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Laying Plans – ji pian di yi

Apr. 1, 2015

Sun Zi’s Art of War was written by Sun Wu in the final year of the Spring and Autumn

Period (770BC – 476BC).

It is not only the oldest Chinese military work in existence but also the oldest book

of military theory in the world, well-known for a long time in the history of the

military academy in China and abroad.

Sun Zi’s Art of War has altogether 13 chapters. Both concise and comprehensive,

this book sum up the experience of ancient wars, bring to light the many laws of

war which are of universal significance.

Want to know why business people like it so much? Come and learn Sun Zi’s Art of

War with eChineseLearning’s professional teachers!

jì piān dì yī
计 篇  第 一

sūnzi yuē : bīnɡ zhě , ɡuó zhī dà shì 。
孙子  曰 :    兵    者 ,   国   之  大  事。

sǐ shēnɡ zhī dì ,cún wánɡ zhī dào , bù kě bù chá yě 。
死  生     之 地 , 存    亡     之  道 ,   不  可 不  察  也 。

ɡù jīnɡ zhī yǐ wǔ shì , xiào zhī yǐ jì , ér suǒ qí qínɡ :
故  经   之  以 五  事 , 校    之 以 计 ,而 索  其  情 :

yì yuē dào , èr yuē tiān , sān yuē dì , sì yuē jiànɡ, wǔ yuē fǎ 。
一 曰  道 ,   二  曰   天 ,   三   曰  地 , 四  曰  将 ,   五   曰  法。

dào zhě , lìnɡ mín yǔ shànɡ tónɡ yì yě , ɡù ké yǐ yǔ zhī sǐ ,
道    者 ,   令    民  与   上       同   意 也 , 故 可 以 与 之 死 ,

ké yǐ yǔ zhī shēnɡ , ér bú wèi wēi 。 tiān zhě , yīn yánɡ 、
可 以 与 之   生  ,    而 不  畏   危 。   天   者 ,   阴   阳 、

hán shǔ 、shí zhì yě ; dì zhě , yuǎn jìn 、 xiǎn yì 、ɡuǎnɡ xiá 、
寒    暑 、  时  制 也 ; 地  者 ,   远    近 、  险  易、   广      狭 、

sǐ shēnɡ yě ; jiānɡ zhě , zhì 、 xìn 、 rén 、 yǒnɡ 、 yán yě ;
死  生     也 ;  将    者 ,    智 、  信 、  仁 、   勇 、     严  也;

fǎ zhě ,qǔ zhì 、ɡuān dào 、zhǔ yònɡ yě 。fán cǐ wǔ zhě ,jiànɡ
法 者 ,  曲 制 、  官     道、    主   用    也。  凡 此  五  者,   将

mò bù wén , zhī zhī zhě shènɡ , bù zhī zhě bú shènɡ 。
莫   不  闻 ,    知 之  者    胜 ,      不  知  者   不    胜 。

ɡù xiào zhī yǐ jì , ér suǒ qí qínɡ 。 yuē : zhǔ shú yǒu dào ?
故  校   之 以 计 , 而 索  其  情 。   曰 :   主   孰   有   道 ?

jiànɡ shú yǒu nénɡ ? tiān dì shú dé ? fǎ lìnɡ shú xínɡ ?
将      孰   有    能 ?     天  地  孰  得 ? 法 令    孰    行 ?

bīnɡ zhònɡ shú qiánɡ ? shì zú shú liàn ? shǎnɡ fá shú mínɡ ?
兵      众       孰    强 ?     士  卒  孰  练 ?    赏     罚   孰   明 ?

wú yǐ cǐ zhī shènɡ fù yǐ 。
吾 以 此 知    胜   负 矣 。

jiànɡ tīnɡ wú jì , yònɡ zhī bì shènɡ , liú zhī ; jiànɡ bù tīnɡ
将      听   吾 计 , 用     之 必   胜 ,      留 之 ;  将     不  听

wú jì , yònɡ zhī bì bài , qù zhī 。
吾 计 , 用     之  必 败 , 去  之 。

jì   lì yǐ tīnɡ , nǎi wéi zhī shì , yǐ zuǒ qí wài 。
计利 以 听 ,   乃  为  之  势 ,  以 佐  其 外 。

shì zhě ,yīn lì ér zhì quán yě 。
势  者 ,  因 利 而 制  权    也 。

bīnɡ zhě , ɡuǐ dào yě 。 ɡù nénɡ ér shì zhī bù nénɡ , yònɡ ér
兵     者 ,   诡   道   也 。 故   能   而  示 之  不   能 ,      用   而

shì zhī bú yònɡ , jìn ér shì zhī yuǎn , yuǎn ér shì zhī jìn 。
示  之  不  用 ,     近 而 示  之   远 ,     远    而 示  之 近 。

lì   ér yòu zhī,luàn ér qǔ zhī ,shí ér bèi zhī ,qiánɡ ér bì zhī ,
利 而 诱   之,  乱   而 取 之 ,实 而 备 之 ,   强    而 避 之 ,

nù ér náo zhī ,bēi ér jiāo zhī ,yì ér láo zhī ,qīn ér lí zhī 。
怒 而   挠  之 ,卑   而 骄   之 ,佚 而 劳 之 ,  亲 而 离 之。

ɡōnɡ qí wú bèi , chū qí bú yì 。
攻      其 无  备 ,   出  其 不 意 。

cǐ bīnɡ jiā zhī shènɡ ,bù kě xiān chuán yě 。
此 兵   家  之    胜 ,   不  可  先    传      也 。

fū wèi zhàn ér miào suàn shènɡ zhě , dé suàn duō yě ;
夫 未    战   而  庙     算      胜      者 ,   得  算    多   也 ;

wèi zhàn ér miào suàn bú shènɡ zhě ,dé suàn shǎo yě 。
未    战   而   庙     算    不   胜      者 ,  得  算    少     也 。

duō suàn shènɡ ,shǎo suàn bú shènɡ , ér kuànɡ yú wú suàn hū !
多     算     胜 ,      少     算    不    胜  ,   而  况      于  无   算   乎!

wú yǐ cǐ ɡuān zhī ,shènɡ fù xiàn yǐ 。
吾  以 此  观   之 ,   胜    负  见  矣 。

Translation:(Translated from the Chinese By LIONEL GILES, M.A. (1910))

I. LAYING PLANS

1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.

Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken

into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the

conditions obtaining in the field.

4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander;

(5) Method and discipline.

5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in

complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless

of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open

ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence,

courage and strictness.

10. By method and discipline are to be understood

the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations

of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies

may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows

them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the

military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this

wise

13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which

of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages

derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most

rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side are

officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there the

greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

14. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or

defeat.

15. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer:

let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to

my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:–let such a one be

dismissed!

16. While heading the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any

helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

17. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s

plans.

18. All warfare is based on deception.

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces,

we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe

we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior

strength, evade him.

22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend

to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united,

separate them.

24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

25. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged

beforehand.

26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple

ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few

calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and

few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is

by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

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