Culture

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

Do you dare to believe it?

In Canada, which is separated from China by a Pacific Ocean, there is a complete Chinese tomb.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

The owner of this tomb was a great general of the Ming Dynasty, how could he not expect that more than 300 years later his entire tomb was stolen from Canada and became a town treasure of his country.

So who is this great general?

How did such an unbelievable tomb-robbing operation happen?

Chinese tombs in Canadian museums

If you visit Canada, be sure to take a stroll through the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

There you will be amazed to find a wide variety of precious artifacts on display in the China Gallery.

From oracle bone inscriptions to Shang and Zhou period divination porcelain, from Chinese bronzes to sculptures, the richness of the exhibits and the preciousness of the relics directly dumbfounded people.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

And one of the more amazing things is that there is a complete Chinese tomb on display.

The entire chamber of this tomb, the burial objects, and the stone carvings were moved into the Ontario Museum in their original condition.

Beautifully carved stone doors, more than one meter high stone octagonal skirt, the mighty stone statue of Sheng, a look at this is a standard Ming and Qing dynasty high official burial.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

People who are familiar with history will think that when the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded China, they did not know how many precious Chinese cultural relics were taken away, especially by Britain and France.

But the rarity of the Chinese collection on display at the Ontario Museum is such that I fear even the British Museum and the Louvre would sigh in disbelief.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

So who owns this tomb in the Ontario Museum?

On the side of the signage and electronic commentary, the name "Zu Dashou" is clearly typed.

People who know the history of the Ming and Qing dynasties must be familiar with the name "Zu Dashou".

The Controversial Life of Joe Dashou

There is a lot of controversy in history about the evaluation of Zu Dashou.

Zu Dashou was a general in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, his ancestors were generals for generations and came from a distinguished background, and it is worth mentioning that he was also the uncle of Wu Sangui.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

In 1626, Nurhaci attacked Ningyuan and was wounded by Zu Dashou, who was defending the city, with a cannon blast.

Nurhaci had to retreat, and finally died of serious injuries.

Nurhaci died, but Zu Dashou became famous outside the customs and became a great meritorious minister of the Ming Dynasty.

After the death of Nurhachu, Huang taiji took over the reins and attacked Ning Yuan again, but the result was still lost to Zu Dashou, the history of the war is called "Ning Jin Great Victory", Zu Dashou also became the most powerful general under Yuan Chonghuan.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

By 1629, Huang taiji saw a long attack, simply bypassed Ningyuan, Jinzhou, directly forced Beijing.

Huang taiji made a counter-strategy, so that Yuan chonghuan was jailed, Zu Dashou fear of being implicated, fled outside the customs.

Chongzhen emperor calm after, do not want to lose this war general, and quickly ordered a letter to appease Zu Dashou, Zu Dashou this back.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

By the next year, Huang taiji launched the battle of Dalinghe, Zu Dashou's troops were surrounded by Huang taiji in Dalinghe city for more than 3 months.

The face of Huang taiji's repeated persuasion to surrender, Zu Dashou began to ignore, but the city's limited food and grass, Zu Dashou several times to break out of the siege were unsuccessful, and finally the city even appeared in the tragic situation of people eating each other.

In desperation, Zu Dashou could only surrender to Huang taiji, who was overjoyed and even greeted personally outside the city.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

But this surrender, only Zu Dashou expedient, he proposed to Huang taiji to release him back to Jinzhou, as an internal counterpart, Huang taiji readily agreed.

But Zu Dashou returned to Jinzhou, actively arming, Chongzhen Emperor was very happy to give him a ranking, and repeatedly issued an edict for Zu Dashou to enter the capital to receive a reward.

Zu Dashou afraid of repeating Yuan Chonghuan's dust, excuses to resign, so it can be seen that the ruler and ministers have been centrifugal from Germany.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

At this time, Huang taiji did not give up Zu Dashou, in order to show sincerity, Huang taiji repeatedly sent secret letters to Zu Dashou, and take the initiative to release the Ming prisoners, but Zu Dashou are not moved.

In 1639, all ready for Huang taiji again to attack the Ming, Songshan was surrounded, Zu Dashou was ordered to come to the aid, however, it was too late, helpless, Zu Dashou returned to Jinzhou, fighting to the end.

