Sun Xin (Water Margin)

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Sun Xin
Water Margin character
First appearanceChapter 49
Nickname"Little Yuchi"
Rank100th, Number Star (地數星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Scout leader of Liangshan
OriginTavern owner
Simplified Chinese孙新
Traditional Chinese孫新
PinyinSūn Xīn
Wade–GilesSun Hsin

Sun Xin is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. Nicknamed "Little Yuchi", he ranks 100th among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 64th among the 72 Earthly Fiends.


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 the Tang dynasty general Yuchi Gong in appearance but has a paler complexion. Sun Xin acquired the nickname "Little Yuchi" because of his brother. The Sun brothers' ancestral home is in Qiongzhou (瓊州; present-day Hainan).

Sun Xin's wife Gu Dasao, who has a volatile temper, is a 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 works as a garrison officer.

Prison raid in Dengzhou[edit]

On one occasion, Gu Dasao receives news from the jailer Yue He (Sun Li's brother-in-law) that Xie Zhen and Xie Bao have been framed, imprisoned and sentenced to death. With her husband's help, she recruits Yue He and the outlaws Zou Yuan and Zou Run to join them in staging a raid on the prison to save the Xie brothers. However, she is worried that her brother-in-law Sun Li will stand in their way so she and her husband lure Sun Li to a meeting and pressure him into joining them. Although Sun Li is initially reluctant to become an outlaw, he eventually agrees when he feels convinced that they are doing the right thing in saving the Xie brothers.

Yue He secretly helps the group by opening the prison gates and distracting the other prison guards during the raid. After saving the Xie brothers, the whole group flee to Liangshan Marsh and join the outlaw band there.

Battle against the Zhu Family Village[edit]

At the time, the Liangshan outlaws are locked in a stalemate during a battle against the Zhu Family Village. As Sun Li previously learnt martial arts from the same master as Luan Tingyu, the martial arts instructor of the village, he suggests to his fellow outlaws that he can make use of his relationship with Luan Tingyu to infiltrate the village and work as a spy for Liangshan.

After the outlaws approve, Sun Li brings along the group who followed him to Liangshan (Sun Xin, Gu Dasao, Xie Zhen, Xie Bao, Yue He, Zou Yuan and Zou Run) and makes his way to the Zhu Family Village. He lies to Luan Tingyu and the Zhus that he has heard that they are facing problems with the Liangshan outlaws, and has brought along his family and friends to provide assistance.

Although the Zhus seem to welcome Sun Li and his group, they are not completely convinced that he genuinely wants to help them. However, after Sun Li defeats and captures Liangshan's Shi Xiu in a one-on-one duel, he manages to win the Zhus' trust and confidence. (Sun Li and Shi Xiu had, in fact, secretly agreed beforehand that Shi Xiu will feign defeat and allow Sun Li to capture him.) When the opportunity arises, Sun Li and his group create chaos inside the village and let the Liangshan outlaws enter and overrun the village. The battle between Liangshan and the Zhus conclude with a total victory for Liangshan.

Campaigns and later life[edit]

Sun Xin becomes one of the scout leaders of Liangshan after 108 Stars of Destiny come together in what is called the Grand Assembly. He and his wife are posted at the tavern east of Liangshan. They are tasked with making preparations to receive the imperial envoy from Emperor Huizong after the outlaws secured amnesty from the emperor.

Sun Xin then follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces on Song territory. He survives the campaigns and receives the appointment of Martial Gentleman of Grace (武奕郎) as a reward for his contributions. However, he declines to serve the Song government and decides to return to Dengzhou with his wife and brother.


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