Kingdom of Shu

The Kingdom of Shu, also known historically as Shu Han (蜀汉), was a state that emerged during the Three Kingdoms period in ancient China. It was founded by Liu Bei in 221 AD after the fall of the Eastern Han Dynasty and lasted until 263 AD.

Historical Background:

  1. Founder – Liu Bei: Liu Bei was a warlord and a member of the imperial family of the Han Dynasty. He established the state of Shu in the western region of China, centered around the city of Chengdu (modern-day Sichuan province).
  2. Struggle for Power: During the collapse of the Eastern Han Dynasty, China fell into a state of chaos with multiple warlords vying for control. Liu Bei initially formed alliances with other warlords, notably Sun Quan of Eastern Wu and Cao Cao of Wei, but eventually declared himself emperor and founded the Kingdom of Shu-Han in 221 AD.
  3. Three Kingdoms Period: The era is characterized by the tripartite division of China into the three major states: Shu-Han, Wei in the north, and Wu in the east. The struggle for dominance among these kingdoms is depicted in the classic Chinese historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.”

Major Figures:

  • Liu Bei: Founder of the Kingdom of Shu, portrayed as a benevolent and virtuous ruler in historical records and literature.
  • Zhuge Liang: A brilliant strategist and prime minister of Shu, known for his military campaigns and administrative reforms.
  • Guan Yu and Zhang Fei: Loyal generals under Liu Bei, celebrated for their martial prowess and loyalty.

End of Shu-Han:

  • Despite its early military successes and alliances, Shu-Han struggled to compete with the more powerful states of Wei and Wu.
  • After Zhuge Liang’s death in 234 AD, Shu faced increasing pressure from Wei. In 263 AD, Wei launched a series of campaigns against Shu, eventually leading to its conquest and the death of its last ruler, Liu Shan.
  • With the fall of Shu-Han, China was briefly reunified under the Jin Dynasty in 280 AD, marking the end of the Three Kingdoms period.


  • The Kingdom of Shu-Han is remembered for its resistance against overwhelming odds, its loyalty to its principles, and its iconic figures like Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang.
  • Its story has been immortalized in literature, drama, and popular culture, making it one of the most celebrated periods in Chinese history.

The Kingdom of Shu-Han remains a poignant symbol of perseverance and valor in Chinese history, embodying the spirit of unity and struggle during an era of division and chaos.