Wuyuan (31 January 1367 – 23 January 1368) was the regnal year used by the Western Wu regime prior to Zhu Yuanzhang's establishment of the Ming dynasty. On New Year's Day of 1364 (Han Song Longfeng 10, Yuan Zhizheng 24), Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself the Prince of Wu (吴王) in Yingtian Prefecture and established the Western Wu regime. He nominally respected the Han Song regime but suspended the Longfeng era name. In December 1366 (Han Song Longfeng 12, Yuan Zhizheng 26), Han Lin'er, emperor of Han Song, was drowned in a shipwreck while crossing the Yangtze River. Zhu Yuanzhang took the next year (1367) as "Wu 1" (吳元年, "the first year of Wu" or "the first year of the Prince of Wu's reign" ). On 23 January 1368 (Wu 2, 4th day of the 1st month), Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself emperor in Yingtian Prefecture, establishing the Ming dynasty with the era name "Hongwu".
According to the documents, Zhu Yuanzhang stopped using the Longfeng era name, and used the dynastic name "Wu" era, called "Wu 1" (吳元年) and "Wu 2" (吳二年). Only Yu Ben (俞本)'s Ji shi lu (紀事錄) records the change of era to "Wuyuan" (吳元), called "Wuyuan 1" (吳元元年, "the first year of Wuyuan") and "Wuyuan 2" (吳元二年, "the second year of Wuyuan"). Zhu Honglin (朱鴻林) believes that "Wuyuan yuannian" (吳元元年) was not a clerical error; whether it was the official era name "Wuyuan" or "Wu", which was the dynastic name instead of the era name, it does not deviate from the meaning of Zhu Yuanzhang's self-proclaimed Prince of Wu during his lifetime.
Later, Zhu Yihai's Jianguo Lu era imitated Zhu Yuanzhang's change of era without era name.
Change of era[edit source]
- 31 January 1367 (Longfeng 13, 1st day of the 1st month): The era was changed to "Wu 1" (吳元年, "the first year of Wu").
- 23 January 1368 (Wu 2, 4th day of the 1st month): The era was changed to Hongwu 1 (洪武元年, "the first year of Hongwu").
Comparison table[edit source]
Other regime eras that existed during the same period[edit source]
- Zhizheng (至正; 1341–1370): Yuan dynasty — era name of Emperor Shun of Yuan
- Kaixi (開熙; 1367–1371): Ming Xia — era name of Ming Sheng (明昇)
- Đại Trị (大治; 1358–1369): Trần dynasty — era name of Trần Dụ Tông
- Shōhei (正平; 1346–1370): Southern Court — era name of Emperor Go-Murakami and Emperor Chōkei
- Jōji (貞治; 1362–1368): Northern Court — era name of Emperor Go-Kōgon
- Tang Gang (湯綱), Nan Bingwen (南炳文). Hisyory of Ming (明史), Volume. 1, Shanghai People's Press (上海人民出版社), p. 49. ISBN 9787208124806
- Wang Shizhen (王世貞). Yanzhou shi liao qian ji (弇州史料前集), Volume 28 (Zhe san dai gong chen zan, 浙三大公臣贊): 御座不拜，遂輟龍鳳之號。
- Template:Cite wikisource〔至正二十六年〕十二月，韓林兒卒。以明年為吳元年，建廟社宮室，祭告山川。所司進。
- Ming Taizu Shilu (明太祖實錄), Volume 21:（丙午年十二月己未）是時群臣皆上言：『一代之興，必有一代之制作。今新城既建，宮闕制度，亦宜早定。』上以國之所重，莫先廟社，遂定議，以明年為吳元年，命有司營建廟社，立宮室。
- Hainan Province Gazetteer (海南省志), Volume 1 (Jian zhi zhi, 建置志), Hainan Publishing House (海南出版社), 2006, p. 78：縣：吳元年（注:《明史》為『吳元年』，經查，明代沒有『吳元年』，因明代尊太祖朱元璋為吳王，『吴元年』是年號，疑為洪武元年，即1368年）規定納糧10萬石以下為上等縣，納糧6萬石以下為中等縣，納糧3萬石以下為下等縣。
- Template:Cite wikisource 洪武元年春正月乙亥，祀天地於南郊，即皇帝位。定有天下之號曰明，建元洪武。
- Yu Ben (俞本). Ji shi lu (紀事錄) Volume up: "丁未至正二十七年，乃小明王龍鳳十三年，改為吳元元年。" Volume down："戊申吳元二年，……正月初四日，上即皇帝位於金陵。……以吳元二年為洪武元年，詔示天下。詔曰：『……於吳元二年正月初四日，先祭天地於鍾山之陽，即皇帝位於南郊，天下之號大明，以吳元二年為洪武元年。……』"
- Zhu Honglin (朱鴻林).《明太祖的治國理念及其實踐》, Chinese University of Hong Kong (香港中文大學), 2010, p.159