The Oboi Regency, 1661–1669

  • Harry Miller


The Shunzhi emperor was manipulated in death as well as in life. Practically before his corpse was cold, an imperial will was promulgated in his name, and although emperors’ last words were often ghostwritten by top ministers in those days, Shunzhi’s will was such a mea culpa that it is especially tempting to conjecture that it was fabricated by a group of people eager for a change of policy, and here, the finger of suspicion points to the regents themselves. It was not that there was anything controversial about the selection of Shunzhi’s six-year-old son, Xuanye, to be the succeeding Kangxi emperor, for Shunzhi had no adult children, and the boy was an obvious choice, having already survived the smallpox that claimed his father. Since a regency of some kind was inevitable, moreover, there was no reason at the time to disqualify Oboi, Suksaha, Ebilun, or Soni or even, in hindsight, to view the regents as having been latently hostile to Shunzhi. The events of February 1661 were no coup d’état.1


Corporal Punishment Local Official Corrupt Official Water Margin Early Qing Dynasty 
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© Harry Miller 2013

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