Jiangnan or Jiang Nan is a geographic area in China referring to lands to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including the southern part of its delta. The region encompasses the city of Shanghai, the southern part of Jiangsu Province, the entire Zhejiang Province, the southeastern part of Anhui Province, the northern part of Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces; the most important cities in the area are Shanghai, Changzhou, Nanjing, Shaoxing, Wuxi and Fuzhou. Jiangnan has long been regarded as one of the most prosperous regions in China due to its wealth in natural resources and high human development. Most People of the region speak Jiangnan Wu Chinese dialects as their native languages; the word Jiangnan is based on the Chinese name for the Yangtze, Cháng Jiāng, nán meaning "south." In the 19th century, English speakers called it Keang-nan. The earliest archaeological evidences were of the Hemudu cultures; the Liangzhu culture, from around 2600-2000 BC, created complex and beautiful jade artifacts.
Their economy was based on rice cultivation and constructed houses on stilts over rivers or lakes. During the Zhou dynasty, the Wu and Baiyue peoples inhabited the area with heavy aquaculture and stilt houses, but became sinicized through contact with northern Chinese states, they created excellent bronze swords. The Chu state from the west defeated the Yue state. After Chu was conquered by the Qin state, China was unified, it was not until the fall of the Western Jin dynasty during the early 4th century AD that northern Chinese moved to Jiangnan in significant numbers. The Yellow River valley was becoming barren due to flooding and constant harassment and invasion by the Wu Hu nomads. Although Chinese civilization originated in the North China Plain around the Yellow River, natural climate change and continuous harassment from nomadic enemies damaged North China's agricultural productivity throughout the 1st millennium AD. Many people settled in South China, where the Jiangnan area's warm and wet climate were ideal for supporting agriculture and allowed sophisticated cities to arise.
As early as the Eastern Han dynasty, Jiangnan areas became one of the more economically prominent areas of China. Other than rice, Jiangnan produced profitable trade products such as tea and celadon porcelain. Convenient transportation – the Grand Canal to the north, the Yangtze River to the west, seaports such as Yangzhou – contributed to local trade and trade between ancient China and other nations. Several Chinese dynasties were based in Jiangnan. After the Qin Dynasty fell, the insurgent state of Chu took control, its ruler, Xiang Yu, was born here. During the Three Kingdoms period, Jianye was the capital of Eastern Wu. In the 3rd century, many northern Chinese moved here after nomadic groups controlled the north. In the 10th century, Wuyue was a small coastal kingdom founded by Qian Liu who made a lasting cultural impact on Jiangnan and its people to this day. After the Jurchen overran northern China in the Jin–Song war of the 1120s, the exiled Song dynasty government retreated south, establishing the new Southern Song capital at Hangzhou in 1127.
During the last years of the Yuan dynasty, Jiangnan was fought for by two major rebel states: Zhu Yuanzhang's Ming faction, based in Nanjing, the Suzhou-centered Wu faction led by Zhang Shicheng. A ten-year rivalry ended with Zhu's capture of Suzhou in 1367. Nanjing remained the capital of the Ming dynasty until the early 15th century, when the third Ming ruler, the Yongle Emperor, moved the capital to Beijing; when the Qing dynasty first took over China, Jiangnan's gentry offered resistance in the form of denying the ability to deal with taxes to the government. The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty made many visits to Jiangnan, which have been the popular subject of numerous Chinese operas and television dramas. Earlier, the Kangxi Emperor visited the region as well. During the 19th century Taiping Rebellion, the regime established by the Taiping rebels occupied much of Jiangnan and made Nanjing its capital; the area suffered much damage as the rebellion was quelled and Qing imperial rule restored.
