Kong Ming (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Rank||62nd, Wild Star (地猖星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Central Camp Defendant General of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong)|
|First appearance||Chapter 57|
Kong Ming is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 62nd of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 26th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Hairy Star".
Kong Ming is the elder son of Squire Kong, who lives in a manor near Mount White Tiger (白虎山) in Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong). He is nicknamed "Hairy Star" while his younger brother, Kong Liang, is nicknamed "Lonely Fiery Star". Squire Kong once sent his sons to Chai Jin's residence to fetch Song Jiang to their manor. Song Jiang instructs the Kong brothers in martial arts.
Wu Song flees to the Kongs' manor after killing his enemies in Mengzhou and has a heated argument with Kong Liang, whom he knocks unconscious and throws into the river. When Kong Liang regains consciousness, he contacts his brother and gathers their followers to hunt down Wu Song and take revenge. Wu Song is drunk when the Kongs and their men show up, so he loses to them in a fight and ends up becoming their captive. The Kong brothers tie him to a tree and beat him up. Song Jiang chances upon Wu Song and recognises him, and then immediately asks the Kong brothers to release him. With Song Jiang's help, Wu Song and the Kong brothers resolve their differences and become friends.
Becoming an outlaw
The Kong brothers are forced to go on the run after killing a wealthy landlord in a bitter dispute. They escape to Mount White Tiger, where they establish a bandit stronghold and recruit some 700 followers. When their uncle is wrongly imprisoned by Murong Yanda, the corrupt governor of Qingzhou, the Kong brothers lead their bandit followers to attack Qingzhou and free their uncle. However, they encounter the imperial general Huyan Zhuo, who had taken shelter under Murong Yanda after his defeat by the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh. Kong Ming is defeated and captured by Huyan Zhuo in battle, so Kong Liang travels to Liangshan to seek help. The outlaws attack Qingzhou and succeed in capturing the city and rescuing Kong Ming. The Kong brothers then join the outlaw band at Liangshan.
Campaigns and death
Kong Ming becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry and one of the Central Camp Defendant Generals after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, he falls sick after the battle of Hangzhou and dies of illness shortly before the Liangshan forces achieve the final victory over Fang La.
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- 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.
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