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Jiang Hu

The jiang hu world is the fictional environment in which many wu xia stories are set. The term jiang hu (江湖) can be translated literally as "rivers and lakes"; metaphorically, it refers to any wild or unsettled region. In medieval China, outlaws often fled to the frontiers, returning only to prey upon the straight world.

The roots of jiang hu wu xia go back at least as far as the 12th-century novel The Water Margin (水滸傳), in which a band of noble outlaws retreat to a swampy hideout and mount wrong-righting sorties against corrupt officials.

In modern days, the term jiang hu is still frequently used to refer to the society among gangsters.

See also: Wu Xia film