After the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Chiang Kai-shek's Northern Expedition, the Republic of China, following the wishes of Sun Yat-sen, made Nanjing the national capital. From the late 1920s until the Second World War, the Jiangnan area was the focus of Chinese economic development. Much of the Kuomintang's ruling elite and the ROC's economic elite hailed from the Jiangnan area. Dialect has been used as a tool for regional identity and politics in the Jiangbei and Jiangnan regions. While the city of Yangzhou was a flourishing and prosperous center of trade, it was considered part of Jiangnan, known to be wealthy though Yangzhou was north of the Yangtze river. Once Yangzhou's wealth and prosperity began to wane, it was considered to be part of Jiangbei, the "backwater". After Yangzhou was removed from Jiangnan, its residents decided to replace Jianghuai Mandarin, the dialect of Yangzhou, with Taihu Wu dialects. In Jiangnan itself, m
Bu Zhi, courtesy name Zishan, was an official and military general of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. A scholar of humble background, he became a subordinate of the warlord Sun Quan in the late Eastern Han dynasty and rose through the ranks. Between 210 and 220, he served as the governor of the remote and restive Jiao Province in southern China. During the Battle of Xiaoting/Yiling of 221–222, he quelled local uprisings in Sun Quan's territories in southern Jing Province and maintained peace in the area. After Sun Quan became emperor in 229, Bu Zhi oversaw the Wu armed forces guarding the Wu–Shu border at Xiling for about 20 years. During this time, he gave advice to Sun Quan's first heir apparent, Sun Deng, spoke up for officials affected by Lü Yi's abuses of power. In 246, he died in office in the following year. Bu Zhi was known for being magnanimous and capable of putting up with indignities – these traits earned him much respect from many people, including his enemies.
He was able to project a calm and serious demeanour. However, the historian Pei Songzhi criticised Bu Zhi for supporting Sun Quan's fourth son Sun Ba in the succession struggle against Sun Quan's second heir apparent Sun He, added that this incident left a huge stain on Bu Zhi's good reputation. Bu Zhi was from Huaiyin County, Linhuai Commandery, around present-day Huai'an, Jiangsu, he traced his ancestry to an aristocrat of the Jin state in the Spring and Autumn period. As Yangshi's estate was located in an area called "Bu", his descendants adopted "Bu" as their family name. One of Yangshi's descendants was a disciple of Confucius. Sometime in the early Western Han dynasty, a certain General Bu received the peerage "Marquis of Huaiyin" from the emperor as a reward for his contributions in battle. Bu Zhi descended from this General Bu; when chaos broke out in central China towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, Bu Zhi fled south to the Jiangdong region to avoid trouble. Alone and penniless, he befriended one Wei Jing from Guangling Commandery, around the same age as him.
They farmed crops to feed themselves. Bu Zhi tirelessly diligently read books at night, he became well-read and well-versed in various arts and crafts. He was known for being magnanimous, deep thinking, able to put up with indignities. Bu Zhi and Wei Jing settled in Kuaiji Commandery, where they encountered an influential landlord, Jiao Zhengqiang, who allowed his retainers to behave lawlessly; as Bu Zhi and Wei Jing feared that Jiao Zhengqiang would seize the plot of land on which they farmed, they decided to offer him some of their produce as tribute. When they arrived at his residence, he was asleep. After some time, Wei Jing became impatient and wanted to leave, but Bu Zhi stopped him and said, "We came here because we feared he would seize our land. If we come here to visit him and leave without meeting him, he might think that we're insulting him and we'll only end up antagonising him." After a while, Jiao Zhengqiang woke up, saw them through the window, instructed his servants to lay mats on the ground for them to sit outside while he remained indoors.
Wei Jing was enraged but Bu Zhi remained calm and composed. When it was time for lunch, Jiao Zhengqiang feasted on tasty dishes and did not invite them to join him. Instead, he had scraps of food served to them in small bowls. Wei Jing, who received only vegetables and mushrooms, was so unhappy. In contrast, Bu Zhi finished all the food, they bid farewell to Jiao Zhengqiang and left. Wei Jing scolded Bu Zhi, "How can you put up with this?" Bu Zhi replied, "We're of lowly status. He treated us in a manner befitting our status. What's there to be ashamed of?" Sometime in the 200s, when the warlord Sun Quan held the nominal appointment General Who Attacks Barbarians, he recruited Bu Zhi to serve as his Chief Scribe, appointed him as the Chief of Haiyan County. After holding office in Haiyan County for a few years, Bu Zhi resigned, he travelled around the Wu territories with Zhuge Jin and Yan Jun. During this time, he earned himself a fine reputation as a learned man. In 209, Sun Quan was appointed as acting General of Chariots and Cavalry and acting Governor of Xu Province.
