Mu Chun

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Mu Chun
Water Margin character
First appearanceChapter 36
Nickname"Little Restrained"
小遮攔
Rank80th, Guardian Star (地鎮星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Infantry leader of Liangshan
OriginRich man
Ancestral home / Place of originJieyang Town (believed to be in present-day Jiujiang, Jiangxi)
WeaponSabre
Names
Simplified Chinese穆春
Traditional Chinese穆春
PinyinMù Chūn
Wade–GilesMu Ch'un

Mu Chun is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. Nicknamed "Little Unrestrained", he ranks 80th among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 44th among the 72 Earthly Fiends.

Background[edit]

Mu Chun is the younger brother of "Unrestrained" Mu Hong; the brothers are from a wealthy and influential family in Jieyang Town (揭陽鎮; believed to be in present-day Jiujiang, Jiangxi), near the Xunyang River. Mu Chun excels in martial arts and wields a sabre in battle.

Meeting Song Jiang[edit]

When Song Jiang is on his way to exile in Jiangzhou (江州; present-day Jiujiang, Jiangxi), he passes by Jieyang Town and meets Xue Yong, a martial artist who earns a living by performing feats on the streets; when Xue Yong first came to Jieyang Town, he did not pay respect to the Mu brothers, the most influential persons in town. As a result, the brothers think that Xue Yong is snubbing them, so they order their fellow townsfolk to not pay Xue Yong for his performance. Song Jiang does not know so he generously tips Xue Yong. Mu Chun, who is among the onlookers, thinks that Song Jiang is not giving him face and wants to beat him up. However, Xue Yong intervenes and defeats Mu Chun easily in a fight.

Feeling humiliated, Mu Chun orders the townsfolk, including the innkeepers, to refrain from providing shelter to Song Jiang. However, Song Jiang ends up being taken in by the Mu brothers' kindly father. While staying at the Mu residence, Song Jiang overhears a conversation between the Mu brothers about taking revenge against him, so he sneaks away under the cover of night; when the Mu brothers learn that Song Jiang had escaped, they lead their followers in pursuit and catch up with him near the riverbank. In desperation, Song Jiang boards a boat operated by the pirate Zhang Heng, who tries to rob him when the boat is in the middle of the river. However, Zhang Heng's friend Li Jun passes by, recognises Song Jiang, and stops Zhang Heng. After Li Jun introduces Song Jiang to Zhang Heng and the Mu brothers, they are so shocked to learn of his true identity because they have heard of him and have been wanting to meet him, they apologise to him and treat him like an honoured guest before seeing him off on his journey to Jiangzhou.

Joining Liangshan[edit]

When Song Jiang runs into trouble in Jiangzhou and ends up being sentenced to death, the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh show up in Jiangzhou and storm the execution ground and save him. After fighting off waves of government forces sent to capture them, the outlaws manage to retreat to a temple beside the river. Just as they seemed to be trapped, Li Jun and the others (including the Mu brothers) show up at the river in their boats and ferry them safely all the way back to the outlaw stronghold at Liangshan Marsh; the Mu brothers then join the outlaw band.

Campaigns[edit]

After the 108 Stars of Destiny come together in what is called the Grand Assembly, Mu Chun becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry, he follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces on Song territory after they received amnesty from Emperor Huizong.

During the campaign against Fang La's rebel forces, Mu Chun remains behind in Hangzhou to take care of six of his comrades who have fallen sick. After the Liangshan heroes defeat Fang La, Mu Chun feels deeply saddened when he learn that his brother had died of illness in Runzhou (潤州; present-day Runzhou District, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu).

When the surviving Liangshan heroes return to Dongjing to report their victory to the Song imperial court, Emperor Huizong offers Mu Chun the appointment of "Martial Gentleman of Grace" (武奕郎) to honour him for his contributions during the campaigns. Mu Chun, however, declines the offer and chooses to return home and live the rest of his life as a commoner.

References[edit]

  • Buck, Pearl S. (2006). All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell. ISBN 9781559213035.
  • Ichisada, Miyazaki (1993). Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu (in Japanese). Chuo Koronsha. ISBN 978-4122020559.
  • Keffer, David. "Outlaws of the Marsh: A Somewhat Less Than Critical Commentary". Poison Pie Publishing House. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  • Li, Mengxia (1992). 108 Heroes from the Water Margin (in Chinese). EPB Publishers. p. 161. ISBN 9971-0-0252-3.
  • Miyamoto, Yoko (2011). "Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits". Demystifying Confucianism. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  • Shibusawa, Kou (1989), Bandit Kings of Ancient China, Koei
  • Zhang, Lin Ching (2009). Biographies of Characters in Water Margin. Writers Publishing House. ISBN 978-7506344784.