In February of the 11th year of Wanli (1583), after exterminating the rebels in Myanmar, dengzilong was promoted to the deputy chief of the Yunnan army to manage the military affairs of the province.
That year, he was 56 years old.
In the Ming Dynasty, the deputy commander in chief was generally under the commander in chief, only in charge of some troops, but Yunnan was relatively special.
Since the middle and late Ming Dynasty, the Yunnan general army has long belonged to the Mu family. During the war, the Mu family general army officer was also the nominal highest military chief officer in Yunnan. Therefore, dengzilong was appointed as the deputy chief military officer, actually the highest military officer in Yunnan.
But before long, he was dismissed.
At that time, in response to the invasion of Myanmar, the imperial court recruited a large number of soldiers in Yongchang (now Baoshan, Yunnan) and Tengchong on the Yunnan border. Dengzilong and another general, Liu Zhen, are in charge of the recruits.
? dengzilong. Figure source: screen capture of film and television series
The two have always been at odds with each other, and there are many constraints after taking charge of the recruits. The soldiers of the two battalions often gathered in private to fight, and the military style was ruined.
The imperial court could only transfer Liu Zhen away, and dengzilong was ultimately responsible for training all the recruits.
As a result, dengzilong treated the recruits of the two battalions differently. The soldiers who had been following him were given preferential treatment and double pay. Even if some of them violated military discipline, he turned a blind eye.
Under “coddle”, the group of soldiers who received preferential treatment mutinied directly after they failed to pay a certain amount of money. They burned, killed and looted all the way to the provincial capital.
Fortunately, the Yunnan governor at that time had a good command, so the mutinous soldiers did not cause more trouble.
Afterwards, Deng Zilong was dismissed and investigated, and his military career was once interrupted.
The veteran is getting old. He feels a little regret in his heart.
The world is full of misfortunes and blessings, just as dengzilong never wanted to be a general when he was young.
He was born into an aristocratic family in Fengcheng, Jiangxi Province. In addition to farming, the only skill of the three generations of our ancestors was to tell fortune telling.
Influenced by his family style, when he was in his teens, he began to travel north and south to see feng shui for others. He chose the foundation of Yang house and Yin House, and gradually became popular in his hometown Fengcheng and southwest Jiangxi.
Deng Zilong’s income is very considerable by showing people how to choose the base. Even if you don’t become an official, you will have a very comfortable life by purchasing a few mu of thin farmland in your hometown with your money and collecting rent.
But dengzilong didn’t want to live like this.
On the way to show people Feng Shui to make a living, he paid attention to the practice of writing and martial arts, hoping to change his fate.
In this way, in the past six years, although dengzilong made great progress in literature and martial arts, he still couldn’t find the direction of life.
He returned to baiyun temple in Fengcheng, his hometown, and planned to live in the temple for a period of time. On the first day of entering the temple, he had a dispute with a middle-aged man dressed as a scholar.
For a stool, dengzilong attacked the middle-aged man first. Who knows, the middle-aged man did not show weakness. He fought back and put dengzilong down. After that, he did not forget to educate Deng Zilong, who was unable to rise to the ground, and reminded young people not to judge people by their appearance.
Dengzilong realized that he had met an expert.
After repeated questioning by dengzilong, the middle-aged man said, “I am Luohong, an old official dismissed in the current dynasty!”
Dengzilong suddenly realized that he was luohongxian, a great scholar and the No. 1 scholar in the eighth year of Jiajing (1529).
? portrait of luohongxian, the number one scholar in the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty. Source: Network
It is said that luohongxian once worshiped under Wang Yangming, followed the master to learn psychology, and had a deep research on the theory of “giving conscience” mentioned by Mr.
Although luohongxian was dismissed from office because he opposed emperor Jiajing’s belief, he was not only proficient in mind learning, but also knew everything from astronomy, yin and Yang, and the number of skills to geography, maps, and geomancy, and even deployed troops to attack and defend water conservancy.
Having to meet an expert, dengzilong, regardless of his face, fell to his knees in front of luohongxian and asked the other party to accept him as a disciple.
In the face of this sudden disciple, luohongxian wanted to have a test, so he told dengzilong that he was traveling around the world now, and baiyun temple was just one of them, and would soon leave. If you want to learn, you can travel around the world as a teacher to increase your knowledge.