Bu Zhi returned to serve under Sun Quan as an Assistant in the East Bureau of the office of the General of Chariots and Cavalry and Assistant Officer in the Headquarters Office of the Governor of Xu Province. Sun Quan nominated Bu Zhi as a maocai. In 210, Sun Quan appointed Bu Zhi as the Administrator of Poyang Commandery. Within the same year, however, he promoted Bu Zhi to Inspector of Jiao Province. Bu Zhi was concurrently appointed General of the Household of Martial Establishment and put in charge of a military unit comprising over 1,000 elite archers for his mission to Jiao Province. Since the time of Emperor Ling, Jiao Province, being a remote province in the south, had posed serious problems for the Han central government; the locals, unwilling to submit to Han rule, had caused much trouble for their Han-appointed governors – two governors, Zhu Fu and Zhang Jin, were killed while in office. In the following year, Sun Quan granted Bu Zhi greater authority and promoted him to Gene
The chi is a traditional Chinese unit of length. Although it is translated as the "Chinese foot", its length was derived from the distance measured by a human hand, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the forefinger similar to the ancient Span, it first appeared during China's Shang dynasty 3000 years ago and has since been adopted by other East Asian cultures such as Japan and Vietnam. Its present value is standardized around one-third of a metre, although the exact standards vary among the mainland of the People's Republic of China, its special administrative region of Hong Kong, Taiwan. In its ancient and modern forms, the chi is divided into 10 smaller units known as cun. 10 chi are equal to 1 zhàng. In the People's Republic of China chi has been defined since 1984 as 1/3 of a metre, i.e. 331⁄3 cm. However, in the Hong Kong SAR the corresponding unit, pronounced chek in Cantonese, is defined as 0.371475 m. The two units are sometimes referred to in English as "Chinese foot" and "Hong Kong foot".
In Taiwan, chi is the same as i.e. 10⁄33 of a metre. The study of ancient rulers and other artifacts whose size in the contemporary chi was known allowed modern researchers to surmise that during the 2nd century BC to 3rd century AD the, the value of the chi varied between 23.1 and 24.3 cm. Earlier, during the Warring States era, the value of chi was the same, it is thought that the ancient Chinese astronomers used chi as an angular unit. In the 19th century, the value of the chi, depending on the part of the country and the application, varied between 31 and 36 cm. According to an 1864 British report, in most of China the chi used by engineers in public works was equal to 12.71 English inches, the surveyors' chi was 12.058 inches, while the value used for measuring distances was 12.17 inches. In Guangzhou, the chi used for local trade varied from 14.625 to 14.81 inches – i.e. close to the modern chek. The value fixed by a Sino-British treaty for the purposes of customs duties in Hong Kong was 14.1 inches.
Due to its long history and its widespread usage, chi has seen metaphorical usages in the Chinese language. For example, chi cun, a word made up of the units chi and cun, refers to the dimensions of an object, while the idiom "dé cùn jìn chǐ" means "extremely greedy". In informal use in China, chi is sometimes used to refer to the US or imperial foot
Hubei is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the Central China region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Dongting Lake; the provincial capital is Wuhan, a major transportation thoroughfare and the political and economic hub of Central China. Hubei is abbreviated to "鄂", an ancient name associated with the eastern part of the province since the State of E of the Western Zhou dynasty, while a popular name for Hubei is "楚", after the powerful State of Chu that existed in the area during the Eastern Zhou dynasty, it borders Henan to the north, Anhui to the east, Jiangxi to the southeast, Hunan to the south, Chongqing to the west, Shaanxi to the northwest. The high-profile Three Gorges Dam is located in the west of the province; the Hubei region was home to sophisticated Neolithic cultures. By the Spring and Autumn period, the territory of today's Hubei was part of the powerful State of Chu. Chu was nominally a tributary state of the Zhou dynasty, it was itself an extension of the Chinese civilization that had emerged some centuries before in the north.
