Tang Long (Water Margin)
|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Gold Coin Spotted Leopard"
|Rank||88th, Solitary Star (地孤星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Chief armourer of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Yan'an Prefecture (present-day Yan'an, Shaanxi)|
|First appearance||Chapter 54|
Tang Long is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 88th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 52nd of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Gold Coin Spotted Leopard".
Tang Long is above seven chi tall and has several coin-shaped spots all over his body; he is thus nicknamed "Gold Coin Spotted Leopard". His father was a government official in Yan'an Prefecture (延安府; present-day Yan'an, Shaanxi). After his father died, Tang Long became a wandering blacksmith and used his earnings to support his gambling habit. He is trained in martial arts and specialises in spear and staff movements.
Li Kui and Dai Zong meet Tang Long during their search for Gongsun Sheng. They invite Tang Long to join the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh. Tang Long joins them after they find Gongsun Sheng, who helps the Liangshan outlaws defeat Gao Lian, the corrupt governor of Gaotangzhou (高唐州; present-day Gaotang County, Liaocheng, Shandong).
Gao Qiu, a Grand Marshal and Gao Lian's cousin, sends the general Huyan Zhuo to lead the imperial army to attack the outlaws at Liangshan. Huyan Zhuo deploys his chain-linked armoured cavalry formation and scores a victory over the outlaws. Just as the outlaws are discussing how to counter Huyan Zhuo, Tang Long tells them that his cousin, Xu Ning, knows how to break the formation. He drafts a design of Xu Ning's unique hooked lance and instructs Liangshan's blacksmiths to forge several of such lances.
Meanwhile, Shi Qian goes to Xu Ning's house to steal Xu's family heirloom, a suit of golden armour, for the purpose of luring Xu to chase him to Liangshan. While Xu Ning leaves home in pursuit of Shi Qian, Tang Long impersonates Xu and robs a rich merchant to force Xu to become an outlaw. Xu Ning has no choice but to join Liangshan. Tang Long helps to fetch Xu Ning's family to Liangshan as well. Xu Ning trains Liangshan's forces in using the hooked lance and they defeat Huyan Zhuo's cavalry. Huyan Zhuo is captured after his defeat and he agrees to join Liangshan after being convinced by Song Jiang.
Campaigns and death
Tang Long become the chief armourer of Liangshan 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, Tang Long is severely injured at the battle of Qingxi County (清溪縣; present-day Anxi County, Quanzhou, Fujian) and he dies from his wounds shortly after the battle.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 179. 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 91. 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.