Zhou Tong (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Rank||87th, Empty Star (地空星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan|
|Origin||Bandit leader from Mount Peach Blossom|
|Hometown||Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong)|
|First appearance||Chapter 5|
Zhou Tong is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 87th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 51st of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Little Conqueror". He is often confused with the similarly named Zhou Tong, the archery teacher of Yue Fei.
The Water Margin describes Zhou Tong as a well built and strong man with a broad face and a loud booming voice. He is a powerful fighter and wields a long spear in battle. He resembles Xiang Yu and is thus nicknamed "Little Conqueror". Zhou Tong is from Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong) and he becomes the chief of a group of bandits on Mount Peach Blossom.
One day, Li Zhong passes by the mountain and Zhou Tong attempts to rob him. However, Zhou Tong is no match for Li Zhong and Li defeats him in a fight. Zhou Tong is impressed with Li Zhong's skill and he offers his position as chief of the bandits to Li. Li Zhong becomes the new chief with Zhou Tong as his second-in-command.
Encounter with Lu Zhishen
Zhou Tong attempts to force Squire Liu's daughter to marry him. Coincidentally, Lu Zhishen is seeking shelter in Squire Liu's manor and he decides to help Liu deal with the overbearing bandit leader. Lu Zhishen lies in ambush inside the bride's room and catches Zhou Tong off guard in the dark and gives him a good beating. Zhou Tong escapes back to his stronghold and complains to Li Zhong. Li Zhong leads his men to confront Lu Zhishen and the conflict is diffused when Li discovers that Lu is actually an old acquaintance. Li Zhong succeeds in helping Lu Zhishen persuade Zhou Tong to give up on Squire Liu's daughter. Lu Zhishen stays with Li Zhong and Zhou Tong at their stronghold for a few days before leaving.
Huyan Zhuo is defeated by the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh and he retreats to Qingzhou. Along the way, his steed is stolen by Zhou Tong when he passes by Mount Peach Blossom. Huyan Zhuo is furious and he leads the Qingzhou army to attack the bandit stronghold. Li Zhong and Zhou Tong seek help from the outlaws on the nearby Mount Twin Dragons but they are still no match for Huyan Zhuo. Eventually, the Liangshan outlaws arrive to help them and they defeat imperial forces in the great battle at Qingzhou. Huyan Zhuo is captured and he defects over to join Liangshan. Zhou Tong follows the heroes back to Liangshan after the victory.
Campaigns and death
Zhou Tong 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, Zhou Tong follows Lu Junyi to attack the enemy territory of Dusong Pass. Lu Junyi orders Zhou Tong to scout ahead. Suddenly, the enemy general Li Tianrun charges out of the pass and he catches Zhou Tong by surprise and kills him swiftly. Zhou Tong is posthumously granted the honorific title of "Righteous Gentleman of Integrity" (義節郎) by the emperor in recognition of his contributions to the nation.
- (Portuguese) SHAOLIN À BRASILEIRA - See #6 on pg. 4. The author incorrectly represents Yue Fei's teacher and this character as the very same person.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 173. 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.
- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China. KOEI, 1989.