Sun Tzu
Overview
 
Sun Wu style name
Chinese style name
A Chinese style name, sometimes also known as a courtesy name , is a given name to be used later in life. After 20 years of age, the zì is assigned in place of one's given name as a symbol of adulthood and respect...

 Changqing (長卿), better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi , was an ancient Chinese
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

 military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

. Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture
Culture of Asia
The culture of Asia is human civilization in Asia. It features different kinds of cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, and ethnic groups in the region, traditionally called a continent from a Western-centric perspective, of Asia...

, both as an author of The Art of War and through legend.
Quotations

故用兵之法,十則圍之,五則攻之,倍則分之, 敵則能戰之,少則能守之,不若則能避之。

It is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy's strength, surround them; if five times, attack them; if double, engage them; if equal, be able to divide them; if fewer, be able to evade them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.

古之所善戰者,勝於易勝者也。

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

The more you read and learn, the less your adversary will know.

故兵貴勝,不貴久。

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.

兵者,詭道也。故能而示之不能,用而示之不用,近而示之遠,遠而示之近,

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

是故勝兵先勝而後求戰,敗兵先戰而後求勝。

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

人皆知我所以勝之形,而莫知我所以制勝之形。

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

Encyclopedia
Sun Wu style name
Chinese style name
A Chinese style name, sometimes also known as a courtesy name , is a given name to be used later in life. After 20 years of age, the zì is assigned in place of one's given name as a symbol of adulthood and respect...

 Changqing (長卿), better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi , was an ancient Chinese
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

 military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

. Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture
Culture of Asia
The culture of Asia is human civilization in Asia. It features different kinds of cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, and ethnic groups in the region, traditionally called a continent from a Western-centric perspective, of Asia...

, both as an author of The Art of War and through legend. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Sun Tzu's The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, and his work has continued to influence both Asian and Western culture and politics.

Historians have questioned whether or not Sun Tzu was an authentic historical figure. Traditional accounts place him in the Spring and Autumn Period of China (722–481 BC) as a military general serving under King Helü of Wu
King Helü of Wu
King Helü of the state of Wu , a state in ancient China, was initially known as Prince Guang . He reigned towards the end of the Spring and Autumn Period.-Biography:...

, who lived c. 544—496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the completion of The Art of War in the Warring States Period
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

 (476–221 BC), based on the descriptions of warfare in the text, and on the similarity of text's prose to other works completed in the early Warring States period.

Traditional accounts state that his descendant, Sun Bin
Sun Bin
Sun Bin was a military strategist who lived during the Warring States Period of Chinese history. An alleged descendant of Sun Tzu, Sun Bin was tutored in military strategy by the hermit Guiguzi...

, also wrote a treatise on military tactics, titled Sun Bin's Art of War. Both Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese writings, and some historians believed that Sun Wu was in fact Sun Bin until Sun Bin's own treatise was discovered in 1972.

Life

The oldest available sources disagree as to where Sun Tzu was born. The Spring and Autumn Annals
Spring and Autumn Annals
The Spring and Autumn Annals is the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 BCE to 481 BCE. It is the earliest surviving Chinese historical text to be arranged on annalistic principles. The text is extremely concise and, if all the commentaries are excluded, about 16,000...

states that Sun Tzu was born in Qi
Qi (state)
Qi was a powerful state during the Spring and Autumn Period and Period of the Warring States in ancient China. Its capital was Linzi, now part of the modern day city of Zibo in Shandong Province....

, while the later Shiji states that Sun Tzu was a native of Wu
Wu (state)
The State of Wu , also known as Gou Wu or Gong Wu , was one of the vassal states during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn Period. The State of Wu was located at the mouth of the Yangtze River east of the State of Chu. Considered a semi-barbarian state by ancient Chinese...

. Both sources agree that Sun Tzu was born in the late Spring and Autumn Period of China (722–481 BC), and that he was active as a general and strategist, serving the king of Wu
Wu (state)
The State of Wu , also known as Gou Wu or Gong Wu , was one of the vassal states during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn Period. The State of Wu was located at the mouth of the Yangtze River east of the State of Chu. Considered a semi-barbarian state by ancient Chinese...

, King Helü, in the late sixth century BC, beginning around 512 BC. Sun Tzu's victories then inspired him to write The Art of War. The Art of War was one of the most widely read military treatises in the subsequent Warring States Period
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

 (475–221 BC), a time of constant war among seven nations (Zhao
Zhao (state)
Zhao was a significant Chinese state during the Warring States Period, along with six others...

, Qi, Qin
Qin (state)
The State of Qin was a Chinese feudal state that existed during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods of Chinese history...

, Chu
Chu (state)
The State of Chu was a Zhou Dynasty vassal state in present-day central and southern China during the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States Period . Its ruling house had the surname Nai , and clan name Yan , later evolved to surname Mi , and clan name Xiong...

