Encyclopedia: Liu Feng

Liu Feng; Liu Fêng; 劉封

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You are viewing the profile of Liu Feng (劉封) born in Changsha. “Liu Bei’s adopted son. Executed after the death of Guan Yu at Zhuge Liang’s suggestion.” Liu Feng was affiliated with and the Shu Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.

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Liu Feng 劉封

Lived: AD 192–220

Biographies:

Served: Shu

Liu Bei’s adopted son. Executed after the death of Guan Yu at Zhuge Liang’s suggestion.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Liu Fêng
Simplified Chinese: 刘封
Pronunciation: Liu2 Feng1
Cantonese (Yale): Lau Fung
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Lau Fung
Min-Nan: Lauw Hong

Birthplace: Changsha

Other Names: Kou Feng

Name Notes: ‘Kou Feng’ (寇封) before Liu Bei adopted him.

Rank and Titles

General of the Gentlemen of the Household Who Assists the Army, Magistrate of Central Langjiang; General Who Assists the Army

Family and Relationships

Lord Kou (Father); Liu Bei (Adoptive Father); Liu Shan (Brother-in-law); Kou Clan of Luohou (Son of); Liu Clan of Chansha (Nephew to)

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 36, 3941, 49, 52, 57, 6063, 65, 7073, 76, 77, 79

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Biography

Historic (Unverified)

Liu Feng was the son of the Kou clan of Luohou and nephew to the Liu clan of Changsha (1), and thus possessed ties to the imperial clan. Liu Bei adopted him while in Jingzhou because he did not presently have a heir. Liu Feng served as a general in his army and was known for his martial ability and outstanding strength.

(1): In the novel Liu Feng is listed as nephew to Liu Mi. It is presently unclear if Liu Bei’s nephew was indeed named Liu Mi, or if this is a name Luo Guanzhong assigned him.

When Liu Bei marched on Liu Zhang, Liu Feng commanded with Zhuge Liang and Zhang Fei and was victorious in battle. Afterward he was promoted to General of the Gentlemen of the Household Who Assists the Army and Magistrate of Central Langjiang. Later Meng Da was prepared to attack Shangyong, but Liu Bei doubted his ability to handle the battle on his own. In AD 219 he sent Feng to aid him, but Shen Dan of Shangyong surrendered without a conflict. Feng’s appointment was changed to General Who Assists the Army.

When Guan Yu had encircled Fancheng and Xiangyang he repeatedly called out to Feng and Da, commanding them to themselves send soldiers to provide aid. Together they declined under reason that the mountains of their commandery had been hemmed in, and they could not break free. Guan Yu was accordingly defeated and executed, and for this Liu Bei was hateful. Feng and Da disputed heavily and Feng advised Liu Bei to send troops to suppress Da. Meng Da grew very resentful and defected to Cao Cao with Shen Dan, Shen Yi, and several territories. Received warmly, Meng Da was given command, and in turn attacked Liu Feng. Liu Feng returned to Chengdu.

In Chengdu, at the advice of Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei ordered Liu Feng to commit suicide. An action which was likely influenced in part by his failures not only to Guan Yu, but also in losing his territory, but also very likely due to the threat he posed to Liu Shan, Liu Bei’s biological son and heir as announced in AD 219 (2). Liu Feng thus died in AD 220, at Liu Bei’s command.

(2): It is not specified why Zhuge Liang made this suggestion, and why Liu Be went along with it, but the true motivation was likely a combination of the above-mentioned factors. Aside from his failure to support Guan Yu, and his failure to control Meng Da, he did pose a legitimate threat to Liu Shan’s authority. With his ties to the imperial clan, despite tradition, he could have expected significant authority under Liu Shan, or even contended for leadership of the kingdom. In light of this possibility the decision may not have been very difficult to make.

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May 13, 2014