The mythical Jade Emperor is sometimes portrayed as wearing a mortarboard hat v strings that jewels suspended indigenous its edges:


According come Shen Yun"s post:

Hanging from the former and back of the emperor’s hat space twelve strings the beads. They’re referred to as “yù zǎo” in Chinese—pendants that jade beads. “Yù" or jade symbolizes upright character, if “zǎo” refers to the silk strings that are provided to cable the jade beads together, i m sorry reflect a clear and pure mind. The twelve pendants at the prior swing with the tiniest movement, and also prompt the Emperor to maintain a right gaze and proper posture. They additionally serve as a reminder to the Emperor to just make decisions v upright thoughts, and perceive things through a clear and pure mind.

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Did the historic emperors that China ever wear together a hat? If so, how often?

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edited Aug 6 "18 in ~ 17:38
Aaron Brick
asked Aug 6 "18 at 5:41

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You"re describing the mian (冕), a layout of timeless Chinese head dress that was indeed worn by successive monarchs of China. The an easy design contained a hat secured to the head v a red cable (纓), topped by a rectangular board (綖), with threads of jewel (旒) attached come its former and back edges, and two "ear plugs" (充耳) hanging turn off the 2 sides.

Click to enlarge: contents of a mian design.

In antiquity, the same general layout was component of the formal courtly dress, worn through the the aristocracy (士、大夫、卿), regional princes (諸侯), and the sovereign (天子). Their difference in status was depicted by the number of the gem subject - follow to the book of Rites:


The boy of Heaven"s mian has actually 12 liu; the princes 9, the high the aristocracy 7, the low nobility 5, and shi 3.

Chinese scholars in the late antiquity believed this expected 12 gem object on every of the prior and back edges. Modern-day scholars but have reasoned that just the prior edge had actually these threads.

Either way, after ~ the marriage of China under Qin, design of the imperial crown settled on 12 object on both ends of the top board. Because that example, in the 7th century Painting of queens of past Dynasties, seven of the 13 emperors portrayed were presented in this style. Han empire regulations, however, stipulated the court public official only have actually the gem subject in the front, not the back.

Left: The first Emperor of Qin. Middle: Emperor Wu of Jin. Right: Emperor Wen the Sui

The mian continued to be standard until approximately the flavor dynasty, yet its cumbersomeness led it to be increasingly reserved for just the many formal occasions, mostly the greatest ceremonial rites (e.g. Honouring imperial ancestors or make offerings come the heaven and the earth) and coronations, as well as component of the annual new years ceremonies in ~ court.

Left: royal mian from the Mausoleum of Ming"s Wanli Emperor. Right: royal mian the Ming"s King Lu. Note the distinction in threads.

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Use that the mian to be abolished in 1652, shortly after the Manchurian occupation of China, once it was replaced by traditional Manchu clothes at court. However, ~ the founding of the Republic, it (or a budget plan variation thereof) to be briefly revitalized as part of China"s official ceremonial dress.