, Han
Han (state)
Han was a kingdom during the Warring States Period in China, located in modern-day Shanxi and Henan. Not to be confused with South Korea which shares the same character....

, Wei
Wei (state)
The State of Wei was a Zhou Dynasty vassal state during the Warring States Period of Chinese history. Its territory lay between the states of Qin and Qi and included parts of modern day Henan, Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong...

 and Yan
Yan (state)
Yān was a state during the Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods of Chinese history. Its capital was Ji...

) who fought to control the vast expanse of fertile territory in Eastern China.

One of the more well-known stories about Sun Tzu, taken from Shiji, illustrates Sun Tzu's temperament as follows: Before hiring Sun Tzu, the King of Wu tested Sun Tzu's skills by commanding him to train a harem
Harem
Harem refers to the sphere of women in what is usually a polygynous household and their enclosed quarters which are forbidden to men...

 of 180 concubines into soldiers. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, appointing the two concubines most favored by the king as the company commanders. When Sun Tzu first ordered the concubines to face right, they giggled. In response, Sun Tzu said that the general, in this case himself, was responsible for ensuring that soldiers understood the commands given to them. Then, he reiterated the command, and again the concubines giggled. Sun Tzu then ordered the execution of the king's two favored concubines, to the king's protests. He explained that if the general's soldiers understood their commands but did not obey, it was the fault of the officers. Sun Tzu also said that once a general was appointed, it was their duty to carry out their mission, even if the king protested. After both concubines were killed, new officers were chosen to replace them. Afterwards, both companies performed their maneuvers flawlessly.

Shiji claims that Sun Tzu later proved on the battlefield that his theories were effective (for example, in the Battle of Boju), that he had a successful military career, and that he wrote The Art of War based on his tested expertise. However, Zuo Zhuan
Zuo Zhuan
The Zuo Zhuan , sometimes translated as the Chronicle of Zuo or the Commentary of Zuo, is among the earliest Chinese works of narrative history and covers the period from 722 BCE to 468 BCE. It is one of the most important sources for understanding the history of the Spring and Autumn Period...

, an earlier historical text which provides a much more detailed account of the Battle of Boju, does not mention Sun Tzu at all.

Sun Tzu's descendant, Sun Bin
Sun Bin
Sun Bin was a military strategist who lived during the Warring States Period of Chinese history. An alleged descendant of Sun Tzu, Sun Bin was tutored in military strategy by the hermit Guiguzi...

, also became a famous scholar of the military arts.

The Art of War

The Art of War is attributed to Sun Tzu. It presents a philosophy of war
Philosophy of war
The philosophy of war examines war beyond the typical questions of weaponry and strategy, inquiring into such things as the meaning and etiology of war, the relationship between war and human nature, and the ethics of war...

 for managing conflicts and winning battles. Some modern scholars believe that, contrary to popular belief, it contains not only the writings of the original author, but also commentary and clarifications from later military philosophers, such as Li Quan and Du Mu
Du Mu
Du Mu was a leading Chinese poet of the late Tang Dynasty. His courtesy name was Muzhi , and sobriquet Fanchuan .He was born in Chang'an into an elite family whose fortunes were declining...

. It is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists since it was first published, translated, and distributed internationally. There are numerous theories concerning when the text was completed, and concerning the identity of the author or authors, but archeological recoveries have proven that the Art of War had roughly achieved its current form by at least the early Han dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (206 BCE – 220 CE). Because it is impossible to prove definitively when the Art of War was completed before this date, the differing theories concerning the work's author(s) and date of completion are unlikely to ever be completely resolved.

Of the military texts written before the unification of China in the 2nd century BC, six major works survived, including The Art of War. During the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 in the late 1st millennium AD, these six works were combined with a Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 text into a collection called the Seven Military Classics
Seven Military Classics
The Seven Military Classics of China were seven important military texts of ancient China which included Sun-tzu's The Art of War. The texts were canonized under this name during the 11th century AD, and from the Song Dynasty onwards were included in most military encyclopedias...

. As a central part of that compilation, The Art of War formed the foundations of orthodox military theory in China. Illustrating this point, the book was required reading to pass the tests needed for imperial appointment to military positions.

According to Simpkins & Simpkins, Sun Tzu's Art of War uses language that may be unusual in a Western text on warfare and strategy. For example, the 11th chapter states that a leader must be "serene and inscrutable" and capable of comprehending "unfathomable plans". They state that the text contains many similar remarks that have long confused Western readers lacking an awareness of the East Asian context
East Asian religions
In the study of comparative religion, the East Asian religions form a subset of the Eastern religions...

