Zhuge Zhan bigraphy, stories - Shu Han general

Zhuge Zhan : biography

227 - 263

Zhuge Zhan (227–263), style name Siyuan, was a politician and military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He was a son of Shu Han's chancellor Zhuge Liang.

Pinnacle of power

His frequent promotions had been continuing until the prince consort reached the ceiling of the imperil administrative system — the Imperial Secretariat. At the same time, Zhuge Zhan was appointed the acting commander of imperial defensive forces and acting director of all military generals. Since his ascension to Imperial Secretariat, Zhuge Zhan's power within Shu appeared unrivaled, as veteran generals like Liao Hua, who served as the Right General of Chariot and Cavalry (top ranked military position, only next to Grand General and General of the Elite Cavalry), still had to buy the prince consort off for their political prospect.(时都护诸葛瞻初统朝事,廖化过预,欲与预共诣瞻许。预曰:“吾等年逾七十,所窃已过,但少一死耳,何求於年少辈而屑屑造门邪?”) Chen Shou. Records of Three Kingdoms, Volume 13, Biography of Zhong Yao.

While a son of Zhuge Liang, Zhuge Zhan realized the danger of over-extending the military. After Jiang Wei became the paramountcy of the army, Zhuge Zhan attempted to restrain the former from constantly waging wars against Cao-Wei. When Jiang Wei finally suffered a crushing defeat from Deng Ai, Zhuge Zhan memorialized the emperor that Jiang Wei should be stripped off from military command and replaced by Yan Yu, who, although a personal friend of the notorious Huang Hao, was said to be a capable general. Zhuge's memorial to Liu Shan was archived by some respected elders in Shu region even at the time of Jin Dynasty.(維好戰無功,國內疲弊,宜表後主,召還為益州刺史,奪其兵權;蜀長老猶有瞻表以閻宇代維故事。). Chen Shou. Records of Three Kingdoms. See note from commentator. However, it is not known whether the emperor listened to the Prince consort's suggestion, because Jiang Wei dared not return to Chengdu when he knew his failure had drawn him much resent from the people of Shu. But Zhuge Zhan's proposal of switching from an offensive stance to a defensive stance was somehow compromised by Liu Shan, who had earlier replaced Wei Yan's tried-and-trusted defensive layout with a high-risk-high-reward strategy presented by Jiang Wei.

Previously, Wei Yan invented a defense mechanism to hinder and repel invading forces by setting up "covering camps" on the outskirt and exits of trails leading to Hanzhong territory. Even after Wei Yan's death, Shu had been following his arrangement, successfully driving out Cao-Wei forces everytime. However, Jiang Wei argued Wei Yan's design "could only repel the enemy but not reaping big profit." To anticipate a Wei attack, Jiang Wei proposed to abandon the camps set up by Wei Yan and vacate all the passes in the Qin Mountains (Qinling), so the Cao Wei army would slide deeper into Hanzhong, where the weary expedition force would be blocked and vulnerable to a Shu counterattack upon retreat.(先主留魏延鎮漢中,皆實兵諸圍以御外敵。敵若來攻,使不得人。及興勢之役,王平捍拒曹爽,皆承此制。維建議,以為錯守諸圍,雖合《周易》「重門」之義,然適可禦敵,不獲大利。不若使聞敵至,諸圍皆斂兵聚谷,退就漢、樂二城。使敵不得入平,臣重關鎮守以捍之。有事之日,令遊軍並進以伺其虛。敵攻關不克,野無散谷,千里縣糧,自然疲乏。引退之日,然後諸城並出,與遊軍並力搏之,此殄敵之術也。) Chen Shou. Records of Three Kingdoms, Volume 44, Biography of Jiang Wei. Jiang Wei claimed his arrangement could achieve a decisive victory previously unimaginable when they had just defended along the Qinling ridges. Since the lobbyist's analysis was of decent logic and merit, Zhuge Zhan did not oppose dismantling Wei Yan's intertwined fortifications.

Early life

When Zhuge Zhan was 16 years old, the emperor of Shu, Liu Shan, arranged a marriage between his daughter and the adolescent, and made his son-in-law a Captain of the Cavalry, a title slightly lower than that of a general. One year later, the captain was promoted to General of the Household, serving as an imperial guardian. Henceforth, the prince consort constantly received promotions, and served many posts, including both civil and military appointments.

Besides his many official titles, Zhuge Zhan was an artist who was particularly good at painting and calligraphy. Since the people of Shu yearned for the deceased Zhuge Liang, they especially loved Zhuge Zhan's talents.(瞻工書畫,強識念,蜀人追思亮,咸愛其才敏。) Chen Shou. Records of Three Kingdoms, Volume 35, Biography of Zhuge Liang. Whenever there was a good policy set up within the state, the citizens would credit Zhuge Zhan with it, even though it actually had nothing to do with him.(每朝廷有一善政佳事,雖非瞻所建倡,百姓皆傳相告曰:「葛侯之所為也:」) Chen Shou. Records of Three Kingdoms. As Zhuge Liang banned the post of Historian in Shu, it was hard to distinguish which policy was suggested by Zhuge Zhan, and which was not, but Zhuge Zhan's reputation was surely greater than his real accomplishment.(是以美聲溢譽,有過其實。) Chen Shou. Records of Three Kingdoms.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine