Song Qing

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Song Qing
Water Margin character
Nickname "Iron Fan"
鐵扇子
Rank 76th, Handsome Star (地俊星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Banquet organiser of Liangshan
Origin Farmer
Ancestral home / Place of origin Yuncheng County, Heze, Shandong
First appearance Chapter 18
Names
Simplified Chinese 宋清
Traditional Chinese 宋清
Pinyin Sòng Qīng
Wade–Giles Sung Ch'ing
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Song.

Song Qing is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 76th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 40th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Iron Fan".

Background[edit]

Song Qing is Song Jiang's younger brother. He is less well known than his elder brother, who is famous for being a generous and chivalrous hero. He leads a simple life as a peasant in Yuncheng County (in present-day Heze, Shandong).

When Song Jiang is on the run after killing Yan Poxi, Song Qing writes a letter to his brother, tells him that their father had died, and asks him to come home quickly. Shi Yong helps him deliver the letter to Song Jiang. Song Jiang weeps after reading the letter and immediately rushes home, but is surprised to see that his father is alive and well. In fact, Song Jiang's father had instructed Song Qing to write the letter to Song Jiang, because he misses his son and wants him to come home soon.

Song Jiang is arrested shortly after returning to Yuncheng County and placed on trial for killing Yan Poxi. The magistrate shows leniency and spares Song Jiang from execution, but sentences him to exile in Jiangzhou (江州; east of present-day Chongzuo, Guangxi).

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Song Jiang runs into trouble in Jiangzhou after writing a seditious poem while he was drunk, and is arrested and sentenced to death. However, the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh show up in Jiangzhou, storm the execution ground, and succeed in rescuing Song Jiang. Song Jiang decides to join the outlaw band after narrowly escaping from death, and he returns to Yuncheng County to fetch his family to Liangshan. Unknown to him, the authorities have been tracking his movements and have sent soldiers to surround his home and arrest him as soon as he returns home. Luckily for him, the outlaws have also been secretly following him and they help him drive away the soldiers and protect him and his family on their way to Liangshan.

Song Qing is placed in charge of organising banquets at Liangshan 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, and survives the campaigns. The emperor offers him an official post to recognise him for his contributions during the campaigns, but he declines and chooses to return home and live the rest of his life as a peasant.

References[edit]