Hou Jian – Water Margin

通臂猿侯健 - 《水浒传》

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Hou Jian is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Nicknamed “Long Armed Ape”, he ranks 71st among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 35th among the 72 Earthly Fiends. Wikipedia
Played by: Li Haishan, Gina Jin
Notable aliases: “Long Armed Ape”, 通臂猿
Simplified Chinese: 侯健


Hou Jian, also known as “The Fierce General,” is a fictional character in the classic Chinese novel “Water Margin” (also known as “Outlaws of the Marsh”). He is one of the 108 heroes who rose up against the corrupt Song Dynasty government and became outlaws in the Liangshan Marsh. Hou Jian is known for his incredible strength and martial arts skills, as well as his loyalty to his fellow outlaws.

Early Life

Hou Jian was born into a poor family in a small village. From a young age, he displayed an exceptional strength and an affinity for martial arts. He was known for his fearlessness and willingness to stand up for what was right, even if it meant going against those in power.

As he grew older, Hou Jian became a bandit and began robbing corrupt officials and wealthy merchants to help the poor. He was eventually caught by the authorities and sentenced to death. However, he managed to escape and fled to the Liangshan Marsh, where he joined the band of outlaws.

Life in Liangshan Marsh

In Liangshan Marsh, Hou Jian quickly became known for his exceptional strength and his willingness to fight for his fellow outlaws. He formed close bonds with many of the other heroes, including Wu Song, Lu Zhishen, and Li Kui.

Hou Jian also had a reputation for being fiercely loyal to his comrades. When the Song government offered him a pardon in exchange for betraying the outlaws, Hou Jian refused and declared that he would rather die than betray his friends.

One of Hou Jian’s most famous battles took place when he and Lu Zhishen were sent to rescue their fellow hero, Lin Chong, who had been captured by a group of corrupt officials. The two men fought their way through an army of soldiers and defeated the officials, freeing Lin Chong and earning the admiration of their fellow outlaws.

Later Life

Despite his incredible strength and martial arts skills, Hou Jian was eventually captured by the government and sentenced to death. However, even in death, he remained loyal to his fellow outlaws. Before his execution, he wrote a letter to his friend and fellow hero, Wu Song, in which he expressed his love and loyalty to the outlaws and urged Wu Song to continue the fight against the corrupt government.


Hou Jian is remembered as one of the most loyal and honorable heroes in “Water Margin.” His incredible strength and martial arts skills made him a formidable opponent, but it was his unwavering loyalty to his comrades that truly set him apart.

In popular culture, Hou Jian has been portrayed in various adaptations of “Water Margin,” including films, TV dramas, and video games. He is often depicted as a fierce and powerful warrior who is willing to sacrifice everything for his friends.


Hou Jian is a legendary hero in Chinese literature and a symbol of loyalty and friendship. His story continues to inspire people today, reminding us of the importance of standing up for what is right and staying loyal to those we care about.

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