The Zhengde Emperor (正德 [tʂə̂ŋtɤ̌]) (October 26, 1491 – April 20, 1521) was emperor of China (Ming dynasty) between 1505-1521. Born Zhu Houzhao, he was the Hongzhi Emperor's eldest son. His era name means "Right virtue" or "Rectification of virtue".
Zhengde ascended the throne at the age of 14. Unlike his father, Zhengde was not interested in ruling and disregarded all state affairs. His actions have been considered reckless, foolish or pointless. There are many instances where he showed a lack of responsibility.
He took up a luxurious and prodigal lifestyle and indulged himself in women. It was said that he liked to frequent brothels and even created palaces called "Pao Fang" (豹房) outside the Forbidden City in Beijing initially to house exotic animals such as tigers and leopards for his amusement and then later used to house beautiful women for his personal enjoyment. On one occasion he was badly mauled while hunting tigers, and could not appear in court audiences for a month. On another occasion he burned down his palace by storing gunpowder in the courtyards during the lantern festival.
For months at a time he would live outside the Forbidden City or travel around the country with heavy expenditures being paid from the empire's coffer. While being urged to return to the palace and attend to governmental matters, Zhengde would refuse to receive all his ministers and ignored all their petitions. Zhengde also sanctioned the rise of eunuchs around him. One particular Liu Jin (劉瑾) was notorious for taking advantage of the young emperor and squandered immense amount of silver and valuables. The corrupted wealth is about 36 million pounds of gold and silver. There was even rumor of a plot that Liu Jin had intended to murder the emperor and place his own grandnephew on the throne. Liu Jin's plot was ultimately discovered, and he was executed in 1510 however the rise of corrupt enunchs continued throughout Zhengde's reign. There is also uprising lead by Prince...