Psst, wanna know who Mulan was?
No list of badass Chinese women would be complete without the famous Mulan. Far from being just a Disney heroine, Mulan was likely a real person who lived during the Northern Wei Dynasty. Her story was first recorded in ballad form, namely the Ballad of Mulan. In the ballad, similar to the Disney film, Mulan takes her father’s place in the army. Unlike in the film, however, Mulan serves twelve years in the army and refuses any award for her service. It is possible that Mulan never existed or was a compilation of several women, but regardless, hers is a story that has been told a thousand times and will be told a thousand more.