Happy Chinese New Year 2016

Image courtesy of Freedesignfile.
A happy Chinese New Year to all my readers!

2016 is the "Year of the Monkey" in Chinese zodiac cycle. Monkey is generally associated with wit, resourcefulness, career advancement and handsome salary in Chinese culture, but also represents trickster and pranks. Monkey and its associated traits are very well-liked and firmly ingrained in traditional Chinese worldview. Fictional characters that exhibit one or more of these traits, such as the famous Monkey King Sun Wu Kong (孫悟空) and Wei Xiao Bao (韋小寶) are often well-received by Chinese audience.

Speaking of monkey, famous Ming general Qi Ji Guang (戚繼光) once employed monkey troops against the Wokou (倭寇, Japanese coastal pirates). It was during his campaign near Shizhu Mountain (石竹山) in Fuqing, where firearm training of Qi Ji Guang's troops attracted a large tribe of curious monkeys that tried to imitate the troopers. Inspired by the monkeys' act, Qi Ji Guang ordered his troops to capture several hundred monkeys and actually trained these animals in firearms.

When the Wokou came, Qi Ji Guang ordered his troops to set up an ambush in the mountain. Once the ambushers were ready, he ordered his other troops to release the monkeys into the Wokou's camp. Unsuspicious, the Wokou allowed these monkeys to ran pass them unhindered. The monkeys proceeded to pick up any guns they could find in Wokou's camp and shoot randomly, causing a great chaos among the Wokou. Qi Ji Guang then ordered his ambushers to commence attack amidst the chaos, and successfully annihilated the Wokou.


  1. Happy new year! May the coming year be a good one for the blog. Let me say I am grateful for all the work that has been put into the site, it has helped me a great deal in research and does a valuable service for English speakers who are interested in the Ming military; thank you.

  2. Happy new year! Best wishes to you! Thank you for the wonderful images and information that you provided here on your blog, I learned a lot. Please continue to do so.

  3. Happy new year. The arquebus in the Wokou camps are probably unloaded. The monkeys know how to load too?

  4. @Jayson Ng
    Happy new year!

    No idea, as the record do not go into details. Monkey can be trained to do pretty amazing stuffs, but I am guessing they only taught the monkey to load the powder and fire blanks...