Hua Mu Lan Goes to War, Oil painting on silk
Hua Mulan (花木蘭) is a legend from ancient China and was originally described in a Chinese poem known as the Ballad of Mulan (木蘭辭). In the legend she fought for 12 years and merited 12 ranks of rewards, which she refused and retired back home instead. The historical setting of Hua Mulan is uncertain. The earliest accounts of the legend state that she lived during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534).