Introduction

Bad-ass Female Rulers

Crowns of Empress Wu, Empress Lu, Queen Himiko, and Queen Seondeok

China, Korea, and Japan no doubt showed examples of exemplary badass female rulers. Whether it is Empress Lu from Han Dynasty or Empress Wu from Tang Dynasty in China, to Queen Himiko in Japan, or Queen Seondeok of Silla during the Three Kingdoms period of Korea, women in East Asia had a substantial amount of power and were able to improve their country’s military, expand their territory, widen the reach religion, and provide a stable economy for the citizens of their empire. The four crowns pictured above are those that belonged to the four female rulers featured in this exhibition; the crowns themselves were chosen in order to cohesively bring together the things these rulers had in common: a throne, power, a kingdom.  In our exhibit, we provide examples of how these East Asian rulers held sway over their territories and how their rule changed their respective kingdoms. These women were very intelligent and were able to climb up the political ladder by using either cunning or popularity. We will be discussing four female rulers, each page featuring a biography each female ruler explaining about and her reign and legacy, alongside relevant visual representation of her.

Introduction