Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse
|"Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse"|
|Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse|
|Literal meaning||White Horse Neighing in the West Wind|
Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse is a wuxia novella by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first published in 1961 in Hong Kong in the newspaper Ming Pao. The novella marks the only time Jin Yong featured a female protagonist in all his works.
A young Han Chinese girl called Li Wenxiu loses her parents in the Gobi Desert while escaping from a group of bandits, who are after a map of the Gaochang labyrinth. Placed on a white steed, Li Wenxiu flees to Kazakh territory and is taken into the care of an elderly Han Chinese man called "Old Man Ji". While growing up, Li Wenxiu meets a Kazakh boy named Supu and they gradually develop a romance. However Supu's father disapproves of the relationship between his son and a Han Chinese girl so they are forced to separate.
Several years later, Li Wenxiu meets a hermit named "Hua Hui" in an oasis in the Gobi Desert, and helps him cure his wounds. Hua Hui is grateful to her and accepts her as his student and teaches her martial arts. She returns home amidst heavy snow and sees that Supu, his father, and his new lover are taking shelter inside her house. Unfortunately, Chen Dahai, the leader of the group of bandits who killed Li Wenxiu's parents, arrives at Li's home and suspects that the map they have been hunting for is inside the house. He proceeds to ransack the house for the map and eventually finds it. The secret of the map is revealed when blood is spilled onto the cloth. Chen Dahai wants to silence Supu and the others but is stopped by Li Wenxiu, who is in disguise as a Han Chinese man. Li Wenxiu defeats and wounds Chen Dahai.
Chen Dahai flees with the map and finds his way to the labyrinth, while Li Wenxiu and Supu gather five others to join them in pursuit of Chen and the bandits. The seven of them make their way to the labyrinth but discover ordinary items associated with Han Chinese culture in place of treasure and riches. To their horror, they encounter a "ghost" who haunts them by killing their companions without leaving any traces. Just as they are about to flee, Su Pu learns that his lover has been kidnapped by the "ghost" and he tracks the "ghost" to its lair in the labyrinth, where he discovers that the "ghost" is actually a martial arts expert in disguise.
The "ghost" tells his story and reveals that he was forced into exile because he was betrayed by his apprentice, who is actually Old Man Ji. The "ghost" is the hermit Hua Hui, whom Li Wenxiu had saved earlier. More shockingly, Old Man Ji is revealed to be actually a man in his 30s disguised as an elderly man. Old Man Ji and Hua Hui start fighting each other. Li Wenxiu is shocked to realise that the two, who are close to her, are actually enemies. Hua Hui eventually dies in his futile attempt to kill everyone present at the scene. Upon leaving the labyrinth, Li Wenxiu hears the true story behind the items hidden in the labyrinth and its origins. She decides to leave the land for central China, feeling miserable after the loss of two of her loved ones and the marriage of her lover to another woman.
- Li Wenxiu (Chinese: 李文秀; Mandarin Pinyin: Lǐ Wénxìu; Jyutping: Lei5 Man4-sau3) is the protagonist of the story.
- Hua Hui (traditional Chinese: 華輝; simplified Chinese: 华辉; Mandarin Pinyin: Huà Huī; Jyutping: Waa4 Fai1), nicknamed "Make Jiangnan Tremble with One Finger" (Chinese: 一指震江南; Mandarin Pinyin: Yī Zhǐ Zhèn Jiāngnán; Jyutping: Jat1 Zi2 Zan3 Gong1-naam4), is a hermit who teaches Li Wenxiu martial arts.
- Ma Jiajun (traditional Chinese: 馬家駿; simplified Chinese: 马家骏; Mandarin Pinyin: Mǎ Jiājùn; Jyutping: Maa5 Gaa1-zeon3) is the real name of Old Man Ji (traditional Chinese: 計老人; simplified Chinese: 计老人; Mandarin Pinyin: Jì Lǎorén; Jyutping: Gei3 Lou5-jan4), the elderly Han Chinese man who raised the orphaned Li Wenxiu.
- Li San (Chinese: 李三; Mandarin Pinyin: Lǐ Sān; Jyutping: Lei5 Saam1) and Shangguan Hong (Chinese: 上官虹; Mandarin Pinyin: Shàngguān Hóng; Jyutping: Soeng5-gun1 Hung4) are Li Wenxiu's parents, who were killed at the beginning of the story.
- Supu (traditional Chinese: 蘇普; simplified Chinese: 苏普; Mandarin Pinyin: Sūpǔ; Jyutping: Sou1-pou2) is a Kazakh youth and Li Wenxiu's childhood playmate. He was originally Li Wenxiu's lover but is later forced by his father to give up on Li due to ethnic prejudice.
- Aman (Chinese: 阿曼; Mandarin Pinyin: Āmàn; Jyutping: Aa3-maan6) is a young Kazakh girl who becomes Supu's new lover.
- Chen Dahai (traditional Chinese: 陳達海; simplified Chinese: 陈达海; Mandarin Pinyin: Chén Dáhǎi; Jyutping: Can4 Daat6-hoi2) is the leader of the bandits who killed Li Wenxiu's parents.
- "Three Heroes of Lüliang" (traditional Chinese: 呂梁三傑; simplified Chinese: 吕梁三杰; Mandarin Pinyin: Lǚliáng Sān Jié; Jyutping: Leoi5-loeng4 Saam1 Git6):
- Huo Yuanlong (traditional Chinese: 霍元龍; simplified Chinese: 霍元龙; Mandarin Pinyin: Huò Yuánlóng; Jyutping: Fok3 Jyun4-lung4), nicknamed "Divine Saber Trembles Guanxi" (traditional Chinese: 神刀震關西; simplified Chinese: 神刀震关西; Mandarin Pinyin: Shén Dāo Zhèn Guānxī; Jyutping: San4 Dou1 Zan3 Gwaan1-sai1).
- Shi Zhongjun (Chinese: 史仲俊; Mandarin Pinyin: Shǐ Zhòngjùn; Jyutping: Si2 Zung6-zeon3), nicknamed "Plum Blossom Spear" (traditional Chinese: 梅花槍; simplified Chinese: 梅花枪; Mandarin Pinyin: Méihuā Qiāng; Jyutping: Mui4-faa1 Coeng1).
- Ding Tong (Chinese: 丁同; Mandarin Pinyin: Dīng Tóng; Jyutping: Ding1 Tung4), nicknamed "Two Headed Snake" (traditional Chinese: 兩頭蛇; simplified Chinese: 两头蛇; Mandarin Pinyin: Liǎng Tóu Shé; Jyutping: Loeng5 Tau4 Se4).
- In the 1970s, Hong Kong's RTV produced a television series based on the story, starring Sharon Yeung as Li Wenxiu.
- In 1987, Taiwan's CTV produced a television series based on the story, starring David Chiang and Kwan Chung.
- The date conforms to the data published in Chen Zhenhui (陳鎮輝), Wuxia Xiaoshuo Xiaoyao Tan (武俠小說逍遙談), 2000, Huizhi Publishing Company (匯智出版有限公司), pg. 58.