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Random Notes on Wu Zixu

YE Wen-xian(Dept. of History and Sociology, USTS, Suzhou 215009 )  
Wu Zixu was a loyal minister of the State of Wu, but was put to death by the emperor Fu Cai. When his kingdom was later attacked by the State of Yue, the emperor realized that he had wronged Wu Zixu. So he built up a temple in his memeory. People of the two countries worshipped Wu Zixu as a god of rivers and seas for fear that he might haunt them as a ghost of the wronged. It is true that Wu Zixu had great achievements to his credit in building up the capital city and in a war against the State of Chu. But as a refugee from Chu, he avenged himself and his family by leading the enemy troops to invade his own motherland, burning, killing, looting and raping. He was even savage enough to whip the dead bodies of his enemies. His such conducts evoke only criticism and condemnation.
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