Jia Kui Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

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Jia Kui Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

Unread postby capnnerefir » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:18 am

Jia Kui (Liangdao) [A.K.A. Jia Qu]

Jia Kui’s family was from Hedong commandery, in Sili province. His father died when he was young and though he was from a good family, they became so poor that Jia Kui did not have proper clothes to wear in the winter. He was forced to borrow some clothing from his uncle Liu Fu. Jia Kui became known as an adept scholar who could speak on a variety of subjects. He was particularly interested in the chunqiu and zuo zhuan.[1]

In 202, Yuan Shang appointed a man named Guo Yuan as Grand Administrator [taishou] of Hedong commandery, which was in Cao Cao’s territory. Guo Yuan joined forces with Gao Gan and the Xiongnu leader Huchuquan. Guo Yuan also made an alliance with the western warlord Ma Teng.[2] At this time, Jia Kui was the Magistrate [zhang] of Jiang county in Hedong.[3]

Guo Yuan advanced through Hedong and crushed the local defenses. Ultimately, only Jia Kui resisted Guo Yuan’s army in Jiang city. Guo Yuan attacked the city fiercely and it was only a matter of time until it fell. The elders of the city struck a bargain with Guo Yuan: they would surrender the city if he promised not to harm Jia Kui. Guo Yuan agreed, but he subsequently tried to force Jia Kui to serve him, threatening to kill him if he did not defect to Yuan Shang’s army. Jia Kui refused, nor would he bow to Guo Yuan. Guo Yuan was prepared to kill him, but the people of the city found out and threatened to riot if Guo Yuan broke his word. Instead, he threw Jia Kui into prison. However, Jia Kui managed to convince one of his guards, a man named Zhu Gongdao, to help him escape.[4]

When he helped Jia Kui escape, Zhu Gongdao did not give his name and Jia Kui did not know who he was. It was not until years later that Jia Kui learned the man’s name. Sometime later, Zhu Gongdao was convicted of a serious crime and was sentenced to execution. Jia Kui tried to have him pardoned on behalf of his earlier deed, but the law was clear on the matter and Zhu Gongdao was executed. Jia Kui conducted mourning rituals for him.[5]

Before Jiang was besieged, Jia Kui realized that Pishi county was of vital strategic importance. While the siege was in progress, he sent a message to the commandery leaders, telling them to occupy Pishi. After being captured by Guo Yuan, Jia Kui spoke with his adviser, Zhu Ao, and tricked him into halting the army in Jiang for a week. During this time, Cao Cao’s forces were able to prepare the defenses of Pishi.[6]

After his escape from Jiang, Jia Kui was made a magistrate in Mianchi, in Hongnong. During Jia Kui’s tenure, Gao Gan attacked Hedong on behalf of the Yuan family. Gao Gan intended to ally with a local leader, Zhang Yan. Jia Kui had anticipated this and had earlier pretended to be one of Zhang Yan’s supporters. When Zhang Yan began to mobilize in support of Gao Gan, Jia Kui attacked and destroyed him.[7]

Around 208, Jia Kui entered into a dispute with Cao Cao. He and two colleagues wrote letters to Cao Cao, protesting a plan to attack Sun Quan. These angers greatly angered Cao Cao, who wanted to punish those who wrote them. Jia Kui insisted that he was the only one who wrote them and was initially sent to prison for it. However, Cao Cao came to appreciate Jia Kui’s loyalty and liberated him.[8]

In 211, Jia Kui was made Grand Administrator [taishou] of Hongnong commandery. However, he ended up in a boundary dispute with the head of an agricultural colony and was ultimately dismissed from his position. Nevertheless, Jia Kui continued to serve closely with Cao Cao. During the campaign for Hanzhong in 219, Jia Kui served as a chief scout and one of Cao Cao’s advisers. [9] Shortly after this, Cao Cao made Jia Kui Grandee Remonstrant and Consultant [jianyi dafu]. He worked closely with Xiahou Shang as a quartermaster for the army.[10]

Cao Cao passed away on March 15 of 220.[11] At the time, many of Cao Cao’s officials wanted to keep his death a secret so as not to cause a panic. Jia Kui convinced them that it would be impossible to hide Cao Cao’s death and so no attempt was made to conceal it and mourning began as normal.[12] Some elements of Cao Cao’s army deserted upon hearing that he was dead. Some officials wanted to suppress these deserters by force, but Jia Kui convinced them not to do so.[13] When Cao Cao’s son, Cao Zhang, arrived in Luoyang, he inquired after Cao Cao’s official seals and insignia. Jia Kui convinced him not to ask such questions, as people might think he was thinking of taking Cao Cao’s titles for himself.[14]

Cao Pi succeeded Cao Cao as King of Wei.[15] At that time, Ye county[16] was in disorder due to Cao Cao’s passing. Cao Pi appointed Jia Kui as Prefect [ling] of Ye to restore order. It took only a month for Jia Kui to settle things down and Cao Pi subsequently appointed him as Chancellor [xiang] of Wei.[17] On August 12, Cao Pi and his army went on a tour of inspection.[18] At this time, Jia Kui was made Senior Secretary [zhubu jijiu] attached to Cao Pi’s office. During the inspection tour, Cao Pi decided to appoint Jia Kui as Inspector [cishi] of Yu province.[19]

