Jin Dynasty

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For other dynasties called Jin, see Jin dynasty (disambiguation).

The Jin Dynasty was a Jurchen dynasty which ruled northern China, conquering the Northern Song Dynasty in 1127 and claiming most of the land north of the Huai River. The dynasty is known for its Sinicization, and developments in Daoist thought and Buddhist art. By the "High Jin," c. 1165-1206, the Jin claimed to be the true successors to the Northern Song, over the Southern Song.

After taking the Northern Song capital of Kaifeng in 1127, the Jin captured Emperor Huizong and Emperor Qinzong of Song, taking them to the Jurchen homeland in Manchuria, where they lived as hostages for the remainder of their lives. Another son of Huizong restored the Song Dynasty in the south, setting his capital at Hangzhou in 1138 and taking the throne as Emperor Gaozong of Song. The Song concluded a treaty with the Jin in 1142, putting an end to the conquest & wars, in exchange for regular payments of Song tribute to the Jin.

Conflicts between the Jurchens and the Chinese erupted again several times over the course of the period, particularly in 1161-1165 and 1206-1208. However, Jin reliance on cavalry, combined with Song naval superiority, meant that the Jin were not to be successful in crossing the Yangtze River.

The Jin fell to the Mongols in 1234.


  • Conrad Schirokauer, et al, A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations, Fourth Edition, Cengage Learning (2012), 190-223.