journey to the west 3 movie

Is JOURNEY TO THE WEST, THE DEMONS STRIKE BACK family friendly? Find out only at Movieguide. The Family and Christian Guide to Movie Reviews. [A kinda-sequel to Journey to the West while also being based on the Journey This is somewhat about the first book so it's not really about the movies. Feb 3, 2016 - xxxshakespearexxx: “ The Monkey King 2 三打白骨精 is an upcoming Hong Kong action fantasy film based on the classic novel Journey to the West.

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Journey to the west 3 movie
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2013 film

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons[1][4] (Chinese: 西遊·降魔篇) is a 2013 fantasycomedy film co-written and produced by Stephen Chow and co-directed by Chow and Derek Kwok.[5] The movie was first announced in July 2011 and was released on February 10, 2013 in China.[1] The film is a loose comedic re-interpretation of the 16th-century novel Journey to the West, a Chinese literaryclassic often believed to be written by Wu Cheng'en.

A sequel, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, written and produced by Chow and directed by Tsui Hark, was released on January 28, 2017.[6]


The story takes place before Tang Sanzang got his disciples and embarked on the Journey to the West.

A riverside village is terrorized by a mysterious aquatic creature. A Taoist priest kills a giant manta ray and insists that it is the demon. Sanzang, a self-proclaimed demon hunter, appears to warn the villagers that the animal is not the true demon. The villagers ignore him and, at the priest's provocation, string him up. The real demon reemerges and kills many of the villagers. Sanzang frees himself and, along with the survivors, manages to beach the creature, which turns into a man. Sanzang then opens a book of nursery rhymes and begins singing to the demon. Annoyed, the demon attacks Sanzang. Another demon hunter, Duan, captures and turns the demon into a puppet. Sanzang tells to Duan that his master taught him a more humane approach and to use nursery rhymes to coax goodness out of demons, a tactic Duan scoffs at. Disillusioned, Sanzang meets his master and bemoans his lack of capabilities compared to more aggressive demon-hunters. His master reaffirms his humanist philosophy and sends Sanzang off again to find "enlightenment."

A couple enters an empty restaurant but the chef reveals himself to be a pig demon and kills them. Sanzang comes to the same restaurant, this time apparently filled with people. Sanzang sees through the illusion and recognizes them as reanimated corpses of the victims, as well as the demon's nine-toothed rake. Duan bursts into the restaurant and destroys all the corpses, and attacks the pig demon. She captures the demon in her magic bag to turn it into a puppet, but it bursts out of the bag and transforms into a huge boar, collapsing the building. Sanzang and Duan retreat. Duan then develops a strong limerence towards Sanzang after being impressed by his selfless ideals. She expresses her feelings, but Sanzang flees, not wishing to deal with romantic love in his quest for nirvana.

Sanzang's master advises him to tame the Monkey King demon Sun Wukong (trapped by Buddha) to subdue the pig demon. That night, he is captured by a gang that had also subdued Duan. It is later revealed to be a plot orchestrated by Duan to trick Sanzang into having sex with her. After Sanzang rejects her again, she has him imprisoned. The pig demon reappears and injures Duan but is chased off by a trio of rivaling demon-hunters. Duan views Sanzang's concern for her injuries as a romantic attraction. After Sanzang refuses her advances again, she destroys his book of nursery rhymes and he leaves.

After days of traveling, Sanzang finally discovers a cave under a lotus garden, where Monkey King was trapped in for 500 years. Monkey King tells Sanzang to use a dancer to bait the demon. Duan appears and volunteers to dance. When the pig demon appears Monkey King easily subdues it, allowing Duan to turn it into a puppet. Duan then gives both the fish and pig puppets to Sanzang and offers her golden ringed weapon as an engagement band, but he rejects her again. She leaves after returning his nursery rhyme book, which she had pieced back together, although at random as she is illiterate.

Monkey King tricks Sanzang into removing the seal on his prison and bursts out of the cave. Sanzang begins to pray to Buddha, and an enraged Monkey King rips the hair from his head. The three demon hunters appear to catch Monkey King but he effortlessly kills them. Duan returns and defends Sanzang, but the Monkey King mortally injures her. Sanzang admits he loves her, and Monkey King proceeds to vaporize her body. Looking at the nursery book again, Sanzang realizes Duan accidentally reassembled the words of his book into those of the Buddha Sutra. Sanzang summons Buddha, who defeats Monkey King with the palm of his hand. Sanzang then places Duan's golden ring on Monkey King, and it turns into his restrictive headband.

Sanzang tells his master that his suffering due to Duan's homer simpson do it for her has helped him to enlightenment. Sanzang is then instructed to travel on a journey to the west (India) for the Buddhist sutras of Leiyin Temple, and it is shown that the Water Demon, Pig Demon, and Monkey King have been tamed and turned into humans named, respectively, Sha Wujing, Zhu Bajie and Sun Wukong. As they hike across the desert, Sanzang looks across the sand and sees an image of Duan.


