Huang Chao

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Huang Ch’ao


Died 884. A leader (874–84) of the Peasant War of 874–884 in China.

Huang Ch’ao was the son of a rich salt merchant. The peasant uprising, which he and Wang Hsien-chih led jointly from 875 to 878, began in the southern part of present-day Shantung Province and spread throughout the area between the Huang Ho and the Yangtze. After the death of Wang Hsien-chih in 878, Huang Ch’ao assumed complete leadership of the uprising.

Huang Ch’ao began his famous campaign in the south in 878, and in 879 he occupied the city of Canton. In the autumn of that year he turned north. In January 881 he took the capital of the T’ang Empire, the city of Ch’angan (now Sian), where he proclaimed himself emperor of the Great Ch’i state. The Chinese feudal lords called on foreigners of the Shato tribe to help combat the rebels. The forces of the feudal lords drove Huang Ch’ao from Ch’angan in 883, and he subsequently committed suicide.