The Water Margin ( Suikoden in Japanese ) is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, telling an epic tale of the 108 outlaws of Mount Liang and their battles against the corrupt Imperial Government. The story is actually based on historical fact, of a bandit named Song Jiang and his 36 companions.
In this art book Japanese illustrator Kimiya Masago ( who also gave us the impressive Romance Of The Three Kingdoms book ) paints the legendary 108 heroes in their full glory, the colorful characters bursting with vitality, style and vigor.
I love how every single illustrated character has it’s own unique and distinct look, from the facial features to costumes, posture and bearing. There’s a hint of Japanese touch to the overall look ( my point of reference is the outstanding 1998 TV series by CCTV ), but that doesn’t in any way detract or lessen the value of the art work.
On top of this art book Kimiya Masago has also painted illustrations for the Water Margin novels – if you are fascinated by the characters and stories from Water Margin do check these out too.
Note : The version of the book reviewed above is the earlier edition released in 1999 – the updated 2006 edition has about 15 additional pages of content and should be the one to get.
“Kimiya Masago – Water Margin’s 108 Outlaws” art book details :
Dimensions – 26.2 x 21.8 x 2 cm
Hard cover, 151 pages
Color, in Japanese
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