. The meaning of such statements are clearer when interpreted in the context of Taoist
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 thought and practice. Sun Tzu viewed the ideal general as an enlightened
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 Taoist master, which has led to The Art of War being considered a prime example of Taoist strategy.

The book is not only popular among military theorists, but has also become increasingly popular among political leaders and those in business management. Despite its title, The Art of War addresses strategy in a broad fashion, touching upon public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

 and planning. The text outlines theories of battle but also advocates diplomacy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 and cultivating relationships with other nations as essential to the health of a state. The Art of War is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program (formerly known as the Commandant's Reading List). It is recommended reading for all United States Military Intelligence personnel and is required reading for all CIA officers.

In 1972, scholars uncovered a collection of ancient texts written on unusually well-preserved bamboo slips
Yinqueshan Han Slips
The Yinqueshan Han Slips are ancient Chinese writing tablets, made of bamboo strips and were discovered in 1972. The tablets contain many important writings that were not previously known, and important copies of existing work....

. Among them were the Art of War and Sun Bin's Military Methods. Although Han Dynasty bibliographies noted the latter publication as extant and written by a descendant of Sun, it had since been lost. The finding of Sun Bin's work is considered to be extremely important, both because of Sun Bin's relationship to Sun Tzu, and because of the work's addition to the body of military thought in late Chinese antiquity. The discovery as a whole significantly expanded the body of surviving Warring States military theory. Sun Bin's treatise is the only known military text surviving from the Warring States period discovered in the twentieth century, and bears the closest similarity to the Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

of all surviving texts.

Historicity

Scholars have expressed doubt in Sun Tzu's historicity and the traditional dating of the Art of War. The skepticism is fueled by factors that include historical inaccuracies and anachronisms in the text, as well as the unlikelihood of the execution of the king's favorite concubines. Increasing skepticism, which sometimes cause scholars to completely deny the existence of a historical figure named Sun Wu (Sun Tzu), has led to acrimonious debate between skeptics and traditionalists, especially in China. Attribution of the Art of Wars authorship varies among scholars, and have included people and movements including Sun; Chu scholar Wu Zixu
Wu Zixu
Wu Yun , better known by his style name Zixu , is the most famous ancestor of people with the surname of Wu . All branches of the Wu clans claim him as their "first ancestor"...

; an unknown author; a school of thought in Qi or Wu; Sun Bin, and others.

Traditionalists attribute the authorship of The Art of War to the historical figure Sun Wu, who is chronicled in the Records of the Grand Historian
Records of the Grand Historian
The Records of the Grand Historian, also known in English by the Chinese name Shiji , written from 109 BC to 91 BC, was the Magnum opus of Sima Qian, in which he recounted Chinese history from the time of the Yellow Emperor until his own time...

and the Spring and Autumn Annals
Spring and Autumn Annals
The Spring and Autumn Annals is the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 BCE to 481 BCE. It is the earliest surviving Chinese historical text to be arranged on annalistic principles. The text is extremely concise and, if all the commentaries are excluded, about 16,000...

. He was reputedly active in the late 6th century BC, beginning c. 512 BC. The appearance of features from the Art of War in other historical texts is considered to be proof of his historicity and authorship. Certain strategic concepts, such as terrain classification, are attributed to Sun Tzu. Their use in other works, such as by the compilers of the Methods of the Sima, is considered proof of Sun Tzu's historical priority.

Scholars that identify issues with the traditionalist view point to anachronisms in the Art of War that include terms, technology, philosophical ideas, events, and military techniques. There is a disparity between the large scale wars and sophisticated techniques detailed in the text, and the more primitive small scale battles that predominated the 6th century BC. However, according to Ralph D. Sawyer, it is very likely Sun Tzu did actually exist and not only served as a general, but also wrote the core of the book that bears his name. The teachings were probably taught to the succeeding generations in the family or a small school of disciples, including Sun-Tzu's descendant, Sun Bin, and were revised and expanded upon.

Legacy

Sun Tzu's Art of War has influenced many notable figures. Traditional histories recount that the first emperor of a unified China, Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang , personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC...

, considered the book invaluable in ending the Age of Warring States. The Art of War was introduced in Japan, c. AD 760, and the book quickly became popular among Japanese generals. The work also significantly influenced the unification of Japan. Mastery of its teachings was honored among the samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

, and its teachings were both exhorted and exemplified by influential daimyo
Daimyo
is a generic term referring to the powerful territorial lords in pre-modern Japan who ruled most of the country from their vast, hereditary land holdings...

s and shogun
Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

s, such as Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

, Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

, and Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

.

Historians popularly recount how French emperor Napoleon studied Sun's military writings and used them to successfully wage war against the rest of Europe. The emperor's disregard for central principles such as attentiveness to temporal conditions is largely credited for his eventual defeat in Russia
French invasion of Russia
The French invasion of Russia of 1812 was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. It reduced the French and allied invasion forces to a tiny fraction of their initial strength and triggered a major shift in European politics as it dramatically weakened French hegemony in Europe...

. Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
An admiral of the fleet is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments...

 Tōgō Heihachirō
Togo Heihachiro
Fleet Admiral Marquis was a Fleet Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and one of Japan's greatest naval heroes. He was termed by Western journalists as "the Nelson of the East".-Early life:...

, who led Japan's forces to victory against Russia in the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

, was an avid reader of The Art of War.

Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 partially credited his victory over Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 and the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 in 1949 to The Art of War. The work strongly influenced Mao's writings about guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

, which further influenced communist insurgencies around the world.

General Vo Nguyen Giap
Vo Nguyen Giap
Võ Nguyên Giáp is a retired Vietnamese officer in the Vietnam People’s Army and a politician. He was a principal commander in two wars: the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War...

, the military mastermind behind victories over French and American forces in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, was an avid student and practitioner of Sun Tzu's ideas. America's defeat here, more than any other event, brought Sun Tzu to the attention of American military leaders. Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

 translated the work for his Vietnamese officers to study.

The Department of the Army in the United States, through its Command and General Staff College, has directed all units to maintain libraries within their respective headquarters for the continuing education of personnel in the art of war. The Art of War is mentioned as an example of works to be maintained at each individual unit, and staff duty officers are obliged to prepare short papers for presentation to other officers on their readings.

Sun Tzu's The Art of War is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program (formerly known as the Commandant's Reading List). During the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in the 1990s, both General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf KCB , also known as "Stormin' Norman" and "The Bear", is a retired United States Army General who, while he served as Commander of U.S. Central Command, was commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991.-Early life:Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton, New...

 and General Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

 practiced Sun Tzu's principles of deception, speed, and attacking the enemy's weakness.

Mark McNeilly writes in Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare that a modern interpretation of Sun and his importance throughout Chinese history is critical in understanding China's push to becoming a superpower in the 21st century. Modern Chinese scholars explicitly rely on historical strategic lessons and The Art of War in developing their theories, seeing a direct relationship between their modern struggles and those of China in Sun Tzu's time. There is a great perceived value in Sun Tzu's teachings and other traditional Chinese writers, which are used regularly in developing the strategies of the Chinese state and its leaders.

Sun Jian
Sun Jian
Sun Jian was a military general and warlord during the late Han Dynasty period of Chinese history. He allied himself with Yuan Shu in 190 when warlords from eastern China formed a coalition to oust Dong Zhuo, a tyrannical warlord who held the puppet Emperor Xian in his power...

 and his sons Sun Quan
Sun Quan
Sun Quan , son of Sun Jian, formally Emperor Da of Wu, was the founder of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. He ruled from 222 to 229 as King of Wu and from 229 to 252 as Emperor of Wu....

 and Sun Ce
Sun Ce
Sun Ce was a military general and warlord during the late Han Dynasty period of Chinese history. He was the oldest of the children of Sun Jian who was killed during the Battle of Xiangyang when Sun Ce was only 16. Sun Ce then broke away from his father's overlord, Yuan Shu, and headed to...

, military leaders during the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
The Three Kingdoms period was a period in Chinese history, part of an era of disunity called the "Six Dynasties" following immediately the loss of de facto power of the Han Dynasty rulers. In a strict academic sense it refers to the period between the foundation of the state of Wei in 220 and the...

 period, claimed to be descendants of Sun Tzu. Sun Quan would eventually go on to become the King of the kingdom Wu.

Popular culture

In 1996, a 13-episode TV series titled The Art of War – Legend of Sun Wu the Master of War (孫子兵法 – 孫武兵聖傳奇) was produced, starring Sun Yanjun as Sun Tzu.

In 2008, producer Zhang Jizhong adapted Sun Tzu's life story into a 40-episode historical drama TV series titled Bing Sheng
Bing Sheng
Bing Sheng is a 2008 Chinese television series produced by Zhang Jizhong, starring Zhu Yawen, Li Tai, Hu Jing, Zhao Yi, He Zhuoyan, Xu Huanhuan, Tu Men and Wu Ma. The series is based on a semi-fictional biography of the ancient Chinese militarist Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War...

(兵聖; also called The Ultimate Master of War: Sun Tzu), starring Zhu Yawen as Sun Tzu.

In 2007 the power metal band Sabaton made the album Art of War with many of Sun Tzu's rules in the songs.

External links

  • Sun Tzu's Art of War at Sonshi
  • Sun Tzu and Information Warfare at the Institute for National Strategic Studies of National Defense University
    National Defense University
    The National Defense University is an institution of higher education funded by the United States Department of Defense, intended to facilitate high-level training, education, and the development of national security strategy. It is chartered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Navy Vice Admiral...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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