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Power and Politics in Tenth-Century China: The Former Shu Regime By Hongjie Wang ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Power and Politics in Tenth-Century China:

Introduction

WE LAMENT. After the decline of Tang rule, bandits across the world with tattooed faces and shaved heads exploited conditions to assume the costumes and trappings of royals. …Through a century of contests among men of valor, mountains and rivers were sealed so tight that neither wind nor air could pass. There is a saying: “When a fresh wind arises, perpetrators of darkness will submit; when the sun and moon come out, torches will be extinguished.” As a great man does his deeds, harmony overtakes the world.

—Ouyang Xiu (1007–1072),
Xin Wudai shi 1

Political turbulence was common in times of dynastic transition in imperial China. Multiple regional regimes arose frequently on the lands of the former unified empire, vying for political and military supremacy until a dominant power emerged and achieved reunification. The age of political fragmentation during the tenth century, known as the Five Dynasties and Ten States period, or simply the Five Dynasties period,