Zu Jia, also known as He Jia and Di Jia, was the son of King Wu Ding of Shang, the brother of King Zu Geng of Shang, and the twenty-fourth ruler of Shang Dynasty. He was able to take care of the people in the early part of his reign, and the Shang dynasty flourished.
King Wu Ding of Shang favored his younger son Zu Jia and intended to abolish his son Zugeng in favor of Zu Jia. Zu Jia thought that this was a ritual violation and should not be abolished forcibly, otherwise it might repeat the situation of “the chaos of the Nine Ages”, so he followed Wu Ding’s example and left the royal capital to live among the commoners.
After Wuding’s death, the throne was succeeded by his son Zugeng. This moved Zugeng so much that he made Zu Jia the heir to the throne, and he died of illness about seven years after his reign.
Civil and military achievements
In order to repay the merits of their ancestors, the merchants practiced rituals, but the objects and order of the rituals were very chaotic and there were no certain rules. After the reign of Zu Jia, he created the method of “weekly sacrifice”, the specific method is: from the first ten days of the year, according to the order of the sky stem of the Shang king and his legal spouse’s lineage and temple number, the three main sacrifices of feather, broadcast, and all over the week. The weekly sacrifice is based on the unit of ten days, ten days each, according to the order of the heavenly stem of the temple number of the king and his mother, and the heavenly stem of the day of sacrifice must be consistent with the temple number. For example: the first ten days of A sacrifice on A, B day sacrifice to report B, C day sacrifice to report C, until the day of Kec sacrifice to show Kec; the second ten days of B sacrifice Tai B (soup), D day sacrifice Tai Ding; the third ten days of A day sacrifice Tai A, C day sacrifice outside C. So on the tenth day of the sacrifice, until the ancestor A’s brother Zugeng. It takes nine decades to sacrifice all the ancestors from A to Zugeng with one sacrifice method. After the rituals were completed, the other two rituals were used again until all the rituals had been performed. The Zhou rituals made the Yin ritual system more rigorous and standardized, and therefore flourished in the second half of the Shang dynasty and gradually reached its peak. The Zhou rituals created by Zu Jia were the best expression of the ancestor worship and religious system. In the ancient civilizations, all the major peoples had their own sacrificial systems, and the Zhou rituals were different from those of ancient Babylon and Egypt, and were unique to ancient China.
In the late reign of King Zujia of the Shang dynasty, the tribe of the Silkworm clan did not yield to the control of the Shang dynasty and led a rebellion against the tribe.