Shaoxing Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Televison and Tourism

The Story of Goujian, King of the State of Yue

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Gou Jian (520 B.C. —465 B.C. ), was the emperor of the State of Yue in the late Spring and Autumn Period. In the year B.C.496, emperor Gou Jian took over the throne, and defeated the army of the State of Wu. Two years later, Gou Jian was defeated by Wu and surrendered. Gou Jian and his wife became the captives and were released to return home three years later.

In front of Shaoxing Jishan Middle School, there is a river nearly ten steps wide. It is famous in history. 2500 years ago, the day before the battle against Wu, the local people offered the wine to Gou Jian. He poured the wine into the river and asked the soldiers to drink it against the current. The soldiers did it and were united as a whole. Their morale was a lot heightened with the emperor’s encouragement. They won the battle with desperate efforts and eventually helped their emperor to accomplish his ambition. Since then, this river has been called "Toulaohe River".
   After Gou Jian returned to his country, he invited Fan Li and Wen Zhong to help him and gave them important positions. He made painstaking efforts to accomplish his ambition by getting the country recuperate and implementing the “Five Policies”. His hard work paid off. Ten years later, the overall strength of the country was gradually strengthened.
 In the year 482 B.C.,Gou Jian led his armed force to attack the State of Wu while its emperor Fu Chai was out for the “Meeting of Huangchi”   and it turned out to be a complete success. Fu Chai hurried back and tried his best to fight back but failed. As a result, he gave in and pleaded for making peace with the State of Yue.
Four years later, Goujian waged the war again and defeated the main force of the State of Wu. In the year 473B.C., Goujian occupied the capital of the State of Wu, Gusu. Emperor Fuchai killed himself. Since then the State of Yue gained the supreme power and became the last hegemony during the Spring and Autumn Period.
The story that Goujian endured hardships to accomplish his ambition has been lauded for over two thousand years. His spirit of endurance and persistence has become a precious spiritual treasure.
(Edited and Translated by Shaoxing Research Institute of Culture and Tourism Industry)
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