Shi Bao (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Great General of the South of Fang La|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Fuzhou, Fujian|
|Weapon||Wind Splitting Saber (劈風刀), spiked mace|
Shi Bao is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He serves as a general under Fang La, a rebel leader who established a separatist regime in southern China against the ruling Song Empire. Fang La is one of the rebel leaders that the 108 Liangshan outlaws have to defeat after they have been granted amnesty by the Song government. Shi Bao holds the position of "Great General of the South" in Fang La's rebel state. He is best known for slaying five Liangshan heroes single-handedly.
Shi Bao is from Fuzhou, Fujian. He excels in combat arts and wields a powerful saber called "Wind Splitting Saber" (劈風刀), which is capable of slicing through three layers of heavy armour and distorting metal. In battle, he also uses a spiked mace, which he throws at opponents with great accuracy after luring them to chase him. He rides on a yellow steed. He holds the position of "Great General of the South" (南離大將軍) in Fang La's rebel regime.
When the Liangshan forces loyal to the Song Empire attacked Fang La's rebel state, Shi Bao slays five Liangshan heroes – Suo Chao, Deng Fei, Yan Shun, Bao Xu and Ma Lin – in various battles by surprise attacks. During a duel against Liangshan's Guan Sheng, after fighting for over 20 rounds, he feigns defeat and retreats to lure Guan to pursue him, so that he can throw his spiked mace at his opponent. However, to everyone's surprise, Guan Sheng does not pursue him and instead returns to his camp. Guan explains later that he suspects that Shi Bao was trying to lure him into a trap and that he did not want to take his chances because he knows that Shi's combat skills are comparable to his.
Shi Bao eventually commits suicide to avoid capture and humiliation after his army is defeated at the battle of Black Dragon Ridge (烏龍嶺; northeast of present-day Meicheng Town, Jiande, Hangzhou, Zhejiang) by Liangshan forces under Guan Sheng's command.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 217. 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.
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