During the Warring States period Chu became the major adversary of the upstart State of Qin to the northwest, which began to assert itself by outward expansionism. As wars between Qin and Chu ensued, Chu lost more and more land: first its dominance over the Sichuan Basin its heartland, which correspond to modern Hubei. In 223 BC Qin chased down the remnants of the Chu regime, which had fled eastwards, as part of Qin's bid for the conquest of all China. Qin founded the Qin dynasty in the first unified state in the region. Qin was succeeded by the Han dynasty in 206 BC, which established the province of Jingzhou in what is now Hubei and Hunan; the Qin and Han played an active role in the agricultural colonization of Hubei, maintaining a system of river dikes to protect farmland from summer floods. Towards the end of the Han dynasty in the beginning of the 3rd century, Jingzhou was ruled by regional warlord Liu Biao. After his death, Liu Biao's realm was surrendered by his successors to Cao Cao, a powerful warlord who had conquered nearly all of north China.
Liu Bei took control of Jingzhou. The incursion of northern nomadic peoples into the region at the beginning of the 4th century began nearly three centuries of division into a nomad-ruled north and a Han Chinese-ruled south. Hubei, to the South, remained under southern rule for this entire period, until the unification of China by the Sui dynasty in 589. In 617 the Tang dynasty replaced Sui, on the Tang dynasty placed what is now Hubei under several circuits: Jiangnanxi Circuit in the south. After the Tang dynasty disintegrated in the 10th century, Hubei came under the control of several regional regimes: Jingnan in the center, Wu to the east, the Five Dynasties to the north; the Song dynasty reunified the region in 982 and placed most of Hubei into Jinghubei Circuit, a longer version of Hubei's current name. Mongols conquered the region in 1279, under their rule the province of Huguang was established, covering Hubei and parts of Guangdong and Guangxi. During the Mongol rule, in 1334, Hubei was devastated by an outbreak of the Black Death, striking England and Italy by June 1348, which according to Chinese sources spread during the following three centuries to decimate populations throughout Eurasia.
The Ming dynasty drove out the Mongols in 1368. Their version of Huguang province was smaller, corresponded entirely to the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan combined. While Hubei was geographically removed from the centers of the Ming power. During the last years of the Ming, today's Hubei was ravaged several times by the rebel armies of Zhang Xianzhong and Li Zicheng; the Manchu Qing dynasty which had much of the region in 1644, soon split Huguang into the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan. The Qing dynasty, continued to maintain a Viceroy of Huguang, one of the most well-known being Zhang Zhidong, whose modernizing reforms made Hubei into a prosperous center of commerce and industry; the Huangshi/Daye area, south-east of Wuhan, became an important center of metallurgy. In 1911 the Wuchang Uprising took place in modern-day Wuhan, overthrowing the Qing dynasty and establishing the Republic of China. In 1927 Wuhan became the seat of a government established by left-wing elements of the Kuomintang, led by Wang Jingwei.
During World War II the eastern parts of Hubei were conquered and occupied by Japan while the western parts remained under Chinese control. During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, Wuhan saw fighting between rival Red Guard factions. In July 1967, civil strife struck the city in the Wuhan Incident, an armed conflict between two hostile groups who were fighting for control over the city at the height of the Cultural Revolution; as the fears of a nuclear war increased during the time of Sino-Soviet border conflicts in the late 1960s, t
The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han Chinese" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters", it was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han, interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods: the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han; the emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came from the scholarly gentry class; the Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies, a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms.
