Encyclopedia: Gongsun Yu

Gongsun Yu; Kungsun Yü

You are here: [ Home –> Three Kingdoms History –> Encyclopedia –> Gongsun Yu ]

Welcome to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia
You are viewing the profile of Gongsun Yu. “Governor of Xuantu in AD 167. He defeated an attack launched by the kingdom of Fuyu/Puyo.” Gongsun Yu was affiliated with and the Han Dynasty. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Gongsun Yu

Lived: Unlisted

None Available

Served: Han

Governor of Xuantu in AD 167. He defeated an attack launched by the kingdom of Fuyu/Puyo.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Kungsun Yü
Simplified Chinese: Undefined

Gongsun Yu


Historic (Confirmed)

Gongsun Yu was a Late-Han Administrator of Xuantu (de Crespigny 271) during a particularly chaotic time for the history of that commandery. Some time during the AD 160s (de Crespigny 271), the king of Fuyu/Puyo [1] invaded Xuantu with thousands of troops [the Hou Han shu gives the number of 20,000] (Gardiner 61). Gongsun Yu defeated Fuyu/Puyo on this occasion. His troops killed about a thousand of the invaders (Gardiner 61; see also Gardiner 93).

Interestingly, the invasion of Fuyu/Puyo was one of a large number of disturbances in this region. Earlier in AD 159 and AD 162, the Xianbei had raided nearby Liaodong successfully. From AD 167–169, King Bogu/Paekko of the emerging Korean kingdom of Koguryo also raided the Han dynasty’s borders, but was defeated (Gardiner 61).

Gongsun Yu’s son, Gongsun Bao, died shortly after Gongsun Yu’s victory against Fuyu/Puyo (de Crespigny 271). At the same time, however, the future warlord Gongsun Du joined Gongsun Yu’s staff (Gardiner 62). Because Gongsun Du was the same age as Gongsun Yu’s late son and had even been named Gongsun Bao in childhood, Gongsun Yu apparently became very attached to his new subordinate (Gardiner 62). Yu began to act like an adoptive father. He arranged for Gongsun Du’s education and marriage, and overall helped Du achieve promotions within the Han government (Gardiner 62). This early support was crucial to Gongsun Du’s career. [2]

[1]-The kingdom of Fuyu/Puyo is described in the Sanguozhi. It was located in Southern Manchuria. The people of both Koguryo, a kingdom that emerged in southern Manchuria and northern Korea, and Paekche, a kingdom that emerged in southwestern Korea, claimed an ancestral link to the people of Fuyu/Puyo. So although Fuyu/Puyo was not geographically a Korean kingdom, it was important in this regard to the history of Korea. Either through legend or fact, the people of the kingdom were thought to be related to those of Koguryo and Paekche (Holcombe 81–82). Perhaps ironically, however, this legendary ancestral link did not stop Koguryo and Puyo from being frequent adversaries of each other (Gardiner 70).

The king of Fuyu/Puyo in Gongsun Yu’s time is called Futai/But’ae by the Hou Han shu. (Gardiner 93)

[2]-As a general note, Gongsun was a very common name in the North during this time period, and it’s not likely that Gongsun Yu was related to other famous “Gongsuns” of the period such as, for example, Gongsun Du. Gongsun Du’s actual father was named Gongsun Yan.

Works Cited:

De Crespigny, Rafe. A Biographical Dictionary of Later-Han to the Three Kingdoms (AD 23–220. Leiden: Brill, 2007. Print.

Gardiner, Kenneth HJ. “The Kung-Sun Warlords of Liao-Tung (189–238).” Papers on Far Eastern History 5.5 (1972): 59–107. Print.

Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-first Century. New York: Cambridge UP, 2011. Print.



Novel and History

Officers and Kingdoms

Literature and Language


April 10, 2023