"Knowledge is not power, it is only potential.
Applying that knowledge is power.
Understanding why and when to apply that knowledge is wisdom!"
Takeda Shingen (武田 信玄, December 1, 1521 – May 13, 1573), of Kai Province, was a pre-eminent daimyō in feudal Japan. Known as the "Tiger of Kai", he was one of the most powerful daimyōs with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period. Shingen had been a 'Warlord' of great domestic skill and competent military leadership.
Takeda Shingen, original name Takeda Harunobu, (born December 1, 1521, Kai province [now Yamanashi prefecture], Japan—died May 13, 1573, Komaba, Shinano province [now Nagano prefecture]), daimyo (feudal lord) and one of the most-famous military leaders of Japan, who struggled for mastery of the strategic Kantō Plain in east-central Honshu during the chaotic Sengoku (“Warring States”) period of civil unrest in the 16th century.
Takeda is especially well known for his series of battles (1553–64) with the noted warrior Uesugi Kenshin, which not only are famous in the annals of Japanese history but are also much celebrated in Japanese drama and folklore.
Takeda Harunobu was born into the powerful Takeda clan of shugo daimyo (military governors) who at the time controlled Kai province (present-day Yamanashi prefecture), a mountainous region west of the Kantō Plain. In 1541 he forced his father, Takeda Nobutora, to retire as head of the clan, and Harunobu assumed that position. He soon began expanding his family’s domains northward into Shinano province (present-day Nagano prefecture) and into other lands adjacent to Kai. He entered the priesthood in 1551, at which time he assumed the Buddhist name Shingen. Taking religious vows, however, in no way hampered his participation in worldly affairs.
Soon thereafter, Takeda began his struggle with Uesugi for mastery of the Kantō. Although their battles over more than a decade were relatively indecisive, Takeda became recognized as one of the most-powerful military leaders in east-central Japan. As such, he posed a threat to the powerful warrior Oda Nobunaga, who was attempting to unify Japan under his control, and to Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda’s ally and founder of the Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship). Takeda defeated an army led by Tokugawa near Hamamatsu (in present-day Shizuoka prefecture) in January 1573, and he made further inroads into Tokugawa-controlled territory before he died of a terminal illness later that year. His son and successor, Takeda Katsuyori, was defeated by Oda and Tokugawa in the early 1580s, thus ending the Takeda family’s power. Among the various dramatizations of Takeda Shingen’s life is the film Kagemusha (“The Shadow Warrior”) by Japanese director Kurosawa Akira, which was released in 1980.source: britannica.com
"Let thy step be slow and steady, that thou stumble not"
One of the most significant figures in Japanese history, Ieyasu was a warrior, statesman and founder of the Tokugawa dynasty of shoguns.
Tokugawa Ieyasu was born Matsudaira Takechiyo in 1542, son of the lord of the province of Mikawa. At the time of his birth, Japan was convulsed by civil war, with violent feuds between territorial lords which had lasted for nearly a century.
In 1567 Ieyasu, whose father's death had left him as leader of the Matsudaira, allied with Oda Nobunaga, a powerful neighbour. It was at this time that he changed his name from Matsudaira to Tokugawa, which was the name of the area from which his family originated. He also changed his personal name to Ieyasu, so he was now known as Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Ieyasu spent the next decade-and-a-half campaigning with Nobunaga while expanding his own influence and wealth. He had by now gained a considerable military reputation. When Nobunaga was assassinated in 1582, Ieyasu acquired more territory, and allied with Nobunaga's successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi sent Ieyasu to govern lands in the east of Japan, attempting to contain his growing independence. Ieyasu made his headquarters at the small port of Edo (where Tokyo now stands). When Hideyoshi died campaigning in Korea, Ieyasu became one of the guardians of his young son. The leading military figures in Japan now began to scheme against each other and civil war again broke out. Another of the advisers appointed by Hideyoshi was Ishisa Mitsunari, and it was he who formed the Western Army against Ieyasu . In 1600 Ieyasu defeated the Western Army in the decisive battle of Sekigahara, thereby achieving supremacy in Japan. In 1603 Emperor Go-Yōzei, ruler only in name, gave Ieyasu the historic title of shogun (military governor) to confirm his pre-eminence. Japan was now united under Ieyasu's control. He worked hard to restore stability to Japan and encouraged foreign trade, which included the exchange of gifts with James I of England and other European rulers. It was only later, under Ieyasu's successors, that Japan effectively isolated itself from foreign contact.source: bbc.co.uk
Now I'm about to disappear,
Wondering how I should grasp it.