These kingdoms lost all vestiges of their independence following the Rebellion of the Seven States. From the reign of Emperor Wu onward, the Chinese court sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of scholars such as Dong Zhongshu; this policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 AD. The Han dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty; the coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty. The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations. To finance its military campaigns and the settlement of newly conquered frontier territories, the Han government nationalized the private salt and iron industries in 117 BC, but these government monopolies were repealed during the Eastern Han dynasty. Science and technology during the Han period saw significant advances, including the process of papermaking, the nautical steering ship rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum that could be used to discern the cardinal direction of distant earthquakes.
The Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior and vassal partner, but continued their military raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu launched several military campaigns against them; the ultimate Han victory in these wars forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries. These campaigns expanded Han sovereignty into the Tarim Basin of Central Asia, divided the Xiongnu into two separate confederations, helped establish the vast trade network known as the Silk Road, which reached as far as the Mediterranean world; the territories north of Han's borders were overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Emperor Wu launched successful military expeditions in the south, annexing Nanyue in 111 BC and Dian in 109 BC, in the Korean Peninsula where the Xuantu and Lelang Commanderies were established in 108 BC. After 92 AD, the palace eunuchs involved themselves in court politics, engaging in violent power struggles between the various consort clans of the empresses and empresses dowager, causing the Han's ultimate downfall.
Imperial authority was seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion. Following the death of Emperor Ling, the palace eunuchs suffered wholesale massacre by military officers, allowing members of the aristocracy and military governors to become warlords and divide the empire; when Cao Pi, King of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, the Han dynasty ceased to exist. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty the hegemon Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as prince of the small fief of Hanzhong, named after its location on the Han River. Following Liu Bang's victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief. China's first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty; the Qin unified the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their empire became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Within four years, the dynasty's authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion.
Two former rebel leaders, Xiang Yu of Chu and Liu Bang of Han, engaged in a war to decide who would become hegemon of China, which had fissured into 18 kingdoms, each claiming allegiance to either Xiang Yu or Liu Bang. Although Xiang Yu proved to be a capable commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia, in modern-day Anhui. Liu Bang assumed the title "emperor" at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu. Chang'an was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han. At the beginning of the Western Han known as the Former Han dynasty, thirteen centrally controlled commanderies—including the capital region—existed in the western third of the empire, while the eastern two-thirds were divided into ten semi-autonomous kingdoms. To placate his prominent commanders from the war with Chu, Emperor Gaozu enfeoffed some of them as kings. By 157 BC, the Han court h
Emperor Xian of Han
Emperor Xian of Han, personal name Liu Xie, courtesy name Bohe, was the 14th and last emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty in China. He reigned from 28 September 189 until 11 December 220. Liu Xie was a younger half-brother of his predecessor, Liu Bian. In 189, at the age of eight, he became emperor after the warlord Dong Zhuo, who had seized control of the Han central government, deposed Emperor Shao and replaced him with Liu Xie; the newly enthroned Liu Xie known as Emperor Xian, was in fact a puppet ruler under Dong Zhuo's control. In 190, when a coalition of regional warlords launched a punitive campaign against Dong Zhuo in the name of freeing Emperor Xian, Dong Zhuo ordered the destruction of the imperial capital and forcefully relocated the imperial capital along with its residents to Chang'an. After Dong Zhuo's assassination in 192, Emperor Xian fell under the control of Li Jue and Guo Si, two former subordinates of Dong Zhuo; the various regional warlords formally acknowledged Emperor Xian's legitimacy but never took action to save him from being held hostage.
