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As the 16th century came to a close the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) was struggling to survive. Mongol raiders under the Altan Khan (1507-1582) had attacked China several times – they even burned parts of Beijing in 1550.  At the same time China’s coastline was under attack by pirates alleged to be Japanese. Qi Ji Guang was assigned responsibility for the defense of Zhejiang in 1555. He published two versions of the Jixiao Xinshu, his commentaries on military tactics. The first version was printed in 1561 and had 18 chapters. Qi was forced to retire some years later and published a revised version with 14 chapters in 1584. Here is one of the drawings of a squad-sized (5 or 10 men) tactical unit that would be arrayed in a formation known as a Mandarin Duck. Note the forks.

A link to our website’s fork pages http://silverwolfwushu.com/WeaponsForks.html