Ancient Chinese Warrior Yue Fei
Yue Fei (岳飞, 1103 - 1142 A.D.)was a Chinese patriot and nationalist military leader who fought for the Southern Song Dynasty against the Jurchen (a northern tribe which established the Jin Dynasty).
He is one of the best-known generals in Chinese history, and widely credited for the creation of the martial art known as Xingyiquan.
Days after his birth, flooding of the Yellow River destroyed Yue Fei's village. His father drowned in the floods, but not before he had ensured the survival of his wife and son by floating them downstream in a very large clay jar. Yue Fei and his mother settled in Hebei province. Becoming proficient in warfare at an early age, Yue Fei as a young man narrowly escaped execution after killing the Prince of Liang in a martial arts tournament. He did not join the fight against the Jurchen invaders until he was 23.
As a valiant and tactically astute general, Yue Fei led many successful campaigns against the forces of the Jurchen. Taking advantage of the difficulties which his opponents' cavalry experienced in the hilly terrain of Southern China, he was able to score victories although his troops were frequently outnumbered. His forces succeeded in regaining territory south of the Yangtze and Huai Rivers.
Yue Fei was also known for his strict discipline of his legions, forbidding them to pillage, even when facing the harshest of conditions. He was a role model for followers of Confucius' ideas and moral values, as well as being an accomplished martial artist and was very poetic.
Sadly, his attempt to recoup the northern lands lost by the Southern Song Dynasty was opposed by officials who believed further warfare would prove too costly. This desire to complete his quest is reflected in his most famous poem (Yue Fei was also a renowned poet) Manjiang Hong (Entirely Red River).
In the middle of a long victorious campaign against the Jurchen, corrupt officials, the most famous being the traitor Qin Hui, persuaded Emperor Gaozong to recall Yue Fei to the capital. Yue Fei had been readying to attack the Jurchen's Jin Dynasty Capital at the time. The emperor ordered Yue Fei to return twelve times in the form of twelve gold plaques before Yue Fei capitulated.
Qin Hui could not find a reason to execute the captured Yue Fei and was about to release him. However, Qin Hui's wife made the suggestion that since the emperor held absolute power, Qin Hui having the authority of the emperor, needed no reason to execute Yue Fei.
Yue Fei and his son, Yue Yun, were sentenced to death and executed on charges that were not proven but instead "could be true".
Legend has it those who plotted to have Yue Fei executed were haunted by his ghost and driven to commit suicide.
Today, he is revered as one of the great symbols of patriotism and a national hero in China
Manjiang Hong is well-read and is known throughout China and Chinese people around the world, and his mausoleum in Hangzhou is well-visited. There are also two heavily mutilated statues of Qin Hui and his wife, topless, kneeling outside the temple as if begging for mercy. People in the past used to spit upon and kick them, until they were protected as part of the historic temple.
Also, to instill a sense of patriotism, the Chinese government required all primary school students to read and study at least one text about Yue Fei.
Several martial arts have been attributed to Yue Fei, including Eagle Claw, Xingyiquan, Fanziquan, and Chuojiao, among others.
Yue Fei has been in 126 battles and won them all; this is perhaps the best military record in world history.