In 195, Emperor Xian managed to escape from Chang'an and return to the ruins of Luoyang, where he soon became stranded. A year the warlord Cao Cao led his forces into Luoyang, received Emperor Xian, took him under his protection, escorted him to Xu, where the new imperial capital was established. Although Cao Cao paid nominal allegiance to Emperor Xian, he was the de facto head of the central government, he skillfully used Emperor Xian as a "trump card" to bolster his legitimacy when he attacked and eliminated rival warlords in his quest to reunify the Han Empire under the central government's rule. Cao Cao's success seemed inevitable until the winter of 208–209, when he lost the decisive Battle of Red Cliffs against the southern warlords Sun Quan and Liu Bei; the battle paved the way for the subsequent emergence of the Three Kingdoms later. In late 220, some months after Cao Cao's death, Cao Cao's successor, Cao Pi, forced Emperor Xian to abdicate the throne to him, he established the state of Cao Wei with himself as the new emperor – an event marking the formal end of the Han dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China.
The dethroned Emperor Xian received the noble title Duke of Shanyang from Cao Pi and spent the rest of his life in comfort and enjoyed preferential treatment. He died on 21 April 234, about 14 years after the fall of the Han dynasty. Liu Xie was born in 181 to his Consort Wang. During her pregnancy, Consort Wang, fearful of Emperor Ling's Empress He, had taken drugs that were intended to induce an abortion, but was not successful in her attempt. Soon after she gave birth to Liu Xie, the jealous Empress He poisoned her by putting poison in her food. Emperor Ling was enraged and wanted to depose her, but the eunuchs pleaded on her behalf, she was not deposed. Liu Xie was raised by Emperor Ling's mother Empress Dowager Dong and known by the circumspect title "Marquis Dong".. Liu Bian was born of the empress and was older, but Emperor Ling viewed his behaviour as being insufficiently solemn and therefore considered appointing Liu Xie as his crown prince, but hesitated and could not decide; when Emperor Ling died in 189, an influential eunuch official whom he trusted, Jian Shuo, wanted to first kill Empress He's brother, General-in-Chief He Jin, install Liu Xie on the throne, therefore set up a trap at a meeting he was to have with He Jin.
He Jin found out, preemptively declared Liu Bian the new emperor. That year, Emperor Shao granted Liu Xie the title "Prince of Bohai" and changed his title to "Prince of Chenliu". After Liu Bian became emperor, He Jin became the most powerful official in the imperial court, he and his advisor Yuan Shao entered into a conspiracy to exterminate the eunuchs, they were, rebuffed by Empress Dowager He, they hatched the plan to secretly order a number of warlords to advance on the capital Luoyang to force Empress Dowager He to agree to their demands. One of these warlords was Dong Zhuo, who saw this as an opportunity to control the central government, he Jin's plan was discovered by the eunuchs, who laid a trap for him and killed him. Yuan Shao led his forces into the palace and killed the majority of the eunuchs; the remaining eunuchs took the young emperor and Liu Xie hostage, but were forced to commit suicide when the battle turned against them. When Dong Zhuo arrived on scene, he, impressed with his own power and unimpressed with the nervous Emperor Shao, forced the young emperor to yield the throne to Liu Xie, who ascended the throne as Emperor Xian.
Dong Zhuo murdered Empress Dowager He and the former Emperor Shao, became in control of the political scene. In the spring of 190, a number of local officials, loosely forming a coalition led by Yuan Shao rose up against Dong Zhuo. Though they still feared Dong Zhuo's military power and did not directly advance on Luoyang, Dong Zhuo was fearful of their collective strength, therefore determined to move the capital west to the old Han capital Chang'an, closer to his power base in Liang Province. On 9 April 190, he forced Emperor Xian to relocate to Chang'an and set fire to Luoyang, leaving it in ru
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of China. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiangxi to the west, Fujian to the south. To the east is the East China Sea, beyond which lie the Ryukyu Islands of Japan; the province's name derives from the Zhe River, the former name of the Qiantang River which flows past Hangzhou and whose mouth forms Hangzhou Bay. It is understood as meaning "Crooked" or "Bent River", from the meaning of Chinese 折, but is more a phono-semantic compound formed from adding 氵 to phonetic 折, preserving a proto-Wu name of the local Yue, similar to Yuhang and Jiang. Kuahuqiao culture was an early Neolithic culture that flourished in the Hangzhou area in 6,000-5,000 BC. Zhejiang was the site of the Neolithic cultures of the Liangzhu; the area of modern Zhejiang was outside the major sphere of influence of the Shang civilization during the second millennium BC. Instead, this area was populated by peoples collectively known as the Ouyue.
