Jiang Ziya

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Jiang Ziya (Chinese: 姜子牙, Pinyin: Jiāng Zǐyá, Wade-Giles: Chiang Tzu-ya, also called Tai Gong Wang) (dates of birth and death unknown) was a Chinese historical and legendary figure who resided next to the Weishui River about 3,000 years ago. A sage and military strategist, Jiang Ziya was called upon by King Wen of Zhou to serve as prime minister. His purported teachings to King Wen form the basis of the Six Secret Teachings.


The last ruler of the Shang dynasty, King Zhou of Shang (16th - 11th century BC) was a tyrannical and debauched slave owner who spent his days carousing with his favourite concubine Daji and mercilessly executing or punishing upright officials and all others who objected to his ways. After faithfully serving the Shang court for approximately twenty years, Jiang came to find King Zhou insufferable, and feigned madness in order to escape court life and the ruler's power. Jiang was an expert in military affairs and hoped that some day someone would call on him to help overthrow the king. Jiang disappeared, only to resurface in the Zhou countryside at the apocryphal age of seventy-two, when he was recruited by King Wen of Zhou and became instrumental in Zhou affairs. The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China. New York: Basic Books. 2007. p. 27. It is said that, while in exile, he continued to wait placidly, fishing in a tributary of the Wei River (near today’s Xi'an) using a barbless hook or even no hook...
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