- This article is about the Earth Kingdom tribe. For other similar uses, see Tribe (disambiguation).
The Gan Jin was a tribe that traditionally lived in the northern Earth Kingdom, and its members were known as Ganjinese. The tribe eventually entered a conflict with the Zhangs, another tribe. Due to the Hundred Year War, the Ganjinese fled their homes and journeyed to Ba Sing Se in order to escape the advancing Fire Nation military.
The Gan Jin tribe lived in the northern Earth Kingdom for centuries. One Ganjinese, Jianzhu, became the earthbending teacher of Avatar Kuruk and, following Kuruk's early death in 312 BG, traveled the world in an attempt to keep the peace and find the next Avatar. As time went on, Jianzhu became the most powerful individual in the Earth Kingdom, creating a far-reaching political network of allies. He met his end as result of a series of events in 296 BG that resulted in the growing unrest in the western Earth Kingdom.
At some point, the Gan Jin began a longstanding conflict with the Zhang tribe. Tribal lore traditionally dates the beginning of the conflict to 0 AG, even though the two tribes had already been enemies for centuries by that point. According to the Ganjinese accounts, their hero, Jin Wei, was carrying a sacred crystal orb necessary for the tribe's ancient redemption ritual, he was attacked by Wei Jin, a member of the Zhang, who stole the orb.
A hundred years after the alleged incident, the tribe was attacked by the Fire Nation, eventually forcing them to reside elsewhere. They set a course for Ba Sing Se, but needed to pass through the Great Divide. During the journey, the Ganjinese were forced to travel alongside the Zhang tribe, who were also en route to Ba Sing Se. The tribes traveled in separate groups in an attempt to prevent conflict. Avatar Aang and his friends escorted the two groups across the canyon, and Aang was able to settle the dispute between the two tribes by revealing to them that Wei Jin did not steal the orb from Jin Wei but rather scooped up a fumbled ball in a game called "Redemption". In addition, he stated that the sacred orb was simply a ball, and the great eastern and western gates involved in the ritual were just the goal posts in the game. However, unknown to either tribe, it was simply an elaborate ruse constructed by Aang to bring peace.
Members of the Gan Jin were more civilized and cultured than the Zhang. Similarly, they were much more tradition-bound and tended to be precise with their way of living. The Ganjinese adorned themselves with white and gold robes and condemned uncleanliness. They tended to be arrogant and snobby, paying more attention to minor details and being inflexible in their way of living. Despite their culture, they seemed to be fairly amiable with outsiders, observed when they socialized with Katara relatively easily.
- Gan Jin is phonetically similar to gānjìng ( ), the Mandarin word for "clean" or "neat".
- The leader of the Gan Jin fought with a Chinese sword called a jian ( ), also known in Chinese folklore as the "Gentleman of Weapons", in keeping with their sophisticated nature.
- Ganjin is the name of a blind Chinese priest who in 754 made the perilous crossing to Japan to find one of the six sects of Nara Buddhism.