A History Of Vietnam In Pictures – Nguyễn Trãi
In a peaceful period, Nguyễn Trãi wanted to help rebuild the country after the destruction of war. However those who had once fought with him then turned against him. Disillusioned with life at the court, he retreated to live a reclusive life, away from everything.
But he was not meant to retire in peace. He was wronged in a most horrific way. The mystery of Lệ Chi Viên (the Lychee Garden) saw Nguyễn Trãi accused of regicide. The punishment for which was the execution of Nguyễn Trãi along with most members of his extended family (tru di tam tộc – literally the killing of three generations).
In 1464 Emperor Lê Thánh Tông cleared Nguyễn Trãi’s name. His descendents were no longer banished and his poetry was collected. The Emperor decorated Nguyễn Trãi with his well known verse “Ức Trai tâm thượng quang khuê tảo” – meaning “the heart of Ức Trai [Nguyễn Trãi’s pen name] is as bright as the morning star.”