Kangxi's reign started when he was eight years old. To prevent a repeat of Dorgon's monopolizing of power, on his deathbed his father hastily appointed four regents who were not closely related to the imperial family and had no claim to the throne. However, through chance and machination, Oboi, the most junior of the four, gradually achieved such dominance as to be a potential threat. Even though Oboi's loyalty was never an issue, his arrogance and conservatism led him into an escalating conflict with the young emperor. In 1669 Kangxi, through trickery, disarmed and imprisoned Oboi – a significant victory for a fifteen-year-old emperor.
Under the Qing, inherited forms of art flourished and innovations occurred at many levels and in many types. High levels of literacy, a successful publishing industry, prosperous cities, and the Confucian emphasis on cultivation all fed a lively and creative set of cultural fields.
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