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Sun Bin (孙膑)

Chinese. Name of a brilliant military and political strategist of the School of Diplomacy during the Warring States Period (ca. 403-221 BC). After his death in 316 BC, he was deified and as a high-ranking deity in Taoism, and now stands in attendance of Yu Huang (fig.) in the Jade Emperor Hall at Fengdu Ghost City. His name, which means Descendant of Kneecapping’, may go back to an event that happened in his life. Once, Sun Bin was framed by his friend and convicted to be executed for treason. However, after having plead for mercy, King Hui of Wei gave him leniency and instead condemned him to face-tattooing and kneecapping, a corporal punishment in which the kneecaps are cut or smashed, crippling the convict for life, whereas the tattooing of the face effectively branded one as a criminal. Yet, Sun was able to escape using a cunning plan, in which he feigned madness, and ‒as soon as his captors lowered their guard‒ he escaped.