Hai Rui 海瑞
I previously went to Hai Rui’s tomb in Haikou, and noticed caligraphy in praise of Hai Rui by Mao Zedong. Hai Rui was a Ming Dynasty official known for being upright and honest. He had many enemies because he worked against corruption. Since the emperor did not agree with Hai Rui, Hai Rui was imprisoned. At some point, guards brought a feast for Hai Rui. Initially Hai Rui thought it was because he was being exonerated and freed. It was really because the emperor had died. Upon learning that, Hai Rui vomited up all the food he had eaten. Even if he knew better than the emperor, he had the utmost loyalty to the emperor.
Only thing is, Hai Rui was brought up during and after the Great Leap Forward by people that saw fit to not follow the model of the Great Leap Forward completely. Those people made it so their provinces had food while others starved as the Great Leap continued. Hai Rui was brought up in a slight to Mao, with Mao being the emperor, and various other people (Peng Dehuai, Zhou Xiaozhou) taking the place of Hai Rui.
It is amazing how a lot of these details don’t even come up on a Google search. It seems that there is a lot of Chinese history that still needs translation into English. For that matter, most of the Chinese medicine materials either do not exist or have been mistranslated into English. Zhou Xiaozhou is not really mentioned much. The most I could find in English is from a Chinese government webpage, this.
There definitely need to be more people like Hai Rui…