Külüg Khan, Emperor Wuzong of Yuan

Külüg Khan (Mongolian: Hülüg Khaan, Хөлөг хаан, Külüg qaγan), born Khayishan (Chinese: 海山; pinyin: Hǎi shān), or Emperor Wuzong of Yuan (Chinese: 元武宗; pinyin: Yuán Wǔzōng; Wade–Giles: Wu-Tsung) (August 4, 1281 – January 27, 1311), was an Emperor of the yuan dynasty, and is regarded as the seventh Great Khan of the Mongols in Mongolia. His name means "warrior Khan" in the Mongolian language.

Early career

He was the second son of Darmabala and Dagi of the influential Khunggirad clan, and the full brother of Ayurbarwada. He was sent to Mongolia to assume an army that defended the western front of the Yuan against Kaidu and other princes of Central Asia under him. In 1289, Khayisan's force was nearly routed and the Kipchak commander, Tutugh, rescued him from capture by Kaidu's army. In 1301 he clashed with Kaidu, who died from a battle wound. In recognition of the great success, Külüg Khan was given the title of Prince Huaining (懷寧王) in 1304.

When Chapar attacked Duwa, Temur helped the latter and sent an army under Khayisan. In 1306 Khayisan forced Melig Temür, a son of Ariq Böke, who was aligned himself with Kaidu to accept a surrender in the Altai Mountains and pushed Kaidu's successor Chapar westward. For these military achievements he gained a high reputation among Mongol princes and non-Mongol corps. Since his uncle Temür Khan did not have a male heir, he was considered a major candidate for the emperor.


In 1307 when Temür Khan died, he returned eastward to Karakorum and watched the situation. Temür's widow Bulughan of the Bayaud tribe had kept away the Khunggirad-mothered brothers of Khayishan and Ayurbarwada and attempted to set up Ananda, a muslim cousin of Temür, who was the prince of An-hsi. Her alliance was supported by some senior officials of the Secretariat under Aqutai. They made Bulugan regent and intended to put Ananda on the throne. Ananda was a popular prince who successfully protected the province of the Yuan against the Ogedeid and Chaghatayid armies and had a bulk of the imperial army under him in An-hsi. But he lacked of military power in the imperial capital city and was a muslim opposed to the majority of the Yuan Mongols.

The Darkhan Harghasun, Tura, a great-great grandson of Chagatai Khan, and Yakhutu, a descandant of Tolui, fought for the candidacy of Darmabala's sons against them. The pro-Darmabala faction arrested Ananda and Bulghan by coup and recalled Ayurbarwada and Dagi from Henan . Then, Khayishan decided to hold the coronation ceremony in Shangdu just as his great-grandfather Kublai Khan did, and advanced southward with thirty thousand soldiers from Mongolia. He was welcomed by Ayurbarwada, who gave up emperorship, and ascended to the throne. He had executed Ananda and Bulughan before succession. Ariq Böke's son, Melig-Temür, was also executed because of his support for Ananda.

Khayisan's enthronement at Shangdu on 21 June 1307 was performed properly at a kurultai. After that he made his younger brother Ayurbarwada the heir apparent and they promised that their descendants would succeed each other on relay.


Soon after Khayishan's accession the Hiaoking, a treatise on filial obedience, one of the works attributed to Confucius, having been translated into the Mongol language, was distributed in the empire. He granted the princes and officials who attended his ceremony lavish gifts in accordance with amounts set by the previous khan. Huge amounts, moreover, were spent on the construction of Buddhist temples at Dadu and Shagdu. Fresh honors were decreed to the memory of the old sage, and the characters Ta ching were added to his titles.

His administration was founded on the unstable balance between Khayishan, his younger brother Ayurbarwada and their mother Dagi of the Khunggirad clan. Khayishan appointed Ayurbarwada as Crown Prince on the condition that he would pass the status to Khayishan's son after succession. He generously gave bonus to imperial princes and Mongol aristocrats, and enjoyed popularity among them. Khayisan Külüg Khan freely gave away noble and official titles and filled the government with supernumeraries. Having little regard for the unwritten law of Kublai Khan that only sons of Khagans could be made princes of the first rank, he granted the Genghisids and the non-Borjigins many princely titles. Meanwhile he was plagued by financial difficulties which was caused by free-spending policies and longstanding military spending. So he brought back the Shangshusheng (Chinese: 尚書省, "Department of State Affairs") for financial affairs in parallel with the Zhongshusheng (Chinese: 中書省, "Department of Central Governing") for administrative affairs. He changed branch offices of Zhongshusheng to those of Shangshusheng to strengthen monopoly in salt and other goods. He issued new bills (Chao) called Zhida-yinchao (Chinese: 至大銀鈔) to replace Zhiyuan-chao (Chinese: 至元鈔). His anti-inflation plans did not achieve adequate results in his short reign, and dissatisfied Han Chinese officers and commoners. He attempted to push through a new nonconvertible silver currency but was defeated by public resistance.

