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2021 Blog Posts

Lady Xian – Warrioress for Peace (12/19/2021)

Lady Xian (Traditional Chinese: 冼夫人; pinyin: Xiǎn Fūrén; Cantonese Yale: Sín Fūyàhn; c. 512 to 516–602) was a warrioress who, though she fought in many battles, is known for bringing about peace, justice and harmony in Southern China during her life. Over two hundred temples have been dedicated to her in Southern China alone. More than two thousand temples have been built to venerate her in China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. She is still revered two millennia after her death. Read More

Liang Hongyu – Renowned Woman Warrior of the Song Dynasty (11/28/2021)

Liang Hongyu (Traditional Chinese: 梁紅玉; pinyin: Liáng Hóngyù; 1102–1135) was a female general of the Han Chinese Song Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 宋朝; pinyin: Sòng cháo; 960–1279). She is famed for defending China from attacks by the Jurchen-led peoples, who were the ancestors of the Manchus. The Jurchen produced the Jin (Traditional Chinese: 金朝; pinyin: Jīn cháo, Jurchen: Anchun Gurun; 1115–1234) and Qing (Traditional Chinese: 大清; pinyin: Dà qīng; Manchu: Daiqing Gurun; 1616/1636–1912) dynasties that both conquered China in their turn. Liang Hongyu led the most colorful and unconventional life of all China's honored women warriors during a turbulent time in the nation's history. Read More

Qin Liangyu – Celebrated Ming Dynasty Female General (10/24/2021)

Qin Liangyu (Traditional Chinese: 秦良玉; pinyin: Qín Liángyù; 1574–1648) is one of the most renowned female warriors in China. She was the only woman regional commander or jiāngjūn (將軍; "general") of the Han Chinese Ming Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 明朝; pinyin: Míng Cháo; 1368–1644). She fought beside her troops against rebels and bandits in southwestern China and in the northeast against invading Manchu tribes, who eventually established the foreign Qing Dynasty (Manchu Script: ᡩᠠᡳ᠌ᠴᡳᠩ ᡤᡠᡵᡠᠨ; Traditional Chinese: 大清; pinyin: Dà qīng; Manchu: Daiqing gurun; 1636–1912). Read More

Bak Mei – Controversial Shaolin Five Elder (9/26/2021)

Bak Mei (Traditional Chinese: 白眉; pinyin: Bái Méi; Wade–Giles: Pai Mei; Cantonese Yale: Baahk Mèih; lit. "White Eyebrow"; c. 1700) is known as one of the legendary Shaolin Five Elders who survived the razing of the Shaolin Temple by the Manchu Qing Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 大清; pinyin: Dà qīng; Manchu: Daiqing gurun; 1636–1912). In some accounts, he is portrayed as having betrayed the Shaolin Temple to the Qing imperial government. His story is clouded in mystery and conflicting tales of honorable intentions, deceit, treachery, and power. The Southern Shaolin style of Bak Mei Pai (White Eyebrow School 白眉派) is named after him. Read More

Yuenü – Master Swordswoman (8/28/2021)

Yuenü (Traditional Chinese: 越女; pinyin: Yuènǚ; Wade–Giles: Yüeh-nü; lit. "the Lady of Yue") was renowned as the most famous and greatest swordfighter of her day. She came from the state of Yue (越), located in the northern area of modern Zhejiang province (浙江省) on the southeast coast of China. Read More

Li Xiu – Defender of Ningzhou (7/25/2021)

The 4th century AD was a turbulent time in China. Civil war between Chinese nobility who vied for power among themselves and uprisings by peasants and barbarians led to chaos throughout the country. One young woman, Li Xiu (李秀; 291 AD – ?; Traditional Chinese Kan-chih Calendar 2987 to 2988 – ?), fought for law and order during the tumult. Read More

Ji Sin – Venerable Shaolin Five Elder (6/22/2021)

