|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Sky Soaring Great Sage"
|Rank||65th, Walking Star (地走星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Infantry leader of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Pei County, Xuzhou, Jiangsu|
|First appearance||Chapter 59|
|Weapon||Sword, javelins, shield|
Li Gun is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 65th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 29th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Sky Soaring Great Sage".
Li Gun wears a steel helmet and carries a shield with a beast's head engraved on it. He wields an sword and carries 24 javelins for hurling at enemies. He excels in martial arts and can hit a target a hundred steps away accurately with his javelins. He is nicknamed "Sky Soaring Great Sage".
The three bandit chiefs get into conflict with the outlaws at Liangshan Marsh after announcing that they will conquer Liangshan one day. Liangshan's Shi Jin leads a vanguard force to attack Mount Mangdang, but loses the first battle against Fan Rui's forces, and manages to escape only when Liangshan reinforcements arrive.
The following day, Gongsun Sheng deploys the Liangshan forces in the Eight Trigrams Formation to counter Fan Rui. Fan Rui uses magic to darken the sky and create a sandstorm to throw the enemy into confusion. He orders Xiang Chong and Li Gun to lead 500 men to break the formation. Gongsun Sheng engages Fan Rui in a battle of magic powers and defeats him. Both Xiang Chong and Li Gun are captured in the formation while Fan Rui escapes in a frenzy.
Song Jiang, Liangshan's chief, treats Xiang Chong and Li Gun respectfully and persuades them to join the outlaw band at Liangshan. They are touched by his sincerity and agree to join Liangshan. They return to Mount Mangdang later and manage to convince Fan Rui to join Liangshan as well.
Campaigns and death
Li Gun becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry 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, Xiang Chong and Li Gun are assigned to attack Muzhou (睦州; in present-day Hangzhou, Zhejiang), where they face the enemy general Zheng Biao in battle. Xiang Chong is tripped by Zheng Biao and slain by Zheng's men after he is down. Li Gun pursues Zheng Biao and attempts to avenge his fallen comrade, but accidentally falls into a stream and ends up being killed by enemy archers.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 131. 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.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China, page 98. KOEI, 1989.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.