RI SHIN/LI XIN
Japanese Pronunciation: Ri Shin
Chinese Pronunciation: Li Xin
In the manga, other that the first chapter where the future grown up Xin was shown, Xin’s surname was not mentioned. Moreover, Xin is an orphan in the story, making his lack of surname logical. This leads us into thinking that Xin might not actually have a surname and will only get one in the future. However, it was confirmed in the official guidebook that Xin is indeed Li Xin by the author(http://tieba.baidu.com/photo/p?kw=%C…&fp=2&see_lz=1).
2.Activities in History
1)Unification War: Invasion of Zhao
Our main character only made his debut appearance in history in 229BC during Qin’s invasion of Zhao in the unification war.
Source in Chinese: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_49a1aba10100jwdt.html
按，《史记.秦始皇本纪》载此年，“大兴兵攻赵，王翦将上地，下井陉，端和将河内，羌瘣伐赵，端和围邯 郸城。”没有言及李信攻赵事。而《史记.刺客列 传》记太子丹对荆轲言有云：“今秦已虏韩王，尽纳其地。又举兵南伐楚，北临赵。王翦将数十万之众距漳、邺， 而李信出太原、云中。赵不能支秦，必入臣，入臣 则祸至燕。”则李信亦领军参与攻赵明甚。
Summarised translation: According to Shi Ji: Annals of Qin Shi Huang, it was recorded that in the 18th year of Shi Huang rule(229BC), Wang Jian, Duan He and Qiang Lei invaded Zhao. Nothing was mentioned about Li Xin but in another chapter of Shi Ji, The Biographies of Assassins, it was mentioned that Li Xin captured the castles of TaiYuan and YunZhong(in red above) in the dialogue between the crown prince of Yan and Jing Ke, the assassin he was sending to assassinate Ying Zheng.
2)Unification War: Invasion of Yan (Part 1)
Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin%27s…onquest_of_Yan
“In 226 BC, using the assassination attempt as an excuse, Ying Zheng ordered Wang Jian to lead an army to attack Yan, with
Meng Wu (蒙武) Xin Sheng(辛胜) serving as Wang Jian’s deputy. The Qin forces defeated the Yan army and Yan’s reinforcements from Dai in a battle on the eastern bank of the Yi River (易水), and captured Ji (薊; present-day Beijing), the capital of Yan. King Xi of Yan and his son, Crown Prince Dan, led their remaining forces on a retreat to Liaodong (present-day Liaoning). The Qin army led by Li Xin (李信) pursued the retreating Yan forces to the Yan River (衍水; present-day Hun River, Liaoning) and emerged victorious in the battle, destroying the bulk of the Yan military. King Xi had Crown Prince Dan killed later and sent his son’s severed head to Qin, as a token of peace. Qin accepted the offer and did not attack Yan for the next three years.”
This is no doubt Li Xin’s greatest acheivement in the unification war.
3)Unification War: Invasion of Chu
Taken from my summary of Kingdom manga: “Xin took part in the campaign to destroy Zhao and rose to become a general. Before the campaign to invade the kingdom of Chu, Zheng asked Xin how many soldiers he needed to invade Chu. Xin requested 200,000 but Wang Jian,a veteran general by then, disagreed and said he needed at least 600,000 soldiers. Zheng trusted Xin in the end and Xin led his 200,000 soldiers along with Meng Tian as his 2nd in command to invade Chu. The campaign went well until Lord Chang Ping, who was in Chu at that time, led an army and attacked Xin’s army from behind while Xiang Yan, a veteran general from Chu and the grandfather of the famous Xiang Yu(you can google Xiang Yu too, he played an important role in overthrowing the qin dynasty) attacked from the front. Xin lost the war and manage to return to Qin with Meng Tian, a handful of soldiers and lost 7 of his trusted lieutenants during the escape. Not long after, Wang Jian and Meng Wu invaded Chu again with 600k soldiers and defeated both Xiang Yan and Lord Chang Ping, which signals the fall of Chu.”
There is a slight error in Wikipedia. Li Xin invaded Chu with Meng Tian and not Meng Wu as pointed out by someone from the Chinese Kingdom tieba forums. This is Li Xin’s greatest defeat in history and, sadly, the only event in history he is most well-known for. Sima Qian magnified his defeat in order to glorify Wang Jian’s victory later, portraying Li Xin as an arrogant general. However, his loss was not entirely his fault as Lord Chang Ping, the then prime minister of Qin, started a rebellion in a conquered castle of Chu behind the advancing Qin army.*
*It was not explicitly stated in history that Lord Chang Ping rebellion was the cause of Li Xin’s failure but it can easily be inferred from the history text. I have explained it here. Considering that te rebellion isn’t explicitly stated in history texts, Hara is free to interpret the text in his own way.
4)Unification War: Invasion of Yan(Part 2) and Qi.
Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin%27s…onquest_of_Yan
In 222 BC, the Qin army led by Wang Ben (王賁) invaded Liaodong and destroyed the remnant forces of Yan and captured King Xi, annexing the Yan state completely. The former territories of Yan were divided into the Yuyang (漁陽), Beiping (北平), Liaoxi (遼西) and Liaodong (遼東) commanderies of the Qin Empire.
The above was taken from ShiJi: Annals of Qin Shi Huang did not mention anything about Li Xin but in another chapter of ShiJi: Biography of Bai Qi and Wang Jian, it was mention that “王翦子王贲，与李信破定燕、齐地。”(Translation: Wang Jian’s son, Wang Ben and Li Xin conquered the lands of Yan and Qi). This shows that Li Xin did participated in the war to wipe out Yan and finally the last remaining state of Qi after the loss in Chu. So you guys can rule out his death or disappearance from military after his loss in Chu.
For more detailed information on Li Xin you can refer to this translated academic journal article here: Translation of “An Investigation of Qin General, Li Xin”.
After the unification of China, Li Xin was rewarded the land of Long Xi(Central Gansu province in modern China), and was named as the Count of Long Xi. It was assumed that the Li branch then started to expand in the Long Xi area and became the biggest branch in the Li family from then onwards. Nothing was mentioned about who his wife was though, in case you are interested to know, but he probably had multiple wives as that was a common thing in the past.
Li Xin is not a very well-known general in his era, or at least in Shi Ji. However, he has quite a lot of famous descendants. One of his descedants, Li Guang, a general from Han dynasty and a friend of Sima Qian, was a general that the Xiong Nu feared due to both his fighting abilities and talents in drafting strategies. Sadly, he was framed by his enemies in court and was not really liked by the emperor. Li Xin’s descendants also became emperors of Tang dynasty(618-907AD), one of the most glorious dynasties of Chinese history.
Another surprising find about the real Li Xin in history is that…his distant uncle is Li Mu. According to this(http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2342326074) and as discussed with SuryaNaga in the mangafox forums, if we trace back the family tree to Li Xin, he is actually related to Li Mu, our greatest antagonist in the manga. Of course, in the manga Xin is an orphan so we can safely assume they are unrelated for now. Below is a simple family tree taken from tieba showing how Li Xin and Li Mu are related in history:
The author, Mr Hara Yasuhisa probably chose Li Xin as his main character instead of other famous generals of the same era like Wang Jian or Meng Tian due to the lack of information about him in historical records, giving him plenty of freedom to draw up a story about Li Xin and not stray too far from historical events.
This was how Xin and Diao looked like originally during the initial stage of planning the story.
From the official Kingdom guidebook: