Hai Rui is removed from office

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Hai Rui

Hai Rui is removed from office ( Chinese  海瑞 罢官 , Pinyin Hǎi Ruì bà guān ) is a play by Wu Han , which is considered one of the starting points of the Cultural Revolution in China .

Wu Han, who wrote the piece, was a historian who focused on the history of the Ming Dynasty . He was also the Vice Mayor of Beijing City . He wrote an article on Hai Rui . He was a minister during the Ming period and was imprisoned and removed from office for harsh criticism of the emperor. The Wu Hans article was later converted into a play that premiered in 1961. Mao Zedong initially praised the piece.

Later, however , Mao's wife Jiang Qing recognized the play as an indirect criticism of Peng Dehuai's dismissal during the Lushan Conference in 1959, after he wrote a personal letter condemning Mao for his economic policy during the time of the Great Leap . Hai Rui is said to refer to Peng Dehuai, while the emperor symbolizes Mao. This type of indirect criticism and reference to events in ancient Chinese history to disapprove of current events ( 以 古 喻 今 , yǐgǔ yùjīn ) is very popular in China.

At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Yao Wenyuan , a journalist and Mao's confidante, published a review of the play on November 10, 1965 in the Shanghai newspaper Wenhui Bao . In it, however, the author not only attacks the play itself, but also his literary environment and the Beijing party leadership around Wu Han and Peng Zhen , who, among other things, represented Mao's opposition in the time before the Cultural Revolution.

Wu Han fell victim to the Cultural Revolution and died in prison in 1969. In 1979 he was rehabilitated.

See also


  • Hai Jui, you are going too far! In Ost -problem, Volume 18, 1966, No. 18, pp. 555–559 (short excerpt)
  • Clive Ansey: The Heresy of Wu Han. His play 'Hai Jui's dismissal' and its role in China's cultural revolution. University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1971
  • CC Huang (Transl.): Hai Jui dismissed from office. University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu 1972 ISBN 0-8248-0215-2

Individual evidence

  1. Spence, Jonathan D., Chinas Weg in die Moderne, Munich 2001, p. 707.
  2. Weggel, Oskar, Geschichte Chinas im 20. Jhd., Stuttgart 1989, p. 248.
  3. [About the new historical drama "Hai Jui is Relieved of His Office"]. German translation: What praises the play “Hai Jui is removed from office”? In: Ost -problem, Volume 18, 1966, No. 18, pp. 559–562 (shortened).
  4. Spence, Jonathan D., Chinas Weg in die Moderne, Munich 2001, pp. 708f.
  5. ↑ Re- evaluation of the play "Hai Rui is removed from office". In Beijing Rundschau , No. 9, March 6, 1979, pp. 6-7