Sword of the Yue Maiden

"Sword of the Yue Maiden",[1] alternatively translated as "Yue Maiden's Sword",[2] is a wuxia novelette by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first serialised in 1970 in the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao Evening Supplement.[3] Although this novelette is the final true wuxia works by the author, its historical setting, in the Spring and Autumn period, is the earliest among Jin Yong's works chronologically.

"Sword of the Yue Maiden"
Sword of the Yue Maiden (越女劍).jpg
Book cover
AuthorJin Yong
Original title"越女劍"
CountryHong Kong
PublisherMing Pao
Media typePrint
Publication date1970
Followed by"Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils"
Sword of the Yue Maiden
Traditional Chinese越女劍
Simplified Chinese越女剑


The story is set in China during the Spring and Autumn period against the backdrop of the conflict between the states of Wu and Yue in southern China. A team of swordsmen from Wu defeats the best swordsmen of Yue. Fan Li, an adviser to King Goujian of Yue, discovers Aqing, a young shepherdess, who defeats the Wu swordsmen with ease.

It is revealed that Aqing learnt her skills while playing mock sword duels with a white gibbon. Fan Li allows Aqing to train the soldiers of Yue in swordsmanship. Aqing gradually falls in love with Fan Li. King Goujian of Yue finally defeats his rival, King Fuchai of Wu, after enduring hardship and humiliation. Fan Li is reunited with his lover Xi Shi, who was sent as a concubine to Fuchai. Aqing intends to kill Xi Shi but is taken aback by Xishi's beauty. Aqing accidentally hurts Xi Shi with her inner energy while thrusting her sword towards Xishi, even though the blade did not touch Xi Shi at all. She clutches her bosom in pain and the expression on her face is described as "so beautiful that it will take away the soul of any man who looks upon her". This is the origin of the Chinese phrase "Xizi clutching her bosom" (西子捧心; xīzǐ pěng xīn), which refers to a woman's beauty being enhanced when she is in a state of distress or agony.

Main charactersEdit

  • Aqing (阿青; Āqīng)
  • Fan Li (范蠡; Fàn Lǐ)
  • Xi Shi (西施; Xī Shī)
  • Goujian (勾踐; Gōujiàn)
  • Wen Zhong (文種; Wén Zhǒng)
  • Elder Bai (白公公; Bái gōnggōng)


In 1986, Hong Kong's ATV produced a television series based on the novel, starring Moon Lee as Aqing.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Li, Yijian (2007). "'Rewriting' Jin Yong's Novels into the Canon: A Consideration of Jin Yong Novels as Serialized Fiction". In Huss, Ann; Liu, Jianmei (eds.). The Jin Yong Phenomenon: Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary History. Youngstown, New York: Cambria Press. p. 78. ISBN 1624990207.
  2. ^ Wu, Dingbo; Murphy, Patrick D., eds. (1994). "Gallant Fiction". Handbook of Chinese Popular Culture. Greenwood Press. p. 248. ISBN 0313278083.
  3. ^ The date conforms to the data published in Chen Zhenhui (陳鎮輝), Wuxia Xiaoshuo Xiaoyao Tan (武俠小說逍遙談), 2000, Huizhi Publishing Company (匯智出版有限公司), p. 58.
  4. ^ Moon Lee at IMDb