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Fucha, King of Wu 吳王夫差

Dec 2, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Fucha, king of Wu, 吳王夫差 (r. 495-473) was a dominant ruler of the semi-Chinese state of Wu 吳 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). He is counted as one of the so-called five hegemons (wuba 五霸).

From the beginning, Wu was in a very dominant position. His first military engagement was that with the neighbouring state of Yue 越, whose army king Fuchai defeated. The troops of king Goujian 句踐 were besieged at Guiji 會稽 and forced to submit. Yue became a vassal state of Wu. Encouraged by this victory he had killed the advisor of his father, Wu Zixu 伍子胥, and replaced him with Bo Pi 伯嚭.

At Ailing 艾陵 (modern Laiwu 萊蕪, Shandong), he defeated the army of Qi 齊. With the sanction by king Jing of Zhou 周景王 (r. 544-521) he assembled the regional rulers (zhuhou 諸侯) at Huangchi 黃池 (modern Fengqiu 封丘, Henan), where he contested with the duke of Jin 晉 for hegemonship.

Just at that time internal unrest and an attack by king Goujian of Yue forced him to return to his kingdom. He had to conclude a truce with Yue.

In 473 he was utterly defeated by Yue at Gusu 姑蘇 and commited suicide. The territory of Wu was incorporated into the kingdom of Yue.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 217.
Zhang Ke 張克, Huang Kangbo 黃康白, Huang Fangdong 黃方東, ed. (1991). Shiji renwu cidian 史記人物辭典 (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe), 139.
Zhuang Hanxin 莊漢新, Guo Juyuan 郭居園, ed. (1991). Zhongguo guji mingren da cidian 中國古今名人大辭典 (Beijing: Jingguan jiaoyu chubanshe), 34.