The Later Jin dynasty was part of the Five dynasties, which ruled in northern China from 907 – 960 CE. The Five dynasties included the Later Liang, Later Tang, Later Jin, Later Han and Later Zhou. The Later Jin dynasty was in place from 936 – 947.
There were two emperors of the Later Jin dynasty: Gaozu (936 – 944) and Chudi (944 – 947). Chudi was removed as emperor by the Khitan people, who began the Later Han dynasty.
The capital of the Later Jin dynasty was in Dongjing (modern Kaifeng), Southern China.
The first emperor, Gaozu, was a Turk who overthrew the emperor, Feidi, in the Later Tang dynasty.
Gaozu gave territory nearby, and including Beijing, known as Sixteen Prefectures to the Khitan people who helped Gaozu come to power and begin the Later Jin dynasty. Annual tribute payments of cloth and silk were made from the later Jin dynasty government to the Khitan who controlled much of the steppe north of China and had a centralized empire, the Liao.
When Chudi became emperor, he did not like that Gaozu had given territory to the Khitans and refused to send them the established tributary payment. As you can imagine, the Khitans did not like Emperor Chudi. They invaded the Later Jin dynasty territory and kidnapped Emperor Chudi. This ended the reign of the Later Jin dynasty, which was replaced by the Later Han dynasty.
Daily Life in the Later Jin Dynasty
There were around 90 million households registered in China during the Later Jin dynasty. Famine, starvation, and poverty were a normal occurrence during the reign of the emperors of the Later Jin dynasty.
Later Jin Dynasty Inventions and the Arts
Boat rudders were invented in 940 CE, which changed the speed of travel on water and ease of navigation.
Woodblock printing flourished during the Later Jin dynasty with the first printing of the texts of Confucius.
Master artists Dong Yuan, Li Cheng, and Huang Quan brought beauty to paper with landscape, bird and flower painting.