Learn the real story of Mulan, one of China's greatest legends

Hua Mulan is one of China's most legendary women. His heroic actions were first recorded in ancient texts, retold in the famous poem "Ballad de Mulan" and later popularized in the 1998 Disney movie. Today, its story continues to be told in schools across China.

Mulan was a Chinese warrior who lived during the Northern and Southern Dynasties, between 420 and 589 AD. There are several stories about her, but the first version was written in the sixth century in the "Old and New Musical Records", which later became part of Chinese folklore.

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The true story

Mulan's story arose because in the fourth and fifth centuries China was undergoing the invasion of a nomadic ethnic group. The legend has been written in many variations, but the plot is essentially the same: Mulan was doing laundry when he learned that the army was recruiting new soldiers. To save her sick old father, Huan Hu, she decided to be recruited as her "son". She knew her father was too old and sick to survive the war, so she decided to disguise herself as a man to replace him.

She fought for ten or twelve years and gained great merit, but refused any reward and returned to her family. During the war, she met an officer named Jin Yong, whom she fell in love with.

Legend has it that after 10 years on the battlefield Mulan was promoted to general. One day, before a very difficult battle, Mulan decided to enter the battlefield in women's clothing so that the soldiers would discover their true identity. The reaction was one of respect and admiration. They were impressed with their bravery, grace and wisdom.

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After another heroic triumph, the emperor wanted to reward Mulan. He was surprised that the bravest of his soldiers was a woman. However, Mulan asked for nothing but a horse to return home. Many variations of the story say that when Mulan returned home, she discovered that her father passed away. In these versions she is haunted by her battlefield experiences. Feeling alone and misunderstood, legend says she decided to commit suicide.

Mulan in the 21st Century

Hua Mulan appears as a hero in more than 10 films and plays. Its monuments are located in many places around the world. Even a crater on Venus has her name. Disney is currently doing a live-action version of the story that opens March 27, 2020 with Liu Yifei as the protagonist.

Many people wonder if Mulan really existed. Real or not, Hua Mulan's story continues to inspire people and is a symbol of struggle, courage and bravery.