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Cai Wenji
Dynasty Warriors 9 artwork
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
165 cm (5'5")
Weapon Type: Erhu (Multi Raid 2)
Konghou (7~8)
Chain whip (9)
Playable Debut: Shin Sangoku Musou Multi Raid 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Cài Yǎn
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:
昭姫 - 昭姬
文姫 - 文姬
Cai Yan's style name Zhaoji was changed by historians to distinguish her from Sima Zhao due to naming taboos.
Warriors Orochi Info
Kiyomori Taira Force (Under Kiyomori's spell)
Character Type:
Wonder (WO3)
Speed (WO4)
Sacred Treasure:

Cai Yan (蔡琰, onyomi: Sai En), otherwise known via her alternate style name as Cai Wenji (蔡文姫, onyomi: Sai Bunki), comes from a family of imperial scholars who specializes in poetry and composing music. Historically, she was kidnapped by a group of nomads and rescued by Cao Cao, especially due to his close ties with her late father. Left in grief during and after her capture, Cai Yan composed several compositions which were praised after her death, and beforehand worked together with Cao Cao to revive much of her late father's works with their talents combined. She is Cai Yong's daughter and Dong Si's wife.

Before her playable Dynasty Warriors appearance, she was a generic bodyguard. She is twenty-seventh place with fans in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll and thirty-first in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends popularity poll. In Famitsu's character survey, she placed fifth place for the girlfriend category. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts her in nineteenth. The character poll for overseas fans puts her in eighth place for the Wei division. She is the only Dynasty Warriors character to retain her style name usage in both English and Asian scripts.

Her character's height in Kessen II is the same as her Dynasty Warriors counterpart.

Role in Games

Dynasty Warriors

Cai Wenji appears as an NPC in the mercenary missions of Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires. The player must escort her during her mission and defend her from bandits and other enemies.

In Shin Sangoku Musou Multi Raid 2, she is a poet and talented musician who excels in her studies. She was kidnapped by a group of nomads and lived an unhappy life until Cao Cao rescued her and brought the young woman back home. Forgoing her chance of an everyday life of serenity, Cai Wenji volunteers her assistance in the battlefield. She is mostly seen in the Conqueror's Arc where she helps Wei fend off Xiang Yu's invasion.

In her first Legendary Battle in Dynasty Warriors 7, she and her father try to escape from Dong Zhuo at Chang'an. Her second Legendary Battle takes place after Cao Cao rescues her, and they fight Yuan Shao's army as they escape from the borderlands. In her third Legendary Battle, Cai Wenji fights Liu Bei and his Five Tiger Generals to protect Cao Cao and repay him for saving her life.

The Xtreme Legends expansion adds a Hero Scenario centering on her efforts. After Dong Zhuo's death, Emperor Xian decides to return to the capital, Luoyang. However, Dong Zhuo's tyranny left a lasting impact on the other warlords, each vying for their own ambitions. Their desires to exploit the emperor makes him vulnerable during their journey. Accompanying her father in his loyalties to the Han, Cai Wenji desires to aid the emperor's trip. Cai Yong stakes his life on protecting their escape point while Cai Wenji defeats the flood of intruders in the west, east, and south. Her opponents include officers assembled by Yuan Shu, the Sun Family, Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, and Lu Bu.

She struggles to defeat the final warrior yet is determined to protect her wounded father. Diao Chan, who feels sympathy for her desire to fight for her parent, pleads with Lu Bu to spare them. Lu Bu obliges to her pleas and the couple depart. Cai Wenji remarks that the dancer's tale of woe is one of the many griefs caused by war and promises her father to exert herself for the sake of peace.

Cai Wenji joins the Wei forces during the Three Kingdoms era in Dynasty Warriors Next. She accompanies Zhang Liao at the Battle of Hefei, helping him defeat the officers of Wu. In Wei's ending, she is seen serenading a group of dancers with her erhu.

In Shin Sangoku Musou: Online Z, Cai Wenji maintains her ties to Wei by serving under Sima Yi's faction.

Dynasty Warriors 8 has her appear in Wei's hypothetical story branch. She is one of the major participants during the invasion of Jianye together with Guo Jia and Zhang He. In one of Wu's alternate stages, she and Zhenji are charged with ambushing the armies of Wu at Xinye only to be pushed back by the combined might of Sun Shangxiang, Lianshi, and the Two Qiaos. During Wu's final attack at Xuchang, she and Zhang He attack Zhou Yu's rams near the outer gates of the city. She also attempts to prevent players from reaching Xiahou Mao during Shu's hypothetical assault on Chang'an. In the finale of Shu's hypothetical route, she is interestingly the only Wei officer to survive Shu's siege on Xuchang.

