An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Jin Shang 靳尚

Jul 22, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Qin Shang 靳尚 (d. 311 BCE) was a high minister in the regional state of Chu 楚 during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE). Jin belonged to the highly trusted officials of King Huai of Chu 楚懷王 (r. 329-299) and was also a confident of Queen Wang 王夫人. He can be seen as the political opponent of Qu Yuan 屈原, who in his function of Counsellor-to-the-Left (zuoxi 左徒) recommended to create a law canon, select state officials according to competence, take measures to strengthen the country's economy, and to take a tougher stance against the state of Qin 秦. Jin Shang slandered Qu Yuan and achieved the King's decision not to rely on Qu Yuan’s advice any more.

At that time, the states of Chu and Qi 齊 reached an agreement against the state of Qin. In order to undermine this alliance (meng 盟), the king of Qin sent Zhang Yi 張儀 to the court of Chu who was in fact able to convince King Huai to discard the convention with Qi. Yet the King soon felt betrayed and threw Zhang Yi into prison. Zhang for his part had had the occasion to win the conficence with one of King Huai's concubines, Zheng Xiu 鄭袖. The latter in turn sought the support of Jin Shang, who accepted Zhang Yi's bribe, intervened and relased Zhang Yi, who returned to Qin.

In the aftermath, King Huai was totally dependent of his new ally Qin and was finally taken prisoner during a meeting with the king of Qin. He died away from his home country.

Jin Shang was killed by Zhang Mao 張旄, a high official of the state of Wei 魏.

Yi Xingguo 衣興國, ed. (1988). Shiyong Zhongguo mingren cidian 實用中國名人辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 91.
Zhang Ke 張克, Huang Kangbai 黃康白, Huang Fangdong 黃方東, ed. (1991). Shiji renwu cidian 史記人物辭典 (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe), 184.