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On Military History
Issue time:2019-11-07

Zhuolu war, the first large-scale war curved in China’s history, took place in Yuncheng, the middle reaches of the Yellow River which is known as the birthplace of the Chinese nation. Chiyou, who fought with the Yellow Emperor in this war, was the first inventor of weapons in China. According to the mutual confirmation of historical materials and ancient books including the San Chao Documents of Confucius, Volume 46 of the Records of Taiping Universe, the records of land in the Wei Dynasty, the Documentary of Jiexian county and A look over Yanchi, poetry wrote by Wang Han, a famous poet of Tang Dynasty, Jiezhou today is where Zhuolu laid in ancient times.


During the clan society period around 5000 years ago, the whole northern hemisphere of the earth frequently suffered from major earthquakes, floods, and droughts. Facing the unprecedented disaster, to fight for natural resources and land suitable for grazing, shallow tillage, expand their living space, they left their native land to the Central Plains. In the course of the eastern southern expedition, Emperor Huang’s tribe merged many tribes, including the Yandi’s. At last, it launched a historically fierce battle with the Chiyou’s tribe for Jizhou (included vast land such as nowadays Yuncheng City) where abundant water and grassland were blessed, especially for Yuncheng Salt Lake, the earliest one been explored in China.


At the outset of the battle, the Chiyou tribe using metal weapons were at the advantage. The Yellow Emperor immediately sent General Ying long to fight against the enemy. Ying Long flew up to the sky and spewed out water, rushing Chiyou's army scattered. Chiyou ordered Feng Master and Rain Master to combat. Fengbo blew the wind all over the sky while the rain master took all the water splashed by Ying Long’s spell. Then they used their magic to attack Emperor Huang’s army with howling wind and torrential rain, defeating Yinglong. Soon, after a short break, Emperor Huang’s army gained their momentum, once again fighting with the Chiyou’s. In this round, the Yellow Emperor took the lead in fighting against Chiyou. Unexpectedly, Chiyou, who is good at using weapons and changing clouds (according to Academy Series in Han Dynasty), released the fog filling the sky, making the Emperor Huang’s army losing its direction. Then Chi You launched a more fiercely attack with the advantage of weapons. Only with the guiding car invented by Master Feng can Emperor Huang’s army escape from the siege. 


After escaping from the dilemma, Emperor Huang made a series of unprecedented preparations. First of all, he went to Taishan to consulted Godness Xuan for the secret of the tactics and combined it with his own experience. With painstakingly effort, he created The Emperor Huang’s Yinfu Scripture and commanded the army to drill 1800 arrays. Apart from that, Emperor Huang inquired from others that there was a monster Kui on Liubo Mountain in the East China Sea. Its roar was as loud as the thunder in the sky. He sent people to kill Kui and beast in the thunder pool to collect their skin and bones separately, making a war drum of which sound could spread to 250 kilometers away in a way to summon up soldiers’ morale. He also asked for help from his daughter, Han Ba, who collected wind and rain. After all these detailed and meticulously preparation, Emperor Huang launched a final battle with Chiyou.


In the final war, torrential floods brought by Ying Long were taken back by Wind Master and Rain Master. And the furious storm and downpour released by those two masters for combating Chi You and dense frog brought by Chiyou were diffused by Han Ba. Emperor Huang’s array surrounded Chi You’s and hit the drum, following up their pursuit when Chi You’s almost swooned with fright. According to the records in history, Chi You were killed in Zhuolu where the water in salt lake was bloodstained.

 After being defeated, some of Chi You’s tribe migrated to Yunnan and Guizhou, the southwest Provinces of China. Some of them drifted across the sea and migrated to the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia, and America. Some of them remained in the original area and were assimilated by the Emperor Huang’s. In recent years, representatives of Miao and Li ethnic groups and South Korean cultural missions have visited Yuncheng many times to honor Chi You as their forefathers. Chiyou village, Dongguo Town, Yanhu District, Yuncheng City, is named for the fact that Chiyou tribe lived here and was buried here after being defeated.  

In the Zhuolu battle, creations of both sides, such as the use of metal weapons by Chi You, the making of war drums by Emperor Huang, etc., had a great impact on the later wars. In particular, Emperor Huang’s Yin Fu Scripture played a unique role in the war and became the earliest strategy book of military science in China. After the Zhuolu war, people continued to deepen the research and application of favorable climate, geographical position, and new weapons and took them as the key factors to win the battle. The Zhuolu war promoted the first integration of the Chinese nation. Emperor Huang defeated Chi You in this war and became the head of the Five Emperors, laying the foundation of China with more than five thousand years of history.


San Chao Documents of Confuciusincluding 7 articles, records the conversation between Confucius and Duke Ai.

Records of Taiping Universe, is the history of ancient Chinese geography and records the territory of the Song Dynasty.