China during the 17th century was wracked with oppression, civil unrest and rebellion. The Han Chinese Ming Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 明朝; pinyin: Míng Cháo; 1368–1644) had come to an end and was overturned by the foreign Manchu Qing Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 大清; pinyin: Dà qīng; Manchu: Daiqing gurun). The Qing Dynasty was founded in 1636 and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. The Qing Dynasty dealt with resistance and rebel activities by the Han Chinese throughout its reign. One renowned person who was part of the popular resistance was Ji Sin, a Shaolin monk and a member of the Shaolin Five Elders. Read More

Mother Lü – First Woman Chinese Rebel Leader (5/22/2021)

Mother Lü (Chinese: 呂母; pinyin: Lǚ Mǔ; died 18 AD; Traditional Chinese Kan-chih Calendar 2714 to 2715) was noteworthy for leading a peasant rebellion against the short-lived Xin dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 新朝; pinyin: Xīncháo; Wade–Giles: Hsin-ch'ao; lit. "New dynasty") that reigned from 9 to 23 AD (Traditional Chinese Kan-chih Calendar 2705 to 2706 – 2719 to 2720). She became the first female rebel in Chinese history. Though she died of a sickness, her followers played a major role in the fall of the Xin dynasty and the re-establishment of the Han dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 漢朝; pinyin: Hàncháo; 202 BC–220 AD; Traditional Chinese Kan-chih Calendar 2495 to 2496 – 2916 to 2917). Read More

Fu Hao – Earliest Known Woman Warrior in the World (4/25/2021)

About five hundred years before young female warriors of the Eurasian Scythian nomadic horse tribes rode to battle against the Persians and Greeks and 1600 years before the story of Hua Mulan was written and the monks and nuns of the Shaolin Temple came to be, there lived Fu Hao (Traditional Chinese: 婦好; Simplified Chinese: 妇好; pinyin: Fù Hǎo; died c. 1200 BC) or Lady Hao, posthumous temple name Mu Xin (母辛). Fu Hao flourished as a general in Bronze Age China (c. 21st century BC to 5th century BC). She fought for and defended the Shang dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 商朝; pinyin: Shāngcháo), also called the Yin dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 殷代; pinyin: Yīndài), that reigned in the lower Yellow River or Huang He (黄河) valley from c. 1600 BC–c. 1046 BC. Fu Hao is the earliest woman warrior in the world for whom a history exists. Read More

Legendary Shaolin Five Elders (3/20/2021)

In the folk tradition of South China, the Five Elders of Shaolin (Traditional Chinese: 少林五祖; pinyin: Shàolín wǔ zǔ; Cantonese Yale: Síulàhm ńgh jóu), also called the Five Generals, are the survivors of the one of the razings of the Shaolin Temple by the Manchu Qing Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 大清; pinyin: Dà qīng; Manchu: Daiqing gurun; 1636–1912). The Shaolin Temple was variously said to have been destroyed in 1647 by the Shunzhi Emperor (順治帝; r. 1643–1661), in 1674, 1677, or 1714 by the Kangxi Emperor (康熙帝; r. 1661–1722) or in 1728 or 1732 by the Yongzheng Emperor (雍正帝; r. 1722–1735). Read More

Yim Wing Chun – Legendary Female Martial Arts Master (2/21/2021)

Yim Wing Chun (Traditional Chinese: 嚴詠春; Simplified Chinese: 严咏春; Cantonese Yale: Yìhm Wihng Chēun; pinyin: Yán Yǒngchūn; c. 1775–c. 1840) is renowned as the first master of Wing Chun Kuen (Traditional Chinese: 詠春拳; Cantonese Yale: Wihng Chēun Kyùhn; pinyin: Yǒng Chūn Quán; lit. "Wing Chung Fist"). The style of Wing Chun Fist bears her name, which can be translated variously as "spring chant", "eternal spring", "singing spring" or "eternal spring." Read More

Hua Mulan – Legendary Chinese Heroine (1/23/2021)

Hua Mulan (Traditional Chinese: 花木蘭; Simplified Chinese: 花木兰; Pinyin: Huā Mùlán) is a legendary, possibly real, folk heroine. Mulan dates back to the Northern and Southern dynasties period (Traditional Chinese: 南北朝; pinyin: Nán-Běi Cháo; 420–589 AD) of China's history. Mulan is the most admired of historical Chinese heroines. Read More


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