The Northern Zhou followed the Western Wei, and ruled northern China from 557 to 581. The last of the Northern Dynasties of Chinas Northern and Southern dynasties period, like Western Wei and the Northern Wei dynasty that preceded it, the Northern Zhou states rulers were members of the Tuoba clan of the Xianbei. Northern Zhous basis of power was established by Yuwen Tai, who was paramount general of Western Wei, following the split of Northern Wei into Western Wei and Eastern Wei in 535. After Yuwen Tais death in 556, Yuwen Tais nephew Yuwen Hu forced Emperor Gong of Western Wei to yield the throne to Yuwen Tais son Yuwen Jue, establishing Northern Zhou. The reigns of the first three emperors – Emperor Xiaomin, Emperor Ming, and Emperor Wu were dominated by Yuwen Hu, until Emperor Wu ambushed and killed Yuwen Hu in 572 and assumed power personally. With Emperor Wu as a ruler, Northern Zhou destroyed rival Northern Qi in 577. However, Emperor Wus death in 578 doomed the state, as his son Emperor Xuan was an arbitrary, the imperial Yuwen clan, including the young Emperor Jing, was subsequently slaughtered by Yang Jian. The area was known as Guannei 關內, the Northern Zhou drew upon the Zhou dynasty for inspiration. The Northern Zhou military included Han Chinese
Northern Zhou territories in light blue
Northern Zhou dish inspired by Western metalwork, 557-581.