Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Yang Lin, the Elegant Panther (Kinhyōshi Yōrin - 錦豹子揚林) from the series One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Shuihuzhuan (Tsūzoku Suikoden gōketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori - 通俗水滸伝豪傑百八人之一個)

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Dates: circa 1827 - 1830,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Kagaya Kichiemon (Marks 194)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; British Museum; Library of Congress; Tokyo National Museum; Art Gallery of South Australia; another example Lyon Collection;

Physical description:

Yang Lin is first mentioned n Chapter 44 of the Chinese version of the marsh outlaws story.

While traveling that day he [Dai Zong] observed in the distance a man coming towards him, a lance of hollow iron alloy in his hand. The man halted when he saw how rapidly Dai Zong was moving.

"Marvellous Traveller!"

Dai Zong peered at the person who had hailed him. Standing in a path on the slope was a big fellow with a round head and large ears, a straight nose and a square mouth, fine brows and wide-set eyes, a narrow waist and broad shoulders.

"We haven't met sir," said Dai Zong. "How do you know my name?"

"Then you truly are the Marvellous Traveller?" The man cast his weapon aside, dropped to his knees and kowtowed.

Dai Zong hastily raised him up and returned the courtesy. "What is your name, sir?"

"I am called Yang Lin, from the prefecture of Zhangde. Mainly, I live outside of the law, and I'm kown in the gallant fraternity as the Elegant Panther. Several months ago I met Master Gongsun Sheng in a tavern on the road. We drank together and he told me how chieftains Chao Gai and Song Jiang on Mount Liangshan welcomed bold men, how loyal and fine they are. He wrote a letter of introduction for me and urged me to take it to the fortress. I didn't think myself worthy, but Master Gongsun said: 'At Lijia Entry is a tavern run by Zhu Gui. He gets men across who want to join the band. The recruiting officer who reports new arrivals to the leaders is Superintendent Dai. He's known as the Marvellous Traveller. He can cover eight hundred li in a single day.' You walked so swiftly, I shouted your name just to see how you'd react. I didn't dream it was really you. Heaven has willed that we should have this chance encounter."

"It is because of Master Gongsun that I'm on my way to Qizhou. I'm trying to get news of him. Chao and Song have ordered me to find out what's happened to him and bring him back to the fortress. I didn't expect to have the pleasure of meeting you."

"Although I am from Zhande, I've been to every shire in the prefecture of Qizhou. If you won't scorn my services, I'll be glad to take you around."

"I would consider myself fortunate. After we've found Master Gongsun we'll go to Mount Liangshan together. There will be time enough."

Yang Lin was very pleased. He kowtowed to Dai Zong and pledged himself his blood brother. The superintendent removed his magic charms and the two continued on slowly. In the evening they rested in a village inn. Yang Lin treated Dai Zong to food and wine.

"When I am performing my magic I'm not allowed to eat meat," the superintendent said.

They dined on vegetable dishes. The following morning they rose early, cooked breakfast and prepared to set forth.

"I'll never be able to keep up if you walk in your magic manner," said Yang Lin. "I'm afraid we can't travel together."

Dai Zong smiled. "I've a way to take people with me. I'll put two of the charms on your legs, perform the ritual and you'll be able to walk just as fast. You can travel or halt whenever you like. Otherwise, you certainly wouldn't be able to stay with me."

"I'm just a common mortal. I don't have your spiritual qualities."

"That doesn't matter. Using my magic formula I can take with me anyone I want. I have only to perform the ritual and we travel together. If I stick to a vegetable diet there is no problem."

He tied the two charms on Yang Lin's legs and two on his own. Then he performed the ritual, blow on the charms, and they lightly set forth, moving rapidly or slowly, as Dai Zong saw fit. On the road they talked of deeds of the gallant fraternity. Although they proceeded in a leisurely manner without being aware of it they covered a great deal of ground.


"In chapter 51 (of the Shuihu zhuan) twenty-two Ryosanpaku leaders leave the hide-out and embark on a mission to free their friend Shosenpu Saishin from prison. The Ryosanpaku heroes and the government forces fight each other on the grassy plains at Kotoshu.

Koren, the enemy general, possesses magical powers and he invokes a great storm to beat back the bandits. Kuniyoshi's print displays how Yorin attempts to ward off the storm: dressed in a straw cape the Ryosanpaku hero stands amidst the swaying grasses and leaves that blow in all directions around him. Yorin is armed with a sword and a barbed- and- hooked pole- arm, although in the Shuihu zhuan he is also described as carrying a bow and arrows. The arrow which Yorin shoots in Koren's direction bounces off his shoulder, causing the enemy general to make a hasty retreat." - Klompmakers


This print is trimmed along the right and bottom. The top of the publisher's seal, Kagaya Kichiemon (Kichibei), is barely visible at the bottom.


Also illustrated in a black and white reproduction in the Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum: Ukiyo-e Prints (3), #3122.


There is another copy of this print in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden.