Waist chop

archaic Chinese method of execution
(Redirected from Yu Hongtu)

Waist chop or waist cutting, was an Imperial Chinese form of execution. The victim was cut into two pieces at the waist with a big sharp knife or sword.[1]

A Chinese prisoner is chopped in two by a man with a large blade

History change

Waist chopping was first used during the Zhou dynasty (c. 1046 BC – 256 BC). It was one of three ways people were executed:

  • zhǎn (斬; waist chop)
  • chēliè (車裂; cutting a person into pieces), ,
  • shā (殺; cutting off the person's head).[2]

There is a story that the poet, Yu Hongtu was killed by waist chop in 1734. Before he died, he wrote seven lines of the Chinese character "cân" (cruel,naughty) with his own blood.

Sometimes the chopping was more than one cut. The first Ming dynasty emperor Zhu Yuanzhang had the poet Gao Qi cut into eight parts for his politically satirical writing.[3]

In the modern Chinese language, "waist chop" has become a metaphor for the cancellation of an ongoing project, especially television programs.[source?]

References change

  1. Ulrich Lau; Thies Staack (19 May 2016). Legal Practice in the Formative Stages of the Chinese Empire: An Annotated Translation of the Exemplary Qin Criminal Cases from the Yuelu Academy Collection. Brill Publishers. pp. 358–. ISBN 978-90-04-31565-5.
  2. "揭秘古代酷刑:"腰斩"的历史从产生到消失". Ifeng.com. 2008-07-09. Archived from the original on 2014-04-24.
  3. 祝允明《野记》:“魏守(观)欲复府治,兼疏溶城中河。御史张度劾公,有‘典灭王之基,开败国之河’之语。盖以旧治先为伪周所处,而卧龙街西淤川,即旧所谓锦帆泾故也。上大怒,置公极典。高太史启,以作《新府上梁文》与王彝皆与其难。高被截为八段云。”