Jiang Hu

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Jiang Hu (Simplified Chinese: 江湖) refers to the world and setting for Wuxia (武俠) characters. It literally means "Rivers and Lakes" realm. Jiang Hu folks include swordsmen and others who form their community such as peddlers, medicine-men, beggars, monks and peasants. They exist outside the rule of law. But they have their own unspoken code of honor. They can belong to a sect or martial school or even monastery, but loyalty and honor remains the main values.

The word was originally referred to places where hermits lived, but eventually came to designate what has been termed as the Underworld or the World of Vagrants. It's a place for anyone who doesn't fit in the strict mainstream culture. It's a shared world or an alternate universe consisted of martial artists and pugilists gathered in Wulin (武林). A world inhabited by wandering knights and princes, thieves and beggars, priests and healers, merchants and craftspeople. Law and order is maintained by the alliance of Wulin or Wulin mengzhu, the society of martial artists. Differences can only be resolved by way of force, predicating the need for Xia (俠) and their chivalrous ways. Thieves and bandits have their own alliance in Wulin; their world of outlaw is called Lulin (綠林).

In the universe of Jiang Hu where the law doesn't exist, each person has their own morals and code of honor that keeps them alive. The code of brotherhood is important in Jiang Hu as chivalrous people would be loyal to their friends, families, sect or martial schools. They adhere to the five basic codes.

Five basic codes of Jiang Hu are:

  • 1. Xia (chivalry)
  • 2. Hao (gallantry)
  • 3. Li (virtue)
  • 4. Yi (righteousness)
  • 5. Zhong (loyalty)