Character Profile: Xing Cai 星彩
|Pinyin Name:||(Zhāng) Xīng Cǎi / (Zhang1) Xing1 Cai3|
|Wade-Giles Name:||(Chang) Hsing Ts'ai|
|Pronunciation (Yale):||(Jang) Sying Tsai|
|Lifespan:||206?-237 A.D. (date of birth estimated)|
|First appeared in:||Dynasty Warriors 5|
Biography based on the novel
Xing Cai was the daughter of Shu Tiger General Zhang Fei. According to Xiahou Ba's San Guo Zhi biography, her mother was Xiahou Ba's niece, and therefore Xiahou Yuan's granddaughter.1 Zhang Fei met Xing Cai's mother one day when she was out gathering wood — though she was only 13 or 14 years old, he abducted her and married her.
When Liu Bei died, his son Liu Chan2 was crowned Emperor of Shu; Zhuge Liang and the rest of the court suggested that he take Zhang Fei's daughter as his wife, as she was known to be prudent and virtuous. At age 17, in the year 223 A.D., she was married and became Empress of Shu.
Historically, there were two Empress Zhangs: Zhang Fei had two daughters, and Liu Chan married both of them. He married the elder first, and after she died in the summer of 237 A.D. he married her younger sister. The Empress Zhang mentioned in the novel is clearly the elder, and the younger is never mentioned. Xing Cai is based upon the elder Empress Zhang.
The name "Xing Cai" was made up by Koei for use in the games, since Zhang Fei's daughter's real name was never recorded. In the novel, she is called Lady Zhang or Empress Zhang.
1 Xiahou family ties: I have referred to two different translations of Xiahou Ba's biography, and they do not agree on Xing Cai's mother's relationship to Xiahou Ba. In Empresses and Consorts, Xing Cai's mother is Xiahou Ba's niece, making Xiahou Yuan Xing Cai's great-grandfather, and this is how the relationship is defined in Xing Cai's DW5 ending. (Of course, Xiahou Ba's DW5 Encyclopedia entry contradicts this and claims that Xing Cai's mother was Xiahou Ba's sister. Probably a translation error.) In SHZLD's translation at 3kingdoms.net, Xing Cai's mother is Xiahou Ba's cousin, making Xiahou Yuan Xing Cai's grand-uncle. Just to complicate things further, the Cao/Xiahou family tree at Kongming's Archives lists Xiahou Dun as Xing Cai's grandfather. If Xing Cai's mother is Xiahou Ba's second cousin, then that relationship is possible; otherwise, Xiahou Dun is Xing Cai's first cousin thrice removed. Back to bio
2 Liu Chan's name: Liu Chan is actually properly spelled "Liu Shan," but in the Dynasty Warriors games it's spelled "Liu Chan." I use the Dynasty Warriors spelling because this is a Dynasty Warriors site. Back to bio
- Liu Chan inherits Shu and marries Zhang Fei's daughter
Last updated: 17 April 2008.