The next day, in order to fulfill his promise of seeking teachers, dengzilong followed Luohong on the journey.
On the way, luohongxian focused on explaining military theories to his disciples with knowledge of geography and cartography. At the same time, he took the opportunity of visiting famous mountains and rivers to ask his disciples to recite poems and Ode to him and instill patriotism into him.
Under the guidance of luohongxian, dengzilong gradually developed a strong interest in the fighting.
It seems that in the confused life, I see the direction of progress.
Three years later, dengzilong left his mentor.
He is going to take part in the martial arts examination to serve his family and country.
In October of the 37th year of Jiajing (1558), the provincial examination of Jiangxi Wuke was held, and dengzilong embarked on the road to the examination.
Before leaving, he picked up his pen and wrote down “Mo Jian Kou Zhan”:
Whet the green frost, be courageous and brave, and the divine light will shoot into the bullfight.
After Zhang Hua left, there was no news. He has been in Wolong for thousands of years.
A short four sentence poem tells you your determination to win this trip, and also reveals your deep feelings of helping the world for a long time.
? rubbings of dengzilong’s climbing the flying mountain (partial). Source: Network
Soon, Deng Zilong won the martial arts examination and became the first “civil servant” of the old Deng family for generations.
According to the system at that time, if “Ju Ren” did not participate in the joint examination or the palace examination to promote his status, he could not obtain a higher-level appointment and could only start from a lower level. Dengzilong was a bit unlucky. Although the Ming imperial examinations were nominally both civil and military, the military officer position could be inherited by future generations. Over time, the higher-level joint examination and palace examination in the martial arts examination have become meaningless. By the middle and late Ming Dynasty, when he was in the middle and late Ming Dynasty, ordinary people were admitted to the martial arts examination, and the road to promotion was basically over.
But in any case, he can wait in line for appointment at the Ministry of war with his current fame.
Jiangxi governor yamen soon extended an olive branch to him.
It turned out that when Deng Zilong was admitted to the martial arts examination, a gang of robbers ransacked Zhangshu Town, Jiangxi Province. Since Zhangshu town is only 20 miles away from Linjiang (now Zhangshu City, Jiangxi Province), the magistrate is worried that the bandits are powerful, and if they are not handled carefully, they will not only be held accountable by the imperial court, but also easily intensify conflicts and endanger their own safety. Therefore, he urgently sent a distress signal to the governor’s Yamen of Jiangxi Province.
Soon, the governor yamen ordered dengzilong to lead a force directly under the Futai Yamen to take full charge of suppressing bandits.
As the “first show” of his military career, dengzilong attached great importance to this appointment.
At that time, the prefect of Linjiang never investigated and analyzed the bandit forces, although he urgently moved troops to the higher authorities for help. Until dengzilong was ordered to report, the magistrate of Linjiang threatened dengzilong with a false report of thousands of people.
After some on-the-spot investigation, dengzilong found that the number of so-called thief soldiers was only a hundred, and they only robbed property and were not interested in killing people.
So Deng Zilong ordered a hundred men and horses, and took advantage of the night to appease the bandits who frightened the magistrate.
After the war, dengzilong became famous in the military circles of the village, and the local chronicles can’t wait to record his name in the book, which will last forever.
At the same time, as the Japanese invaders became more and more serious along the southeast coast, dengzilong, who had just completed the task of suppressing bandits, received an order from the imperial court to recruit guest soldiers to fight on the front line.
As a new member of the military circles in Jiangxi, dengzilong was appointed by the governor of Jiangxi. As a “small flag”, he cooperated with the “guest soldiers” of the province to participate in the Anti Japanese war in the front line of Fujian and make new contributions.
On the day he received the order, dengzilong set out for Fujian.
Just like going to the provincial capital for the examination, he wrote a song “raising troops to Fujian” on his march to express his lofty aspirations and determination to fight the Japanese:
The flag Festival depends on the crossing of the Jianxi River, and the mature plum moss language road is slow.
More than Yin has forgotten his home for a long time, pointing to the enemy’s frequent singing of Xu Guoshi.
Orders are sent quickly, mountains and seas are quiet, and fighting does not disturb the singing of birds and apes.
