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Jing Ke

Jing Ke (荊軻 pinyin jing1 ke1) was a guest residing in the estates of Dan, crown prince of Yan and renowned for his failed assassination of the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang Di.

Jing Ke was introduced by Tian Guang to Dan the crown prince of Yan. Jing Ke was originally from Wei, which he because he was not being recognised by the King of Wei. After travelling around, he arrived at Yan and made friends with Gao Jian Li and a butcher of dogs. Together they passed the days drinking and having fun.

Dan was a friend of Ying Zheng (Qin Shi HuangDi) when they were both hostages at Zhao. When Dan escaped from Zhao back to Yan, Qin's army was at the door of Yan. Since the army of Yan was too weak to fight off Qin's army, Dan consulted with Tian Guang on a course of action to assassinate the king of Qin (Ying Zheng). Tian Guang who was a friend of Jing Ke recommended him to Dan to carry out the assassination.

A Qin general (Fan Yu Qi) who had lost favor with the king of Qin was residing with Dan at that time and Jing Ke having learned of his whereabouts persuaded the general to commit suicide as the king of Qin wanted his head. Together with the head and a map of a place of Yan, Jing Ke had enough reasons to approach the king of Qin.

Armed with a dagger covered with poison hidden in the case holding the map, Jing Ke and Qin Wu Yang represented Yan and met with the king of Qin. Qin Wu Yang was carrying the map case while Jing Ke was holding the head of general Fan. Qin Wu Yang became nervous and his face turned white. Taking chance of this, Jing Ke took over the map case and while presenting it to the king of Qin, took out the dagger and holding onto the sleeve of the king of Qin plunged the dagger towards him.

Jing Ke missed and in the struggle, the sleeve was tear off and the king of Qin escaped. As Jing Ke chased the king around the audience hall, the king of Qin tried hard to pull out his sword which was sling at his back. Finally, after being advised by a court official, the king of Qin managed to draw out his sword and seriously wounded Jing Ke with it. Jing Ke knowing that he was at his last, threw the dagger at the king but missed. Finally the guards arrived & Jing Ke was killed.

The Chinese movie The Emperor and the Assassin (1999), featuring Gong Li and others, was based on this incident.