Indiana Jones Wiki
Indiana Jones Wiki

"At last I have the ashes of my sacred ancestor!"
―Lao Che[src]

Nurhachi's ashes were the remains of Nurhachi, the first emperor of the Manchu dynasty in China. The ashes were prized by gangster Lao Che who claimed Nurhachi as an ancestor and in 1935 he hired Indiana Jones to find and retrieve them in exchange for the Peacock's Eye.


After Emperor Nurhachi died in 1626, his ashes were collected in a jade funeral urn.

In 1903, the ashes were stolen from their resting place in Peking. The remains were ferried downriver from Shanghai aboard the Rising Moon by a gang of bandits led by Shen Ch'un on behalf of a secret society looking to overthrow the Manchus in favor of a representative government.

However, the ship was sent off course by a storm and attacked by a sea serpent which wrecked the Rising Moon on a tiny atoll beyond a chain of islands northeast of Ningpo while Nurhaci's urn sat in the hold.[1]

The ashes were later smuggled out of the country and sold on the black market.[2]

Nurhachi's urn changes hands.

In 1935, Indiana Jones was hired by Lao Che, a Chinese crime lord, to retrieve the ashes. Jones discovered the ashes sitting in a Turkish pawn shop in Istanbul, and brought them to Shanghai.[2] Lao Che's son, Kao Kan, attempted to kill Jones and take the ashes before the scheduled meeting, but Jones stopped him and Kao Kan left with one less finger.

Nevertheless, Jones took the artifact to Club Obi Wan to trade with Lao Che in exchange for the Peacock's Eye diamond. Lao Che took the urn into his possession but double-crossed Jones by keeping the diamond and poisoning the archaeologist, who ultimately had to fight his way out of the club with the antidote.

Behind the scenes[]

During the development of the script for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, written by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, Nurhachi's eyes were going to be strew on the face of Lao Che, then known as "Lao She". This idea was ultimately not used in the finished film.[3]

The urn prop currently resides in the Hollywood Museum (housed in the Max Factor building) in Los Angeles, California.



Notes and references[]

  1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Sourcebook While The Search for Nurhachi RPG campaign is specifically designed to be a "what if" scenario where characters other than Indiana Jones are hired for the recovery of Nurhachi by Lao Che, the non-contradictory information isn't necessarily non-canon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom junior novel
  3. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones