An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Yang Hu 陽虎

Oct 20, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Yang Hu 陽虎, courtesy name Hua 貨, was a retainer of the noble Jisun family 季孫 in the regional state of Lu 魯 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE).

Yang Hu was regent of Lu from 504 to 502, after he had attacked the residence of Duke Zhao of Lu 魯昭公 (r. 542-510) in Yun 鄆 (modern Yuncheng 鄆城, Shandong).

When his lord Ji Pingzi 季平子 died, Yang Hu broke with Ji Pingzi's son Ji Huanzi 季桓子, killed his retainer Gong He Miao 公何藐 and expelled Gong Fu Xie 公父歇 from Lu. He resided in Yangguan 陽關 (near modern Tai'an 泰安, Shandong) and controled all political affairs in Lu.

In this powerful position, he planned in 502 to extirpate the Three Huan 三桓, the families Jisun 季孫, Zhongsun 仲孫 and Shusun 叔孫. Yang Hu secretly plotted with Ji Wu 季寤 and Shusun Zhe 叔孫輒, two family members that were not very highly credited with the family heads Ji Huanzi and Shusun Wushu 叔孫武叔 (Shusun Zhouchou 叔孫州仇) and ordered them to kill their masters. Yang Hu himself planned to replace Zhongsun Heji 仲孫何忌 (Meng Yizi 孟懿子).

The attempted murder failed, and the Three Huan attacked Yang Hu with their private armies. Yang Hu was defeated at Juhuan 據讙 (modern Ningyang 寧陽, Shandong).

A year later, the ducal troops forced Yang Hu to flee to the state of Qi 齊. Yang Hu later on moved to Jin 晉, where he became a retainer of Zhao Yang 趙鞅 (Zhao Jianzi 趙簡子).

Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, ed. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 387.