From the emptiness I came,
Hence I shall return there.
The Hōjō clan (北条氏, Hōjō shi) in the history of Japan was a family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken (regent) of the Kamakura shogunate between 1203 and 1333.
Despite the title, in practice the family wielded actual governmental power during this period compared to both the Kamakura shōguns, or the Imperial Court in Kyoto, whose authority was largely symbolic. The Hōjō are known for fostering Zen Buddhism and for leading the successful opposition to the Mongol invasions of Japan. Resentment at Hōjō rule eventually culminated in the overthrow of the clan and the establishment of the Ashikaga shogunate.
The Late Hōjō, sometimes known as the Odawara Hōjō after their home castle of Odawara in Sagami Province, were not related to the earlier Hōjō clan. Their power rivaled that of the Tokugawa clan, but eventually Toyotomi Hideyoshi eradicated the power of the Hōjō in the siege of Odawara (1590), banishing Hōjō Ujinao and his wife Toku Hime (a daughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu) to Mount Kōya, where Ujinao died in 1591.
Hōjō Ujimasa (北条 氏政, 1538 – August 10, 1590) was the fourth head of the later Hōjō clan, and daimyō of Odawara. His childhood name was Matsuchiyo-maru (松千代丸). He was a son-in-law of Takeda Shingen. Ujimasa commanded in many battles included Siege of Odawara (1569) and Battle of Omosu (1580). He consolidating his clan's position, and retired in 1590. His son Hōjō Ujinao became head of the clan and lord of Odawara, but later that year they failed to hold Odawara against the forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Ujimasa was forced to commit suicide along with his brother Ujiteru
Ujimasa composed death poems:
Autumn wind of eve
Blow away the clouds that mass
O'er the moon's pure light.
And the mists that cloud our mind
Do thou sweep away as well.
(雨雲の おほへる月も 胸の霧も はらひにけりな 秋の夕風)
Now I'm about to disappear,
Wondering how I should grasp it.
From the emptiness I came,
Hence I shall return there.
(我が身今 消ゆとやいかに 思ふべき 空より来たり 空へ帰れば)source: Wikipedia
"Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive;
wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death.“
Uesugi Kenshin, also called Uesugi Terutora, original name Nagao Torachiyo, (born Feb. 18, 1530, Takada, Echigo province, Japan—died April 19, 1578, Takada), one of the most powerful military figures in 16th-century Japan.
Nagao Torachiyo was the third son of the head of Echigo province in northeastern Japan. With the death of his father in 1543, the family’s control of the area began to disintegrate. Torachiyo not only restored order to the area but also gained control of neighbouring provinces, becoming one of the most powerful warriors on the Kantō Plain in central Honshu.
In 1552 Uesugi Norimasa, who had inherited the position of kanrei, or governor-general, of Kantō and whose family had long been the most powerful in the area, was defeated by the Hōjō clan and took shelter with Torachiyo, whom he adopted as his son. Torachiyo then changed his surname to Uesugi. He received many of the hereditary vassals of the Uesugi family, and he also became involved in a series of battles with the eastern warlords of the Hōjō and Takeda families for control of the Kantō region. Uesugi’s battles with the noted general Takeda Shingen resulted in no permanent gain for either side, however.source: britannica.com
"Leaders can be wrong - but they can not be unclear"
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, original name Hiyoshimaru, (born 1536/37, Nakamura, Owari province [now in Aichi prefecture], Japan—died Sept. 18, 1598, Fushimi), feudal lord and chief Imperial minister (1585–98), who completed the 16th-century unification of Japan begun by Oda Nobunaga.
He was the son of a peasant; when he was still a boy, he left home for Tōtōmi province (present-day Shizuoka prefecture) and became page to a retainer of the daimyo (feudal baron) of Tōtōmi. After a short period, he returned home to become a foot soldier for the great Japanese leader Oda Nobunaga. His cheerful nature, tactful manner, and intelligence helped him to be promoted to samurai (a military retainer of a daimyo). When Nobunaga began his campaign to subjugate central Japan in 1568, Hideyoshi fought in many of the important battles. In September 1573, by overthrowing two powerful daimyo, Hideyoshi became a lord of Nagahama, Ōmi province, and subsequently took the name of Hashiba Chikuzen no kami (Hashiba, Lord of Chikuzen).
From 1577, by order of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi embarked on the suppression of western Japan, in the course of which he invaded Bitchū province (now in Hiroshima prefecture). Operating from a base at Himeji Castle in Harima province, he besieged the daimyo Mōri Terumoto at Takamatsu. In 1582, Oda Nobunaga committed suicide after a revolt led by his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide; Hideyoshi immediately made peace with Mōri, and then moved east to avenge Nobunaga by defeating Mitsuhide, which he accomplished at the Battle of Yamazaki.
At a conference of the Oda family’s chief retainers, Hideyoshi insisted that Nobunaga’s grandson succeed as head of the Oda family in opposition to two powerful vassals of their late leader who supported Nobunaga’s third son. In 1583, Hideyoshi defeated one of these vassals in a battle and allowed him to commit suicide. After subduing a number of important strongholds, Hideyoshi in the same year built a castle in Ōsaka. He then embarked on his attempt to conquer the whole of Japan in an effort to complete Nobunaga’s work of unifying the country after more than two centuries of feudal warfare. In the following year he fought a battle with Tokugawa Ieyasu, a powerful daimyo and a supporter of Nobunaga’s second son. After an inconclusive fight, the two leaders concluded an alliance.
In 1585 Hideyoshi was appointed kampaku (chancellor to the emperor) and later became dajō-daijin (chief minister). He was awarded the family name of Toyotomi by the emperor, and he thus came to bear the name Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Shortly thereafter, he made peace with Mōri Terumoto, who had again become his antagonist, and then conquered the large islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. He achieved some of his victories with Tokugawa Ieyasu’s assistance. After subduing, with Ieyasu’s aid, the Kantō and Ōu districts in the east in 1590, he became head of an alliance of daimyo that constituted a government of national unification.
At first he imposed such measures as katana kari (“sword hunting”) in order to enforce the prohibition of the use of arms by farmers, merchants, and monks and shiro wari (destruction of castles or reducing the number of castles), to destroy unnecessary strongholds throughout Japan. He also introduced shi-nō-kō-shō, freezing class distinctions by rigidly separating warriors, farmers, artisans, and tradesmen, and by allowing each class to live in different areas of a town or village to promote the orderly establishment of a feudal society. In addition, he conducted kenchi (land surveys) and abolished road checkpoints in order to promote transportation. Development of mineral resources was encouraged so that the resulting coinage would help to further trade.
Upon conquering the whole of Japan, Hideyoshi entrusted the position of kampaku to his nephew, Toyotomi Hidetsugu, henceforth assuming the title of taikō, the designation of a retired kampaku. He then prepared to invade Korea. His ultimate purpose was reportedly the conquest of China, the Philippines, and India, but even control of the Korean peninsula, which he first invaded in 1592, was not possible since Japan’s forces were entirely inadequate for an undertaking of such magnitude. After a temporary peace with China, which eventually broke down, Hideyoshi in 1597 staged a second invasion of Korea. He died at the age of 62, deeply perturbed by the unfavourable results of the Korean war.
There were no children born to Hideyoshi by his formal wife, but he had a son by a concubine. At Hideyoshi’s death, however, the son was only five years old; two years later Tokugawa Ieyasu took the reins of government and in 1603 founded the Tokugawa shogunate, or military government.
Because of Hideyoshi’s lowly beginnings, he was said to be illiterate and uncultured. He did, however, secretly attempt to educate himself, showing a facility for composing poetry. He performed well in Nō plays and avidly studied tea ceremony with the master Sen Rikyū, frequently holding such ceremonies to demonstrate his skill. After his death his policies of national unification were followed by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and they became the basis of the peaceful Tokugawa era.source: britannica.com
"Don't lump the army as one, it consists of individuals, they all have their own feelings"
In 1579, a year after Uesugi Kenshin's death, an alliance between the Takeda and Uesugi clans was established. The following year, ordered by Takeda Katsuyori, Sanada Masayuki invaded western Kōzuke, which was a Hojō domain at the time, and seized Numata Castle, putting it under control of the Takeda clan. The same year, he was appointed the title of Awa-no-kami (従五位下・安房守).
In 1581, he was ordered by Katsuyori to supervise the construction of the new Shinpu Castle at Nirasaki. In the same year, Numata Kageyoshi, former lord of Numata Castle, attempted to retake his old fief, but Sanada Masayuki schemed to assassinate him and thwarted his plans.
