Natural disasters led to dynastic changes

City Talk | 31 May 2016

Earlier we discussed the feng shui factors affecting the Ming Dynasty, which lasted for 276 years after Emperor Zhu moved his capital from Chang An, now Xian, to Nanjing.

It is believed Emperor Zhu built a pagoda on a north-south line in Chang An to prevent the dragon making it more conducive for more leaders to be born.

He also changed the name of Chang An, meaning "forever peaceful," to Xian, or "peaceful in the west." This was to prevent his move to Nanjing being disturbed.

It was a harmonious era, shown by the the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty, a tourist site to this day. The dragon's formation was not harmed by any major war. The era prospered from private enterprise, industry and direct trade with European nations.

What caused the Yuan Dynasty to fall into Zhu's hands? During the final 40 years of the Yuan era (1279-1368), there were famines, drought, flooding on the Yellow River, a bubonic plague pandemic, and other natural disasters.

Many lost their lives, loved ones and jobs. This caused a rebellion.

Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1368 after defeating the Yuan empire.

In 1644, the Ming era ended with the Manchus and the Qing Empire began.

What caused the fall of the Ming? The same old story a great epidemic started in 1641 that cost many lives, unusual famines, caused by a minor ice age, hit northern China while government misrule contributed to the fall of the empire. All these were attributed to feng shui factors.

An important figure in Chinese medicine, Li Zhizehn (1518-1593), should be noted.

He was a medical scholar and worked independently. He wrote a comprehensive book on herbal and natural medicine that contained important advances in knowledge about traditional medicine.

Li wrote one of the greatest encyclopedias in pre- modern history. The book is required reading for Chinese medicine doctors even today.

Kerby Kuek has published 15 books on feng shui, inner alchemy, Taoism and metaphysics. He can be contacted at

Search Archive

Advanced Search
January 2020

Today's Standard

Yearly Magazine

Yearly Magazine