Empress Xu

Empress Xu (徐皇后) (1362 – July 1407), formally Empress Ren Xiao Wen (仁孝文皇后), birth name Xu Yihua (徐儀華), was the empress consort to the Yongle Emperor and the third empress of China's ming dynasty. She was well educated, compiling bibliographies of virtuous women, an activity connected with court politics

Biography

Xu Yihua was born in 1362, as the eldest daughter of Xu Da and Lady Xie (謝氏). She had four brothers—Xu Huizu (徐輝祖), Xu Tianfu (徐添福), Xu Yingxu (徐膺緒), and Xu Zengshou (徐增壽)—and two younger sisters, who were the wives of Zhu Gui, Prince Jian of Dai (thirteenth son of the Hongwu Emperor) and Zhu Ying, Prince Hui of An (twenty-second son of the Hongwu Emperor). On 17 February 1376, she married the Zhu Di, Prince of Yan, the Hongwu Emperor's fourth son. After Zhu Di ascended the throne as the Yongle Emperor on 17 July 1402, Xu Yihua, as his primary wife and consort, was created empress in December 1402.


A devout Buddhist, Empress Xu is the first person credited with transcribing a Buddhist sutra from a dream revelation. The work is entitled Da Ming Ren xiao Huang hou meng kan Fo Shuo di yi xi yu da gong de jing (The sutra of great merit of the foremost rarity spoken by the Buddha which the Renxiao empress of the great Ming received in a dream). In her introduction to the sutra, the empress wrote that one night after meditating and burning incense, Guanyin appeared to her as if in a dream, and took her to a holy realm where the sutra was revealed to her in order to save her from disaster. After reading the sutra three times, she was able to memorize it and recall it perfectly upon awakening and writing it down. The sutra conveys conventional Mahayana philosophies, and the mantras for chanting were typical of Tibetan Buddhist practices

Personal information

Father

Xu Da


Mother

Lady Xie (謝氏), second daughter of Xie Jianxing (謝再興)


Husband

Yongle Emperor


Husband

Yongle Emperor


Sons

Name

Formal Title

Born

Died

Spouse

Issue

Zhu Gaochi
朱高熾

The Hongxi Emperor

16 August 1378

29 May 1425

Lady Zhang, Empress Cheng Xiao Zhao
11 concubines

Zhu Zhanji, Xuande Emperor
Zhu Zhanxun, Prince Jing of Zheng
Zhu Zhanyong, Prince Jing of Yue
Zhu Zhanyin, Prince Xian of Qi
Zhu Zhanshan, Prince Xian of Xiang
Zhu Zhangang, Prince Xian of Jing
Zhu Zhanyu, Prince Jing of Huai
Zhu Zhankai, Prince Huai of Teng
Zhu Zhanji, Prince Zhuang of Liang
Zhu Zhanyan, Prince Gong of Wei
Princess Jiaxing
Zhu Yuantong, Princess Qingdou
Princess Qinghe
Princess De'an
Princess Yanping
Princess Deqing
Princess Zhending

Zhu Gaoxu
朱高煦

Prince of Han
漢王

30 December 1380

6 October 1426

Consort Wei
韋妃

Zhu Zhanhe, Heir Apparent Yi Zhuang
Zhu Zhanqi, Heir Apparent
Zhu Zhanci, Prince of Jiyang
Zhu Zhanyu, Prince of Linzi
Zhu Zhanyi, Prince Zichuan
Zhu Zhanxing, Prince of Changle
Zhu Zhanping, Prince of Qidong
Zhu Zhandao, Prince of Rencheng
Zhu Zhanchang, Prince of Haifeng
Zhu Zhanbang, Prince of Xintai

Zhu Gaosui
朱高燧

Prince Jian of Zhao
趙簡王

19 January 1383

5 October 1431

Lady Xu
(daughter of Xu Zhang (徐章))
Lady Mu
(daughter of Mu Cheng (沐晟))

Zhu Zhanba, Heir Apparent Daoxi of Zhao
Zhu Zhanque, Prince Hui of Zhao
a son

Daughters

Title

Died

Date Married

Spouse

Princess Ancheng
安成公主

1444

1402

Song Hu
宋琥
(second son of Song Cheng, Marquess of Xining)

Princess Xianning
咸寧公主

1442

1412

Song Ying
宋瑛
(third son of Song Cheng, Marquess of Xining)

Last update 08-05-2012

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