Biography (SGZ): Yue Jin (Wenqian)

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Yue Jin (Wenqian)
樂進 (文謙)
(AD 159-218)

San Guo Zhi Officer Biography
Translator Notes in Green
Translated by Battleroyale

Yue Jin, styled Wen Qian, hailed from Yang Ping, Wei Guo (State of Wei). Yue Jin’s appearance was small and short but he was brave and he joined Cao Cao’s forces as a junior officer. He was tasked to return to his own prefecture to recruit soldiers for Cao Cao’s army and he managed to gather a thousand plus recruits. For that, Yue Jin was promoted to be a Major (Jun Jia Si Ma) and made a Chief Commandant (Xian Chen Du Wei, one of the many different types of Du Wei but generally, Du Wei is the military commander who assist the Grand Administrator of a prefecture in military affairs). Subsequently, Yue Jin distinguished himself in the offensives against Lü Bu at Pu Yang, Zhang Chao at Yong Qiu and Qiao Rui at Ku and he was made the Marquis of Guang Chang (Guang Chang Ting Hou). Thereafter, Yue Jin participated in the offensives against Zhang Xiu at An Zhong, Lü Bu at Xia Pi (where Lü Bu was besieged and Yue Jin defeated some of his officers), Sui Gu at She Quan as well as Liu Bei at Pei, all of which were victorious campaigns. As such, Yue Jin was promoted to be a Colonel (Ji Kou Xiao Wei, or Colonel who counted the Bandits). Next, Yue Jin crossed the river and attacked Huo Jia, which he later returned. Then, he participated in the battle of Guan Du where he fought intense battles and managed to kill Yuan Shao’s general Chun Yu Qiong. After the battle of Guan Du, Yue Jin took part in the offensives against Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang at Li Yang, where he killed their main general Yan Jing and thus, he was made a General (You Ji Jiang Jun, or General of the Guerillas). Yue Jin proceeded to attack the Yellow Turban rebels (remaining forces) and managed to defeat them and pacify Yue An prefecture. In the siege of the city of Ye, Yue Jin was involved and following which, Yue Jin assaulted Yuan Tan at Nan Pi. There, Yue Jin was the first to ascend the city gate via Yuan Tan’s eastern gate. After defeating Yuan Tan, Yue Jin attacked Yong Nu (possibly forces made up of slaves) where he emerged the victor.

In the 11th year of Jian An, Cao Cao memorialized to the Han Emperor, praising Yue Jin, Yu Jin and Zhang Liao. Referring to the three generals, Cao Cao stated, “Excelling in martial arts, well endowed in tactics, possessing great loyalty, upholding high sense of discipline; in every battle, they often led by examples, and strived to overcome strong obstacles, dispelling all strong resistances, often striking their own drums, without showing any sign of fatigue in their hands. They were dispatched on expeditions, and made leaders of their units, where they managed to bring harmony and comfort to the multitudes, never defying orders, and were able to made timely decisions in the face of the enemies, with no sign of extravagance. Hence, based on their meritorious services (from the records of the court), it would be fitting if favours are bestowed to them.” As such, Yue Jin was promoted to be Hu Wei Jiang Jun (Tiger Might General) while Yu Jin was promoted to be Zhe Zhong Jiang Jun and Zhang Liao was promoted to be Dang Kou Jiang Jun.

Subsequently, Yue Jin was tasked to attack Gao Gan. There, Yue Jin made a flank in which he took a northern route to Shang Dang and later reappeared at the rear of Gao Gan’s forces. Gao Gan and his troops were forced to retreat to Hu Pass to put up a defence. Gao Gan was killed in subsequent battles. Before Gao Gan’s strong defence capitulated, Yue Jin joined his forces with Cao Cao’s (who personally led his troops up). Cao Cao led his army on an offensive against Guan Cheng as well as Jun Chun Yu and Yue Jin, together with Li Dian were given orders to attack the two forces. Guan Cheng was subsequently defeated and he escaped to some islands, thus bringing peace to the coastal regions (in the north).

During then, the majority of Jing Zhou was not under Cao Cao’s control and Yue Jin was dispatched to station at Yang Di. When Cao Cao managed to control Jing Zhou (the northern portion), Yue Jin was stationed at Xiang Yang. From Xiang Yang, Yue Jin launched attacks at Guan Yu and Su Fei and both were forced to retreat. Following which, the various minority tribes in the mountainous regions of Nan prefecture came to surrender. Next, Yue Jin was involved in the expedition against Liu Bei at Ju Chang Du Pu and Jing Yang Chang Liang Da (not sure about these places at the moment), where Liu Bei was defeated. In subsequent years, Yue Jin took part in the expedition against Sun Quan, where he was given an Imperial Court Order (Jia Jing Jie). When Cao Cao returned (from his expedition), he stationed Yue Jin together with Zhang Liao and Li Dian at He Fei. Yue Jin was bestowed an additional 500 households to the original 1200 households that were under the jurisdiction of his fief. For his numerous meritorious service, Yue Jin was allowed to distribute 500 households to one of his sons who would be made a Marquis (not sure about this) and Yue Jin was promoted to be the General of the Right (You Jiang Jun). In the 23rd year of Jian An, Yue Jin passed away. Yue Jin was posthumously titled the Marquis of Might (Wei Hou). His son, Yue Shen (either that or can be pronounced as Chen or Lin), was made his heir. Yue Shen resembled closely to his father and he was made the Inspector of Yang Zhou. When Zhuge Dan rebelled, Yue Shen was killed by an ambush and the court passed an edict to mourn his death. Yue Shen was given the rank of Wei Wei (one of the Nine Ministers) and posthumously given the title of Marquis of Sympathy (Min Hou). Yue Shen’s son, Yue Zhao was made his heir.

Copyright © 2003 Battleroyale
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi