Mulan is the heroine of a famous Chinese poem written during the Northern Dynasties (AD 420-589).
In the story, Mulan disguises herself as a man to serve in the army in her father’s place. While serving, she is recognized as a courageous soldier and offered a government post. She turns down the position in favor of going home and living a peaceful life with her family. After she returns home, she puts back on her lady’s clothes–and shocks her fellow soldiers, who didn’t know she was a woman during the time on the battlefield. The story was expanded into a novel during the late Ming (AD 1368-1644) Dynasty.
Was there really a Hua Mu-Lan? Nobody knows for sure, but women throughout history have disguised themselves as men so they could serve their countries.