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Haikou Travel

Tomb of Hairui in Haikou City

Hairui is a famous Chinese official during the Ming Dynasty. He was known as Hai Qingtian, meaning "incorruptible official". Hairui (1514 - 1587) was born in Hainan Island. His honesty and fairness as an official earned him the people's recognition. Hairui Tomb is located at the Binya Village, about 5 kilometers west of Haikou City. The Tomb is enclosed by walls and rectangular shape. It measures 100 meters long and 40 meters wide.

Once you enter the Hairui Tomb, you will come upon a long path that leads up to a tortoise carrying a large slab of stone stele on its back with Chinese carvings. There is also a small incense burner in front of the tortoise. The tomb is well maintained with green trees and shrubs surrounding it.

hairui tomb
Path leading to the Tomb of Hairui with tropical plants and rows of palm tress on the two sides. It was raining that day when we visited.

A few more steps after the stone tortoise, you will see the Tomb of Hairui. It measures 3 meters tall, and was built using granite. It was first built during 1589 in the Ming Dynasty; however during the "cultural revolution" between 1966 to 1976, it was seriously damaged. It was not until 1982 when it was renovated according to its original design.

hairui tomb
The Tomb of Hairui.

Hai Rui Dismissed From Office

Hairui is a famous Ming Dynasty official that is highly praised by the local people for being an honest and upright official during a time when the Ming Dynasty was facing severe corruption within the government officials. He was born in Qiongshan County, and during his time in office, he performed his duties with integrity enforcing the law, and he was referred to as the "Southern Bao Gong". (Bao Gong is another famous upright minister during the Northern Song Dynasty 999 - 1062 AD). He died at the age of 74, and was buried in Hainan.

During ancient times in Chinese history, it was not easy being an honest and upright government official where corruption ran rampant. Because of this, Hairui was dismissed from office. During the reign of Emperor Longqing (1567 - 1572), Xu Ying the son of a former minister Xu Jie, seized the land of a peasant named Zhao Yushan, and abducted his granddaughter. Hong Alan who was the peasants daughter-in-law, sued Xu Ying at the court of Huating County. Xu Jie bribed the magistrate to cover up his criminal misdeeds. Having accepted the bribe, the magistrate tortured Zhao Yushan to death, and threw Hong Alan out of the courtroom.

Hai Rui was the governor with jurisdiction of a large area south of the Yangtze River, and he came to Huating County to try the case. He cited the crimes of Xu Ying and sentenced him to death, and punished the corrupt officials who accepted bribes. Xu Jie, the father of Xu Ying was retired, but he was still a powerful minister. He sent bribes to influential eunuchs at the capital city, and had Hai Rui dismissed from office.

During his time in office, Hairui also sent a letter to the emperor criticizing the emperor's poor handling of state affairs. The emperor was furious and sentenced Hai Rui to death; however, the emperor fell ill and died, and the new emperor granted Hai Rui a reprieve.


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