Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Chinese
Translated from: English
Authors: Sun Tzu
Translated by: Ruzgys, Linas
ISBN: 9955-700-06-8
Published in: Kaunas
Published on: 2006
Publisher: Obuolys

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu (544–496 BC), a high-ranking military general, strategist and philopsopher. It presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles. However there are some doubts about his authorship. Some historians are convinced that there is  unlikely that Sun Tzu created China’s entire body of tactical studies, “basic concepts and common passages seem to argue in favour of a comprehensive military tradition and evolving expertise, rather than creation himself“.  The book was first translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot. The first annotated English language translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910.

The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, such as topology, attacking with fire or the use of spies. Special highlights the importance of tactics and planing your actions. The decision to position an army must be based on both objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective beliefs of other, competitive actors in that environment.

Sun Tzu considered war as a necessary evil that must be avoided whenever possible. The war should be fought swiftly to avoid any losses: „Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.“

The book is popular among Western business management,  who have turned to it for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive business situations. It has also been applied to the field of education.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU