Sunday, August 18, 2013

What Song Zi, Chinese Ancient Strategist, Teaches Us

Precisely, Song Zi (Japanese "Son-Shi) is not a name of person. It is a name of a book. That is the textbook of art of War. This book was written around BC 500. Professionals believe that real strategist, either "Song Wu" or "Song Ping", was the author.

"Song Wu" was a commander who formed King's back palace army (Secret Service for the king) and taught the importance of discipline. "Song Ping" was a general in ancient China whose legs cut off from the lost war by enemy country. Legend says that he still fought and could lead his country to victory at the end.

"Song Zi" has several meanings in war history. There are several note-worthy advices with respect to the war. Before this book came out, people believed that to win or lose in a war was God will. That was why warriors pray for God so anxiously before war. "Song Zi" is the first book of war, which told people there are reasons to win or lose a war. Man Kings, generals, and worriers learned how to win the war and "Dos and Do nots" in war from this book. This is the first book in human history on art and science of war. World famous strategy and political elements "Ten, Chi, Jin" - Help of God, Advantage of Location, Support from People - appeared in this book.

2nd point is the fact that "Song Zi" is talking about the meaning of war. As a book of strategy, unfortunately, it does not deny war. It says, however, "War affects not only army and government of a country, but also people, food production, and national wealth. Therefore, the decision makers should not easily exercise this option."

"Song Zi" was The Textbook for famous generals in the history. It is said that Napoleon Buonaparte read it and used its strategies in many battles. Maybe the last person in modern history used strategy of "Song Zi" was Mao Zhedong in China. He used "Song Zi" strategy not to be defeated by Japanese Army in World War II, and win the battles against National Army lead by Jing Jie Shi.

This book categorizes various strategies in terms of location, number of soldiers, training, timing of attack, formation, and so on. All are about art and science of war.

This article is not to show you how marvelous "Song Zi" was, as a strategy book. This article is to draw your attention to the last part of this strategy book that mentions the ultimate and utmost strategy. Please remember that this book was written 2500 years ago. It says as final and ultimate strategy, after its 35 Chapters detailed strategies, as 36th Chapter, is not to fight to death but run away from your enemy to survive.

I hope one day there is no war at all on earth.

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