Her disappearance is the driving force behind the final additional stage of Wei's story in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends. Xiahou Yuan, Li Dian, Yue Jin, and Yu Jin search for her, only to be confronted with various other beauties from the other major factions, with Cai Wenji happening upon the tired sortie after a furious battle with the women they had faced before. She also makes a short appearance in the cinematic after "Pacification of Jing Province" where she plays music for Cao Cao's victory banquet.

Cai Wenji's past is uncovered through a series of bond stories in Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed. Initially kidnapped by Dong Zhuo as part of his harem, she ends up being taken away by another man who deems her too good for the tyrant. While living out her life in captivity for years, Cai Wenji is rescued by Cao Cao who regretted not doing enough to protect her earlier.

Her gratitude for the warlord becomes stronger after he willingly spares her husband for his crimes. Two additional events display her sincere friendship with the amorous Guo Jia. During a banquet with the other officials, Guo Jia complains about the music going bad due to a broken zither. Cai Wenji correctly identifies that the third and fourth strings of the zither snapped before informing the tactician of a backup zither nearby. Another instance has the poet compose a song for Cao Cao as a gift, with Guo Jia complimenting her elegant calligraphy skills.

Dynasty Warriors 9 sees Cai Wenji appear early in Wei's Story Mode where her father will worry over her safety and it is revealed she is being attacked by bandits. If she is rescued, she will return back to Luoyang and will have a public performance, which can distract some of Dong Zhuo's guards.

Her Story Mode begins just after the Battle of Wulin against Wu, with Cao Cao commending her for her help in treating the wounded in his forces during the conflict. Once Cai Wenji explains how she wants to write songs in peace once the chaos is over, Cao Cao promises to make that a reality for her. She takes part in the Battle of Chibi and subsequent conflicts against Shu and Wu with the Battles of Tong Gate, Nanjun, and Ruxukou, followed by Hanzhong or Hefei, then Fan Castle. After Guan Yu is slain, Cao Cao passes away and hands command of Wei to Cao Pi. After dealing with problems that would prevent Cao Pi a safe ascension to Wei Emperor after Emperor Xian steps down and the Han Imperial Court dissolves, Cai Wenji aids in the five-pronged assault on Chengdu with helping Wang Yi against Ma Chao and Ma Dai at Xiping Gate in the north, aided by the local Qiang brigands, only for the assault to fail thanks to Zhuge Liang and the alliance against Wei between Shu and Wu being reestablished after Liu Bei passed away and handed control over to Liu Shan. She then joins Cao Pi as he leads the assault on Guangling to deal with Wu, which serves as her final battle in her Story Mode.

Her ending sees her relaxing later as she plays her harp, having found new inspiration from the chaos, when she is joined by Zhenji and Xin Xianying. After explaining how she found new life and meaning to her music thanks to the chaos, Zhenji and Cai Wenji perform together as Xin Xianying listens to the beautiful music the two musicians make together.

She only has a few appearances in the stories of opposing kingdoms, helping Cao Ren defend a relief base during the allied side of Wulin, and intercepting Pang Tong's suspicious cargo when he attempts to chain Cao Cao's ships at Chibi. She also appears at Xiping Gate with Wang Yi during Cao Pi's five-pronged attack on Shu and will be blocked by Ma Chao and Ma Dai.

Warriors Orochi

In Warriors Orochi 3, Cai Wenji is among the many manipulated by Kiyomori's magic and ordered to hold off the heroes at Anegawa. Yukimura and company beat her back to her senses. Ashamed by her actions, the poet gladly volunteers to join the coalition. After rescuing Joan at Mt. Dingjun, Cai Wenji renews the maiden's fighting spirit and later aids her in saving Magoichi in the altered future. She also helps Bao Sanniang in her search for Guan Suo at Mt. Niutou.

In the downloadable stage, "Keiji's Theme", Cai Wenji and Motochika help Keiji as he searches for his own theme song.

During the events of Ultimate, Cai Wenji is among those who traveled further into the past to learn more about Orochi and the events that transpired before the creation of the dimensional realm. She joins Fu Xi in their attempt to rescue the Heavenly Emperor from Orochi. Though they are successful in the rescue, they witness Yinglong's transformation into Orochi.

Cai Wenji is one of Cao Pi's officers in Warriors Orochi 4, and sides with Ares early into the conflict. Secretly, she and the other Wei officers are not truly loyal to Ares, and are waiting for the time to join the other humans.