You must smash and wash the hatred of the people. If you hang a sword, you will become a feather coat.
As soon as they arrived in Fujian, the “guest soldiers” of Jiangxi immediately joined the battle.
At that time, the Japanese pirates mainly attacked Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou along the coast of Fujian.
As these three prefectures are the economic lifeline of Fujian Province, almost all Fujian troops are transferred here for defense, while the rest of the areas are defended by “guest soldiers” from all over the country. Deng Zilong and his subordinate “guest soldiers” in Jiangxi have great defense pressure.
But even so, in the first battle with the enemy, dengzilong personally killed two Japanese pirates, captured one alive and made great contributions.
? part of Qiu Ying’s Anti Japanese atlas. Source: Network
According to the reward method of the Ming army: “cut off the Japanese head thief by one level, promote the real one to three ranks, and reward the unwilling one with a hundred and fifty liang of silver.”
With the passion and bravery to protect the country, Deng Zilong was promoted to General Manager (Grade 7) and became a grass-roots officer of the Ming army with more than 400 troops.
In the new Fujian governor Tan Lun’s “exhortation and punishment for officers and soldiers to suppress roving bandits and investigate those who participated in meritorious crimes” to the imperial court, he specially mentioned: “the participating generals liangshouyu, commanding Liu Wei, Ling Zhi, Qianhu Ma GUI, wusheng dengzilong… All have the power to drive away the relaxation and reap the rewards.”
This is also the first time that dengzilong has emerged in the national success report since he left his hometown.
Since then, he has participated in the work of suppressing bandits and robbers for many times. In the war experience, he has accumulated military achievements by heroic killing the enemy step by step, and has grown into one of the famous military generals in the late Ming Dynasty.
Due to his outstanding achievements in resisting the bandits, in the sixth year of Wanli (1578), dengzilong, 51, was transferred to the post of the chief financial officer (the third grade) of the capital division of Zhejiang Province to take charge of the sea patrol of the two generals of Jiahu and Ningshao.
At that time, the Japanese forces that invaded the southeast coast disappeared. Dengzilong, who was stationed in the front line of coastal defense in Zhejiang Province, had a quiet life.
Taking the opportunity of regularly reporting on coastal defense work in Hangzhou, he also took time to visit the city called “paradise on earth”.
In front of the Yuefei temple, dengzilong sighed with infinite emotion and wrote the poem “although Zhuge was born in Sichuan, he also died, and the general died in Song Dynasty”.
Who knows, if you are not careful, these two poems will be denounced, saying that they are discussing state affairs in vain; In addition, chenshibao, the governor of Jiangxi Province, reported to the imperial court that dengzilong had committed acts of corruption and perverting the law during his tenure in Jiangxi. In combination with several crimes, Emperor Wanli made the decision in person: “Zilong is both intelligent and brave. He can redeem his position and use it in case of shortage.”
A few years after he was suspended from duty and without pay, dengzilong, who was disheartened, was again employed by the imperial court.
In the 11th year of Wanli (1583), the Dongxu Dynasty of Myanmar invaded Yunnan.
At that time, Yue Feng, a businessman living in Longchuan, Yunnan Province, had a private relationship with Wang mangying, Myanmar. After hearing that her good friend ascended the throne in Myanmar, Yue Feng designed to kill doshining, the Xuanfu envoy of Longchuan, and then enlisted in mangying Li to actively serve as a pioneer in attacking Yunnan.
Under the leading attack of Yue Feng, the Ming Court lost shunning and Shidian successively in Yunnan, and Tengchong and Yongchang, the important military towns, were also in danger.
At the time of crisis, Emperor Wanli ordered the conscription of “tens of thousands of Han and Turkish troops” from neighboring provinces to help Yunnan.
At that time, Deng Zilong was serving as a general in Wujing, Hunan Province. He was ordered to lead his troops to Yunnan and join the war of resistance against Myanmar.
During the more than 200 years since the founding of the Ming Dynasty, the Mu family has always been in charge of Yunnan. Therefore, the imperial court has a long-standing awareness that Yunnan is a small place and does not need to work. In addition, Yunnan is located in the southwest border, with complex terrain. The central army has traveled a long way and is not acclimatized. Therefore, the Ming army suffered a lot from the defensive battle carried out in the early stage.
