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戰術 / 戦術 can mean "tactics of war," "battle tactics" or simply "tactics" (being that warfare is implied in that English word).
戰術 / 戦術 is written in the ancient and traditional form of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
孫子兵法 is the full title of the most famous book of military proverbs about warfare.
The English title is "Sun Tzu's The Art of War."
The last two characters have come to be known in the west as "The Art of War" but a better translation would be, "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures."
Note: Sometimes the author's name is Romanized as "Sun Zi" or "Sunzi."
It's written the same in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja.
The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.
It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:
1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.
2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.
3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.
4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.
5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.
CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.
This literally means: [Just as] soldiers/warriors [are valued for their] quality and not [just] for quantity, [so] generals [are valued] for their tactics, not [just] for [their] bravery.
This is a proverb that follows one about how it is better to have warriors of quality, rather than just a large quantity of warriors in your army/force.
See Also: 兵在精而不在多
In 632 BC, Duke Wen of the Kingdom of Jin was about to lead an army against the forces of the Kingdom of Chu.
The Duke asked one of his advisers, Jiu Fan, how they could possibly win the impending battle, as they were drastically outnumbered.
Jiu Fan said, "All is fair in war," and went on to suggest a plan of dishonorable tactics (cheating).
The Duke was not sure of this advice, so he asked another adviser, Yong Ji, who replied, "If you catch fish by draining the pond, you can certainly get all the fish. But there will be no fish the following year. You can cheat this one time in battle but such tactics can only be used once, as the enemy will be wise in future encounters."
The Duke heard the words of his wiser adviser but cheated to gain victory in the battle. However, he rewarded Yong Ji more than Jiu Fan at the victory celebration, stating that while Jiu Fan's advice gained one victory, the wise words of Yong Ji would last forever.
This Chinese idiom/proverb is still used, over 2600 years later to remind people not to burn bridges, cheat, or dishonor oneself in exchange for a short term gain, while sacrificing the future.
竭澤而漁 is very similar to the meaning of the English phrase, "Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Tactics of War||戰術 / 戦術|
|senjutsu||zhàn shù / zhan4 shu4 / zhan shu / zhanshu||chan shu / chanshu|
|Art of War||兵法||hyou hou / hyouhou / hyo ho / hyoho||bīng fǎ / bing1 fa3 / bing fa / bingfa||ping fa / pingfa|
|Sun Tzu - Art of War||孫子兵法|
|son shi hyou hou|
son shi hyo ho
|sūn zǐ bīng fǎ|
sun1 zi3 bing1 fa3
sun zi bing fa
|sun tzu ping fa
|Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis||道天地將法|
|dou ten chi shou hou|
do ten chi sho ho
|dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ|
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
|tao t`ien ti chiang fa
tao tien ti chiang fa
|Value of Warrior Generals||兵在精而不在多將在謀而不在勇|
|bīng zài jīng ér bú zài duō jiàng zài móu ér bú zài yǒng|
bing1 zai4 jing1 er2 bu2 zai4 duo1 jiang4 zai4 mou2 er2 bu2 zai4 yong3
bing zai jing er bu zai duo jiang zai mou er bu zai yong
|ping tsai ching erh pu tsai to chiang tsai mou erh pu tsai yung|
|Drain the pond to get all the fish||竭澤而漁|
|jié zé ér yú|
jie2 ze2 er2 yu2
jie ze er yu
|chieh tse erh yü
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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Some people may refer to this entry as Tactics of War Kanji, Tactics of War Characters, Tactics of War in Mandarin Chinese, Tactics of War Characters, Tactics of War in Chinese Writing, Tactics of War in Japanese Writing, Tactics of War in Asian Writing, Tactics of War Ideograms, Chinese Tactics of War symbols, Tactics of War Hieroglyphics, Tactics of War Glyphs, Tactics of War in Chinese Letters, Tactics of War Hanzi, Tactics of War in Japanese Kanji, Tactics of War Pictograms, Tactics of War in the Chinese Written-Language, or Tactics of War in the Japanese Written-Language.