The inscription is taken from Chapter 8 of “The Art of War” 孙子兵法 [Sūnzǐ bīngfǎ], written by Sun Wu. Written 2,500
years ago, the “Art of War” gave a comprehensive analysis of war strategy. It was certainly the first to highlight the
importance of many aspects of military planning and strategy, including the use of spies. Chapter 8 deals with
It was presented to the Confucius Institute at the University of Western Australia, by the Shandong Association.
The translation below was made by Dr. Y. S. Yow
Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from
his emperor, he gathers his troop.
Do not camp in difficult terrain. Seek allies where roads
intersect. Never linger in dangerously isolated positions.
Map out your strategy when you are surrounded, Fight for
your survival when your situation is desperate.
There are roads that should not be followed, armies which
should not be attacked, town that should not be seized,
terrains that should not be contested, Imperial commands
that should not be obeyed.
The commander who understands the inherent need to modify
tactics manages his troops well. The general who fails to
appreciate these, even though he could be well versed with
local topography, is unable to take advantage of his