|Water Margin character|
|Rank||50th, Strong Star (地強星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan|
|Origin||Bandit leader from Mount Qingfeng|
|Hometown||Laizhou (in present-day Shandong)|
|First appearance||Chapter 32|
Yan Shun is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 50th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 14th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Multicoloured Tiger".
The Water Margin describes Yan Shun as a man with red hair, a yellow beard, round eyes, long arms and a wide waist. He is from Laizhou (in present-day Shandong). He excels in martial arts and the use of the saber and earns himself the nickname "Multicoloured Tiger".
Meeting Song Jiang
Yan Shun was initially a trader but he suffered a great loss and decided to become a bandit leader on Mount Qingfeng together with Wang Ying and Zheng Tianshou. Song Jiang passes by their stronghold on the way to Qingfeng Fort to join Hua Rong. Yan Shun's followers capture Song Jiang and want to kill him and use his heart and liver to make soup. Song Jiang sighs, "Am I, Song Jiang, destined to die just like that?" Yan Shun overhears Song Jiang and is stunned when he hears the name "Song Jiang". He recognises Song Jiang and releases the latter immediately. Yan Shun and his men apologise to Song Jiang and treat him like a guest. Meanwhile, the lustful Wang Ying has just kidnapped a woman and wants to rape her. She turns out 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 later and makes his way to the fort. Liu Gao's wife recognises him when he is touring the fort later and she 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 but he is tricked by Huang Xin and captured as well. Liu Gao has Song Jiang and Hua Rong escorted as prisoners by Huang Xin's men back to Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong). Yan Shun and the bandits from Mount Qingfeng ambush the convoy along the way and succeed in rescuing the prisoners. Yan Shun follows the outlaws back to Liangshan Marsh after the battle of Qingfeng Fort.
Campaigns and death
Yan Shun 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 the emperor. During the Fang La campaign, Yan Shun is assigned to attack Black Dragon Ridge. He is shocked to see Ma Lin die at the hands of the enemy general Shi Bao and attempts to avenge Ma Lin. He fights with Shi Bao but he is no match for Shi and dies after being struck by Shi's spiked mace.
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- 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.
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