Ravaging Times

October 29, 2010

post-chapter 323 editorial, page 3

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 9:33 am

(the 3rd page of this editorial piece has some meaningful bits, so I’ll translate the majority of it D:; part II)

Ravages Biography of the Mighty Warriors
(supposedly this is a series done by the editorial staff in the magazine releases, but I might not see or translate all of them)

The Explanation of the Yuan Army’s Methods of Warfare
In the previous chapter Cao Cao‘s troops are gathering while the Yuan army lost many commanders and soldiers. However, Yuan Fang is in no hurry to retreat. He intends to fend off the sizable enemy forces with his smaller army of deputy-led troops, using only the formations they were trained in. In this release we’ll explain the other methods of warfare that were mentioned by Yuan Fang in addition to the world-renowned Master Sun’s Art of War.

Formation of “Subtle Perception”
(when I first saw the term in chapter 322 I had no clue what “Wei Ming” is referring to, whether it was a name or something else; now that I ACTUALLY looked at it it should really be akin to a chapter title, thus can’t just be romanized as “Wei Ming”; I’m VERY SORRY, but at least by the time the book version comes out I’ll have updated them in the blog. ^_^;)
In the previous chapter the formation of “Subtle Perception” as practiced by deputy commanders Han Lou and Hua Jin is from chapter 36 of Master Lao:
That which shrinks must first expand. That which fails must first be strong. That which is cast down must first be raised. Before receiving there must be giving. This is called perception of the nature of things.
(alternative translations here and here)
This explains the method for the weak to overcome the strong.

Formation of “Military Records”
(page 30 of this reference mentions associates “jun zhi” with the translation “Military Records” which makes a whole lot more sense than my previous STUPID translation of “aspiration”, which is modern day meaning obviously; that page also connects “jun zheng” with “Army Administration”, Thank you professional translators! XD)
Master Sun’s Art of War is commonly assumed to be China’s earliest military classic that mentions formation and deployment. But as early as the West Zhou era there have already been Military Records and Army Administration. Even though these two text were lost prior to modern day, their quotes can be found in The Commentary of Zuo and Master Sun’s Art of War of the Warring States Period. For example, “beat a retreat in the face of difficulty” is an idiom seen in The Commentary of Zuo that is quoting from Military Records.

Guan Zhong‘s Methods of Warfare
As for the sole remaining Commander-in-Chief Zhang He, his strategy is from Master Guan. Chapter 17, “Methods of Warfare”:
When the weapons have been perfected and the instructions implemented, you may overtake fugitives and pursue the fleeing like a whirlwind, beat and stab like thunder and lightning.
…Therefore we can surmise that Zhang He’s troop will be the main axis of Yuan army’s next round of offensive.
(see page 276 of that referenced book; the Chinese explanation here makes sense in context since the quote is in classical language, but the English translation already made some of the explanation part redundant)

Above is a basic explanation of Yuan Fang’s strategic deployment. Any reader interested in the topic can look into the original classics and annotated versions for further understanding!

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