When Cao Cao returns and attacks Cao Pi at Odani Castle, Cai Wenji gets herself captured. After the battle, she tells the Coalition of Cao Pi's real intentions to eventually betray the gods, and joins them shortly after. She later assists the Coalition against Odin at Guandu. During one of the DLC scenarios, she joins Sanzang and Zhang Liao in attempting to find a way to bring happiness to others.


Kessen II calls her by the name Cai Wengi in the English version. She is the illustrious queen of Fu, a country known for its exotic trade routes and peaceful relations with the Han people. Her portrayal in this game, as well as her tribesmen, are references to Genghis Khan.

She learned her sword fighting from a legendary swordsman and is said to possess sorcery that surpasses Zhuge Liang and Himiko. She first appears to assist Ma Chao's assault on Tong Gate. Later in the story, she is asked by either leader to attack their rival, which she complies by ransacking the Xi Province. The two generals in her army are Ma Dai and Deng Ai, who can defect and join Shu and Wei respectively. Her other "generals" are powerful clones of herself. When she's defeated by the commanders, Liu Bei/Cao Cao will forgive her. Touched by their generosity, she will join their cause as a secondary general. Her recruitment battle is completely optional; if she is not on the player's side, she will oppose them instead.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Her Romance of the Three Kingdoms persona is closer to her historical counterpart. In the eighth title, Cai Yan is the sole female sage present in the game, residing in Changan's inn. She will offer her friend's, named Chiang Rong, hand in marriage should the player present her with an koto. She often appears as an optional soldier in the central plains area, excelling in domestic affairs. Players may need to search for her in the area or wait for an ally officer to offer her service. Though she may be hired by any lord, Cai Yan will start with a higher loyalty when Cao Cao seeks for her. She is gifted with musical talents and can increase the efficiency of platforms that use instruments.

Character Information

Cai Wenji's Shin Sangoku Musou 15th Anniversary artwork.


During development, Cai Wenji was originally designed with a wintry costume that reflected the culture of her captors. Also, the characters written on her outer skirt are taken from a passage of her famous literary work called the "Poem of Sorrow and Anger".


An advocate for tranquility, Cai Wenji is a humble and altruistic soul. Deeply moved by the sorrows she sees around her, she is empathetic to other people's strifes and desires to impart hope to them. Her bravery in battle is primarily for those she feels are less fortunate than her. In reality, she severely doubts her strengths and fears combat. To ease her stress, Cai Wenji may compose melodies or poems. Her art is her alternative means of inspiring courage and peace of mind to herself and others.

She is a filial daughter to her peace-loving father. Cai Wenji shares her father's sentiments of avoiding needless conflict and protecting order. Her love for her father is what compels her to sympathize with Diaochan, for the dancer has sacrificed her own individuality for Wang Yun's scheme. For her Warriors Orochi appearance, she shares special conversations with Diaochan, Joan, and Ranmaru. In the fourth installment, she gets along with Zhou Yu and Kaguya.

Character Symbolism

In the Dynasty Warriors series, Cai Wenji is symbolized by the moon. It may tie into her compositions made during her captivity. In them she states she has seen the passing of many moons to describe the passage of time and to create a forlorn description of her imprisonment.

Cai Wenji's original outfit for Dynasty Warriors 7 is a Japanese school uniform for females. Unlike Zhenji's attempts to look stylish with the mandatory outfit, Cai Wenji wears a standard version without major alteration. It means she is obediently following the dress code; her modest accessories are her gloves and bow, as well as calf-high boots that are not occasionally part of the dress code. As a side note, having a character wear these type of uniforms is a mild form of fanservice.

The special item associated with her in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is a keepsake that references her time of being held captive by the Xiongnu tribes for 12 years and being forced to bear two children of one of their kings. However, it was around the year 206 that Cao Cao via being a friend of her late father Cai Yong, managed to buy her freedom.

Voice Actors

  • Erin Fitzgerald - Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires~8 (English-uncredited)
  • Amber Faith - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn - Kessen II (English-uncredited)
  • Jie Fu - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
  • Jeong Hae Won - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
  • Kim Doyeong - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Miku Yoshikawa - Dynasty Warriors series, Warriors Orochi 3~4 (Japanese)
  • Chizu Yonemoto - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Kyōko Sakai - Sangokushi Legion
  • Ryōko Nagata - Youkai Sangokushi (Japanese)
  • Natsumi Fujiwara - Sangokushi Hadou (Japanese)

