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Old February 1st, 2012, 08:33 PM   #1

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Is there any truth to the Mulan legend?


The story claims that Mulan fought for 12 years without anyone knowing she was a female. Could this sort of thing have happened?
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Old February 1st, 2012, 08:36 PM   #2

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She would have to be very careful not to be wounded in any strategically unfortunate bodily arenas. That seemed to be a common fate for disguised female soldiers in more recent periods of history.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 08:49 PM   #3

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Quote:
The story claims that Mulan fought for 12 years without anyone knowing she was a female. Could this sort of thing have happened?
The story of Mulan is itself fictional. There are a small amount of women warriors in non-fictional Chinese history, and none that I know of disguised themselves as a man. I don't think the original poem mentions just how many years she served in the army. Nevertheless, the chance of being spotted within the first second is pretty great. Each soldier wasn't just a face in a mob. Each had to undergo physical exams as well as have their physical attributes recorded, so someone had to pay particular attention to each soldier for these records to be written down. Passing as a man when you're actually a woman would not be easy.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:00 PM   #4

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Plenty of examples of this happening though Joanna is my favorate. She survived Napoleans marchon Moscow!!! Undetected.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:42 PM   #5

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mu lan is not fictional.

chinese history had the woman, indeed.

that poem let her to became famous, but the real history record have many too. but historians have many dispute about detail, so there have many different view.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:22 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
The story claims that Mulan fought for 12 years without anyone knowing she was a female. Could this sort of thing have happened?
Women have disguised themselves as men to fight, but usually they were discovered after a short time, mostly seems to be a year or two, when wounded or sick. Twelve years seems a very long time to go without being discovered. You would have to be awfully lucky to go that long without being wounded or ill.

But maybe she had a personal physician who kept quiet about her sex, either through loyalty or bribery.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:41 PM   #7

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Quote:
mu lan is not fictional.

chinese history had the woman, indeed.

that poem let her to became famous, but the real history record have many too. but historians have many dispute about detail, so there have many different view.
Can you provide more details about this?
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:35 PM   #8

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there have many historical records about mulan, but they all mixed up many dispute.

for examples:

1. about the hometown of mulan, the yu cheng city of henan province have local shrine which was built in tang dynasty, the shrine have two stone tablets, both are historical relics, one was built in yuan dynasty, another one was built in qing dynasty, the texts of stone tablets included the general's title. the ritual activities started from tang dynasty.


another hand, anhui province have many records about mulan's hometown too. their proofs included the local original records, ming an qing's historians textual research and official recognition.

ps: mulan's surname is not hua (in poem), the real name is wei (accroding the historical proofs of anhui province).

this view get many surpport in hisctorical world now.


3. here is a another local original record:

《黄陂县志》 (the original records of huang pi city, it's old name is mulan in sui dynasty. )

唐贞观年间,山北双龙镇千户长朱异得一女,十八岁女扮男装,代父从军,英勇征战十二载……封为将军,她不受 朝禄,回归故里,终年九十,葬于木兰山北。”

zhenguan period of tang, zhu yi of shuanglong town who is a low-level official, he borned a daughter, the girl pretend to be man and join into army for instead of her father in 18 age, fight for 12 years, government give general's title to her, but she refused that reward, went back to her hometown, she died in 90 age, was buried in north of mulan mountain.

accroding the record, mulan's real surname is zhu.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
historians think that have a lot of dispute about the detail of mulan's born date and correct period, but agree the woman had ever lived in history.




the poem should get much embellish when it was singed in long time. so maybe it is not very correct.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:53 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by Louise C View Post
Women have disguised themselves as men to fight, but usually they were discovered after a short time, mostly seems to be a year or two, when wounded or sick. Twelve years seems a very long time to go without being discovered. You would have to be awfully lucky to go that long without being wounded or ill.

But maybe she had a personal physician who kept quiet about her sex, either through loyalty or bribery.

Well, if she did exist, perhaps the poem exaggerated her, as many stories based on fact do.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:59 PM   #10

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Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
Well, if she did exist, perhaps the poem exaggerated her, as many stories based on fact do.
That's true, it could just be an exaggeration.

There are certainly real life women who have disguised themselves successfully as men to fight in battle, and no reason really why Mulan shouldn't be based on a real person.
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