46 Facts About Koxinga


Zheng Chenggong, Prince of Yanping, better known internationally as Koxinga, was a Ming loyalist general who resisted the Qing conquest of China in the 17th century, fighting them on China's southeastern coast.


In 1661, Koxinga defeated the Dutch outposts on Taiwan and established a dynasty, the House of Koxinga, which ruled part of the island as the Kingdom of Tungning from 1661 to 1683.


Koxinga was raised there until the age of seven with the Japanese name Fukumatsu and then moved to Fujian province of Ming dynasty China.


In 1641, Koxinga married the niece of Dong Yangxian, an official who was a Jinshi from Hui'an.


In 1644, Koxinga studied at the Guozijian, where he met the scholar Qian Qianyi and became his student.


In 1646, Koxinga first led the Ming armies to resist the Manchu invaders and won the favor of the Longwu Emperor.


Koxinga operated outside Xiamen and recruited many to join his cause in a few months.


Koxinga used the superiority of his naval forces to launch amphibious raids on Manchu-occupied territory in Fujian and he managed to take Tong'an in Quanzhou prefecture in early 1647.


However, Koxinga's forces lacked the ability to defend the newly occupied territory.


Koxinga did not follow her husband to surrender to the Qing dynasty.


Koxinga was caught by Manchu forces in Anping and committed suicide after refusal to submit to the enemy, according to traditional accounts.


Koxinga pledged allegiance to the Yongli Emperor of Southern Ming.


Koxinga had a series of military successes in 1651 and 1652 that increased the Qing government's anxiety over the threat he posed.


Koxinga had sent one of his naval commanders to capture Zhoushan island prior to Jidu's attack, and now that the Manchus were temporarily without an effective naval force in the Fujian area, Koxinga was free to send a huge army to Zhoushan, which he intended to use as a base to capture Nanjing.


Koxinga's forces were defeated and slipped back to the ships which had brought them.


In 1661, Koxinga led his troops on a landing at Lakjemuyse to attack the Dutch colonists in Dutch Formosa.


Koxinga then devoted himself to transforming Taiwan into a military base for loyalists who wanted to restore the Ming dynasty.


Koxinga formulated a plan to give oxen and farming tools and teach farming techniques to the Taiwan Aboriginals, giving them Ming gowns and caps, and gifting tobacco to Aboriginals who were gathering in crowds to meet and welcome him as he visited their villages after he defeated the Dutch.


In 1662, Koxinga's forces raided several towns in the Philippines.


Koxinga's chief advisor was an Italian friar named Vittorio Riccio, whom he sent to Manila to demand tribute from the colonial government of the Spanish East Indies, threatening to expel the Spaniards if his demands were not met.


Koxinga's threat to invade the islands and expel the Spanish was an important factor in the Spanish failure to conquer the Muslim Moro people in Mindanao.


The title of Koxinga was one that Zheng himself used during his lifetime to emphasize his status as an adopted son of the deposed imperial house, so it was a declaration of ongoing support to the Ming dynasty.


In contrast, Koxinga's father Zheng Zhilong left his Japanese wife not long after the birth of his son; Koxinga was a boy of seven when he finally joined his father on the Fujianese coast.


Zheng Zhilong's defection to the Qing must have seemed opportunistic and in stark contrast to Koxinga's continued loyalty to the Ming.


Koxinga's son Zheng Chouyu was born in Shandong in mainland China and called himself a "child of the resistance" against Japan and he became a refugee during the war, moving from place to place across China to avoid the Japanese.


Koxinga moved to Taiwan in 1949 and focuses his poetry work on building stronger ties between Taiwan and mainland China.


Koxinga felt alienated after he was forced to move to Taiwan in 1949 which was previously under Japanese rule and felt strange and foreign to him.


In 1661, during the Siege of Fort Zeelandia, Koxinga executed Dutch missionary Antonius Hambroek and took his teenage daughter as a concubine.


Koxinga, importantly, was mentally unstable, known to have a vicious temper and tendency towards ordering executions.


Vittorio Riccio, a Dominican missionary who knew Koxinga, noted that Koxinga held samurai ideals on bravery, used "feigned and hearty laughter" to show anger, and adhered to bushido because of his samurai training and his Japanese upbringing.


One Spanish missionary proffered a personal opinion that his bad temper and reported propensity for violence was due to Japanese heritage; however, this same missionary's account of the number of executions attributed to Koxinga was greatly exaggerated.


Koxinga suffered from "depressive insanity" and mental illness according to Dr Li Yengyue.


Koxinga's legacy is treated similarly on each side of the Taiwan Strait.


Koxinga is worshiped as a god in coastal China, especially Fujian, by overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and in Taiwan.


Koxinga's army brought the Qinxi fraternal brotherhood into Taiwan, of which some of his army were members of the organization.


The Qing built a shrine to commemorate Koxinga to counteract the Japanese and French in Taiwan in the 19th century.


Koxinga has received renewed attention since rumors began circulating that the People's Liberation Army Navy were planning to name their newly acquired aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag, the "Shi Lang".


Koxinga is regarded as a hero in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and Japan, but historical narratives regarding Koxinga frequently differ in explaining his motives and affiliation.


On mainland China, Koxinga is honoured as the "Conqueror of Taiwan, Great Rebel-Quelling General" a military hero who brought Taiwan back within the Han Chinese sphere of influence through expanded economic, trade and cultural exchanges.


In China, Koxinga is honoured without the religious overtones found in Taiwan.


In Taiwan, Koxinga is honored as the island's most respected saint for expelling the Dutch and seen as the original ancestor of a free Taiwan, and is known as Kaishan Shengwang, or "the Sage King who Opened up Taiwan" and as "The Yanping Prince", referring to the Kingdom of Tungning, which he established in modern-day Tainan.


In Taiwan, Koxinga is remembered and revered as a divine national hero with hundreds of temples, schools, tertiary educations, and other public centers named in his honor.


Koxinga is accredited with replacing Dutch colonial rule with a more modern political system.


Furthermore, Koxinga transformed Taiwan into an agrarian society through the introduction of new agricultural methods such as the proliferation of iron farming tools and new farming methods with cattle.


In mainland China, Koxinga is considered a positive historical but human figure.


Furthermore, Koxinga facilitated the settlement of a large number of Han Chinese to Taiwan who brought with them their Han cultures, traditions, and languages.