The Five Tiger Generals (Wǔ hǔjiàng 五虎將) is a term referring to the top five generals of the Shu-Han dynasty. It is a fictional term, because it only appears in Luo Guanzhong's novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
The Five Tiger Generals as they appear in Romance of the Three Kingdoms in order:
- The official biography of Huang Zhong in Records of the Three Kingdoms contains a passage that may have inspired Luo Guanzhong to create the Five Tiger Generals:
- “The Former Lord became King of Hanzhong, and wished to appoint [Huang] Zhong as General of the Rear. Zhuge Liang advised the Former Lord: “Zhong’s renown cannot be compared to Guan [Yu] or Ma [Chao]. Yet now you wish them to have the same rank. Ma [Chao] and Zhang [Fei] were nearby and personally saw his achievement, and so can be convinced, but Guan [Yu] is far away and when he hears of this, I fear he will certainly be displeased. Is this not impossible?” The Former Lord said: “I will personally resolve it.” He was thus given equal rank with [Guan] Yu and the rest, and given fief as Marquis Within the Passes.”
- Another fact of note may be that all five Tiger Generals have their biography in the same chapter: “關張馬黃趙傳第六” ("fascicle 6: the biographies of Guan, Zhang, Ma, Huang and Zhao") in the Book of Shu 6.