Sun Xin (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Rank||100th, Number Star (地數星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Scout leader of Liangshan|
|First appearance||Chapter 49|
Sun Xin is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 100th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 64th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Little Yuchi".
The novel describes Sun Xin as a tall and strong man with eyes that shine like flames. He is Sun Li's younger brother. Sun Li is nicknamed "Sick Yuchi" because he resembles Yuchi Gong in appearance but has a paler complexion; Sun Xin is nicknamed "Little Yuchi". The Sun brothers' ancestral home is in from Qiongzhou (瓊州; present-day Hainan). Sun Xin's wife, Gu Dasao, is an elder cousin of the brothers Xie Zhen and Xie Bao. Sun Xin and Gu Dasao run a tavern in Dengzhou (登州; in present-day eastern Shandong), where Sun Li serves as a garrison major.
Becoming an outlaw
Once, Sun Li receives a distress call from Yue He and learns that Xie Zhen and Xie Bao have been framed, imprisoned and sentenced to death. Sun Li combines forces with Yue He, his brother and sister-in-law, Zou Run and Zou Yuan, to raid the prison and rescue the Xie brothers. They flee to Liangshan Marsh for refuge after that and become outlaws.
At that time, the Liangshan outlaws are locked in a stalemate during a battle with the Zhu Family Village. Sun Li is a former fellow student of Luan Tingyu, a martial arts instructor of the village. He decides to make use of his relationship with Luan to conduct an espionage mission, bringing along those who followed him to Liangshan earlier. They receive a warm welcome from Luan and the Zhu brothers.
However, the Zhus are suspicious of Sun Li's allegiance to them initially. Sun Li proves his loyalty by capturing Liangshan's Shi Xiu during a duel. The Zhus then believe that Sun Li is genuinely faithful to them. Sun Li and his team work together with the Liangshan forces to bring down the Zhus and capture the village, making his first major contribution to Liangshan. He participates in the subsequent battles against the enemies of Liangshan.
Campaigns and later life
Sun Li becomes one of the scout leaders of Liangshan after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He and his wife are stationed in the tavern east of Liangshan, and are tasked with making preparations to receive the imperial envoy from Emperor Huizong.
After the outlaws have been granted amnesty by the emperor, Sun Xin follows them on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces. He survives the campaigns and is awarded the official post "Martial Gentleman of Grace" (武奕郎) by the emperor in recognition of his contributions. He returns to Dengzhou with his wife and elder brother.
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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.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
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