New post for The World of Chinese Magazine about the early Ming Dynasty and the scorched earth tactics of Zhu Di to wrest the throne away from his nephew, Zhu Yunwen.
If you’re going to kill an emperor and take his throne, be sure he’s dead first. Poke him with a stick. Check for a pulse. Put his head on a pike. Whatever. Make it obvious. Because if you light his palace on fire, wait the appropriate amount of time, and then pull his charred corpse out and deliver it still smoking to his officials there are going to be those who refuse to believe that the briquette at their feet is their dead emperor.