The story of Hua Mulan or The Ballad of Mulan took place during the Northern Dynasty (北朝) period (386-535 CE) in the Kingdom of Wei (Cao Wei, 曹魏).  Hua Mulan (Zhao Wei) and her father, Hua Hu (Yu Rongguang), depended on each other for everyday living. Her admiration for her father, a retired local war hero, made her to furtively emulate his martial art skills and studied Sun Tzu’s (孙子) manuals on the tactical deployment of troops.

When Hua Mulan came of age, the dynasty was under constant threat by the Mongol hordes in the north, specifically the Rouran (柔然)tribes who were fixating the fertile plains of Central China as a place for fulltime settlement. The Wei Emperor (Sun Zhou) conscripted a decree for all able-bodied men in the Northern Province to defend their homeland against the barbarian Rouran hordes. As the Hua family was without a male heir, Hua Mulan’s father insisted to enlist again to serve his country.
Continue reading “Mulan”