Monday 22nd of April 2019

Jiang Ziya
-- One of the Founders of the Zhou Dynasty
  Release time: 2017-06-25

Jiang Ziya (ca. 1135 - 1026 BC), also known by the names of Jiangtaigong, Shang, and Feixiong (Flying bear), etc. Shang (or Shangfu) and Ziya are his two courtesy names. Legend says that he is the 51st generation great-grandson of the pre-history Emperor Shen-nong, and the 36th generation great-grandson of Bo Yi. As the fief of his ancestors were called the land of Lü, he is also known as Lü Shang with his clan name. He was born in 1135 BC in a village (now Fengjiagou Village, Qinlou, Donggang District, Rizhao City) along the beautiful coast of the East China Sea.

As a famous politician, strategist and thinker in ancient China, Jiang Ziya played a key role in the history in the Yin and Zhou dynasties. His thought is broad and profound, and his strategic thinking has become a model for ancient China military thinking. He is the mastermind in the course of defeating the Shang and establishing the Zhou Dynasty. As a founder of the Qi state and Qi culture, he is known as the “the guru of a hundred trades”, “originator of the military strategist’s school”, “ancestor of Chinese martial arts”, “No. 1 person in China’s think tank”, etc. In the Tang Dynasty, he was bestowed the tiles of “Wuchengwang”—the sage of the military, alongside Confucius who is praised as the Literal Saint. The culture of the Qi state which he helped create, has its profound influence at home and abroad.

His treatise on military strategy, Six Secret Strategic Teachings, is considered one of the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China. The work is in the form of dialogue between Jiang Ziya and King Wen and King Wu of the Shang Dynasty. It lays out the theory and principles of administrating the state as well as guiding military actions. Known as the originating work of military strategist, it has profound influence on later works in this field, and has been translated into Japanese, French, Korean, Vietnamese, English, Russian, etc.