Sun Tzu: A Visionary

Brendon Chou, 9th Grader || 9.01.18


     Sun Tzu is the notorious Chinese man who is widely regarded across the world as the greatest military leader in the history of humanity. Sun Tzu (pronounced soon-zuh) means Master Sun. His first name was Wu. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, Sun Tzu was a Chinese Military general during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 B.C.) Sun Tzu was the most revered military treatise in the world. This best known masterpiece is best known to us as “The Art of War.” The Art of War is a book that is composed of thirteen chapters, each devoted to an aspect of warfare. It’s commonly known to have extraordinary military strategy and tactics of its time. It was most influential of China’s Seven Military Classics. The first two chapters of “The Art of War” concentrated on the positional strategy, and mapping methods, along with the relative strengths and weakness of competitive positions. The middle chapters concentrated on the expansion strategy, which identifies the opportunities to build up positions. The final chapters specified the responses required to a specific competitive situation.

      The book was first translated into French in 1772, and partial translation into English in 1905. Many other military generals looked up to Sun Tzu and his fascinating teachings of military life.

     Sun Tzu was very experienced in warfare, especially during the time of unprecedented political and military turmoil. Sun Tzu replied “yes” to King Ho-lu when he questioned whether the book’s principles can be applied to anyone. As a proof of his decision, he successfully transformed one hundred-eighty court women into trained soldiers within one session. He influenced many people in that time.

     King Ho-lu captured the capital city of Ying to defeat the powerful state of Ch’u in 506 B.C with the help of Sun Tzu as a military general. Then, he headed north to subdue the states of Ch’i and Chin. Sun Tzu’s name was quickly spread throughout the land to other feudal lords.

     Sun Tzu’s later life and death is unknown. However, by the Han Dynasty, his reputation as a wise and respected military leader was well known. Historians are constantly digging for more artifacts that can reveal the life of soldiers under Sun Tzu’s command. Considering all the countlessly lost text and evidence destroyed throughout China’s history, Sun Tzu’s Art of War was a very remarkable survival to historians. Even today, young military officers who at temped to academies (West Points) must read and memorize the text from “The Art of War.”