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Ji Chang
King of Zhou Dynasty
Reign 1099 BC - 1050 BC (49 years)
Father King Tai of Zhou
Born 1152 BC
Died 1056 BC (aged 96)

King Wen of Zhou (Chinese: 周文王pinyin: Zhōu Wén WángWade-Giles: Chou Wen-wang) original name Ji Chang (Chinese: 姬昌pinyin: Jī Chāng) (1099–1050 BC) was the founder of the Zhou Dynasty. He was the son of King Ji of Zhou, the third son of King Tai of Zhou, and the favored grandson of his grandfather. He was the nephew of Wu Taibo and Zhongyong, both rulers of the State of Wu at one time.



The Zhou state was located in the Wei River valley in present day Shaanxi Province. At one point, King Zhou of Shang, fearing Wen's growing power, imprisoned him in Youli (羑里 - present day Tangyin in Henan Province).[1] However, many officials respected Wen for his honourable governing. So they gave King Zhou many gifts, and requested Wen's release. These gifts included gold, horses and women. Zhou agreed, and Wen was released.

King Wen planned the conquest of the current dynasty in power, the Shang Dynasty, but he died before he could accomplish this.

His family name was Ji (Chinese: pinyin: ). He married TaiSi (Chinese: 太姒pinyin: Tàisì) and had at least ten sons, two of who were Zhou Gong Wu (Chinese: 周公武pinyin: Zhōu Gōng Wǔ) and Zhou Gong Dan. His second son became King Wu of Zhou and completed his father's wishes by defeating the Shang army at their capital. He eventually became the first king of the new Zhou dynasty.

King Wen is also known for his contributions to the Yi Jing, a manual of divination. King Wen is attributed with having stacked the eight trigrams in their various permutations, to create the sixty-four hexagrams. He is also said to have written the judgements which are appended to each hexagram (the line statements are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The most commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams is attributed to King Wen and is usually referred to as the King Wen sequence.

See also



  1. Bo Yi Kao (伯邑考) or Ji Kao (姬考)
  2. Ji Fa (姬發), King Wu of Zhou (周武王)
  3. Ji Xian (姬鮮), Uncle Xian of Guan (管叔鮮)
  4. Ji Dan (姬旦), Duke Wen of Zhou
  5. Ji Du (姬度), Uncle Du of Cai (蔡叔度)
  6. Ji Wu (姬武), Uncle Wu of Cheng (郕叔武)
  7. Ji Chu (姬處), Uncle Chù of Huo (霍叔處)
  8. Ji Feng (姬封), first Uncle Feng of Kang (康叔封) changed to Uncle of Wèi (衛康叔)
  9. Ji Cheng (姬鄭), Uncle Cheng of Mao (毛叔鄭)
  10. Ran Ji Zai (冉季載), Ruler of Dan (聃国君)
  11. Gao Shu (郜叔) Uncle of Gao
  12. Earl of Yong (雍伯) Ruler of Yong (雍国君) also known as 雝叔伯 Uncle Yong Bo.
  13. Ji Zhen Duo (姬振鐸) Uncle of Cao (曹叔)
  14. Ji Xiu (姬繡) Uncle of Teng (滕叔)
  15. Ji Gao (姬高) Duke Gao of Bi (畢公高)
  16. Earl of Yuan (原伯) Ruler of Yuan (原國君)
  17. Earl of Xun (郇伯) Ruler of Xun (郇國君)
  18. Marquis of Feng (酆侯) Ruler of Feng (酆国君)
  19. Ji Yǐng (姬穎) Ruler of Lài (賴國君)


  1. ^ Cihai: Page 201.


  • Ci hai bian ji wei yuan hui (辞海编辑委员会. Ci hai (辞海. Shanghai: Shanghai ci shu chu ban she (上海辞书出版社), 1979.
King Wen of Zhou
Born: 1152 BC Died: 1056 BC
Chinese nobility
Preceded by
Duke Ji of Zhou
Duke of Zhou
1099 BC – c. 1050 BC
Succeeded by
King Wu of Zhou


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