Zhang Chunhua

Zhang Chunhua (189 - 247) was the wife of the cao wei general Sima Yi during the three kingdoms period of Chinese history. She was known to be wise and capable, but also ruthless at times.


Sima Yi initially refused to serve the warlord Cao Cao, lying that he was ill and stayed at home. One day, when Sima was drying his books under the sun, there was a sudden downpour. Sima immediately rushed out to retrieve his books, and was seen by a maid. The maid believed that Sima had recovered from his illness and reported it to Zhang. Zhang was worried that if the maid leaked out news that Sima was well, they would be in trouble, so she murdered the maid to silence her. She personally prepared meals for the family since then and her husband was very impressed with her.

Zhang died in 247 at the age of 59. Sima Yi pretended to grieve deeply over her death and requested permission from the emperor Cao Fang to retire from state affairs, giving the excuse that he wanted to mourn his wife's death. Sima stayed at home for two years until he suddenly seized power from the regent Cao Shuang in a coup, known as the Incident at Gaoping Tombs.

In 265, during the reign of cao wei's last emperor Cao Huan, Zhang was granted the posthumous title of "Concubine Xuanmu" (宣穆妃). Not long later, Sima Yi's grandson Sima Yan established the jin dynasty and became known as Emperor Wu of Jin. Emperor Wu posthumously honoured Zhang as "Empress Xuanmu" (宣穆皇后).

Personal information


Zhang Wang (張汪), served as Prefect of Suyi in cao wei


Lady Shan (山氏), grandaunt of Shan Tao


Sima Yi


Sima Shi

Sima Zhao

Sima Gan (司馬榦)

Princess Nanyang (南陽公主), personal name unknown

Last update 02-04-2012

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