Although, he first shared with Ayurbarwada the tutorship of the Confucian scholar Li Meng, he apparently was little affected by Confucian culture. He transferred Harghasun to Mongolia as the grand councillor of the left wing of Branch secretariat of Lin-pei despite his great contribution. Khayisan heavily relied on his retainers and commanders he had brought from Mongolia. He gave key posts to them and favored non-Mongol corps including the Kipchak, the Asud (Alans) and the Qanglï. In contrast, he did not reward abundantly the Khunggirad faction who had carried out a coup against Bulughan. Because Tula said something suspicious in rage, Khayisan suspected that he had a further object, and had him tried and put to death.

Khayisan greatly favored Buddhism, so that he ordered the Tibetan Lama Chogdi Osor to translate the sacred books of Buddha. When the Buddhist monks made mistakes except in cases affecting the Mongol Dynasty, he refused to punish them. A law was passed that whoever struck a Lama should lose his tongue, but Ayurbarwada repealed it as entirely contrary to precedent. However, Khayisan was the first Khagan to tax the lands held by the Buddhist monks and the followers of Taoism, hithero exempt.

In order to reduce the cost of supporting the Yuan bureaucracy, he issued an order in 1307 to dismiss the supernumeraries and to bring total number of officials in line with the quota that had been set by his uncle Temur Khan. The order produced no practical results; the number of bureau's chief officials jumped from 6 in Kublai's reign to 32. He also had the building of court officials and a new palace city built at Dadu and Chungtu.

In 1308 the Goryeo king Chungnyeol of Korea died, and Khayisan sent a patent for his successor Chungseon. That year Chapar and other princes of the Khanate of Ogedei came to Khayisan with their submission, permanently ending the threat against the Chagatai Khanate and the yuan dynasty by Khaidu's sons. During his reign, the Yuan completed the subjugation of Sakhalin, forcing its Ainu people to accept their supremacy in 1308.

The paper became so depreciated in value that in 1309 there was a fresh issue, made to replace that which was the discredited paper, but this also sank rapidly in value, and at length the Emperor, Khaissan, determined upon a recurrence to the ancient money, and accordingly, in 1310, there were struck two kinds of copper coins, having Mongol characters upon them. Some with the inscription, precious money of the Chi ta period ; and others with this legend, precious money of the Great Yuan. These copper coins were of three sizes: 1 of the value of one li; 2 of the value of ten li; and 3 of coins worth several of those of the dynasties Tang and Sung dynasties. Khayisan's court encountered financial difficulties. For example, the total government expenditure for the year 1307 was 10 million ting of paper notes and 3 million dan of grains. By 1310, 10,603,100 ting had been borrowed from the reserves for current expenditures.

Tula's son Kokechu conspired against the Emperor with the high court officials and Buddhist monks in 1310; but their plans were discovered, the monks were duly executed, and Kokechu was exiled to Korea. Arslan, the governor of Dadu and commander of the kheshig, shared same fate with the conspirators. He was executed with several of his companions.

During Khayisan's reign, all Branch Secretariats were renamed Branch Departments of State Affairs. The new major department of state affairs came under Toghta, the grand councillor of the left, Sanpanu and Yueh shi, managers of the government affairs, and Paopa, the assistant administrator of the right.

The selling price of salt licences issued under the state monopoly was raised by 35 percent over the price in 1307. A grain tax surcharge of 2 percent was imposed on the wealthy families of Chiang-nan. The merits of tax collectors were evaluated on the basis of the percentage increase in the taxes they collected the tax quota at the end of Temur's reign. To fight against inflation, Khayisan's administration established granaries in localities and drastically increased the quota for the maritime shipment of grain from Yangtze valley, reaching 2. 9 million shih in 1310. Khayisan reduced the number of chief officials in the Secreatariat, the Censorate, the Bureau of Military Affairs, and the Bureau of Transmission as well as supernumeraries in various offices.


After the reign of less than 4 years, Khayishan suddenly died in 27 January 1311. Immediately after his death and Ayurbarwada's succession in 1311, the unsatisfactory Khunggirad faction came together under his mother Dagi and purged pro-Khayishan officials. It also broke Ayurbarwada's promise to appoint Khayishan's son as Crown Prince. His court drove Khayishan's sons Kuśala and Tugh Temür out of the central government. Pro-Khayishan generals cherished grievances until they managed to set up Tugh Temür in 1328.

Last update 18-06-2012

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