How obsessed are Japanese military generals with “The Art of War”

  ”Sun Tzu’s Art of War” is well-known all over the world. As far as the country of dissemination is concerned, Japan is the earliest, with the most editions and the deepest research. After the 10th century, among Japanese scholars and generals, there was a trend of studying Chinese military books, especially the study of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” was the most enthusiastic. During the Warring States Period in Japan, military generals all regarded “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” as their standard.
  The ancient military books of our country not only occupy an important position in the history of Chinese academic thought, but also enjoy a high reputation all over the world. Among them, “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” is the earliest and the most widely spread. As far as the countries where it spreads, Japan is the earliest, with the most versions and the deepest research.
  In the process of disseminating advanced Chinese military thought to Japan
   , some naturalized Japanese scholars from various countries on the Korean Peninsula played an important role.
  According to the research of scholar Yan Shengguo, during the Eastern Jin Dynasty, “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” had been introduced to the Korean Peninsula and used in military practice. The most direct reason why “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” was introduced to North Korea was that a large number of Chinese immigrants and envoys came to the Korean peninsula since the Qin and Han Dynasties. In addition, there were also Koreans who studied in China, and they may all become media. In 663, a group of Baekje scholars crossed the Tsushima Strait and arrived in Japan. Among them was the “Dr. Array” who was proficient in Chinese military art and had a deep understanding of Chinese military thought. They naturalized in Japan and became a bridge to spread Chinese military thought in Japan.
   In the 8th century, Japan sent a large number of Tang envoys, students and monks to study in China, and many Chinese scholars also went to Japan. These official and non-governmental envoys between Japan and China brought China’s advanced political and economic system, science, culture, and religious art to Japan, and at the same time, they also brought China’s military thinking to Japan. Japanese scholar Kibi Mabi made outstanding contributions to the dissemination of Chinese military thought. According to “Fu Sang Ji Ji”, the emperor of Tang cherished him very much because of his extraordinary talents, and kept him many times to prevent him from returning to China… Ji Bei is not only proficient in the six arts, but also familiar with the art of war, especially the study of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” and “Wu Qi’s Art of War” deepest. He used all the money he got from the Tang Dynasty to buy various books.
   In 734, Ji Bei returned to China with the fruitful achievements of his years of studying in Tang Dynasty. He dedicated a large number of books and items learned, purchased and donated from the Tang Dynasty to the court of his country. Although the detailed catalog of the large number of books he brought back to Japan has not been handed down, it can be seen from the records of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”, “Wu Qi’s Art of War” and Zhuge Liang’s Eight Formations to the workers during his tenure as Dazai Shaoer and Dazai Daere after he returned to China. There is no doubt that our country’s art of war was passed to Japan through it.
   Ji Bei not only teaches military art, but also can use it flexibly. In September of the eighth year of Tianping Baozi (764), Emei Yasheng set up a rebellious flag against the imperial court in Omi (Shiga). Using the art of war he learned in China, Ji Bei drew up a battle plan for conquering the rebels, and wiped out the entire army of the opponent in just 17 days.
  ”Japan’s Sun Wu”
   In the 9th century, the Japanese imperial court collected 28 kinds of Chinese military books, such as “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”, “Sima Law”, “Six Secret Teachings”, “Three Strategies”, “Wei Wu Emperor’s Art of War” and so on. After the 10th century, among Japanese scholars and generals, there was a trend of studying Chinese military books, especially the study of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” was the most enthusiastic.
   Compared with scholars, Japanese military generals pay more attention to the study and application of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”. In 1062, Yoshika Minamoto, a disciple of Oe Kuangfang and a famous military general, used the guiding principles of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” in the Battle of Chuchuan, and defeated the enemy with the tactic of “surrounding the division without fail”. In the “Three Years War” from 1084 to 1087, he got inspiration from the discussion in “The Art of War” “The bird rises and the beast falls, and the beast scares the fall”, he saw through the enemy’s tricks, avoided the enemy’s ambush, and won The war is won.
  From 1184 to 1185, Yoshitsune Yoshitsune, a legendary Japanese hero and famous general at the end of the Heian period, created a “surprise attack” using the idea of ​​”Sun Tzu’s Art of War” in the Battle of Ichinoya and the Battle of Yashima. The method of warfare, repeated battles and victories, was called a military genius by later generations.
