An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Yin Wenggui 尹翁歸

Feb 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Yin Wenggui 尹翁歸 (d. 62 BCE), courtesy name Zixiong 子兄 or Zikuang 子況 was an official of the late Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He came from Hedong 河東 (modern Linfen 臨汾, Shanxi) and was a jail overseer in his younger years. Known for his expertise in the law code and also in sword fighting, he was recommended as an appointee and was therefore made market overseer of Pingyang 平陽. Yin filled with office with the utmost objectiveness and care and never accepted bribery. At that time the governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Hedong, Tian Yannian 田延年, who was known as a cruel official, marvelled about so much incorruptibility and made him his clerk (zushi 卒史). Yin Wenggui later rose to the office of local inspector (duyou 督郵). He then was made *Director of the Imperial Treasury (duneiling 都內令), then military commandant (duwei 都尉) of the commandery of Hongnong 弘農 and then governor of Donghai 東海.

Emperor Yuan 漢元帝 (r. 49-33 BCE) appointed him governor of the the commandery of Youfufeng 右扶風 close to the capital. He died in office. Yin Wenggui had been so incorruptible that after his death, not a single penny was left over from his belongings.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 149.