Six gentlemen of the Hundred Days' Reform

Six gentlemen of Wuxu
MembersTan Sitong
Lin Xu
Yang Rui
Yang Shenxiu
Liu Guangdi
Kang Guangren[1]
Beheaded in the order
  • Kang Guangren
  • Tan Sitong
  • Lin Xu
  • Yang Shenxiu
  • Yang Rui
  • Liu Guangdi

Six gentlemen of the Hundred Days' Reform[2] (Chinese: 戊戌六君子; pinyin: Wùxū liù jūnzǐ), also known as Six gentlemen of Wuxu,[3] were a group of six Chinese intellectuals whom the Empress Dowager Cixi had arrested and executed for their attempts to implement the Hundred Days' Reform. The most vocal and prominent member in the group of six was Tan Sitong. Kang Guangren was notable as the younger brother of the reformist leader Kang Youwei. These executions were a part of the large purge in which about 30 men were arrested, imprisoned, dismissed from office, or banished. In many cases the family members of these men were arrested as well.[4]

On September 21, 1898, after growing intolerance of the Guangxu Emperor's hundred days' reform, Cixi and Ronglu successfully attempted a coup d'état in which all substantive power was taken from the Guangxu Emperor and assumed by Ci Xi, and the six troublesome reformers influencing Guangxu were arrested.[5] The traditional view is that Cixi was the main instigator of these executions. However, evidence has surfaced that the conservative "Iron Hat" faction might have threatened her by having a Chinese-Muslim army close to Beijing.[6]


The six gentlemen stood trial on 28 September 1898, and were beheaded at Caishikou in Beijing without being tried by the Ministry of Justice.[7]

The six were beheaded in the following order: Kang Guangren (康广仁), Tan Sitong, Lin Xu, Yang Shenxiu (杨深秀), Yang Rui (杨锐), and Liu Guangdi.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "The Six gentlemen of Wuxu and Wuxu Reform" . 2018-11-09.
  2. ^ Kwok-wah Yip (2012). The Uniqueness of China's Development Model: 1842-2049 . World Scientific. pp. 189–. ISBN 978-981-4397-78-0.
  3. ^ Li Jiazhen (2005). The Trail of Rise and Fall . Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. ISBN 978-7-5600-4116-2.
  4. ^ Seagrave, Sterling, and Peggy Seagrave. Dragon Lady: The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of China. New York: Knopf, 1992. 239. Print.
  5. ^ "Six Gentlemen of the Hundred Days Reform - China culture" . Cultural China. Archived from the original on 21 December 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  6. ^ Seagrave, 238.
  7. ^ "Did the killing of the "Six Gentlemen of Wuxu" violate the legal procedures of the Qing Dynasty?" . The Paper. 2015-09-21.
  8. ^ Xinhua Digest . People's Publishing House. 2004. pp. 72–.

Categories: 1898 in China | Chinese reformers

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