February 4, 2017

On February 4, 960 Zhao Kuangyin became Emperor Taisu of Song and initiated the Song dynasty of China that would last more than three centuries.  Born in a family of military tradition, Zhao Kuangyin began to learn martial arts at an early age and acquired outstanding skills and distinguished himself in battle. There was a void in leadership in the Zhou Dynasty when Emperor Chai Rong died. leaving the throne to his 7-year-old son. That and a prophecy of “two suns fighting with each other” secured the throne for Kuanyin, in a virtually bloodless coup.

Zhao Kuangyin is most remembered for his reform of the examination system, favoring individuals who demonstrate abilities rather than birth. He paid attention to talent training, setting up schools, respecting knowledge, and revitalizing Confucianism.  He supported freedom of discussions and thoughts, which facilitated the pioneering of scientific advances, economic reforms as well as achievements in arts and literature.

Her reigned for 16 years and died in 976 at the age of 49, and he was succeeded by his younger brother.


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