The 16 Pictures of Ancient Chinese Army Uniforms

China’s turbulent history has seen many dynastic struggles over the centuries. Due to the specific needs of different dynasties, the Chinese soldiers wore different uniforms and armors in different period, forming a very unique clothing system. Below are some vivid pictures of ancient Chinese soldiers’ uniforms. Check these pictures and let me know what you think of them by leaving comments below.

Shang Dynasty army uniformShang Dynasty (1600 to 1050 BC)

Western Zhou Dynasty army uniformWestern Zhou Dynasty (1100BC-771BC)

Eastern Zhou Dynasty army uniformEastern Zhou Dynasty ( or known as The Spring and Autumn Period The Warring States Period) (770 BC to 221 BC)

China Qin Dynasty army uniformQin Dynasty (221–206 BC)

Han Dynasty army uniformHan Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD)

Wei Jin Dynasty army uniformWei and Jin Dynasties (220 to 420)

Southern and Northern Dynasties army uniformSouthern and Northern Dynasties (420 to 589)

Sui Dynasty UniformSui Dynasty (581 to 618)

Tang Dynasty army uniformTang Dynasty (618 to 907)

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms army uniformFive Dynasties and Ten Kindoms period (907 to 960)

Song Dynasty army uniformSong Dynasty (960 to 1279)

Liao Dynasty army uniformLiao Dynasty (907 to 1125)

Jin Dynasty UniformJin Dyansty (1115-1234)

Western Xia DynastyYuan Dynasty (1279-1368)

Ming Dynasty Military UniformMing Dynasty (1368 to 1644)

Qing Dynasty UniformQing Dynasty (1644-1911)

5 Responses

  1. Yen says:

    This is very useful for a research into the Sui Dynasty. I need to be able to quote the source of the pictures for a bibliography. Can you please tell me the source of the pictures – which book you found them from?

  2. Aman says:

    Thank you for these photos.

    Does anyone know the original Chinese name of the yellow cloth around the man’s shoulders in the Five Dynasties and Song Dynasties photos? I see it often in Chinese warrior clothing illustrations.

  3. Hendri Xu says: , check this website to get knowledge of medieval chinese armors. thanks

  4. R says:

    These are great photos. It is really hard to find source material for ancient Chinese soldiers. I am also a wargamer. I am currently working on a Ming Chinese at in 6mm. I am fairly pleased to see that my figures somewhat resemble the Ming picture.
    It would be nice to know if the pictures are showing peasants or nobility.

  5. Lewis says:

    Thankyou – very useful
    I’m a Wargamer planning to paint 2 chinese 15mm armies – Han and Sung good to have these pictures labelled in English.

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