Yue Fei ― the hero and patriot of the Song Dynasty


Caroline Young, artwork and text

Yue Fei was a great hero and patriot of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). He lived during the first half of the thirteenth century.

From childhood onwards, his mother instilled in him a love for his country and a fierce patriotism. When he was a young man, she tattooed four symbols on his back that meant:

“Repay your country with your utmost loyalty”.

Yue Fei was a great archer and kung fu master (Eagle Claw technique). He joined the emperor’s army, and quickly rose to the rank of general by his thirty-third birthday.
He never lost a battle, and was so popular with his men and the Chinese people that the emperor became very jealous of him.

Yue Fei was called back to the capital, where he was thrown in jail on trumped up charges, and while in prison, he was murdered.
When the people learned of his death, they became so angry they threatened to rebel. The emperor, to placate the people, erected a beautiful monument in honor of Yue Fei, which stands till today in Hangzhou, China.

Another story that surrounds Yue Fei is that of his birth. On the night he was born, a great bird circled the roof of his house. At the moment of his birth the giant bird landed on the roof and let out a tremendous cry. His parents took that as an omen and named him Fei, which means “to fly”, symbolizing he would rise above all mortal men.

Avatar foto

As an adopted child of Chinese-American expatriates, I have always been intrigued by how the Chinese culture explained the mysteries of the universe.