Yang Xiong (Water Margin)

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Yang Xiong
Water Margin character
First appearance Chapter 44
Nickname "Sick Guan Suo"
Rank 32nd, Secure Star (天牢星) of the 36 Heavenly Spirits
Infantry leader of Liangshan
Origin Prison warden and executioner
Ancestral home / Place of origin Henan
Simplified Chinese 杨雄
Traditional Chinese 楊雄
Pinyin Yáng Xióng
Wade–Giles Yang Hsiung

Yang Xiong is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 32nd of the 36 Heavenly Spirits of the 108 Liangshan heroes and is nicknamed "Sick Guan Suo".


The novel describes Yang Xiong as a good-looking man with flowery tattoos all over his body. He has thick eyebrows, eyes like those of a phoenix and a few strands of beard on his chin. He bears a resemblance to Guan Suo, the third son of Guan Yu. However, he has a paler complexion and is thus nicknamed "Sick Guan Suo" because people have the impression that those with pale complexions are ill. He is from Henan and works as a prison warden and executioner in Jizhou (薊州; present-day Ji County, Tianjin).

Killing his adulterous wife[edit]

One day, Yang Xiong receives gifts from the locals after performing an execution on a criminal. On the way back, he runs into a group of hooligans seeking trouble and fights with them. Shi Xiu appears in the nick of time and he helps Yang Xiong drive away the hooligans. Yang Xiong feels that he has a special affinity with Shi Xiu and they become sworn brothers.

Yang Xiong brings Shi Xiu home and lets Shi work in his butcher stall. Shi Xiu discovers Yang Xiong's wife, Pan Qiaoyun, having an affair with a monk called Pei Ruhai and he informs Yang about the incident. Pan Qiaoyun accuses Shi Xiu of molesting her when her husband asks her about the affair. Yang Xiong believes his wife instead and he drives Shi Xiu away in anger. Shi Xiu is unhappy and is determined to reveal the truth to his sworn brother.

Shi Xiu ambushes Pei Ruhai and kills him. He shows the monk's body to Yang Xiong. Yang Xiong brings his wife to Mount Cuiping (翠屏山; in present-day Jizhou, Hengshui, Hebei) and interrogates her. Pan Qiaoyun confesses her extramarital affair when she sees that her lover is dead. Yang Xiong kills her in anger along with her servant Ying'er.

Becoming an outlaw[edit]

Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu decide to go to Liangshan Marsh for refuge after that. They meet Shi Qian along the way and he joins them. They pass by the Zhu Family Village and run into some trouble there. Shi Qian steals the innkeeper's hen and falls into a trap and is captured. Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu manage to flee and they seek help from Li Ying. Li Ying writes an apology letter to the Zhus on behalf of the trio and requests that they release Shi Qian. The Zhus refuse and insult Li Ying instead. Li Ying is furious and he confronts the Zhus in battle. He is wounded and rescued by Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu. Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu make their long journey to Liangshan to seek help. The outlaws on Liangshan succeed in capturing the Zhu Family Village under the leadership of Song Jiang in three offensives. Shi Qian is rescued.

Yang Xiong becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the outlaws on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. He makes great contributions to his nation during the campaigns and is lucky to survive the final campaign against the rebel leader Fang La which took the lives of many Liangshan heroes. However, he dies from a tumour on his back while on the way back to the capital.

See also[edit]