Before Mulan, There Was Fu Hao, Warrior Queen | Female Warrior| Shang


Established in 1600 BC the Shang Dynasty marked the golden age of early Chinese civilization ancient China emerges in
the light of history for the first time Shown in the written records that remain
the Shang Dynasty spanned over 500 years and the kings like many rulers of the
ancient world kept control by constantly waging war one of the monarchs who grew
up among the common folk led the Shang to its pinnacle he was deemed the 23rd
king of the Shang Dynasty in his early years
Wu Ding was sent to experience the life of an ordinary citizen by his father no
one at his new home knew that he would one day be their king eventually Wu
Ding reached the age of marriage at the time kings of the Shang would cultivate
the allegiance of neighbouring tribes through marriage Alliance what kind of
woman will I marry Wu Ding wondered Then came the day of Wu Ding’s big
marriage When the wedding procession reached the palace Wu Ding saw his
bride for the first time it was Fu Hao a princess from a neighboring tribe
she’s so beautiful Wu Ding thought to himself Their days together after
marriage were very happy but gradually Wu Ding found the queen by his side to
be different from other women According to writings in ancient tones Fu Hao
ceased all speech and laughter upon hearing thunder to show reverence to the
gods although she would be surprised that the sound her calm demeanor would
not waver When Wu Ding ascended to the throne the Shang
Dynasty strength was on the decline with Many internal and external factors
threatening the stability of the empire When an enemy invasion came from the
north the border guards repeatedly sent urgent messages to the capital
requesting aid Wu Ding was worried because he could not find a general who
could turn things around unexpectedly Fu Hao stood in front of Wu Ding dressed
in full battle armor she appealed to the king to let her lead a military campaign
against the invaders although Fu Hao demonstrated unusual
courage and received military training since she was young Wu Ding was
hesitant to send his beloved wife to the ferocious battle but under Fu Hao’s
persistence Wu Ding decided to conduct a divination The result of the
divination revealed that it was auspicious for Fu Hao to join the war
thus Wu Ding accepted Fu Hao’s request without further delay As soon as she entered the battlefield
Fu Hao reveals her outstanding military talent the enemy was badly defeated and
never again rose to challenge the Shang The bronze Yue (or battle Axe) in the Shang Dynasty was not an ordinary weapon but rather a symbol of military power it is
believed that the larger the Yue size is the more power the owner wields in
1976 two large bronze Yue with the inscription Fu Hao were unearthed in
the Yin ruins the largest Yue is about 40 centimeters long 38 centimeters wide
and weighs 9 kilograms It is engraved with an exquisite pair of twin Tigers
eating a human head motif radiating with an aura of authority Around the 13th century BC
Shangqiu a city of the Shang was attacked by the Yinfang Wu Ding led Fu
Hao to defend Shangqiu after arriving on the battlefield
Wu Ding decided to launch an assault in the middle of the night Fu Hao didn’t
join him instead she quietly left the front lines Alone Wu Ding led a fierce
charge against Yinfang’s forces Yinfang’s front lines were broken They fled from Wu Ding’s pursuing forces and eventually arrived at a quiet valley but
before Yinfang’s army could catch their breath Shang his flag submerged above
them at the top of the valley there were two big characters written on the flags
“Fu Hao” Faced with the enemy soldiers on both
sides Yinfang’s troops were thrown into disarray before long the whole army was
wiped out The Queen was the first general in
China’s written history to apply ambush tactics in war But this was not Fu
Hao’s greatest accomplishment During the third millennium BC a group of steppe pastoralists – the Indo-Europeans started a massive migration to find new
passengers in which their animals could graze Like most pastoralist peoples
throughout history they were fiercely warlike and would conquer kill or drive
off the lands earlier inhabitants in order to use their fields
the first advanced civilization of Europe the Minoan civilization was
shattered One of the greatest civilizations in history the Chinese
civilization was also driven to the brink of extinction the group of
indo-european invaders which migrated southward into China was known as the
tribe of Qiangfang They invaded from the northwest of Shang when Wu Ding was
battling against another tribe in the east The attack from Qiangfang became a
big threat to Shang’s army Wu Ding was placed in a perilous position Fu Hao
was very worried but she declined the idea of immediately sending off the
limited military power remaining instead she walked into prison With several thousands criminal recruits
and the remaining Shang soldiers Fu Hao commanded a united force of over 13,000
people into the battlefield The criminal recruits fought hard the invaders were
terrified by their fierce attack turned on their heels and ran This was the
largest battle fought during King Wu Ding’s reign who how who saved the
civilization became known as the goddess of war One of the most important state affairs
in the Shang Dynasty was military issues what was even more important was the
worship of gods and ancestors and performing divination in attempts to
predict the future The ancient kings would inscribe their name and the date
of the divination on a bone along with a question They would then heat the bone
until it cracked and then interpret the shape of the crack which was believed to
provide an answer to their question The questions and results of the divination
would be carved into oracle bones after the ceremony They were stored and
regarded as interactive letters between the kings and the gods Fu Hao’s name appeared over 250 times
in oracle inscriptions carved on bones and turtle shells inside Shang tomb
Across 3,000 years of change and turmoil these inscriptions proclaim the King’s
unceasing affection for his most favored queen Fu Hao’s existence is said to be one
of the auspicious portents bestowed upon Wu Ding and the Shang people the
assisted booting in many military campaigns had massively expanded the
Shang territory thus Wu Ding’s reign marked the time when the Shang Dynasty
was most powerful then Fu Hao quietly departed having accomplished the Mandate
of Heaven Some speculated that true how was exhausted from fighting wars others
thought her health had gradually worsened after giving birth Fu Hao died
young at the age of 33 who ding was devastated and could not accept his
queens passing On oracle bones, Wu Ding wrote:” Fu
Hao is still here isn’t she?” “Can Fu Hao delay her death?” “Has she left?” Even after her death he asked the gods can I sacrifice 10 cows as a
tribute to Fu Hao After Fu Hao passed away Wu Ding had her buried in an area
within his palace instead of the normal royal tomb areas so that she could stay
beside him and watch over her country every day and night In the year 1976 a lavish tomb was found in Xiaotun village located in the Henan province of China The owner of the tomb
was a lady The luxury of the burial items reflects her uncommonly high
social status Through the veil of history we see a
charming figure doing her hair in front of the mirror over three millennia ago

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