CHOU TOMO/ZHAO JI
Japanese Pronunciation: Chou Tomo(?)
Chinese Pronunciation: Zhao Ji
Cant seem to find her Japanese name anywhere so i used google translate. Im sure you guys know who she is anyway. Her real name is lost in history and she has multiple names at different stages of her life, including 呂不韋姬(Lady of Lu BuWei)、子楚夫人(Wife of Zi Chu)、帝太后(The Queen Dowager)
2.Activities in History
Zhao Ji was born in HanDan, capital of Zhao and was a famous prostitute there. Lu BuWei bought her and gave her to Zi Chu, the future King ZhuangXiang of Qin and Zheng’s father. After Ying Zheng became the emperor, she demanded Lu BuWei to satisfy her sexual desires(as seen in the manga) frequently. This became a problem for Lu BuWei as men could not enter the imperial harem(and that he is getting too old for this…). He then offered Zhao Ji, the now Queen Dowager, a man named Lao Ai, who boasts to have an enormous penis which could stay erected even after being rolled over by a cart wheel. As normal men cannot enter the imperial harem, Lu BuWei had Lao Ai’s beard shaved and had him serve the Queen Dowager as an eunuch. However, Lao Ai did not go through the process of castration at all and act as a sex slave to the Queen Dowager. Over the years, Lao Ai fathered 2 kids in secret for Zhao Ji.
After Lao Ai’s failed rebellion in 238BC, Ying Zheng had imprisoned Zhao Ji and killed her 2 sons who she had with Lao Ai. After many men tried to persuade Ying Zheng to release Zhao Ji and failed, one man named Mao Jiao successfully persuaded him to release Zhao Ji. Zhao Ji died in 228BC, the year that the state of Zhao fell to Qin. Ying Zheng then ordered his soldiers to find and capture all of her mother’s enemies and all those who spread rumors about her in Zhao.
The controversy of Zheng’s biological father is one of the many mysteries in history that historians today has yet to solve. After Lu BuWei gave Zhao Ji to Zi Chu, she was found to be pregnant shortly(no idea how “short”) after and gave birth to Ying Zheng later. Some people thought that Zhao Ji was already impregnated by Lu BuWei before he gave her to Zi Chu and this makes Lu BuWei Ying Zheng’s biological father. There are many different sources for both sides of the argument as far as i know. Since we do not have any DNA testing in the time of the warring states…we will probably never get a definite answer to this…
ROU AI/LAO AI
Japanese Pronunciation: Rou Ai
Chinese Pronunciation: Lao Ai
Both are rare words in Chinese language and I have yet to see those words elsewhere…
2.Activities in History
As said above in Zhao Ji’s entry, Lao Ai was given to Zhao Ji as a sex slave to satisfy her desires by Lu BuWei. He also attained power pretty fast after serving Zhao Ji as satisfying the Queen Dowager netted him plenty of money and rewards.
From ShiJi:Biography of Lu BuWei:
始皇帝益壯，太后淫不止。呂不韋恐覺禍及己，乃私求大陰人嫪毐以為舍人，時縱倡樂，使毐以其陰關桐輪而行， 令太后聞之，以啗太后。太后聞，果欲私得之。呂不韋乃進嫪毐，詐令人以腐罪告之。不韋又陰謂太后曰：「可事 詐腐，則得給事中。」太后乃陰厚賜主腐者吏，詐論之，拔其鬚眉為宦者，遂得侍太后。太后私與通，絕愛之。有 身，太后恐人知之，詐卜當避時，徙宮居雍。嫪毐常從，賞賜甚厚，事皆決於嫪毐。嫪毐家僮數千人，諸客求宦為 嫪毐舍人千餘人。
Summary: As QinShiHuang’s power rises and the Queen Dowager’s sexual desires doesn’t seem to stop, Lu BuWei is afraid of his own safety. He offered Lao Ai, a man with a huge penis to the Queen Dowager. She was indeed very happy. He faked Lao Ai’s castration and sent him into the harem as an enunch. This was only known to him and the Queen Dowager. Lao Ai served the Queen Dowager everyday and in order to reduce the suspicion, the Queen Dowager lied that her old residence was inauspicious and moved to a further residence outside the palace. As Lao Ai satisfies the Queen Dowager, his power rose quickly as he gets his rewards from her.
始皇九年，有告嫪毐實非宦者，常與太后私亂，生子二人，皆匿之。與太后謀曰「王即薨，以子為後」。於是 秦王下吏治，具得情實，事連相國呂不韋。九月，夷嫪毐三族，殺太后所生兩子，而遂遷太后於雍。諸嫪毐舍人皆 沒其家而遷之蜀。王欲誅相國，為其奉先王功大，及賓客辯士為遊說者眾，王不忍致法。
9th year of QinShiHuang(238BC), the king received information that Lao Ai was not an eunuch and even had 2 children with his mother. He even planned to make those children the future king after he overthrown Ying Zheng. September, Ying Zheng ordered to kill Lao Ai’s family and the 2 sons he had with the Queen Dowager. He also imprisoned the Queen Dowager in Yong. The servants related to Lao Ai were moved to the lands of Shu. The king wanted to execute the prime minister(i.e. Lu BuWei) but by taking into account his contributions to Qin and his thousands of retainers, he could not do it.
