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Imitation of Yu Shinan's Writing of One Thousand Characters
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Zhao Gou (1107-1187)
Cursive script
Zhao Gou was the first emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty. He reigned from 1127 to 1162 but lived on following his
abdication until he was 80. As emperor, he was known as Gaozong. Zhao Gou was the ninth son of Zhao Ji, the last acting
emperor of theNorthern Song. The demarkation between the Northern and Southern Song was due to the invasion of the the
Jurchens from the north. Zhao Ji first led attempts to repel them and then switched to a policy of consolidation and containment
in the south. He established his capital at Lin'an, today's Hangzhou. Zhao Gou is one of many emperors who have excelled at poetry,
calligraphy and painting. Other emperors have lived a life of leisure focused on their poetry rather than on their
responsibilities. Zhao Gou was not one of them. He was active militarily, politically, and economically in government.
Southern Song Dynasty

(c) Marilyn Shea, 2006, 2007