Jin Dynasty’s “Hua Mulan” takes charge of her father’s army and relieves the siege of the allied forces

The story of Hua Mulan, who joined the army on behalf of her father, is familiar to many people. Li Xiu, a female general of the Western Jin Dynasty (291-? Li Xiu (291-?), a female general of the Western Jin Dynasty, once commanded 37 large armies on behalf of her father, and was known as the “Hua Mulan” of the Jin Dynasty.

In 265 A.D., Sima Yan established the Jin Dynasty, known as Emperor Wu of Jin. In order to facilitate governance, Sima Yan divided the whole country into 19 states, and each state had its own governor. In the fifth year of Taikang (284 A.D.), Sima Yan sent Li Yi (?), a native of Shaanxi Province, to be the governor of Nan Yi. In the 5th year of Taikang (284 AD – 306 AD), Sima Yan assigned Li Yi (?), a native of Shaanxi province, to be the lieutenant of Nan Yi, holding the command of the army and guarding the south central region.

Li Yi had a daughter named Li Xiu, who was intelligent, resourceful and had a character like her father. Li Xiu lived with her father in the army for a long time and was good at riding and archery, and knew the art of war well.

In the first year of Guangxi (306 AD), the barbarian tribes in the south joined forces to besiege Ningzhou. Li Yi was unable to monitor the battle due to illness, and before the reinforcements arrived, Li Yi died of illness.

At this time, the city of Ningzhou had no food and no help from outside. The civil and military officials in the state unanimously elected Li Xiu to manage the affairs of the state, and she formulated the strategy of defending the city and commanded the officers and soldiers to fight.

Li Xiu reorganized the army in the city and shared the hardships with the soldiers. When the food ran out, she burned rats and plucked grass as food. When the enemy army slackened, Li Xiu led the army to attack by surprise. Finally, he broke through the enemy camp and relieved the crisis of Ningzhou.

When Emperor Sima Ji of Jin learned of this, he made Li Xiu the Assassin of Ningzhou and the Lieutenant of Nan Yi. After more than thirty years, the four barbarians respected her.

Li Xiu eventually died in office. When the people learned of her death, they were so grief-stricken that they built a temple for Li Xiu at their own expense and worshiped her every year.

During the Tang Dynasty, the emperor of Tang named Li Xiu “Lady Zhen Jing Ming Hui”. There is an anecdote about the origin of this title.

In the first year of the Tang Dynasty (618), Cuan Hongda rushed back to Yunnan from Chang’an to guard the city of Ningzhou, and was besieged by anti-Tang barbarians.

Cuan Hongda went to the temple of Li Xiu to pray for the refuge of the female general. That night, a fierce wind blew and it rained heavily, Cuan Hongda took the opportunity to attack and defeated the enemy army besieging the city.

Cuan Hongda attributed the credit of relieving the siege to the apparition of Li Xiu, the female general, and submitted the matter to the imperial court. The Tang Emperor Gaozu issued an edict and named Li Xiu “Lady Zhen Jing Ming Hui”.


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