From ShiJi: Annals of Qin Shi Huang:
8th year(of Zheng’s rule)……Lao Ai was given the title of Count ChangXin. He lived in the area of ShanYang and owned the land of Hexi and TaiYuan. He controlled everything within his land, from major issues to minor details.
九年……長信侯毐作亂而覺，矯王御璽及太后璽以發縣卒及衛卒、官騎、戎翟君公、舍人，將欲攻蘄年宮 為亂。王知之，令相國昌平君、昌文君發卒攻毐。戰咸陽，斬首數百，皆拜爵，及宦者皆在戰中，亦拜爵一級。毐 等敗走。即令國中：有生得毐，賜錢百萬；殺之，五十萬。盡得毐等。衛尉竭、內史肆、佐弋竭、中大夫令齊等二 十人皆梟首。車裂以徇，滅其宗。及其舍人，輕者為鬼薪。
Pretty long paragraph so i will summarise it instead of translating:
9th year, Count ChangXin, Lao Ai, used the king’s and the queen dowager’s seals to mobolise the Qin army, starting a rebellion. The king found out about this and instructed Lord Chang Ping and Lord Chang Wen to quell the rebellion. They battled in the capital of XianYang and hundreds died. Lao Ai escaped and a bounty was placed on his head, 100 million for capturing him alive and 500,000 for killing him. 20 court officials were beheaded(I assume they were from Lao Ai’s faction). After Lao Ai was captured, he was stripped of his title, power, wealth and was sentenced to death by his body being ripped apart by 5 horses.
In actual history, Lao Ai was said to have “a penis that could stay erected when a wheel rolls over it”. However in the manga, it was slightly changed to “a penis that could lift a cart wheel”. Either way, they are essentially the same to me…
Lao Ai seems pretty powerless in the manga as of now so i wonder if the author will actually go according to history by letting him start a rebellion, or will the author alter the history slightly by making Lu BuWei rebel instead.
CHOU KOU/ZHAO GAO
Picture(bottom right panel):
Japanese Pronunciation: Chou Kou
Chinese Pronunciation: Zhao Gao
2.Activities in History
Zhao Gao is regarded as one of the main reason why the Qin dynasty fell so shortly after unification. As an eunuch(some sources state that he isn’t an eunuch), he served the royal family and gained the trust of Qin Shi Huang himself. In his earlier years, he served the youngest son of Qin Shi Huang, Ying HuHai and taught him the laws of Qin. When Qin Shi Huang was critically during his tour around China, he plotted with Prime Minister Li Si to make his close ally, Ying HuHai the next king by delivering a fake edict to force the crown prince, Ying FuSu and his close ally, Meng Tian, to commit suicide. With the FuSu out of the way, he then made a fake edict to make Ying HuHai the next king of China(and his very own puppet emperor)
During the rule of HuHai or Qin II(Qin the Second), Zhao Gao controlled the entire Qin empire using his puppet emperor, overworking the people in the empire, forcing them to build the mausoleum, palaces and the Great Wall. With his overwhelming power. He also possessed absolute power to kill anyone he wants, including his ex-ally, Li Si and even Qin II himself during the rebellion of Xiang Yu, making Qin II’s brother, Ying ZiYing the new emperor. He finally met his death when ZiYing sent another eunuch, Han Tan, to kill Zhao Gao but it was too late to save the Qin empire from its fall.
According to fullblue and some sources i found, some people thinks that Zhao Gao is not an eunuch because of a misinterpretation of a word in ShiJi. In ShiJi:Biography of Meng Tian, it was mentioned that “趙高兄弟皆生隱宮”, which translates to: “Zhao Gao and his brothers were all eunuchs.” A paper counters this and said that the last word, ‘宮’ should actually be ‘官'(the words look very similar but are actually different in meaning and pronunciation) and the word was intentionally or unintentionally changed when the original text was repeatedly copied throughout history. By changing the last word to ‘官’, the line will read: “趙高兄弟皆生隱官”, which means reads:”Zhao Gao and his brothers were all Ying Guan”. ‘Ying Guan’ is a post in the palace that supervises crippled criminals who were spared from their crimes and were tasked to do work in the palace.
An idiom in Chinese “指鹿爲馬”(literal translation: saying that a deer is a horse), shows how powerful Zhao Gao was during his peak.
The story originated from ShiJi: Annals of Qin Shi Huang:
Zhao Gao wanted to have full control of the Qin empire so he wanted to test his powers in court. One day, he brought a deer into court to offer it it to Qin II and said: “This is a horse.” Qin II replied: “You are making a mistake, this is obviously a deer.” Zhao Gao then asked the court officials whether the animal is a deer or a horse. Those that said that it is a horse were deemed loyal to Zhao Gao and those that said that the animal is a deer were later executed secretly.
We can see that Zhao Gao looks just like any other eunuch in the imperial harem in Kingdom. We can usually only identify him when he is called upon by the Queen Dowager. Im not sure if he will play a big role in the future of Kingdom as most of his stories in history happened after unification while Kingdom is scheduled to end at unification.