Xuande Emperor

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  • Reign: 1426-1435
  • Other Names: Xuanzong
  • Chinese/Japanese: 宣德帝 (Xuāndé dì / Sentoku tei)

The Xuande Emperor, also known as Ming Xuanzong, was the fifth emperor of China's Ming Dynasty.

His reign saw the last of Zheng He's famous "treasure ship" voyages, and the abandonment of Ming efforts to conquer Annam (Vietnam), as the Court turned its attention to more domestic matters, and to defending the borders against the Mongols. The Xuande Emperor launched one significant campaign against the Mongols, but the conflict with the Mongols became more significant under his successor, the Zhengtong Emperor (Ming Yingzong).

After Emperor Huizong of the Northern Song Dynasty, the Xuande Emperor is one of the only emperors particularly known for his paintings and poetry. Further, blue-and-white porcelain reached a peak of popularity and production during his reign. He is known for commissioning an incredible variety of colors, forms, and styles of ceramics from the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen.[1]

Preceded by
Hongxi Emperor
Emperor of Ming
Succeeded by
Zhengtong Emperor


  • Conrad Schirokauer, et al, A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations, Fourth Edition, Cengage Learning (2012), 247.
  1. Gallery labels, British Museum.[1]