King Zhou of Shang was the last king of the Shang dynasty of ancient China. During life, he was known as Di Xin. He was skilled and intelligent, with extraordinary strength and natural abilities, but he became cruel and decadent. Two famous examples of this have come down to us through history. The first is the burning cannon punishment. A large bronze cylinder was oiled up and heated over coals until red hot. The victim was then forced to stand upon it. The oil made staying still impossible, and so the victim would “dance,” trying to keep their footing, until they finally slipped and fell to their painful deaths. Di Xin and his consort Daji are said to have become sexually aroused from watching such torture.
As for his decadence, this was demonstrated by his wine lake and meat forest. A lake was filled with wine, and in it was an island with artificial trees, from which hung roasted meats. Di Xin and his associates were able to spend the day there, drinking and eating gluttonously whenever they so desired. He was also famous for hosting orgies and having erotic songs created for Daji’s pleasure.
When he was finally overthrown, he torched his palace and threw himself into the flames. After his death, he put in his claim for godhood, but nothing remotely suitable could be found for him. After reviewing his qualifications, the gods decided to make him the god of sodomy.