Ding Desun

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Ding Desun
Water Margin character
First appearanceChapter 70
Nickname"Arrow-hit Tiger"
中箭虎
Rank79th, Speed Star (地速星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Infantry leader of Liangshan
OriginImperial general
WeaponForked spear
Names
Simplified Chinese丁得孙
Traditional Chinese丁得孫
PinyinDīng Désūn
Wade–GilesTing Te-sun

Ding Desun is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. Nicknamed "Arrow-hit Tiger", he ranks 79th among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 43rd among the 72 Earthly Fiends.

Background[edit]

Ding Desun is nicknamed "Arrow-hit Tiger" because his face and neck are riddled with battle scars. He excels in martial arts and fights well on foot and horseback using a forked spear. Along with Gong Wang, he serves as a deputy to Zhang Qing, the general in charge of guarding Dongchang Prefecture (東昌府; in present-day Liaocheng, Shandong).

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Zhang Qing, who flings stones with accuracy, defeats the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh twice, who are led by Lu Junyi. Song Jiang's army arrives to reinforce Lu Junyi. Zhang Qing injures some of Liangshan's best warriors with his stones when he fights them one-on-one and causes others to back off. During Zhang Qing's duels, Ding Desun and Gong Wang stay on the sidelines and prepare to capture any enemy warrior their commander dismounts.

When Zhang Qing and Liangshan's Dong Ping end up in an arm grapple on horseback during their duel, Ding Desun takes on Liangshan's Lü Fang and Guo Sheng as they rush to aid Dong Ping. Yan Qing fires an arrow which hits Ding Desun's horse in the leg, causing Ding Desun to be thrown off horseback and end up being captured by the outlaws. Ding Desun and Gong Wang are sent in captivity back to Liangshan. Zhang Qing eventually loses in battle and decides to surrender and join the outlaws. Ding Desun and Gong Wang follow suit.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Ding Desun becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry after the 108 Stars of Destiny come together in what is called the Grand Assembly. He follows the Liangshan heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces on Song territory after they received amnesty from Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Ding Desun follows Lu Junyi during the battle of Shezhou. They lose the battle and are forced to retreat. Zhu Wu predicts that Fang La's forces will launch a sneak attack that night and suggests that they wait in ambush for the enemy. He is proven right: The Liangshan heroes score a major victory over Fang La's forces in the battle that night. However, Ding Desun is bitten by a venomous snake in the bushes and dies from poisoning.

References[edit]

  • Buck, Pearl S. (2006). All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell. ISBN 9781559213035.
  • Ichisada, Miyazaki (1993). Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu (in Japanese). Chuo Koronsha. ISBN 978-4122020559.
  • Keffer, David. "Outlaws of the Marsh: A Somewhat Less Than Critical Commentary". Poison Pie Publishing House. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  • Li, Mengxia (1992). 108 Heroes from the Water Margin (in Chinese). EPB Publishers. p. 159. ISBN 9971-0-0252-3.
  • Miyamoto, Yoko (2011). "Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits". Demystifying Confucianism. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  • Shibusawa, Kou (1989), Bandit Kings of Ancient China, Koei, p. 93
  • Zhang, Lin Ching (2009). Biographies of Characters in Water Margin. Writers Publishing House. ISBN 978-7506344784.