Wāng Ānshí 1021-1086

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A native of Linchuan in Jiangxi. A strange man. In spite of urging of leaders like Ouyang Xiu to come to a position in the capital Kaifeng, Wang took only provincial posts saying that he could live more more easily there. However he was just biding his time, with plans of his own.

In 1069 he got his chance and was appointed prime minister and initiatiated controversial reforms. He retired ten years later turning the reigns of government over to his supporters who instigated some draconian methods to eliminate their opponents. Not only did they exile their enemies, they had the name sof these men caved in stone and placed on mountains in China to make certain that their reputations would be blackened forever.

(As a lover of the poetry and the man Su Dongpo, it is difficult for me to find much in Wang's character to like! Prejudiced I remain)

1021 Born Jiangsi
1038 passed jinshi exam
1042 served in Kaifeng
1042-1045 Yangzhou
1047-1049 Chenxian, Zhejiang
1051-1054 Suzhou, Anhui
1054-1056 Kaifeng
1057-1058 Changzhou, Jiangsu
1058-1060 judicial attendant in Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang
1060-1064 in capital, Kaifeng
1063 mother died
1070-1074 Chief Councilor
1074 resigned
1075-1076 returned as Chief Councilor
( in his last year in power a victory against an Annamese invasion)
1076 retired to Nanjing
1086 died

The image that has been passed down of his mature character is one of integrity, persistence carried to the point of stubbornness, lofty ambition, and personal eccentricity.

Brocade Valley 錦繡谷
Mooring at Guazhou 泊 船 瓜 州
North Mountain 北山
On Mountain Valley Temple's Old Stone Ox Cave 題舒州山谷寺石牛古洞
Summitting Feilaifeng 登飛來峰
Viewing Waterfall 觀瀑
Written on Mister Lakeshade's Wall 書湖陰先生壁

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