Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Sun Tzu -- Writer of the Art of War 

Noble Descendant Sun Tzu and His Early Life 

Sun Wu (545 B.C. — about 470B.C.), also respected as Sun Tzu, was born into a noble family, a descendent of famous King Shun.


After he grew up, the state his family used to serve was in chaos because of fights over the throne; Sun dissatisfied with these disorders and left there.


On his way traveling, he met an intelligent minister of a powerful kingdom named Wu; soon they became very good friends. 

Exceptional Contribution of Sun Tzu to the Kingdom Wu


When the king of Wu was planning to extend territory westward, the minister recommended Sun for seven times until the king finally agreed to meet him. Sun presented his ideas about military and war, which impressed everyone deeply.


Then, the king of Wu organized hundreds of his concubines and maids and asked Sun to train them into an army. Within a few days, surprisingly, Sun turned those delicate and inattentive women into an army with combat effectiveness.


Afterwards, Sun was nominated as commander of Wu’s troops.​


Sun and his minister friend together, they assisted the king won many wars and largely extended the territory, which made their state one of the most powerful kingdoms at that time.


His loyal and intelligent minister friend, however, was set up and falsely sentenced to death by some political enemies.


Sun was, therefore, quite disillusioned and left the king; he has lived in seclusion since then.


Life of Seclusion and Writing of the Art of War

This turned to be a huge disaster to the king of Wu; after Sun Tzu and his minister friend left, the king was seduced by ‘honey trap’, a beautiful woman named Xi Shi.


The kingdom Wu was defeated and perished afterwards.


Sun wrote many articles during his seclusion time, yet the famous book Art of War was the only one preserved and disseminated in the history of China.


His military achievements were excellent, but this book turned to be even more influential and extraordinary. His brilliant and insightful ideas were highly respected and were widely applied outside of military field in Chinese culture. 


In some historical documents, Sun lived in seclusion after his minister friends departed, while in others he was sentenced to death by the king of Wu at the end as well.


However, it was clear that Sun never left kingdom Wu, the realm he had served and contributed, where he met and buried his best friend.