|Created by||Jin Yong|
|Appearances||The Legend of the Condor Heroes,
The Return of the Condor Heroes
|Nickname(s)||"Eastern Heretic" (東邪)|
|Alias(es)||"Old Evil Huang" (黃老邪)|
|Organisations||Peach Blossom Island|
|Skills and abilities|
|Qinggong||Holy Turtle Steps|
|Neigong||Nine Yin Manual skills|
|Unarmed combat skills||Jade Waves Palm,
Complex Five Turns,
Fallen Hero Divine Sword Palm,
Air Slicing Palm,
Finger Flicking Skill
|Armed combat skills||Jade Flute Swordplay,
Jade Leaking Silver Pushing Sword,
Three Fork and Three Palm Styles
|Weapons||Bone Penetrating Needle,
Huang Yaoshi is a fictional character in the wuxia novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes and its sequel, The Return of the Condor Heroes, by Jin Yong. He is one of the Five Greats of the wulin (martial artists' community) during the Song dynasty, alongside Wang Chongyang, Hong Qigong, Ouyang Feng and Duan Zhixing. He is nicknamed "Eastern Heretic" (東邪) for being an unorthodox radical who behaves as he wishes without showing any regard for formalities or moral ethics.[SheDiao Ch.10] He loathes the dogma of traditional rites in Chinese society and admires only genuine honour and pure love.[SheDiao Ch.10] As such, he is often regarded by his contemporaries as a cultural heretic.[SheDiao Ch.10] His nickname may be translated to "Eastern Evil" because the character Xie (邪) in his nickname also refers to "evil" and "unorthodoxy" in jianghu terminology.
Huang Yaoshi is a loner who harbours unorthodox and heretical views on traditional Chinese rites and social norms. He is the master of Peach Blossom Island. Apart from being a formidable martial artist, he is also versed in other fields such as military strategy, music and divination. His eccentric personality causes him to be feared and shunned by others.
Huang Yaoshi is married to Feng Heng and has six apprentices. He has scores of servants on his island, who are deaf and mute. Rumours in the jianghu say that he intentionally disabled them, but in fact, they were already mute and deaf before they became his servants. He recruited them as his servants to relieve them from the social stigma of their impairments so that they can enjoy a better life on his island. However, he does not wish to promote an image of himself as a kind and compassionate person so he spread those negative rumours about himself. Only his family and apprentices know the truth.
Acquiring the Nine Yin Manual
Shortly after his marriage to Feng Heng, Huang Yaoshi met Wang Chongyang's junior, Zhou Botong. He learnt from Zhou Botong that Wang Chongyang had died and that Zhou had inherited the Nine Yin Manual. He wanted the book for himself so he tricked Zhou Botong into allowing his wife to read it. Zhou Botong agreed and let her read the second volume of the manual. Feng Heng had eidetic memory so she memorised the book easily. She lied to Zhou Botong that the manual was fake and that it was actually a copy of a book of childish rites she had memorised by heart. She recited the first few verses of the manual verbatim to Zhou Botong, who mistakenly believed her and destroyed the book in anger. After Zhou Botong left, Feng Heng wrote a copy of the manual from memory for her husband.
Loss of loved ones
Two of Huang Yaoshi's apprentices, Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng, fell in love and were afraid of informing their master of their wedding plans as they were unsure whether their master would give them his blessings or violently object. They eloped, stole their master's copy of the Nine Yin Manual, and fled from Peach Blossom Island.
In the same year, Feng Heng was pregnant with Huang Rong. When she learnt that the copy she wrote had been stolen, she attempted to write another from memory for her husband. However, the stress was too much for her to bear so she died shortly after giving birth to Huang Rong. Huang Yaoshi was deeply tramautised by the loss of his wife and driven to near-insanity. He vented his anger on his other four apprentices (Qu Lingfeng, Lu Chengfeng, Wu Mianfeng and Feng Mofeng) by crippling them and banishing them from his island.
Huang Yaoshi later regrets bitterly for inflicting such a heavy punishment on his innocent apprentices. He sets off to find his daughter, who has left home after quarrelling with her father. He meets Mei Chaofeng at Guiyun Manor on Lake Tai, where Lu Chengfeng has settled down. He agrees that Mei Chaofeng has been duly punished since she has lost her sense of sight and her husband. He forgives her and asks her to find his other apprentices and bring them back to the manor so he can heal their legs. However, he never saw his other apprentices again: Chen Xuanfeng was killed by Guo Jing; Qu Lingfeng was killed by Shi Yanming; Wu Mianfeng died of illness; Feng Mofeng has become a blacksmith and is killed by Jinlun Guoshi in the sequel. Huang Yaoshi later accepts Lu Chengfeng's son, Lu Guanying, and Qu Lingfeng's daughter, Shagu, as his grand-apprentices.
Conflict with Zhou Botong
Zhou Botong realised that he had been tricked by Huang Yaoshi so he returned to Peach Blossom Island to demand an explanation from Huang. Huang Yaoshi was still embattled by the loss of his wife. Zhou Botong's confrontational attitude merely fuelled the anger and frustration in him. When Huang Yaoshi blamed Zhou Botong for his wife's death, Zhou retorted angrily that he had also suffered in a similar experience with Liu Ying. Huang Yaoshi and Zhou Botong started fighting but neither of them was able to defeat his opponent. Huang Yaoshi imprisoned Zhou Botong on his island by sealing all possible exit routes. Zhou Botong roamed the island and settled in a cave for the next 15 years. During that period of time, Huang Yaoshi and Zhou Botong taunted each other to fight and kept themselves occupied with their conflict. Their feud is resolved when Guo Jing visits the island and meets Zhou Botong.
