Memorials of Zhao Wenhua on Quelling the Pirates


This work is a collection of 28 memorials by Zhao Wenhua (died 1557), a high official in the late Ming period, later disgraced. According to his biography in Ming shi (Ming history), Zhao received his jin shi degree in 1529. While working at the Office of Transmission, he submitted a proposal for a satellite city to the capital. Soon afterwards he was promoted to the Bureau of Public Works. When pirates caused disturbances in southeast China, Zhao submitted seven memorials (project reports, proposals, or admonitions), each containing a plan for dealing with the pirate menace. The first called for conducting a ritual sacrifice to the sea gods. Other memorials proposed relief for the people of the four prefectures in the region and suggested various military measures for dealing with the pirates. The last memorial asked for permission to return to the court. Zhao reached his highest position as minister of the Bureau of Public Works and regent of the prince. During the battles against the pirates, he took credit for military successes. After returning to the capital, he lived extravagantly, arousing the displeasure of the emperor, who eventually relieved Zhao of his post and sent his son to a remote border garrison. Zhao also was found to have embezzled vast amounts of public money. He died as a common man. In this book, his official titles of minister of the Bureau of Public Works and grand guardian of the heir apparent are used, which suggests that it probably was printed in 1556–57, before his disgrace.

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1 juan in 1 volume

Last updated: April 21, 2014