Ma Lin (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Iron Flute Deity"
|Rank||67th, Bright Star (地明星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan|
|Origin||Bandit leader from Mount Yellow Gate|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Jiankang Prefecture (present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu)|
|First appearance||Chapter 41|
|Weapon||Pair of sabers|
Ma Lin is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 67th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 31st of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Iron Flute Deity".
Ma Lin is from Jiankang Prefecture (建康府; present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu). He is highly skilled in martial arts and is capable of fighting dozens of opponents at the same time while armed with his weapons – a pair of bronze sabers. However, he is better known for his talent in playing the flute, for which he earns the nickname "Iron Flute Deity".
After saving Song Jiang and Dai Zong in Jiangzhou (江州; east of present-day Chongzuo, Guangxi), the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh are making their way back to base when they passed by Mount Yellow Gate along the way. The four bandit chiefs stop the Liangshan outlaws and request to join them. Song Jiang agrees and they return to Liangshan together.
Ma Lin participates in many of the campaigns against the enemies of Liangshan and makes great contributions. He disguises himself as a constable and pretends to arrest Li Ying and Du Xing and brings them to Liangshan to join the outlaw band.
Campaigns and death
Ma Lin becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. 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, Ma Lin is assigned to attack Black Dragon Ridge (烏龍嶺; northeast of present-day Meicheng Town, Jiande, Hangzhou, Zhejiang), where he engages the enemy general Bai Qin in battle. Ma Lin is knocked off his horse by Bai Qin while he is distracted. Shi Bao, another of Fang La's general, uses the opportunity to kill Ma Lin by slicing him into two after he is down.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 135. 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.
- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China, page 98. KOEI, 1989.