During the Han dynasty, every man was expected
to serve China for at least one year at age twenty three. Although, a man’s
adulthood began at twenty, the government wanted to allow the citizen three
additional years to store away money so he could serve as a soldier without
being paid. In a situation where a man twenty three years of age did not
want to serve in the army, he could instead pay a certain amount of money,
which was used to hiring willing soldiers for a longer time period. The ideal
goal of the Han Dynasty was to have citizen soldiers, like in Rome. A citizen
soldier would have been a regular citizen living his own life, but was expected
to be loyal to his country if he need be called upon to serve as a soldier.
Annually after the harvest, each man was responsible for serving one month
of reserve military duty. This specific time was chosen so that each man
could help his respective family with the harvest, instead of losing valuable
labor if the man was not present.
Model figure of Han Dynasty