In April 1582, Oda and Tokugawa allied forces started an invasion of the Takeda territory. It is said that Sanada Masayuki had intended to shelter Katsuyori and advised him to abandon Kai Province and flee towards Sanada's domain in Kōzuke(Iwabitsu Castle). Instead, Katsuyori decided to take shelter at Oyamada Nobushige's Iwadono Castle, but was betrayed and ultimately died at Tenmokuzan.
After the fall of the Takeda clan, Sanada Masayuki yielded to Oda Nobunaga and was put under the orders of one of Nobunaga's chief commanders, Takigawa Kazumasu. Sanada Masayuki managed to retain most of his domain, but had to abdicate Numata Castle to Takigawa Masushigue, Kazumasu's relative.
In December 1584, as Ieyasu made peace with Hideyoshi and returned to his territory, he was pressed by Hōjō Ujinao to act on the terms of their treaty. In that treaty, among other terms, Tokugawa Ieyasu agreed to transfer Numata Castle and its adjacent lands in Kōzuke province to the Hōjō clan. In April 1585, Ieyasu advanced his army into Kai province in a move to pressure Sanada Masayuki into abdicating Numata Castle. Sanada Masayuki however, resisted having to hand it over, having conquered it with great effort years before. Ultimately, he decided to cut relations with Tokugawa Ieyasu and once more switched allegiances by sending his second son Nobushige to Uesugi Kagekatsu as a hostage. With this move, he effectively joined Hashiba Hideyoshi's side, which opposed the Tokugawa-Hōjō alliance.
Fortifying Ueda Castle, Sanada Masayuki fought against Tokugawa Hidetada's 38,000 men with only 2,000 soldiers. This was the Second Battle of Ueda Castle, and, whilst it was not exactly a victory, Sanada Masayuki was able to deliver a heavy blow to Hidetada and delay his forces for long enough that they were unable to show up at the main battlefield on time.
Even though Sanada Masayuki was never able to expand his territories as well as other daimyōs, he is nevertheless often considered a talented daimyō, doomed by misfortune and the inconvenient terrains which surrounded his home domain. Toyotomi Hideyoshi had called Sanada Masayuki a person whose inside did not match his outside, that his allegiance was fickle and not to be trusted. Nevertheless, it was exactly his drifting alliances that helped the Sanada clan survive the onslaught of hostile clans, and, since the Edo period, he has been more extolled than vilified.
Sanada Yukimura (真田 幸村, 1567 – June 3, 1615), actual name: Sanada Nobushige (真田 信繁), was a Japanese samurai warrior of the Sengoku period. He was especially known as the leading general on the defending side of the Siege of Osaka.
Sanada Yukimura was called "A Hero who may appear once in a hundred years", "Crimson Demon of War" and "The Last Sengoku Hero". The famed veteran of the invasion of Korea, Shimazu Tadatsune, called him the "Number one warrior in Japan" (日本一の兵).
He was the second son of Sanada Masayuki (1547–1611). His elder brother was Sanada Nobuyuki. He was married to Chikurin-in (Akihime), Ōtani Yoshitsugu's daughter and adopted daughter of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
On November 19, Tokugawa forces (approx. 3,000 men) attacked a fort across the Kizu River, destroying it. A week later, Tokugawa forces attacked the village of Imafuku with 1,500 men against a defending force of 600. With the aid of a squad of arquebusiers, the Tokugawa claimed victory once again. Several more small forts and villages were attacked before the siege on Osaka Castle itself began on December 4, 1614. Sanada Yukimura built a small fortress called Sanada-maru in the southwest corner of Osaka Castle. The Sanada-maru was an earthwork barbican defended by 7,000 men under Sanada Yukimura's command. From there, he defeated the Tokugawa forces (approx. 30,000 men) with groups of 6,000 arquebusiers. The Shōgun's forces were repeatedly repelled, and the Sanada troops launched a number of attacks against the siege lines, breaking through three times. Ieyasu then resorted to artillery, which included 17 imported European cannons and domestic wrought iron cannons, as well as sappers employed to dig under the walls of the fortress. The fortress was impregnable; the Tokugawa suffered many losses.
