Chen Da (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Stream Leaping Tiger"
|Rank||72nd, Complete Star (地周星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan|
|Origin||Bandit leader from Mount Shaohua|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Ye (in present-day Handan, Hebei)|
|First appearance||Chapter 2|
Chen Da is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 72nd of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 36th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Stream Leaping Tiger".
Chen Da is from Ye (鄴; in present-day Handan, Hebei). He is as strong as an ox, impatient, fiery-tempered and has a loud booming voice. He excels in martial arts and wields an iron spear in combat. He is nicknamed "Stream Leaping Tiger".
Chen Da becomes one of the leaders of an outlaw band based on Mount Shaohua (少華山; southeast of present-day Hua County, Weinan, Shaanxi) together with his two companions, Zhu Wu and Yang Chun. The local government in the nearby Huayin County is afraid of them. Once, when the stronghold lacks provisions, the outlaws decide to raid and loot Huayin County for supplies and are due to pass by Shi Jin's village along the way. Zhu Wu has reservations about the attack because he has heard of Shi Jin's reputation as a powerful fighter and he fears that he might stand in their way. Chen Da ignores Zhu Wu's warning and leads his men to attack Shi Jin's village, but ends up being defeated and captured by Shi.
Zhu Wu and Yang Chun travel to Shi Jin's village and plead with him to release Chen Da. Deeply moved by their strong sense of brotherhood, Shi Jin releases Chen Da and befriends the three outlaw chiefs. They often visit and send gifts to each other. The hunter Li Ji discovers Shi Jin's relationship with the outlaws and reports them to the magistrate for a reward. The magistrate sends soldiers to surround the village and arrest the four men. Shi Jin burns down his village and joins the three outlaws in fighting their way back to Mount Shaohua.
Later, Lu Zhishen goes to invite the four outlaws to join the band at Liangshan Marsh. He learns that Shi Jin has been captured by Prefect He and attempts to rescue Shi but fails and he is captured as well. Zhu Wu notifies the Liangshan outlaws, who come to the rescue. After the victory, Zhu Wu, Chen Da and Yang Chun follow the outlaws back to Liangshan.
Chen Da becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry after the Grand Assembly. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Chen Da, Shi Jin and another four heroes are assigned to attack the enemy-controlled Yuling Pass (昱嶺關; near present-day Zhupu Village, She County, Huangshan City, Anhui). Shi Jin is slain by Fang La's general Pang Wanchun while Chen Da and the others are killed by Pang's archers.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 145. EPB Publishers Pte Ltd, 1992. ISBN 9971-0-0252-3.
- Buck, Pearl. All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell Ltd, 2006. ISBN 9781559213035.
- Zhang, Lin Ching. Biographies of Characters in Water Margin. Writers Publishing House, 2009. ISBN 978-7506344784.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China, pages 64 and 97. KOEI, 1989.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.