Only the emperor was seated during the five or so hours he held court every day with his ministers, shown in “Remonstrating with the Emperor”, a late 15th century to early 16th century work by Liu Jun. Photo: Heritage Images via Getty Images Only the emperor was seated during the five or so hours he held court every day with his ministers, shown in “Remonstrating with the Emperor”, a late 15th century to early 16th century work by Liu Jun. Photo: Heritage Images via Getty Images
Only the emperor was seated during the five or so hours he held court every day with his ministers, shown in “Remonstrating with the Emperor”, a late 15th century to early 16th century work by Liu Jun. Photo: Heritage Images via Getty Images
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

‘Work from home’ for Chinese emperors wasn’t as fun as you might think: a Qing dynasty ruler’s day

  • A typical day for a Qing emperor began with predawn ablutions, followed by morning lessons, greeting his mother and finally breakfast – all before 7am
  • Post-lunch hours were easier, when could he pursue hobbies such as reading, painting or writing bad poetry, before summoning a consort to ‘ready him for bed’

Only the emperor was seated during the five or so hours he held court every day with his ministers, shown in “Remonstrating with the Emperor”, a late 15th century to early 16th century work by Liu Jun. Photo: Heritage Images via Getty Images Only the emperor was seated during the five or so hours he held court every day with his ministers, shown in “Remonstrating with the Emperor”, a late 15th century to early 16th century work by Liu Jun. Photo: Heritage Images via Getty Images
Only the emperor was seated during the five or so hours he held court every day with his ministers, shown in “Remonstrating with the Emperor”, a late 15th century to early 16th century work by Liu Jun. Photo: Heritage Images via Getty Images
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Wee Kek Koon

Wee Kek Koon

Having lived his whole life in the modern cities of Singapore and Hong Kong, Wee Kek Koon has an inexplicable fascination with the past. He is constantly amazed by how much he can mine from China's history for his weekly column in Post Magazine, which he has written since 2005.