History of Chinese martial/warrior culture

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Player 0, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Player 0
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    Player 0 Junior Member

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    One thing issue that constantly gets thrown around as a stereotype of the Chinese is that as a race are pacifists and are well known as bureaucrats.

    This stereotype, and one i find promoted by a lot of Chinese themselves, is one that diminishes the culture and history and i was hoping that the members here could help construct a thread of no just social and cultural role of Chinese warriors but also the history of martial successes.

    Also please keep the thread evenly focused on other parts of history, please don't focus exclusively on the Qin-Han period, please keep as wide as possible and look at Chinese military history in later periods like Tang and Ming.
     
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  2. solarz
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    solarz Colonel

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    Well, to be fair, Chinese culture itself elevates scholars and diminishes warriors, which I believe originates from the Song Dynasty. This is probably why most focus on the Qin-Han period, where Chinese martial culture was arguably at its peak.

    I've been thinking about this issue as well, and one factor I found is that Chinese historical text dealing with battles focus more on the numbers on each side rather than the tactics and equipment, diminishing the achievement of the individual soldiers. Instead, the details of battles are relegated to the arena of popular entertainment, where it is embellished to the point where most details are just fiction. For example, the popular trope of generals fighting one-on-one while their troops look on.
     
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  3. vesicles
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    vesicles Major

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    I think the focus on scholars and civilians began way before the Song dynasty. Even in ancient times, such as Zhou dynasty, the Chinese believed that peaceful development of a country was more important than military conquests. As soon as a military conflict ends, the emperor would begin to "downsize" his military and direct resources to civilian projects. This is especially shown in the cases of the founding emperors of each dynasty as far back as the Zhou dynasty. This is partly because of the deep suspicion that the emperors had for their generals. these military commanders, after all, had the most potential to start a rebellion since they had direct access to the most lethal and effective tools, i.e. the military, for a rebellion.

    This kind of "anti-military" tradition was shown in a lot of places. For example, in formal govn't meetings and ceremonies during ancient times, military commanders always stood on the right side while civilian officials stood on the left. Ancient Chinese culture dictates that the left side is the superior side.
     
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