Under this situation, the Burmese army has attacked Dali, Menghua, Jingdong and other places, and is likely to use Yunnan as a springboard to invade the north.
As a pioneer of the whole army, dengzilong’s headquarters actively organized people to build city construction outposts as soon as they arrived in Yongchang, Yunnan.
? Zhuoying pavilion built by dengzilong in Baoshan, Yunnan. Figure source: the idea of the figure bug
In view of the generally low morale in the army, he ordered the reinforcements to mobilize before the war while beheading some officers and men who had taken the lead in violating the law and discipline, and strictly enforced military discipline.
At that time, Han Jinzhong, the head of the propaganda and comfort Department of Haraki state, was in Yongchang. The mang family of the Dongxu Dynasty had a grudge against Han Jinzhong. In order to please the Burmese army, a general suggested that dengzilong hand Han Jinzhong over to the Burmese army. He believed that after receiving this generous gift, the Burmese army would return the favor and retreat in front of the Ming army.
But dengzilong flatly refused.
This tough attitude made the Ming army soldiers stationed in Yongchang more determined to fight to the end.
Dengzilong personally led people to survey the terrain around Yongchang, and found that Yaoguan, more than 100 miles away from Yongchang mansion, was the throat of Yongchang, and its geographical location was very important. Whether the war can be won or not depends on how well Yao Guan fought the tough battle. Therefore, dengzilong decided that general Deng Yong would lead his troops to feign attack the Burmese army stationed at Yaoguan in the front, while he would lead the elite to climb over the steep mountains and make a surprise attack around the back.
In November of the 11th year of Wanli, the battle of Yao pass began.
Relying on his 300000 troops, Wang chaomang’s army in Dongxu first launched an attack on the Ming army.
According to the prior deployment, dengzilong and a few elite generals ambushed on the only way for the Mang’s army.
Taking advantage of the lax defense of the Burmese army, Deng Zilong and others fell from the sky.
The Burmese army dispatched elite elephant soldiers to attack the city this time. However, in the sudden war, elephant soldiers could not give full play to the advantages of cluster warfare, and gradually became disorderly and trampled on each other.
Under the attack of the elite arrows and cannons of the Ming army, the offensive of the Burmese army continued to be thwarted, and a large number of soldiers died at the feet of their elephants. “Corpses were all over the mountains and blood was all over the streams.”.
In order to further expand the war results, Deng Zilong was ordered to wipe out the remaining Burmese army together with the famous general Liu Xun who came to reinforce him.
After some fighting, Liu and Deng’s allied forces not only broke through the invading Burmese army, but also followed the pace of the withdrawal of the Burmese army, and invaded Myanmar all the way, laying the second largest city in Myanmar at that time, awa (today’s Mandalay in Myanmar).
The victory of the Ming Burma war promoted Deng Zilong and Liu Zhen to the rank of deputy chief soldier. Later, they jointly managed the affairs of the Dian army.
? portrait of famous general Liu Zhen. Source: Network
Although Liu Zhen’s courage in fighting topped the whole army, his arrogance was also famous in the army. But dengzilong didn’t like this. When they met with difficulties, the contradiction broke out soon.
After many internal conflicts, dengzilong and Liu Zhen were both dismissed.
Later, due to the mutiny, dengzilong was put into prison and questioned by knife and pencil officials.
Just when everyone thought that a generation of veteran generals was about to repeat the fate of Li Guang, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a “guanbai” in the east of the sea of Japan, actually “pulled” dengzilong.
At that time, Japan was at the end of the Warring States period. With the demise of the Muromachi shogunate, celebrities from various countries (equivalent to China’s counties) have joined the war for real power. The most powerful Nobuyasu ODA rose up under the pressure of the group of heroes, and some big names, such as Weizhang, feihou and Kinki, came to Japan one after another. The new form of the shogunate of Japanese generals began to appear. However, in the later change of the instinctive temple, Nobuta was forced to kill by the wise Guangxiu, a family minister, and the power of the family fell into the hands of the important minister yuchaixiuji. After many expeditions, Hideki Yuchai fulfilled his old master’s wish, briefly unified the names of all parts of Japan, and was given the name of “FengChen” by the emperor of Japan, opening the Taoshan era.