   In 1332, Masanari Kusuki, a famous military general of the late Kamakura shogunate in Japan, faced the siege of tens of thousands of Kamakura shogunate crusades with thousands of light infantry and ingenious guerrilla tactics at Chihaya Castle in Akasaka. “Nine Changes”, with more than a thousand troops to resist the enemy’s attack of 200,000 people, directed a wonderful scene in Japanese war history, and became a famous tactician for a while. Later generations summarized his command art and strategy and tactics into “The Art of War of the Nanmu School”. After the Edo period, there was a saying in Japan that “Chinese Kongming, Japanese nanmu”.
   Japan’s Warring States Period (1467-1615) was full of disputes and famous generals, such as Takeda Shingen, Uesugi Kenshin, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Mori Motoyuu and other famous generals appeared. They all regarded “The Art of War” as their standard.
  Mao Liyuan admired Sun Tzu’s thought of “surrendering the enemy”, and was good at “surrendering the enemy without fighting”, especially making good use of the contingency idea of ​​”winning by the enemy” in “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”. Oda Nobunaga, the founder of Japan’s unification, was good at using his grandson’s “Ki Masa” and other strategies, and won the battle of Nagashino. Takeda Shingen studied “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” when he was young, and he especially loved the phrase “It is as fast as the wind, it is as slow as the forest, it invades and plunders like fire, and it does not move like a mountain” in “Military Struggle”. His military flag is embroidered with “wind, forest, fire , mountain” four big characters. He used his grandson’s thoughts throughout his military career, and achieved outstanding results, so he enjoys the reputation of “Japan’s Sun Wu”.
  ”Sun Tzu’s Art of War” became the standing book of Japanese naval education. In
   1615, Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated Toyotomi Hideyori in the Osaka Summer Battle. Tokugawa Ieyasu used “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” as a military teaching material, and ordered Shi Zimei’s “Seven Books of Martial Arts Lecture Notes” to be republished, which was the first Japanese publication of military books and ended the history of Japan’s handwritten copying of Chinese military books. Luo Shan, a great scholar in Edo, has successively written “Seven Books Judgment”, “Excerpts from Sun Wu”, “Sun Tzu’s Proverbs”, “Sun Tzu’s Copy”, etc., especially “Sun Tzu’s Proverbs” is the most famous, known as the Japanese commentary “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” First person.
   In the late Edo period, due to the “power from the west to the east”, the Japanese military circles gradually turned their attention to the west. Nevertheless, ancient Chinese military thought still had an influence that cannot be ignored in Japan. In the 1930s, with the prevalence of militarism, the Japanese military circles vigorously advocated “fighting for the emperor and being loyal to the emperor”, and Japanese soldiers were instilled with supernatural and mysterious “must kill, must win, and must win” Because of the distorted thinking, the Japanese Naval University began to teach “Dou Zhan Jing”, emphasizing the importance of spiritual elements, and discarding “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”.
   In 1945, Japan was defeated and surrendered, and some researchers with military background began to reflect on the war through “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”. Vice Admiral Tok Yongei lamented in the book “The Truth of Sun Tzu” that Japan blindly accepted the Western offensive thinking and launched a war of aggression, which was “entirely caused by this German thinking”. The study of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” heated up again after a short period of stagnation. There are many famous sinologists and scholars in the research team of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” after the war. Their study of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” not only focuses on the practical application, but also pays attention to the collation and interpretation of the words and sentences of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War”. The famous Sinologist Jin Guji has been engaged in the research of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” for a long time. His translation and annotation of “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” has been reprinted many times since it was published in 1963.
   In addition to Japan, Vietnam, North Korea and other Asian countries also came into contact with ancient Chinese military books earlier. “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” has not only been circulated for a long time on the Korean Peninsula, but was even listed as a must-read book for the imperial examinations by the country. Today, the US National Defense University, West Point Military Academy, Navy and Air Force Command Academy, etc. all list “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” as a must-read for strategy and military theory. The British Royal Command Academy has long listed “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” as the first required reading of strategy and military theory… “Sun Tzu’s Art of War” is indeed a treasure of military books and a great contribution made by the Chinese nation to human civilization.