|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Dry Land Alligator"
|Rank||92nd, Prisoner Star (地囚星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Scout leader of Liangshan|
|Origin||Bandit leader from Liangshan Marsh|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Yishui County, Yizhou (in present-day Linyi, Shandong)|
|First appearance||Chapter 11|
Zhu Gui is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 92nd of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 56th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Dry Land Alligator".
The novel describes Zhu Gui as a tall and big man with a cheekbones like fists and a yellow beard. Initially a trader, he decided to join the outlaws at Liangshan Marsh to plunder and rob for a living after he made great losses in trading. He is one of the pioneers of Liangshan, alongside Wang Lun, Du Qian and Song Wan. He is extremely versatile and blends into various kinds of situations well; he is thus an ideal candidate for a spy or scout.
Lin Chong goes to join the outlaw band at Liangshan with a recommendation letter from Chai Jin. He takes a break in a tavern run by Zhu Gui near Liangshan. Zhu Gui recognises him and sends him to Liangshan without hesitation. The selfish Wang Lun refuses to allow Lin Chong to join the band and tries to send Lin away with precious gifts. Wang Lun eventually agrees to let Lin Chong join them after much urging from Song Wan, Du Qian and Zhu Gui, but he insists that Lin kills a man and presents his head to them within three days.
Lin Chong waits in ambush on a deserted road to attack and kill unwary travellers. On the third day, Yang Zhi passes by and Lin Chong attempts to kill him and take his head. However, Yang Zhi proves to be a powerful opponent and neither of them is able to defeat the other after several rounds of fighting. Wang Lun and his men arrive and stop the fight. Wang Lun agrees to let Lin Chong join the band and invites Yang Zhi to join as well. However, Yang Zhi senses Wang Lun's insincerity and declines the offer.
When Chao Gai and his six friends flee to Liangshan for refuge after robbing the convoy of birthday gifts, Wang Lun tries to send them away again with precious gifts. Lin Chong is furious with Wang Lun. Wu Yong seizes the opportunity to instigate Lin to kill Wang. Chao Gai then becomes the new chief of Liangshan and he recruits Wang Lun's former deputies, including Zhu Gui.
On another occasion, Li Kui goes home to fetch his mother to Liangshan. Song Jiang is worried that Li Kui's fiery temper might bring trouble for him so he asks Zhu Gui to watch over Li secretly. As Song Jiang expected, Li Kui runs into trouble and is captured in a trap set by Squire Cao. The constable Li Yun leads some soldiers to escort Li Kui to the county office. Zhu Gui and his younger brother, Zhu Fu, serve the soldiers food and wine spiked with drugs and knock them out. Li Kui kills the soldiers and leaves with the Zhu brothers. Zhu Fu succeeds in convincing Li Yun to join Liangshan as well.
Campaigns and death
Zhu Gui becomes one of the scout leaders of Liangshan after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He is stationed in the tavern south of Liangshan and is in charge of making preparations to receive the imperial envoy from Emperor Huizong, who grants the outlaws amnesty.
Later, he follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces. He falls sick after the battle of Hangzhou during the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, and does not live to see the final victory. He is posthumously awarded an honorific title, "Righteous Gentleman of Integrity" (義節郎), by the emperor in recognition of his contributions during the campaigns.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 187. 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.