Ieyasu gave up trying to destroy the castle during this battle, and sued for peace with Toyotomi Hideyori. He proposed a condition for the reconciliation, i.e. to destroy the outer moat of the castle. When his envoy entered the castle grounds, they destroyed not only the outer moat but the inner moat as well.
On June 3, 1615 (7th day of 5th month of 20 year of Keicho era), at the Battle of Tennōji after hurrying back to Osaka castle, Sanada Yukimura found the massive Tokugawa force of nearly 150,000 moving into positions in order to make their final assault on the castle. As the Tokugawa units were still moving into formation, the Toyotomi forces launched a last ditch offensive with their approximate 54,000 to 60,000 troops that hoped to take the still loose Tokugawa formations off-guard. As the vanguard of the Tokugawa left flank under Matsudaira Tadanao marched to their positions, Sanada Yukimura's troops charged down from Chausuyama (茶臼山) and fought with desperate abandon together with Mori Katsunaga's contingent. As Matsudaira’s line began to crumble, Ieyasu rushed his personal body of troops up to support Matsudaira and Sanada Yukimura saw his chance to smash through the center. If he could keep the center of the Tokugawa forces tied up long enough for Hideyori to sally out of the castle and lead a general charge on the exposed Tokugawa flank, the Toyotomi forces might have a chance at victory—or so he hoped. Thus, at this moment, Sanada Yukimura dispatched his son, Sanada Daisuke back to the castle to urge Hideyori to seize the moment and sally forward. But Hideyori was too late. As the fighting raged around him, the exhausted Sanada Yukimura collapsed on a camp stool. According to legend, Sanada Yukimura's last words were along the lines of "Who dares to take my head?" Nishio Nizaemon, a Tokugawa samurai, recognized Sanada Yukimura and charged forward, issuing a challenge. Unable to muster the strength to fight, Sanada Yukimura acknowledged who he was and took off his helmet. Seconds later, his life came to an abrupt end.source: Wikipedia
"Detach from emotions and desires; get rid of any fixations."
Zhuge Liang, romanization Chu-ko Liang, courtesy name Kongming, known as the crouching tiger, (born 181, Yangdu [now Yinan, Shandong province], China—died August 234, Wuzhangyuan [now in Shaanxi province], China), celebrated adviser to Liu Bei, founder of the Shu-Han dynasty (221–263/264).
Zhuge, to whom supernatural powers often are ascribed, has been a favoured character of many Chinese plays and stories. Legend states that Liu Bei, then a minor military figure, heard of Zhuge Liang’s great wisdom and came three times to the wilderness retreat to which Zhuge had retired to seek him out as an adviser. It is known that Zhuge helped Liu organize a large army and found a dynasty. Liu was so impressed with Zhuge’s wisdom that on his deathbed Liu urged his son to depend on Zhuge’s advice and urged Zhuge to ascend the throne himself if the prince were unable to rule. Some historical accounts indicate that Zhuge died from illness while leading a military campaign in 234.
A mechanical and mathematical genius, Zhuge is credited with inventing a bow for shooting several arrows at once and with perfecting the Eight Dispositions, a series of military tactics. In the Sanguozhi yanyi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms), the great 14th-century historical novel, Zhuge is one of the main characters; he is portrayed as being able to control the wind and foretell the future.source: britannica.com
"As the sage says, ‘If you cannot tolerate small insults, you will ruin grand plans.’ The best course of action is still to defend."
Sima Yi ( 司馬懿, 179 – 7 September 251), courtesy name Zhongda, was a Chinese military general, politician, and regent of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.
He formally began his political career in 208 under the Han dynasty's Imperial Chancellor Cao Cao; quickly rising through the ranks.
His success in both handling domestic and military affairs, such as in governance and the promotion of agriculture, serving as a capable adviser, repelling incursions and invasions led by Shu and Wu forces, speedily crushing Meng Da's rebellion, and conquering the Gongsun-led Liaodong commandery, all managed to garner him great prestige over the decades. He is perhaps best known for defending Wei from a series of invasions between 231 and 234 led by Wei's rival state Shu.
In 239, he was made to preside as a regent for the young Cao Fang—after the latter's adoptive father, Cao Rui, had died—along with another co-regent, Cao Shuang. Although amicable at first, the relationship soon deteriorated in light of Cao Shuang's corruption, extravagance, and attempts to curtail Sima Yi's political influence. In 249, after carefully planning and building up support, he ousted Cao Shuang from power in a coup d'état and had him and his associates executed.
