Wang Ying (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Rank||58th, Minute Star (地微星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Cavalry leader of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Huai River region|
|First appearance||Chapter 31|
Wang Ying is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 58th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 22nd of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Stumpy Tiger".
The novel describes Wang Ying as a short man with sparkling eyes. He is rough, impatient, lecherous, highly skilled in martial arts and capable of taking on 100 opponents at the same time. He is nicknamed "Stumpy Tiger" for his short stature.
Wang Ying was initially a carriage driver. Once, while transporting a group of rich men, he was overcome by greed and robbed them. He was arrested and imprisoned later, but managed to escape and has been an outlaw since then. He becomes the leader of a group of bandits based on Mount Qingfeng (清風山; in present-day Qingzhou, Weifang, Shandong), alongside Yan Shun and Zheng Tianshou.
When Song Jiang is on his way to Qingfeng Fort (清風寨; near Mount Qingfeng) to take shelter under his friend Hua Rong, he passes by the bandit stronghold along the way and is ambushed and captured by the bandits, who intend to use his heart and liver to make soup. Just as he is about to be killed, Song Jiang sighs, "Am I, Song Jiang, destined to die just like that?" The three bandit chiefs overhear him and are stunned when they hear his name, because they have heard of Song Jiang's reputation as a generous and chivalrous hero who helps those in need, and have been wanting to meet him. After Song Jiang confirms his identity, the three bandit chiefs immediately releases him, apologise to him, and treat him like an honoured guest. In the meantime, Wang Ying has just kidnapped a woman and wants to rape her. After she reveals herself to be the wife of Liu Gao, the official in charge of Qingfeng Fort, Song Jiang sympathises with her and manages to persuade Wang Ying to let her go.
Song Jiang leaves the stronghold and makes his way to the fort to join Hua Rong. While touring the fort later, he is recognised by Liu Gao's wife, who repays his kindness with evil by accusing him of attempting to rape her. Liu Gao believes his wife and has Song Jiang arrested and imprisoned. Hua Rong intervenes and attempts to free Song Jiang by force, but is lured into a trap by Huang Xin and ends up being captured too. Liu Gao then orders Huang Xin and his soldiers to escort Song Jiang and Hua Rong as prisoners back to Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong) for the higher-ranked officials to decide their fates. Along the way, Yan Shun, Wang Ying and Zheng Tianshou lead their bandit followers to ambush the convoy and rescue Song Jiang and Hua Rong. The bandits eventually defeat the government forces and capture Qingfeng Fort, after which they travel to Liangshan Marsh together to join the outlaw band there.
Marriage to Hu Sanniang
During the battle between Liangshan and the Zhu Family Village, the lady warrior Hu Sanniang, an ally of the Zhus, rides forth to challenge the outlaws to one-on-one fight. Wang Ying is aroused when he sees a female warrior, so he accepts her challenge and attempts to defeat and capture her. However, unexpectedly, he is defeated and captured by her instead. Hu Sanniang is defeated and captured by Liangshan's Lin Chong shortly after she defeated Wang Ying. Wang Ying is released when the outlaws defeat the Zhus and overrun the village. Song Jiang succeeds in persuading Hu Sanniang to join the Liangshan band and arranges for her to marry Wang Ying.
Campaigns and death
Wang Ying 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, Wang Ying is assigned to attack Muzhou (睦州; in present-day Hangzhou, Zhejiang), where he encounters the enemy general Zheng Biao. Zheng Biao uses his magic to confuse Wang Ying and spear him to death. Hu Sanniang tries to avenge her husband but ends up being slain by Zheng Biao as well.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 117. 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 93 and 98. 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.