Jia Kui proved to be an extremely capable administrator. He first concentrated on restoring law and order in the province. All officials who were known to be lenient or friendly towards criminals were immediately dismissed from office. He increases farmable land by building dams and canals and saw to the needs of the population.[20] He built dams along the Yan and Ju rivers, tunneled through mountains, and built large reservoirs. His system of canals stretched for over 60 miles. Jia Kui also saw to it that Yu province was prepared against sudden invasion. He built watchtowers, repaired weapons and armor, and saw to all of the local army’s needs.[21] His deeds as a civil official were so great that Cao Pi named him a Guannei Marquis.[22]

In 228, Wei’s Grand Commander [da sima] Cao Xiu received letters from the Wu Grand Administer [taishou] Zhou Fang saying that he wanted to defect to Wei.[23] Cao Xiu advanced with 10,000 infantry to receive Zhou Fang. Emperor Cao Rui sent Sima Yi against Jiangling and Jia Kui to Ruxukou.[24] Jia Kui led four armies, including one commanded by the General of the Front [qian jiangjun] Man Chong.[25] Cao Xiu fought with Sun Quan’s army and was cornered at Jiashi.[26] Jia Kui saw that Sun Quan was not defending Ruxukou and suspected that Cao Xiu had been trapped. He advanced quickly and, after capturing a Wu soldier, learned of Cao Xiu’s predicament. Jia Kui advanced to aid Cao Xiu. He had his army carry extra banners and beat many drums to make his force appear larger than it was. When Jia Kui arrived at Jiashi, the Wu forces retreated and thus Cao Xiu was saved. Jia Kui supplied Cao Xiu’s army with his own provisions.[27] Cao Xiu sent a memorial to the court asking the emperor to reprimand Jia Kui for arriving late, but no action was taken.[28] Shortly after this, though Cao Xiu sent another memorial accepting the blame for the defeat.[29] For his part in saving Cao Xiu, Jia Kui was enfeoffed as Marquis of Yangli.[30]

Jia Kui experienced some friction with the other Wei officials. Cao Xiu in particular criticized him as uncompromising and arrogant. At one point, on Cao Xiu’s advice, Cao Pi refrained from giving Jia Kui [jie] authority.[31] Cao Xiu’s criticism regarding Jia Kui’s inflexibility seems justified by an incident during Cao Pi’s inspection tour in 220. When the army came to Liyangjin, some of the soldiers forded the river in a disorderly and unorganized way. Jia Kui claimed that this disorder would spread to the rest of the army and put them to death.[32]

Jia Kui himself passed away shortly after Cao Xiu, in 228. He was sincerely mourned by the people of Yu province, who erected a stele and held sacrifices to honor him.[33]

Jia Kui’s wife was the daughter of the skilled administrator Liu Fu (this is a different person from Jia Kui’s uncle Liu Fu). Their son, Jia Chong, became one of the most respected and valued ministers of the Jin dynasty. Jia Chong’s daughter, Jia Nanfeng, was the wife and Empress of Sima Zhong, second emperor of the Jin dynasty. She ruled the dynasty from 291 – 300 before being killed by Sima Lun, who later usurped the imperial title before he himself was killed.

[1] de Crespigny, Rafe, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms” p. 368
[2] Jian’an 7, D
[3] de Crespigny’s note 9 of Jian’an 7
[4] Jian’an 7, E
[5] de Crespigny’s note 11 of Jian’an 7
[6] de Crespigny, Rafe, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms” p. 368
[7] de Crespigny, Rafe, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms” p. 368
[8] de Crespigny, Rafe, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms” p. 368
[9] de Crespigny, Rafe, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms” p. 368
[10] Fang’s note 3 of Huangchu 1
[11] Huangchu 1, 1
[12] Huangchu 1, 3
[13] Huangchu 1, 5
[14] Huangchu 1, 6
[15] Huangchu 1, 10
[16] Ye county was the capital county of Wei state, where the Cao family lived.
[17] Fang’s note 33 of Huangchu 1; the text says that Jia Kui was made Grand Administrator [taishou] of Wei commandery [weijun]. The only commandery-level territory called Wei of which I am aware was, at this time, Wei state [weiguo], which would mean that Jia Kui’s title should be Chancellor [xiang], not Grand Administrator [taishou].
[18] Huangchu 1, 25
[19] Fang’s note 33 of Huangchu 1
[20] Huangchu 1, 33
[21] Fang’s note 33.7 of Huangchu 1
[22] Huangchu 1, 33; a Guannei Marquis held the title of Marquis [hou] without actually holding any land.
[23] Taihe 2, 23
[24] Taihe 2, 24
[25] Fang’s note 24 of Taihe 2
[26] Taihe 2, 28
[27] Taihe 2, 29
[28] Fang’s note 29.9 of Taihe 2
[29] Taihe 2, 31
[30] Fang’s note 28 of Zhengyuan 2
[31] Taihe 2, 29
[32] Fang’s note 33 of Huangchu 1
[33] de Crespigny, Rafe, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms” p. 368
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Re: Jia Kui Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:33 am

Jia Kui, such a stalwart of the state. How could his son have ended up to be as manipulative, petty, and cowardly as he did? I did not know that he was considered to be a highly unbending figure though nor had I any idea of the existing enmity between Cao Xiu and Jia Kui. I suppose that Cao Xiu's first memorial was a gut reaction to being defeated while his second one was a thoughtful response to his failure (which he would soon die of in illness)
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