Live Action Performers


See also: Cai Wenji/Quotes
  • "I understand how you feel, but I have a mission to fulfill."
"This is yet another sorrowful moment common in this world of chaos. I'm afraid I have to fight you."
~~Diao Chan and Cai Wenji; Dynasty Warriors 7
  • "I recall there were some old books in your house. Did you lose them all in the war?"
"I hate to admit it, but yes. The only comfort I have is that I memorized about four hundred or so."
"Memorized?! May I ask that you record those memories for the sake of the world to come?"
"You would allow me to do so? Oh, what a happy day!"
~~Cao Cao and Cai Wenji; Dynasty Warriors 7
  • "I've heard you play the harp before. It was a beautiful, flawless performance."
"To receive such praise from you... It's an unexpected delight."
"However, the average person couldn't play such a complex tune. You must carry a heavy burden from your past."
"Good or bad, all memories shape one's life. Right now, all I am doing is creating songs for the next generation."
"I apologize. I should not have pried. I look forward to hearing your harp again."
~~Zhou Yu and Cai Wenji; Dynasty Warriors 8
  • "People are powerless in the face of destiny. It is only when we are tossed about by the winds of fate that we know how truly weak we are. But, if we can stand and face our fates, I think we can see what it is we need to do."
"You're right. Weeping and moaning won't do a thing. I must hold my head up and look to the future for hope."
~~Cai Wenji and Joan; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Lady Kaguya. Do you remember the promise you made me?"
"Of course I do. I will tell you about my home. From my house, all that can be seen is covered in sand, all the way to the horizon."
"No limits to heaven, no ground below..."
"The sand is finer than powder, but is extremely sharp. Take one step on it, and you can feel a crunching sound from up beneath your feet, like treading on fresh snow. The sand covers high mountains, surrounding my home in a circular range, and a dark, ashen gray landscape. And it also covers me. Um... What's the matter? You seem sad..."
"The landscape you describe is harsh and unforgiving... Yet I am sure it is also beautiful. I can imagine it clearly in my mind's eye. Listening to your description, I remembered the landscape from my own past, burned onto the insides of my eyelids... The landscape from my own long, sad journey... Do you mind if I tell you about it?"
"I would be honored. I am most happy to be granted access to the memories of your soul like this."
~~Cai Wenji and Kaguya; Warriors Orochi 4


See also: Cai Wenji/Movesets

Dynasty Warriors 9



Keys: Square Flow Attack • Triangle Reactive Attack • Circle Musou X Jump/Mount

Cai Wenji is affiliated with the chain whip in this appearance.

Unique Flow Attack:
Unique Trigger Attack ( R1 + ):
Special Technique (R1 + Circle):
Musou (Circle):
Aerial Musou (X + Circle):


See also: Cai Wenji/Weapons

Dynasty Warriors 8

Cai Wenji still uses the harp as her default weapon in this title.

Historical Information

An illustration of Cai Wenji from a Qing Dynasty book of poems written by female poets.

Cai Yan was from the Chenliu prefecture. She was the daughter of the Han minister Cai Yong and wife of Wei Zhongdao and later, Dong Si.

After her first marriage, Wei Zhongdao passed away and around the end of 194 AD, Cai Yan was abducted by the Xiongnu tribesmen. She was made a concubine to an important tribesman, Liu Bao, bore him two children, and lived with the Xiongnu for twelve years.

In the time when Dong Zhuo took control of the emperor, Cai Yong was promoted favorably, and so when Dong Zhuo was assassinated by the plan of Wang Yun, Cai Yong, who was with Wang Yun, heard the news and gasped in fright. Wang Yun had him arrested and eventually died in prison.

Cao Cao was a friend of Cai Yong and was sad that they would have no heir, so he had gold delivered to the Xiongnu in exchange for Cai Yan. She was returned and was remarried to Dong Si.

Cai Yan was said to be intelligent and possessed musical talent. One night she heard her father play an instrument, and a string broke. Cai Yan correctly stated it to be the second string, and Cai Yong broke another, this time, on purpose. Once again she was able to name the string.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Cai Yan briefly appears in chapter 71 of the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Cao Cao was on a march to battle with Liu Bei in Hanzhong when he passed by Cai Yan's residence. Dong Si, her husband, was away and Cao Cao came to the gates with a few attendants. Upon hearing who the guest was, Cai Yan hurriedly raced to meet them, and after Cao Cao took a seat in the household, he noticed a tablet which contained mix-matched eight words that he couldn't interpret. Cai Yan pointed out that her father wrote it after hearing a specific tale. Yang Xiu, one of the men whom Cao Cao brought along, declared he knew the riddle on the tablet.

Cao Cao and his subordinates later left the house and Yang Xiu mentioned what the eight words meant using wordplay.



  • The English localization of Dynasty Warriors 8 mistakes her for Zhenji during Wei's "Campaign for Jianye" stage.
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