1641, Huang taiji launched the Song Jin war, Hong Chengchou surrendered to the Qing court, Zu Dashou in Jinzhou still struggling to hold on, this time for the siege for as long as a year.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

The city of Jinzhou, which could not get reinforcements, once again saw a hellish scene of killing horses and killing people to eat each other.

Looking at the scene of déjà vu, Zu Dashou all thoughts, finally believe that the great momentum of the Ming Dynasty has gone, open the city to surrender.

Although the last Zu Dashou fraudulent surrender, but Huang taiji still choose to believe him this time, admire him as a loyal and brave man.

After Zu Dashou surrendered, Huang taiji awarded him the position of general soldier of the Han army Zhenghuang Banner.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

Later, the Qing army broke through all the way, and after Wu Sangui surrendered, the Qing army entered Beijing and occupied it.

In the thirteenth year of the Shunzhi era, Zu Dashou, 77, died of illness at his residence in Beijing and was buried by his descendants in Yongtai village near Qinghe.

Zu Dashou's life, blood-soaked, defending the country, fighting to the last moment.

Although he surrendered to the Qing court and died late in life, it cannot be denied that he was a famous general worthy of respect.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

Then Zu Dashou finally died of illness in his ancestral home in Beijing and was buried near the Qinghe River.

Why is his tomb in Canada, thousands of miles away?

Theft of Chinese tombs

This is a tomb raiding operation that turns perceptions upside down.

More than 200 years after his death, Zu Dasu was surprisingly disturbed by a group of foreigners.

At the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the People's Republic of China, China was poor and weak, and was bullied and humiliated by the Great Powers, who raided its wealth.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

After the opening of China's doors, many foreign missionaries and capitalists came in, and these foreigners saw and coveted the vast amount of Chinese cultural relics.

At that time, the country was not yet enlightened, archaeology was not something that China needed at that time, and ordinary people did not know the significance of the value of these relics.

Many artifacts were then sold to foreign dealers at very low prices.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

Although Canada was not part of the Eight-Power Allied Forces that invaded China, missionaries and merchants from their country also transported many Chinese cultural relics in various ways.

For example, although the oracle bone script was excavated in China, the country with the most bone fragments is Canada.

However, this did not fill their greedy appetite.

In 1918, the then Royal Canadian Museum of Ontario

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

William, the deputy director of the museum, is very interested in the history of China and wants to collect a fine Chinese tomb.

To do this William approached Crofts, an English leather merchant who had long been doing business in China.

This Crofts was ostensibly a businessman, but in fact a dealer in artifacts.

William offered him a whopping $20,000 Canadian, which Crofts gladly accepted and began asking around in China.

He soon found his target, and the tomb that Crofts was looking at was that of Zu Dasu.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

Zu Dashou's tomb is very grand and very complete, very much in line with William's requirements.

Knowing the status of Zu Dashou in China, Crofts also found a "trustee" in order to legally transport the tomb to Canada.

He found a poor family surnamed Zu, instructed the family to pose as descendants of Zu Dashou, and then dismantled Zu Dashou's tomb in the name of repairing his ancestral grave.

In order to block the mouth of the local county leaders, Crofts paid them off, and since then no one has bothered him about the grave robbery.

Krofts moved quickly to dismantle Zu Dasou's tomb, pack it up and move it onto a freighter for shipment from Tianjin to Canada.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

According to historical records, Zu Dashou's tomb did not contain many burial objects, but the appearance was very grand, with stone doors, stone carvings and stone figures well preserved over the centuries, and the entire tomb weighed more than 150 tons.

Zu Dasu's tomb was shipped to Canada and reassembled at the Royal Ontario Museum.

In order to attract visitors, the Royal Ontario Museum has titled the tomb of Zu Dashou, a famous Chinese general of the Ming Dynasty, with a biography of Zu Dashou.

Chinese Tomb Surprised in Canadian Museum! The entire tomb of a Ming Dynasty general was stolen and became a town treasure

Successfully attracted many Westerners to visit, once the true face of China's Ming Dynasty tombs.

A generation of famous generals of the Ming Dynasty, a few hundred years after his death surprisingly far from his homeland, across the sea, became a town treasure of other countries.

In China at that time, there were few cultural relics like the tomb of Zu Dashou, which went overseas for various reasons.

Some of these artifacts are in foreign museums, some have found their way into the pockets of private collectors, and some are unaccounted for.

Over the years, our country has been in a variety of ways to recover stray national treasures and cultural relics, and I hope that one day, Zu Dashou's tomb can also be returned to the homeland!