Cai Wenji
Cai Wenji (DW9)
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
Character Type:

Cai Wenji (蔡文姫, onyomi: Sai Bunki) is one of the artistic style names attributed to a poet named Cai Yan (蔡琰, onyomi: Sai En). She 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. 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 GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

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.

Warriors OrochiEdit

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.


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 KingdomsEdit

Her Romance of the Three Kingdoms persona is closer to her historical counterpart. 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 InformationEdit

Cai Wenji 15th Anniversary Artwork (DWEKD)

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.

Character SymbolismEdit

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 ActorsEdit

  • Erin Fitzgerald - Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires~8 (English-uncredited)
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn - Kessen II (English-uncredited)
  • Jeong Hae Won - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
  • Miku Yoshikawa - Dynasty Warriors series, Warriors Orochi 3 (Japanese)
  • Chizu Yonemoto - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Kyōko Sakai - Sangokushi Legion


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


Keys: Square Normal Attack • Tri Charge AttackCircle MusouX Jump/Mount

Shin Sangoku Musou Multi Raid 2Edit

Cai Wenji mainly uses the erhu moveset in this title.

Dynasty Warriors 7Edit

Cai Wenji is affiliated with the harp in this appearance. When she is equipped with it, she can perform a unique attack exclusive to her. Upon performing her Musou techniques, she will automatically use the weapon in her attacks.

EX Attack: Tri, Tri: Plays her harp as it levitates in front as orbs of light come down around her for a set duration.
Musou - Amber Light (琥珀光): Circle: Spins in place and hits those around her with her aura. Also recovers some of her health. In Dynasty Warriors 8, this attack heals only allies instead.
Alternate Musou - Jade Light (翡翠光): R1 + Circle: Plays her harp and summons a green energy wave which hits opponents in front of her. Classified as a Multi-strike Musou in Next and used in Warriors Orochi 3.
Dynasty Warriors Next
Speed Musou - Mental: Tap both sides of screen: Creates a controllable sphere of sound waves to attack the opponent repeatedly. It ends with the sphere bursting into a mid-range sound wave.
Warriors Orochi 3
X, Square: Strums harp to produce small sound waves traveling to the ground.
X, Tri: Flips forward and then emits a wide surrounding sound wave akin to her C4 and C5 upon landing.
R1: Kneels back to her left and plays an alluring melody to stun nearby enemies within range.
X (Cancel): Leans forward with a midair dash.
X, R1 (Ultimate only): Hovers in midair and sends down a continuous array of purple spheres four times in a row that emit sound waves upon landing on the ground. Possesses innate HP absorption per target hit, but cannot pass through targets/objects and cannot be directed left or right.

Dynasty Warriors 8Edit

『真・三國無双7』 蔡文姫

『真・三國無双7』 蔡文姫

Cai Wenji keeps the same moveset from the previous title with the following additions.

EX Attack 2 (Xtreme Legends only): Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri, Tri: Lobs three sound spheres on the ground. These spheres burst into sound waves once Cai Wenji attacks.
Aerial Musou - Crimson Light (紅玉光): X, Circle: Plays a tune that produces two dark-hued sonic waves that orbit around the descending user before splitting apart in different directions upon landing.
Awakening Musou: Continuously produce a massive sound wave surrounding Cai Wenji. It ends with a burst of energy released by a tune played while kneeling. The extended version has her spin around several times converting the sound waves into electric storms.

Fighting StyleEdit

In Kessen II, she leads a sturdy cavalry armed with bows whom can be upgraded to be stronger Mongolian horsemen. Her stats are nearly maxed in all four directions and she is one of the few playable characters in the game to start with a high magic and war stat. She posses three spells, two of them being high-leveled and arguably the most damaging spells in the game (Gale and Fissure). Her dueling ability allows her to initiate a rare wuxia-style sword fight with Mei Sanniang or Sun Li. Though her skills are impressive, she has difficulty maintaining a high army morale and maybe routed if her abilities are not available.

Her Romance of the Three Kingdoms counterpart is better suited for political and domestic affairs than waging war. If needed, however, she makes a decent support unit for cavalry units.


See also: Cai Wenji/Weapons

Dynasty Warriors 8Edit

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

Historical InformationEdit

Cai Wenji Illustration

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 KingdomsEdit

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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