Zhang Shun

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Zhang Shun
Water Margin character
Nickname "White Stripe in the Waves"
Rank 30th, Damage Star (天損星) of the 36 Heavenly Spirits
Zhang shun.JPG
Statue of Zhang Shun at Yongjin Pond (previously known as Yongjin Gate), Hangzhou, his place of death in the novel
Navy leader of Liangshan
Origin Fisherman
First appearance Chapter 37
Simplified Chinese 张顺
Traditional Chinese 張順
Pinyin Zhāng Shùn
Wade–Giles Chang Shun
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zhang.

Zhang Shun is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 30th of the 36 Heavenly Spirits of the 108 Liangshan heroes and is nicknamed "White Stripe in the Waves".


The Water Margin describes Zhang Shun as a man six chi tall with a fair complexion and a beautiful beard. He is a powerful swimmer and diver. His prowess in water earns him the nickname "White Stripe in the Waves".

Zhang Shun and his elder brother Zhang Heng live at Gushan. They engage in illegal trading and piracy on the nearby Xunyang River for a living. He decides to change his career and moves to Jiangzhou (present-day Jiangxi), where he becomes a fisherman.

Fight with Li Kui[edit]

An 1887 woodblock print by Yoshitoshi, depicting Zhang Shun (top) wrestling with Li Kui in the Xunyang River.

When Song Jiang is exiled to Jiangzhou for murdering Yan Poxi, he befriends the wardens Dai Zong and Li Kui and leads an easy life in prison there. Once, during a feast with Dai Zong and Li Kui, Song Jiang suddenly has a craving for fish. Li Kui immediately goes to the riverbank to get fresh fish. His hot temper gets him into a fight with the fishermen. Zhang Shun challenges Li Kui to a fight but he is defeated. Zhang Shun is not satisfied and he challenges Li Kui to fight him in the river instead. Li Kui is a poor swimmer and he is defeated by Zhang Shun in the water. Song Jiang and Dai Zong arrive on the scene and stop the fight. Zhang Shun and Li Kui then have a good laugh over the fight and become friends.

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Song Jiang met Zhang Heng earlier, who requested his help on delivering a letter to his brother. Song Jiang shows Zhang Shun his brother's letter and Zhang recognises Song as the famous philanthropist, and strikes up a friendship with him. When Song Jiang is framed by Huang Wenbing and sentenced to death, the Liangshan outlaws storm the execution ground and rescue him. Zhang Shun and his friends fetch the outlaws at the riverbank and ferry them all the way back to Liangshan Marsh. Zhang Shun and his brother then join the outlaw band.

Recruiting An Daoquan[edit]

Once, Song Jiang contracts a tumour on his back and becomes seriously ill. Zhang Shun embarks on a long journey to seek the famous physician An Daoquan to cure Song Jiang. Along the way, Zhang Shun boards the pirate Zhang Wang's boat by mistake. He is robbed, bound and thrown overboard. Zhang Shun manages to break his bonds underwater and escapes.

When Zhang Shun finally finds An Daoquan, An refuses to join Liangshan. Zhang Shun kills Li Qiaonu, a prostitute and close friend of An Daoquan, and writes "An Daoquan is the killer" in blood on the wall near the crime scene. An Daoquan is forced to join Liangshan and become an outlaw. On the return journey, Zhang Shun boards Zhang Wang's boat again and he recognises the pirate. Zhang Shun grabs Zhang Wang, ties him up and throws him overboard for revenge. An Daoquan succeeds in healing Song Jiang and Zhang Shun is given credit.

Campaigns and death[edit]

When Grand Marshal Gao Qiu leads a fleet of 300 battleships to attack the outlaws, Zhang Shun and the Liangshan navy go underwater and knock holes in the hulls of the ships and sank them. Gao Qiu's entire fleet is destroyed and the outlaws score a major victory over the imperial forces in the battle. Zhang Shun and the other naval commanders are given full credit for the victory.

After the Liangshan outlaws are granted amnesty by the emperor, Zhang Shun follows them on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces, making great contributions to his nation. During the Fang La campaign, Zhang Shun attempts to sneak into the enemy city of Hangzhou by scaling the Yongjin Gate (湧金門). He is discovered by Fang Tianding and killed by Fang's archers. After his death, his spirit possesses his brother's body and he slays Fang Tianding on Mount Wuyun for revenge.

See also[edit]