Yang Lin (Water Margin)

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Yang Lin
Water Margin character
Yang Lin as depicted in Utagawa Kuniyoshi's series of woodblock prints
First appearance Chapter 44
Nickname "Multicoloured Leopard"
Rank 51st, Dark Star (地暗星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan
Origin Wandering outlaw
Ancestral home / Place of origin Zhangde Prefecture (present-day Anyang, Henan)
Weapon Iron spear
Simplified Chinese 杨林
Traditional Chinese 楊林
Pinyin Yáng Lín
Wade–Giles Yang Lin

Yang Lin is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 51st of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 15th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Multi-coloured Leopard".


The novel describes Yang Lin as a man with a round head, large and beautiful eyes, a straight nose, a squarish mouth, a narrow waist and broad shoulders. He is from Zhangde Prefecture (彰德府; present-day Anyang, Henan). He excels in martial arts and carries an iron spear. He is nicknamed "Multicoloured Leopard".

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Yang Lin is a wandering outlaw. When Dai Zong is searching for Gongsun Sheng, he encounters Yang Lin (also a friend of Gongsun) by coincidence and they decide to travel together to find Gongsun. Along the journey, they pass by Yinma River (飲馬川; in present-day Ji County, Tianjin) and meet a group of bandits led by Pei Xuan, Deng Fei and Meng Kang. They accept Dai Zong's invitation to join the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh. Yang Lin follows Dai Zong back to Liangshan later after they get acquainted with Shi Xiu in Jizhou (薊州; present-day Ji County, Tianjin).

When the Liangshan outlaws attack the Zhu Family Village, Yang Lin volunteers to work as a spy for Liangshan. He disguises himself as a priest and starts marking the roads in the village. However, he is discovered and captured by patrolling enemies. He is released after the outlaws conquer the village.


Yang Lin becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry 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, Yang Lin follows Mu Hong to conduct an espionage mission in Runzhou (潤州; present-day Runzhou District, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu) and achieves success. After the Liangshan forces captured Hangzhou, Yang Lin falls ill and remains in the city until he recovers; he does not participate in the subsequent battles. He returns to the capital with the surviving heroes after the victory over Fang La. He declines the emperor's offer to make him an official in recognition of his contributions during the campaigns, and chooses to return to Yinma River with Pei Xuan.