Confucian values deemed it vital for the emperor, seen as heaven’s representative on Earth, to produce a direct male heir to maintain harmony between heaven and Earth.

How men became eunuchs to serve in imperial China’s Forbidden City

  • An army of eunuchs was attached to the Forbidden City, primarily to safeguard the imperial women’s chastity
  • Poverty, punishment and coercion were among the reasons why men ended up facing the ‘knifer’
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Confucian values deemed it vital for the emperor, seen as heaven’s representative on Earth, to produce a direct male heir to maintain harmony between heaven and Earth.
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Marcelo Duhalde

Marcelo Duhalde

Marcelo Duhalde joined the Post as its infographic designer in 2016, having worked previously as the deputy infographic editor at the Times of Oman. Duhalde has won more than 50 Society for News Design awards, 12 Malofiej medals, one Peter Sullivana's best of show (2015) and four gold medals at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers awards. His work has been published in several books, magazines, and infographic and data visualisation websites in Europe, Asia and the Americas.