Zhu Ran

Zhu Ran

Three Kingdoms infobox
Name=Zhu Ran

Title=Military General
Kingdom=Eastern Wu
Pinyin=Zhū Rán
WG=Chu Jan
Zi=Yìfēng (義封)

;Original name
*Shi Ran (施然)

Zhu Ran (182 - 248) was a military general for Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China. He was praised for his skills as a general, and took part in many important military campaigns for the Kingdom of Wu, including the Battle of Yiling and the defense of Jiangling (江陵). Zhu Ran also played a part in the capture of the mighty Shu general, Guan Yu. Before his death, he was given full command of the armies of Wu.



Originally from Guzhang (故鄣) county of Danyang (丹陽)Shire (modern Anji County 安吉県 of Huzhou 湖州 prefecture city), Zhu Ran entered the service of Sun Ce from a very young age, and was greatly praised for his abilities. Although born with the surname Shi (施), he was a nephew of Zhu Zhi, a veteran general under the Sun family. Because of his recognized talents, and through the efforts of Sun Ce, he was adopted by Zhu Zhi as a son. In addition, he studied together with Sun Quan as a young man. Because of this, after Sun Ce died and was succeeded by Sun Quan, Zhu Ran was given command of Yuyao Prefecture (余姚県) at the young age of 19. Being praised highly by Sun Quan for his abilities, he was quickly promoted to commander (令) of Shanyin Prefecture (山陰県) prefecture and then again to regional governor (太守) of Linchuan (臨川郡) and given command over 2,000 soldiers.

As a general

In this new position, his abilities as a general would soon be tested. Members of the Shanyue ethnic group rebelled, and he was able to suppress them in less than a month. Zhu Ran participated in the defense against Cao Cao at the Battle of Ruxukou (濡須). In the year 219, he participated in Lü Meng's campaign against Guan Yu. Together with Pan Zhang, he succeeded in capturing Guan Yu alive. As Lü Meng lay on his death bed shortly after the campaign against Guan Yu, he highly praised the abilities of Zhu Ran, and recommended him as his replacement.

Together with Lu Xun, Zhu Ran fought against the forces of Liu Bei at the Battle of Yiling. Leading a separate force, he cut off the escape route of the enemy and was able to inflict severe losses against them.

Afterwards, he defended Jiangling against an invasion from the Kingdom of Wei led by Cao Pi, where he faced the generals Zhang He, Cao Zhen, and Xiahou Shang. Reinforcements from the Kingdom of Wu were defeated by Zhang He, and Zhu Ran was surrounded in his castle. In addition to this, an outbreak of disease greatly reduced the soldiers in his army. In spite of this, however, he was able to bolster the morale of his troops and on two occasions he led his soldiers out of the castle and successfully pushed back the enemy. After a siege of about 6 months, the Wei army withdrew, unable to take the castle. Because of this, Zhu Ran's name became known throughout the Kingdom of Wei as a powerful enemy general.

In the year 241 he led an assault on Fancheng and surrounded it. However, the army of Wei under the command of Sima Yi defeated him, and he retreated. In 246 he again invaded Wei and attacked Zhazhong (柤中), and when his escape route was cut off by Li Xing (李興) of Wei, he defeated Li Xing's forces and withdrew.

Late life

In 245, Lu Xun died and Zhu Ran was given command over the armies of Wu by Sun Quan. He died three years later in 248, and at his funeral service, Sun Quan is said to have wept greatly for him. His funeral was the third largest in the history of Eastern Wu.

Tomb of Zhu Ran

In June 1984, during the construction of a factory, Zhu Ran's burial site was discovered in Ma'anshan, Anhui. Many historically important decorative items of clothing were discovered within. The road on which the site was discovered was renamed to "Zhuran Road" in his honour.

In fiction

In the historical novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms", a dramatic novelization of the events during the Three Kingdoms era, Zhu Ran was killed by Zhao Yun while pursuing Liu Bei's defeated force in the year 222.

In Koei's Dynasty Warriors series, he is instrumental in the fire attack on Liu Bei's army in the Battle of Yi Ling, which is the turning point of the battle, causing Liu Bei to lose most of his army and morale and being forced to retreat.


*Zhu Zhi (朱治) (Adoptive father, biological uncle)
*Zhu Ji (朱績) (son)


*This page is a rough translation of the Japanese version, re-arranged and re-formatted.

ee also

*Three Kingdoms
*"Romance of the Three Kingdoms"
*"Records of Three Kingdoms"
*Personages of the Three Kingdoms

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