Jiang Shang

(chinadaily.com.cn)Updated: 2015-08-17

Jiang Shang, also known as Jiang Taigong, was an outstanding politician and military strategist in ancient China. Jiang is the descendant of the Yan Emperor and the teacher of King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty (founder of the Western Zhou Dynasty, 1046-771 BC). He was born in what is now the city of Rizhao in Shandong province.

Jiang was born into poverty and suffered from bad fortune in his youth. Later in life, he met Lord Ji Chang, an intelligent man who would later become King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty. Jiang was appointed as the military counselor to fight against the Shang Dynasty (Circa 16th century - 11th century BC) and later defeated them.

After the war, Jiang was nominated as king of the State of Qi. Under his governance, Qi grew stronger until it became the leading state in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).

Jiang had remarkable wisdom in political, economic and philosophical matters, especially in regards to military strategy. He was evaluated by Sima Qian, the father of historiography in China, as a founding militarist.

Jiang was described as a powerful deity in the mythological work, Investiture of the Gods, a novel written by Xu Zhonglin in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He was later revered and worshiped by people.