Encyclopedia: Liu Yi 5

Liu Yi (Zixiang); Liu I (Tzŭ-hsiang); 劉翊 (子相)

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You are viewing the profile of Liu Yi (劉翊), styled Zixiang (子相), born in Yingchuan. “Saved several hundred people from famine during the Yellow Scarves Rebellion.” Liu Yi 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.


Liu Yi (Zixiang) 劉翊 (子相)

Lived: AD ?–c.190

None Available

Served: Han

Saved several hundred people from famine during the Yellow Scarves Rebellion.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Liu I (Tzŭ-hsiang)
Simplified Chinese: 刘翊 (子相)

Birthplace: Yingchuan

Rank and Titles

Registrar; Reporting Officer; Consultant; Administrator of Chenliu

Popular Quotation

A Biographical Dictionary of Later-Han to the Three Kingdoms (AD 23–220: Liu Yi on being urged not to sacrifice his oxen for the starving
“A true man cannot see a person in extremity and fail to help them”


Historic (Confirmed)

Liu Yi, styled Zixiang, was an unusual philanthropist. Though wealthy, he gave alms for the poor and generously helped the needy. He held office initially as Registrar to the Administrator Chong Fu. Chong Fu often consulted and accepted Liu Yi’s advice. At one point, the Emperor sought to use some wilderness in Chong Fu’s territory for a public park. Liu Yi contended that this was immoral because mountains and marshes were the preserve of the common man. Chong Fu followed Liu Yi’s advice and denied the request from the palace.

During the Yellow Scarves Rebellion, Liu Yi saved hundreds of people from starving during a famine. He also planned out funerals for people who died and arranged marriages for the widowed. After Dong Zhuo moved the capital to Chang’an, Liu Yi received a post as Administrator of Chenliu. As he made his way from Chang’an to this new position, though, he met several emaciated, dying people. He killed his oxen and shared whatever he had with them. Ultimately he died of starvation alongside them. (De Crespigny 577)


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



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April 10, 2023