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Lady Bu (Bù fūrén 步夫人) was a concubine of Sun Quan 孫權, the founding emperor of Wu.

Records of the Three Kingdoms biographyEdit

 Lady Bu, wife of the Ruler of Wu, [Sun] Quan 孫權, was a native of Huaiyin county and belonged to the lineage as [Bu] Zhi 步騭, a chancellor of Wu. At the closing years of Later Han, her mother was about to take refuge in Lujiang commandery with her, but Sun Ce 孫策 had stormed it, so they had to cross the Yangtze river eastwards. Endowed with a good looking, she was so favoured by Sun Quan that no concubine could overshine her. She bore Sun Quan two daughers: the elder daughter was named Luban 魯班, styled Dahu 大虎 (“Big Tiger”), who first bethrothed to the son of Zhou Yu 周瑜, Zhou Xun 周循 and later was bethrothed to Quan Zong 全琮; the second daughter was named Luyu 魯育, styled Xiaohu 小虎 (“Little Tiger”), who first was bethrothed to Zhu Ju 朱據 and later was betrothed to Liu Zuan 劉纂.[1]

[1] Wu li 吳歷 states: “[Liu] Zuan first married Sun Quan’s middle daughter, but but she died early, Therefore, he took Xiaohu as his second wife.”

 Lady Bu was born not to be eaten up by jealousy and encouraged Sun Quan [to promote others] many a time, which won her favour for a long time. When Sun Quan proclaimed himself as a king and as an emperor, he wanted to establish her as a queen and an empress, only to be met with opposition from vassals who petitioned Lady Xu 徐氏 as an acceptable one. Therefore Sun Quan had to leave his desire unsatisfied for more than 10 years. However within the palace everyone called Lady Bu “empress”, and relatives who sent memorials to her addressed her as “Within the Palace”. Upon Lady Bu’s death, vassals sensing Sun Quan’s desire petitioned to honor her as a posthumous empress with seal and ribbon. The conferment read:

The first day of the second month of the first year of Chiwu 赤烏, the Emperor [Sun Quan] addressed:[n 1] Alas, weep for my Empress, who sided with me by Heaven’s mandate to dominate the realm. She toiled day and night like me with reverence and devotion. She bored herself dignified with the due consideration of propriety. She was so tolerant and virtuous that the officials and the populace gave unqualified admiration and the subjects far and nigh tendered their allegiance. I failed to give her the befitting title in time just because at the time when the whole country was convulsed with rebellions and because she was too noble and modest to mind the status. I expected her to enjoy a long life and to receive the Heaven’s blessings with me, only to be met with her sudden death. Now I regret acutely that I failed to realize my timely wishes. Now she is dead and can not enjoy Heaven’s blessings. Alas, I weep for her in spite of myself. Now I send an envoy with credentials to confer posthumously Marquis of Liling upon the former minister, Gu Yong 顧雍, who will receive seasonal sacrifices like her. May her spirit feel such honor. Alas!

 Lady Bu was buried in the Jiang Tumulus (Jiǎnglíng 蔣陵).

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. GJCM notes: the reign title Chiwu was from 238-251. Chiwu means “Red Crow”.
  • In Records of the Three Kingdoms the Lady is called only Lady Bu. In another work, the Jiankang shilu 建康實錄 (Veritable Records of Jiankang) by Tang dynasty (618-907) scholar Xu Song 許嵩, we also find the name Lianshi 練師.
    Xu Song lived about the time of Tang Emperor Suzong 唐肅宗 (reign 756-762).

SourcesEdit

  • Chen Shou 陳壽 (233–297). Sanguo zhi 三國志 “Records of the Three Kingdoms”, with official commentary compiled by Pei Songzhi 裴松之 (372-451).

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