The kingdom of Yue began to appear in the chronicles and records written during the Spring and Autumn period. According to the chronicles, the kingdom of Yue was in northern Zhejiang. Shiji claims; the "Song of the Yue Boatman" was transliterated into Chinese and recorded by authors in north China or inland China of Hebei and Henan around 528 BC. The song shows that the Yue people spoke a language, mutually unintelligible with the dialects spoken in north and inland China; the Sword of Goujian bears bird-worm seal script. Yuenü was a swordswoman from the state of Yue. To check the growth of the kingdom of Wu, Chu pursued a policy of strengthening Yue. Under King Goujian, Yue recovered from its early reverses and annexed the lands of its rival in 473 BC; the Yue kings moved their capital center from their original home around Mount Kuaiji in present-day Shaoxing to the former Wu capital at present-day Suzhou. With no southern power to turn against Yue, Chu opposed it directly and, in 333 BC, succeeded in destroying it.
Yue's former lands were annexed by the Qin Empire in 222 BC and organized into a commandery named for Kuaiji in Zhejiang but headquartered in Wu in Jiangsu. Kuaiji Commandery was the initial power base for Xiang Liang and Xiang Yu's rebellion against the Qin Empire which succeeded in restoring the kingdom of Chu but fell to the Han. Under the Later Han, control of the area returned to the settlement below Mount Kuaiji but authority over the Minyue hinterland was nominal at best and its Yue inhabitants retained their own political and social structures. At the beginning of the Three Kingdoms era, Zhejiang was home to the warlords Yan Baihu and Wang Lang prior to their defeat by Sun Ce and Sun Quan, who established the Kingdom of Wu. Despite the removal of their court from Kuaiji to Jianye, they continued development of the region and benefitted from influxes of refugees fleeing the turmoil in northern China. Industrial kilns were established and trade reached as far as Manchuria and Funan. Zhejiang was part of the Wu during the Three Kingdoms.
Wu known as Eastern Wu or Sun Wu, had been the economically most developed state among the Three Kingdoms. The historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms records that Zhejiang had the best-equipped, strong navy force; the story depicts how the states of Wei and Shu, lack of material resources, avoided direct confrontation with the Wu. In armed military conflicts with Wu, the two states relied intensively on tactics of camouflage and deception to steal Wu's military resources including arrows and bows. Despite the continuing prominence of Nanjing, the settlement of Qiantang, the former name of Hangzhou, remained one of the three major metropolitan centers in the south to provide major tax revenue to the imperial centers in the north China; the other two centers in the south were Chengdu. In 589, Qiantang was renamed Hangzhou. Following the fall of Wu and the turmoil of the Wu Hu uprising against the Jin dynasty, most of elite Chinese families had collaborated with the non-Chinese rulers and military conquerors in the north.
Some may have lost social privilege, took refugee in areas south to Yangtze River. Some of the Chinese refugees from north China might have resided in areas near Hangzhou. For example, the clan of Zhuge Liang, a chancellor of the state of Shu Han from Central Plain in north China during the Three Kingdoms period, gathered together at the suburb of Hangzhou, forming an exclusive, closed village Zhuge Village, consisting of villagers all with family name "Zhuge"; the village has intentionally isolated itself from the surrounding communities for centuries to this day, only came to be known in public. It suggests that a small number of powerful, elite Chinese refugees from the Central Plain might have taken refugee in south of the Yangtze River. However, considering the mountainous geography and relative lack of agrarian lands in Zhejiang, most of these refugees might have resided in some areas in south China beyond Zhejiang, where fertile agrarian lands and metropolitan resources were available southern Jiangsu, eastern Fujian, Hunan and provinces where less cohesive, organized r