04a – Mulan Part 1


The story of Mulan is one of the most mundane of all Chinese folktales. In Ancient China, with folklore rife with magic, Gods, Demons, Dragons and all kinds of supernatural influences, it was the plausibility of Mulan that made it such a compelling story.

Though her story has changed through the centuries, its core elements remain constant.

A young girl’s elderly and sickly father is called up in the draft. He is too old, and ill to go off to fight, but they have no alternative. The father must go to war. Mulan decides to serve in his place. To do so, she will need to disguise herself as a man.

This episode discusses the differences between Dinsey’s Mulan, and the Mulan from the varied Chinese legends.


This podcast contains certain copyrighted works that were not specifically authorized to be used by the copyright holder(s), but which we believe in good faith are protected by federal law and the fair use doctrine (Section 107 of the Copyright Act).

If you have any specific concerns about this podcast or our position on the fair use defense, please contact us at DSOPodcast@gmail.com so we can discuss amicably.  Thank you.



Rommy-chan Driks as Hua Mulan










Recommended Reading


Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend, with Related Texts















Kurtti, Jeff. “Art of Mulan, The”  Hyperion; 1ST edition (June 20, 1998)

Fuhai, Huang (Translator). “Song of Mulan”. Shanghai, People’s Fine Arts Publishing House (March 1, 2010)

Kwa, Shiami & Idema, Wilt, L. “Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend, with Related Texts”. Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Co. (September 1, 2010)



Hua Mulan chuan qi a.k.a. Saga of Mulan, Dir.  Lili Qiu, Dir. Lang Xiao, Tianjin Film Studio, Changchun Film Studio (1994)

Mulan, Dir. Barry Cook, Dir. Tony Bancroft, Buena Vista Pictures 1998

Hua Mulan, Dir. Jingle Ma, Dir. Wei Dong, Beijing Poly-bona Film Publishing Company 2009


World Wide Web

http://www.jcu.edu/faculty/nietupski/rl251/projects/n_silk_road/history/Emperor.htm “Emperor Wu Di”

http://ancientpeoples.tumblr.com/post/34231056874/women-in-ancient-china-womens-roles-in-family”Women In Ancient China; Women’s Roles In Family

https://www2.stetson.edu/secure/history/hy10302/banzhao.html “Ban Zhao’s Lessons For Women”

https://sites.google.com/site/womenoftheclassicalempires/home/women-in-the-han-dynasty “Women in the Han Dynasty”

http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-173_t-472_c-1711/act/history/ancient-societies-china/ancient-china-part-ii/daily-life-of-women “Ancient societies – China – Ancient China: part II – Daily life of women”

http://history.cultural-china.com/en/48History11639.html Cultural China “Hua Mulan”

http://dettoldisney.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/mulan-vs-the-legend-of-hua-mulan/ Disney – The Dettol of Storytelling? “Mulan vs. The Legend of Mulan”

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/12372 “Mulan in Real Life: Chinese Women Soldiers and Feminism”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hua_Mulan “Hua Mulan”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Wei “Northern Wei”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin_Dynasty “Qin Dynasty”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Dynasty “Han Dynasty”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiongnu “Xiongnu” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanyu “Chanyu”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_and_culture_of_the_Han_Dynasty#Farmers_and_landowners “Society and culture of the Han Dynasty”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_marriage “Chinese Marriage”

http://www.chinese-traditions-and-culture.com/chinese-wedding-traditions.html “Chinese Wedding Traditions”

http://family.lovetoknow.com/chinese-family-values “Chinese Family Values”

http://www.lifepaths360.com/index.php/womens-rights-in-ancient-china-13182/ “Women’s Rights in Ancient China”

http://hare.bio.miami.edu/hun/xiang.html Krempels D.M. 1998 “The True Story of Shan Yu”

http://asianhistory.about.com/od/glossarytz/g/xiongnuglos.htm Szczepanski, Kallie. “Who Were the Xiongnu?”

http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Han/personslishang.html “Chinese History – Li Shang”




  1. Alex Alfaro says

    First time writing and I have to say that I really love this podcast.
    I’m really into history so I love what your doing.
    I’ve also heard to your DLrage podcast are you still doing that?
    also may I recommend doing Cinderella next.
    Can’t wait to hear more soon.

  2. Hi!
    I was listening to this on my run today and the song you play at 12:30 brought me back to my childhood and made me smile like a maniac. Wang Fei Hong was all my cousins and I would watch while our parents were sitting around and talking. I really appreciate you including it in this episode.

    Fun fact: My last name originates from an adviser to the last Shang emperor and my cousins and I theorized that Chi Fu was our ancestor and pretended we were famous for it.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Lauren Franklin says

    Thank you for making the podcast. I grew up on Disney and Sleeping Beauty has always been the favorite.
    I just want to say when you talked about foot binding, it was not just the idea of the women. Men would not look at the girls unless they had bound feet. It was “ugly” to have unbound feet and was not marriage material.
    Thanks again for making the podcast and I can’t wait to hear more.

  4. Scholar of Justice says

    Great job on all your podcasts! I thouroughy enjoy each and every one. My personal opinion on whether or not Mulan was real is quite simple: Every piece of fiction has elements of truth in it.

  5. You’re doing an incredible job on these podcasts. They are awesome! Thanks for all the research fun and hard work you put into them. Keep up the good work. I’ll keep listening and telling others to subscribe.

  6. xingfenzhen says

    On minor gripe, the foot binding part is anachronic for nearly all dates for the Mulan legend, especially the Western Han date. The practice of foot binding only starts during 12th century during the Song dynasty and remained a southern tradition until Mid-Ming dynasty in the 15th century. While most dates for Mulan is from 5th century to 7th century, and Western Han was from 100 BC.

  7. Your podcast are amazing

Leave a Reply to Paul Cancel reply