Guo Jing and Huang Rong's marriage
Huang Yaoshi is very protective of his daughter and loves her with his life as she reminds him of his deceased wife. He imparts all his skills to her since she was a child and hoped to groom her to become his successor. When his daughter reaches adolescence, he decides to find a suitable husband for her. Ouyang Feng visits Peach Blossom Island with his nephew, Ouyang Ke, to propose a marriage between Ouyang Ke and Huang Rong. Huang Yaoshi favours Ouyang Ke and wants him to be his son-in-law. At the same time, Guo Jing also visits the island with his master, Hong Qigong. Hong Qigong nominates his apprentice to be Huang Yaoshi's son-in-law. Huang Yaoshi had met Guo Jing earlier at Guiyun Manor and wants to kill Guo to avenge Chen Xuanfeng.
To make the competition for his daughter's hand-in-marriage a fair one, Huang Yaoshi sets a series of three tests for the two contestants: Guo Jing and Ouyang Ke. The first obstacle is a test of martial arts. Ouyang Feng spars with Guo Jing while Hong Qigong fights Ouyang Ke. Guo Jing wins the first bout but ties with Ouyang Ke in the subsequent round, which involves appreciation of a piece of music played by Huang Yaoshi. The last assessment is a test of memory, in which Huang Yaoshi produces an incomplete copy of the Nine Yin Manual, without identifying the book, and asks the two contestants to memorise the text and recite to him later. Guo Jing read the manual before so he recites fluently and defeats Ouyang Ke.
Huang Yaoshi does not initially agree to Guo Jing's marriage with his daughter as he dislikes Guo, who is slow in learning and appears dumb. However, he eventually gives them his blessings when he sees that they truly love each other.
Role in the sequel
Huang Yaoshi makes several brief appearances in the sequel. He rescues Cheng Ying from Li Mochou and accepts the child as his student. He develops a special bond with Yang Guo as both of them share the same distaste for the societal norms of their time, and he teaches Yang Guo two of his celebrated skills. Huang Yaoshi also participates in the defence of Xiangyang from Mongol invaders. At the end of the novel, he retains his original title as "Eastern Heretic" of the new "Five Greats" on Mount Hua, alongside Zhou Botong, Yang Guo, Guo Jing and Yideng.
Martial arts and skills
Apart from physical skills and martial arts, Huang Yaoshi is also versed in literature, mathematics, divination, medicine, and other arts. He imparts his knowledge to his daughter and students.
Unarmed combat styles
- 'Jade Waves Palm' (碧波掌法) is one of the fundamentals of Huang Yaoshi's martial arts.
- 'Complex Five Turns' (奇門五轉) is a type of palm technique based on the Qi Men Dun Jia.
- 'Holy Turtle Steps' (靈鰲步)
- 'Falling Flower Divine Sword Palm' (落英神劍掌) is known as 'Falling Peach Flower Palm' (桃華落英掌) in earlier editions of the novel. The two skills below are usually combined with this palm technique.
- 'Whirlwind Leaves Sweeping Leg' (旋風掃葉腿) is a kicking movement.
- 'Orchid Acupuncture Point Brushing Hand' (蘭花拂穴手) is an acupuncture point sealing technique.
- 'Finger Flicking Skill' (彈指神通) is a technique involving the channelling of a great amount of inner energy into a single finger and releasing it with a precise amount of control. It can be used to propel objects with both force and accuracy.
Armed combat styles
- 'Jade Flute Swordplay' (玉簫劍法) is a swordplay technique primarily focused on attacking an opponent's acupuncture points
- 'Jade Leaking Silver Pushing Sword' (玉漏催銀劍) is a swordplay technique.
- 'Three Fork and Three Palm Styles' (三招火叉、三招掌法) is a six styles skill involving the use of the cha (a larger version of the sai resembling a fork). The moves are simple in nature and require great strength. Huang creates this skill and teaches Shagu for self-defence.
- Song of the Sea and Waves (碧海潮生曲) is a xiao piece whose tune has hypnotic effects on people. The melody can put a person into a trance and the person feels like he is floating in the ocean. Huang channels some of his inner energy into the tune when playing the piece and this increases its power. Huang Yaoshi plays this piece several times to hypnotise Zhou Botong and make him reproduce a copy of the Nine Yin Manual. He also plays it during the second test for Guo Jing and Ouyang Ke.
- The Qi Men Dun Jia (奇門遁甲) is a complex metaphysical art.
- The Bone Penetrating Needle (附骨针) is a needle with slow acting poison applied at the tip. Upon contact with the skin, it will penetrate the flesh and lodge itself into the victim's bone. The victim will suffer in agony for a year before eventually dying.
- The Soft Porcupine Armour (软猬甲) is a special lightweight armour with spikes on it that will protect the wearer from all kinds of metal weapons. This armour was originally intended as a gift for Zhou Botong but Huang Yaoshi passed it to his daughter eventually. The armour later saves Huang Rong's life when Yang Kang attempts to kill her.
Over the years, Huang Yaoshi has been portrayed by different actors:
- (in Chinese) Tan, Xianmao (2005). Huang Yaoshi: The Practitioner of Eccentric Swordsmanship. In Rankings of Jin Yong's Characters. Chinese Agricultural Press.