Sima Yi would go on to serve as the de facto primary authority in Wei after this event, although in 251 he faced some opposition in the form of Wang Ling's rebellion, which he swiftly dealt with. He died later that year, on 7 September 251, at the age of 71 or (more likely) 72, with his eldest son, Sima Shi, succeeding his position.
For the remainder of Wei's history, state power would increasingly rest in the hands of the Sima clan, which paved the way for the establishment of the Jin dynasty, which was founded by Sima Yi's grandson, Sima Yan, in 266. After Sima Yan became emperor, he honoured his grandfather with the posthumous title Emperor Xuan of Jin and the temple name Gaozu.source: Wikipedia
"The world under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity."
Three Kingdoms, Chinese (Pinyin) Sanguo or San-kuo, (220–280 CE), trio of warring Chinese states that followed the demise of the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). In 25 CE, after a brief period of disruption, the great Han empire had been reconstituted as the Dong (Eastern) Han. However, by the end of the 2nd century, the Dong Han empire was disintegrating into chaos.
Its last emperor had become a mere puppet, and finally (220) he ceded the throne to Cao Pi, the son of his generalissimo and protector, Cao Cao. Thus began the Wei kingdom (220–265/266), but its effective influence was confined to northern China. Two other Han generals shortly installed themselves as emperors and took over regions of western and southern China; the Shu-Han empire (221–263/264) was proclaimed in what is now Sichuan province, and the Wu empire (222–280) was declared south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) at Jianye (present-day Nanjing). The Sinicizing of the southern regions by the Wu was an important contribution to the future of China, and Nanjing was to become a future Chinese capital for more than two centuries.
The Wei conquered the Shu-Han in 263/264, but two years later Sima Yan (known posthumously as Wudi), one of the Wei generals, usurped the throne and proclaimed the Jin dynasty. In 280 the Jin conquered the Wu and reunited the country, but the dynasty soon fell apart, and the country disintegrated into chaos.
The Three Kingdoms survived for too short a period to contribute much to the arts in any conventional sense, although during their time the use of clay puppets to act out dramas did arise. But the period is important to the arts as subject matter. This short and bloody era of warfare and political intrigue was one of the most interesting and romantic in China’s long history; and, ever since, it has been a favourite subject of historical fiction and other art forms. One of the most celebrated examples is the novel Sanguozhi Yanyi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms).source: britannica.com
Sanada Masayuki (真田 安房守 昌幸, 1547 – July 13, 1611) was a Japanese Sengoku period lord and daimyō. He was the head of Sanada clan, a regional house of Shinano Province, which became a vassal of the Takeda clan of Kai Province. He managed to establish himself as an independent daimyō under the Toyotomi regime through skillful political maneuvers amidst the powerful Tokugawa, Hojō and Uesugi clans.
Known for having defeated the powerful Tokugawa army in the Siege of Ueda on two separate occasions, Masayuki is now considered one of the greatest military strategists of his era.
Sima Yi ( 司馬懿, 179 – 7 September 251), courtesy name Zhongda, was a Chinese military general, politician, and regent of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Sima Yi laid the foundation of Jin dynasty China [265–316/317, 317–420 CE]
In the year 228, the country Shu Han launched a millitary campaign to Cao Wei. This campiagn is a part of the first Northern Expedition led by Shu's chancellor-regent, Zhuge Liang.
Due to a tactical mistake by one Shu's general, named Ma Su, the Wei army led by Zhang He encircled the hill and cut off the water supply to the Shu troops and defeated them. Jieting was lost.
The loss of Jieting exposed Zhuge Liang's current location, the defenceless Xicheng (西城). Zhuge Liang used the Empty Fort Strategy to ward off the enemy before retreating.
Sima Yi with a strength of 150 thousand troops would be able to capture Zhuge Liang very easily. However, after thinking for a while in front of the empty city gate, Sima Yi turned around, walked away, and ordered the entire army to follow him. He did not catch Zhuge Liang.
Was Sima Yi afraid of Zhuge Liang's ruse using empty city?
It seems, that Sima Yi knew very well that Cao Rui, the emperor himself, wanted to eliminate him. As long as Zhuge Liang was alive, Cao Rui would still need his services. But if Zhuge Liang had been captured or died, the emperor would no longer need him. Therefore, it was much safer for Sima Yi to keep Zhuge Liang alive.
The battle concluded with a decisive victory for Cao Wei.