Zhu Fu – Water Margin

笑面虎朱富 - 《水浒传》

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Zhu Fu is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Nicknamed “Sneering Tiger”, he ranks 93rd among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 57th among the 72 Earthly Fiends. Wikipedia

Notable aliases: “Sneering Tiger”, 笑面虎
Simplified Chinese: 朱富

Zhu Fu is a minor character in the classic Chinese novel “Water Margin,” also known as “Outlaws of the Marsh.” He is a government official during the Song Dynasty and serves as the County Magistrate of Qingzhou.

Zhu Fu’s character is introduced in Chapter 34 of the novel, where he is described as a just and fair official who is well-respected by the people under his jurisdiction. He is known for his compassion and integrity, and he often goes out of his way to help the poor and vulnerable.

Despite his admirable qualities, Zhu Fu is ultimately undone by his loyalty to the corrupt government officials. In Chapter 36, the novel’s protagonist Song Jiang and his band of outlaws come to Qingzhou to seek refuge from the government forces who are pursuing them.

Zhu Fu initially welcomes Song Jiang and his men and offers them shelter, but he is soon confronted by the corrupt official Gao Qiu, who demands that he hand over the outlaws. Zhu Fu refuses to betray his guests and is subsequently arrested by Gao Qiu’s forces.

Zhu Fu’s fate is left uncertain after his arrest. In some versions of the novel, he is spared and forced to retire from public office, while in others he is executed for his defiance of the corrupt government officials.

Zhu Fu’s character is notable for his portrayal as a rare example of a just and compassionate official in a corrupt government. Through his character, the novel highlights the contrast between the virtues of individual officials and the widespread corruption of the government as a whole.

In addition, Zhu Fu’s character also serves to illustrate the theme of loyalty and betrayal in the novel. Despite his admirable qualities, he is ultimately undone by his loyalty to the corrupt government officials, who demand that he betray his guests and hand them over to be executed.

Overall, Zhu Fu is a minor but significant character in “Water Margin” who represents the virtues and limitations of individual officials in a corrupt government, as well as the theme of loyalty and betrayal. His character serves to emphasize the novel’s critique of the Song Dynasty government and its call for social justice and moral rectitude.

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