Compared with Nobuta, Toyotomi Hideyoshi was more enthusiastic about war.
? Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Source: Network
At that time, in addition to the Ming Dynasty, there were also Lee’s Korea, which was close to Japan.
This regime has been a loyal “vassal state” of the Ming Dynasty since its establishment. Under the protection of the Ming Dynasty, Lee’s Korea gradually abandoned its warrior spirit at the beginning of the founding of the dynasty, and the Korean and Chinese parties fought constantly, making it a completely weak country.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi then formulated a grand plan to invade Korea and swallow the Ming Dynasty with Korea as a springboard.
In the 20th year of Wanli (1592), the Korean War in the “Wanli three expeditions” officially began.
With the cooperation of the Ming army and the Korean army and people, the Ming and Korean allied forces successively recovered most of the Korean territory such as Kaesong and Hanyang, and the Japanese invaders were forced to retreat to Busan and Ulsan.
During the war, the Ming army found that most of the Japanese troops who attacked the DPRK this time used naval divisions to transport troops for landing operations. If the Ming army also attacked at sea with a navy, it would get twice the result with half the effort.
On the Japanese side, Toyotomi Hideyoshi took peace talks with the Ming Dynasty as a measure to slow down the war, and then poured in the troops of the whole country to launch a second invasion of the DPRK.
In July of the 25th year of Wanli (1597), after the fall of Hanyang, Japanese warships crossed the Korean Peninsula and reached the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea. Japanese War flags can also be seen in the distance from Tianjin and Penglai.
? Penglai water city, also known as the city of preparing for Japanese invaders, is a military fortress of the Northern Navy in the Ming Dynasty, with a dangerous terrain and facing the sea. Figure source: the idea of the figure bug
Hearing the news, Emperor Wanli was furious. In addition to dispatching the Northern Navy to guard the areas of Tianjin and Dengzhou, they are also speeding up the recruitment of the southern Navy, and have Li rushong, Liu Zhen and other troops enter the DPRK to participate in the war.
In view of Deng Zilong’s outstanding achievements in the war against Japan and Myanmar, Emperor Wanli specially ordered him to restore the rank of deputy chief soldier and go to the Korean war with the famous general Chen Yu as the Deputy General of the southern Navy.
This year, dengzilong was 70 years old.
Although he has passed the age of fighting for his life in the battlefield, dengzilong is still like zhaozilong in the Three Kingdoms era, “an old man is in a stable position and has a long-term ambition”.
After receiving the imperial edict, dengzilong dared not hesitate. He carefully selected a large number of Yiwu soldiers in Zhejiang Province. At that time, Yiwu soldiers were famous for helping Qijiguang fight Japanese.
In order to reach the Korean battlefield as soon as possible, this group of Yiwu sailors under Deng Zilong had hardly received any training before the war. However, this did not affect their wonderful performance in the Anti Japanese war.
After a long journey, the eastern expedition Navy arrived on schedule under the leadership of dengzilong.
Soon, in coordination with the Ming army’s land offensive, dengzilong’s Navy launched a decisive battle with the Japanese Navy at sea and defeated the enemy.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was bent on attacking the DPRK, suddenly died of illness (it was said that Shen Weijing, the envoy of the Ming Dynasty, was poisoned), and the morale of the Japanese army was greatly demoralized. Under the control of the Korean navy, Li shunchen led the new type of armored “turtle boat” to join the battle.
? restoration model of turtle boat beside the statue of Lee Shun Chen in Seoul, South Korea. Figure source: the idea of the figure bug
The headless Japanese army had to withdraw secretly.
Among the three-way Japanese army, President Xiaoxi’s troops are mostly deployed on the water surface of quangnan Road, far away from the sea of Japan, which is not conducive to withdrawing back to Japan. In order to escape his life, he learned from FengChen Xiuji and sent people to negotiate with Chen Zhen, who was stationed by the sea, and Liu Zhen, who was on land.
While the two armies were bargaining, the little westbound commander sent a distress signal to the friendly forces.
In order to make the small westbound changshunli withdraw from the war, the leader of Samo, Shimadzu Yihong, personally led more than 10000 people to the rescue.
