The flower pot hides the gold and the heavenly reward is generous

There was a Yang Family in the Huaiyang area of the Ming Dynasty, with three generations of grandchildren working as officials in the imperial court, and were ministers of the Ming Emperor. In addition to their own talent, the Yang family had a good story of “hiding Gold in a flowerpot”, which was widely spread among the people.

Hidden gold in a flower pot

The main character of the “flower pot hiding gold” is Yang Zhan, the father of Yang Bo, the Minister of War. Although Yang Zhan was a businessman, he was a graduate of the imperial examinations, a candidate in the 14th year of Zhengde of the Ming Dynasty (1519), and served as a supervisor of the imperial court, and later served in the Da Lisi. The Da Lisi is the modern equivalent of the Supreme Court.

Yang Zhan was doing business in the Huaiyang area. One day, a salt merchant from Guanzhong left a thousand dollars at Yang Zhan’s house and asked him to keep it for him. Unexpectedly, after the salt merchant left, he never returned. Yang Zhan then buried the gold in a flower pot and planted flowers on it. Yang Zhan was entrusted with the money and kept it with great care, without moving a penny.

After a long Time, Yang Zhan did not see the salt merchant to pick it up, and felt that something was strange, so he sent someone to Guanzhong to look for the salt merchant. His servant came all the way to Guanzhong and took a lot of trouble to find out the salt merchant’s address and news.

It turned out that the salt merchant had passed away and only one son was left in the family. In order to return the money, Yang Zhan asked the salt merchant’s son to come to Huaiyang and invite him to his house as a guest. Yang Zhan pointed to the flower pot and said to him, “Here is the thousand dollars your father sent you during his lifetime, now you take it back!”

Because of the huge amount of money, the salt merchant’s son was so shocked that he didn’t dare to take it. Yang Zhan said, “This is your family’s property, why should you resist?” The salt merchant’s son was very touched when he understood what had happened. He bowed to Yang Zhan and took the inheritance left by his father.

Heaven’s Reward for Virtue

Yang Zhan’s son, Yang Bo, is recorded in the history books as being stout, learned, courageous and dignified. In the thirty-third year of Jiajing (1554), the Mongolian cavalry plundered Jizhou, and Yang Bo, without removing his armor, fought hard against the enemy and held off the Mongolian army so that they could not break through Jizhou. Yang Bo guarded the border, and each time, he was able to deploy the defense in advance, and he was able to make many achievements. He has been in and out of the court for more than 40 years, always holding important positions in national defense.

Like his father, Yang Bo was a graduate of the imperial examinations and was admitted to the Imperial Academy in the eighth year of Jiajing (1529). Yang Bo started out as the head of the Ministry of Household and worked his way up to the rank of Minister of War, and was crowned as the Crown Prince’s Counselor, The Emperor‘s relied on right hand man and minister of state. According to Yan Shifan, a minister of the same period, Yang Bo was one of the top three talents in the world.

Yang Bo’s son, Yang Junmin, was a scholar in the forty-first year of Jiajing (1562), and became a minister of the Ministry of Household.

Three generations of the Yang family were developed and distinguished, and all three generations of the grandchildren were experts in the imperial examinations.

Descendants commented that Yang Zhan was entrusted by others and was faithful to his word. After the salt merchant’s death, he did not take the salt merchant’s money, but sent someone to Guanzhong to find him and returned all the money to the salt merchant’s son. The fact that the Yang family was prominent for three generations is proof that God rewarded him for his generosity.


  1. History of the Ming Dynasty, Volume 214, “The One Hundred Second Biography
  2. “History of Induction and Unification Chronicle: Zhong Hou Yu Qing”.