A portrait of the Jiajing Emperor (1521-1567) of the Ming dynasty, who survived a bizarre assassination attempt in 1542. A portrait of the Jiajing Emperor (1521-1567) of the Ming dynasty, who survived a bizarre assassination attempt in 1542.
A portrait of the Jiajing Emperor (1521-1567) of the Ming dynasty, who survived a bizarre assassination attempt in 1542.
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

If Haiti president’s assassination is a puzzle, how about when Chinese imperial palace maids tried to kill an emperor in his sleep?

  • In 1542, led by one Yang Jinying, more than a dozen palace maids attempted to strangle the Ming dynasty’s Jiajing Emperor while he slept
  • In the ensuing scuffle, a panic-stricken maid ran to report the attack to the empress, who came to the emperor’s rescue with armed guards

A portrait of the Jiajing Emperor (1521-1567) of the Ming dynasty, who survived a bizarre assassination attempt in 1542. A portrait of the Jiajing Emperor (1521-1567) of the Ming dynasty, who survived a bizarre assassination attempt in 1542.
A portrait of the Jiajing Emperor (1521-1567) of the Ming dynasty, who survived a bizarre assassination attempt in 1542.
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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.