The ancient Chinese writings are considered to be important influence on the unification of Japan. The principles outlined in those writings have been respected and several samurai have followed them. This was in the past. More recently great conquerors such as Napoleon have been known to study these texts and followed, eventually leading to their victory in wars. A note to be made here is that Napoleon did not adhere to some of the major principles that Tzu outlined and thus he lost the war in Russia.
For the sake of another example we may consider Admiral Togo who led the Japanese forces during the Russo-Japanese War. He was a devout follower of the Chinese teachings regarding warfare. Then there is Mao Zedong who defeated the Nationalists in 1949 through the same tactics and similar was the case with General Norman Schwartzkopf during Desert Storm. A more modern example is that of the application of Tzu’s concepts by China in order to pave her way towards becoming a superpower. It is also said that during the Sengoku era in Japan there was a daimyo by the name of Takeda Shingen who actually attained invincibility in every war he fought simply through his study of The Art of the War, and without depending on his weapons.
 Sun Tzu and Samuel B. Griffith. The Illustrated Art of War (Oxford University Press, 2005), 172-173.