's widow Bulugan of the Bayaud tribe had kept away the Khunggirad-mothered brothers of Khayishan and Ayurbarwada and attempted to set up her favorite Muslim Ananda, their uncle and the governor of Ningxia. Harghasun, the right chancellor (Chinese: 右丞相) of the government who became aware of Bulugan's plan, called Ayurbarwada and Li Meng back from Huaizhou (Chinese: 怀州) to the capital Dadu. They successfully developed a strategy to imprison Ananda and Bulugan. Afterwards, Ayurbarwada welcomed his older brother Khayishan, who was still far away from Dadu, to succeed to the throne. After the latter's coronation, Ayurbarwada was appointed the Crown Prince in June 1307. Brothers promised each other that their descendants would rule on relay.
Early Career under Khayisan Kulug Khan and Enthronement
Ayurbarwada was made head of the top central administrative organs. He had surrounded himself with the Chinese scholars Chen Hao, Wang I, Wang Yueh, Chao Mengfu, Wang Chieh, Chan Yaoho, Shang-ye, Yao sui, and Hsia ku; the artists Shang cheng and Wang Cheng-peng; Chagaan, a scholar from Balkh and Haiya, the Uyghur lyricist.
He was able to read and write Chinese and appreciate Chinese paintings and calligraphy in addition to his deep knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese history. Strongly influenced by Confucian political ethics, he was naturally opposed to his brother's exploitative policies. Khayisan's partisans had accused Li Meng of having advised Ayurbarwada to keep the throne for himself; Li Meng left the court immediately after Khayisan's accession. Ayurbarwada spoke out in Li Meng's defence but accomplished nothing much in the end. His disagreement with his brother's high officials remained concealed until his own enthronement.
Khayishan died in January 1311. Unlike the succession struggle over the office of Khagan in 1307, Ayurbarwada's succession to his elder brother Khayisan's throne in April 1311 was a peaceful and smooth transition of the Yuan imperial history.
His accession kuriltai was composed of 14,000 princes, each of whom employed relays of from 700 to 1,000 horses. The feast lasted a week. Forty oxen and 4,000 sheep, besides a great number of animals were eaten daily. At the hour fixed by the astrologers, the new Emperor seated himself on his throne, his face turned towards the south, in the Karshi, which was hung with silk and brocade. The descendants of Genghis Khan were on the right, and the descendants of Qasar on the left of the throne. The Khatuns were seated on stools. Ayurbarwada was saluted under the title of Buyantu.