As the Shimadzu navy “filled the sea, but the sea did not see water”, Chen Yu, who was in charge of maritime defense, was worried about an accident, so he sent veteran dengzilong and Li shunchen to ambush the Luliang strait that the Japanese army must pass through to prevent the Japanese army from launching a third attack.
In this way, under the “misunderstanding” of both sides, the Ming and Korean allied forces met the Japanese army who wanted to run away.
As the leader of the Navy, Shimadzu knew that if he did not try his best to break through the Ming and Korean allied forces, he would not only be unable to save his accomplices, but might even take himself in. So as soon as the war began, Shimadzu was determined to die.
However, Lee Shun Chen, who was under the control of the Korean navy, had a heart of mutual hatred with the Japanese army. When the two armies encountered each other, of course, they killed each other.
I don’t know whether he felt it or not. Before he set out, dengzilong told his servants in the Army: “I just want to attack the thief, serve the country wholeheartedly and thank the saint.”
On the night of November 18, the 26th year of Wanli (1598), the Luliang naval battle began.
Dengzilong and lishunchen both suffered the last battle of their lives.
According to historical records, the Ming and Korean allied forces immediately “shut down the door and beat the dog” after the Shimadzu troops joined up with Xiaoxi.
At that time, the navy of the Ming Dynasty and the Chao Dynasty “shouted at the cannons, heading straight for the thieves, and all the ships responded. When the thieves knew that I was coming, the birds (cannons) fired at once, and the sound shook the sea, and the flying balls fell into the water like rain”.
At the critical moment, Deng Zilong, regardless of his old age, led 200 death squads to rush into the main force of the enemy and fight to the death with the Japanese army. According to the recollection of the servant who was lucky to return to Daming: “the master just rushed in and cut the level, but he saw the red water.”
Due to the chaos of the scene, Deng Zilong’s warship was accidentally connected with the Japanese Navy under the interaction of wind and fire.
Surrounded by the Japanese army, a generation of veteran generals were outnumbered and died at the hands of the Japanese army.
In order to rescue dengzilong, Li shunchen led his army into the Japanese array. He was also accidentally attacked by stray bullets and died on the spot.
Finally, under the desperate struggle of the Ming and Korean allied forces, the Japanese invaders almost paid the price of total annihilation and fled back to Japan.
After hearing about the tragedy of the Korean battlefield, Emperor Wanli, in his credentials to Korea, did not forget to warn the king of Korea who was afraid of death again: “although the Japanese are hiding, the race is still alive, and you can be brave. I don’t know… I hope the king will lie down and taste the gall, and don’t forget his previous shame.”
However, the admonition of the Ming emperor could not save the life of veteran dengzilong.
After the war, the servants gathered for dengzilong found that the master’s head was missing, and the silver medals and swords and armor used in the war were all looted by the Japanese army.
The servant can only use a section of sandalwood carving as his head and bury it underground with the old general.
To show that he did not forget the national humiliation, the king of Korea personally put on his filial piety clothes and held a massive national mourning for Deng Zilong and Li shunchen who died in the battle.
Since then, the kings of all dynasties in Korea have been very grateful for Deng Zilong’s “rebuilding the vassal state” and have built ancestral temples to offer sacrifices.
However, in the starry Ming Dynasty, Deng Zilong seemed to have died “unknown”, and the Emperor Wanli only gave him the money as a second grade governor.
Throughout his life, he was impeached, suspended, and jailed. He may not be morally perfect, but don’t forget:
A hero with faults is still a hero.
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[Qing Dynasty] zhangtingyu: history of the Ming Dynasty, Zhonghua Book Company, 1974
[Qing Dynasty] heshijin et al. Fengcheng county annals, China Bookstore press, 2002
[Japan] compiled by Mo songbaohe: the true records of the Li Dynasty (photocopy), Institute of Oriental culture, Japanese Academy of learning, 1961
[Korean] liuchenglong: records of punishment and avoidance, Shanghai Jiaotong University Press, 2019
Mao Jing: biography of dengzilong, Xueyuan press, 2015
Zhouxuegen and gaomingyang: the emotional connotation of dengzilong’s poems, a national hero of the Ming Dynasty, Journal of Changjiang University (SOCIAL SCIENCE EDITION), 2018, issue 1