  • Shu Qi as Duan
  • Wen Zhang as Tang Sanzang
  • Huang Bo as Sun Wukong
  • Chen Bing Qiang as Zhu Bajie
  • Lee Sheung Ching as Sha Wujing
  • Show Lo as Prince Important
  • Cheng Sihan as Master Nameless
  • Xing Yu as Fist of the North Star
  • Lu Zheng Yu as Killer One
  • Chiu Chi Ling as Killer Two
  • Yang Di as Killer Three
  • Chrissie Chau as Killer Four
  • Ge Hang Yu as Killer Five and Short Sun Wukong
  • Fung Min-hun as Taoist Priest
  • Yeung Lun as Mayor
  • Zhang Chao Li as Almighty Foot
  • He Wun Hui as Maple
  • Tang Yixin as Blossom
  • Chen Yichun and Liu Zhan Ling as Gao Family Inn Managers
  • Huang Xiao Chuan as Leader of the Sand People
  • Zhang Yu Wen as Sheng
  • Xu Min as Mrs. Gen
  • Li Jing as Gen
  • Zhang Wei Fu as Grandpa Gen
  • Fan Fu Lin as Muscleman
  • Dai Qu Hua as Lan
  • Zhong Kai Jie as Lan's baby
  • Xie Jing Jing as Fat Lady
  • Yu Qian Wen as Fat Lady's husband
  • Kong Wu Shuang as Singing Girl
  • Li Gao Ji as Taoist Priest Fook
  • Wen Fei Fei as Monk Lu
  • Huang Hai Seng as Monk Shou
  • Zhang Wan Ku, Xu Wen Qiang, Chen Jian Feng, Li Nin Cai, Li Jing, Li Gui Suan, Han Xiao Chuang, Yu Ping, Li Yong Bo, Gong Meng Ying, Ge Hui Lei, Zhang Hong Di, Chen Xing Xiang, Zhang Cheng Long, and Wang Ya Bing as villagers
  • Min Hun Fung

Box office[edit]

The film set several records at the Chinese box-office. The film was released on February 10, 2013 in China and opened to 78 million Yuan ($12.5 million) on its first day, thus overtaking the 70 million yuan ($11.2 million) opening-day record set by Painted Skin: The Resurrection on June 28, 2012 as the biggest opening-day gross for a Chinese film.[7] On February 14, 2013, the film grossed 122 million yuan ($19.6 million) and thus overtook the record of 112 million yuan by Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the biggest single-day gross by a film in China's box-office history.[8][9] The film set an opening record in China with $92.46 million.[10]

To date, the film has grossed US$205 million in China,[11] US$3.6 million in Hong Kong,[12] US$3.2 million in Malaysia,[12] and US$1.8 million in Singapore.[12]

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons grossed a total of US$215 million worldwide, making it highest grossing Chinese-language film ever.[3] It was surpassed by Monster Hunt, in 2015, as the highest Chinese film ever produced.

Critical reception[edit]

The film was well received by critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 94% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 34 reviews, with an average rating of 7.22/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "As sweet, silly, action-packed and ridiculous as director Steven Chow's best work, Journey to the West serves up dazzling action sequences while playing its disparate elements against each other with thrilling abandon."[13] According to Metacritic, the film has received an weighted average score of 68 based on 13 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

Edmund Lee of Screen International describes the film as "a thoroughly entertaining action comedy."[1] Andrew Chan gave the film 9/10 and writes, "Stephen Chow latest revisit to "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" is a highly entertaining affair. From the get go, the audience is treated with Chow famed exaggerated style of comedy."[15]


Main article: Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back

Derek Kwok reported in March 2013 that there were ongoing discussions about a script for a sequel with Stephen Chow, who may appear in it himself.[16] The film has a reported budget of around US$64 million. Filming started on 6 August 2015, starring Kris Wu as Tang Sanzang, Lin Gengxin as Sun Wukong, Mengke Bateer as Sha Wujing, Yao Chen as Taoist, and Bao Bei'er as an unannounced character, Shu Qi and Cheng Sihan reprise their roles as Duan and Master Nameless respectively.


External links[edit]


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Most people seem to have encountered Journey to the West in one form or another. Most Australians my age will have first encountered Wu Cheng’en’s legendary Chinese novel via its Japanese TV adaptation Monkey, which the ABC broadcast on a seemingly endless look during the early 1980s. More recent audiences might have seen it adapted by Hollywood in The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), or the admittedly very loose adaptation in the popular anime Dragon Ball. The story basically follows a Buddhist priest on a pilgrimage from China to India, accompanied by three supernatural creatures: a water monster, a pig monster, and the boistrous Monkey King.

Stephew Chow’s 2013 film Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons is another rather loose take on Wu’s novel. It seems to make two major changes: firstly, it presents itself essentially as a prequel, set prior to Xuanzang (aka Tripitaka, for English viewers) embarking on his pilgrimage; secondly, it presents his three companions Sandy, Pigsy and Monkey not as fallen immortals from heaven but as terrifying and monstrous demons in need of hunting down and taming.

Journey to the West is not new territory for Stephen Chow: in 1995 he starred in Jeffrey Lau’s two-part smash hit comedy A Chinese Odyssey, which remains a cult favourite among enthusiasts for Chinese language cinema. Conquering the Demons is a significantly different take, however: still filled with comedy but also boasting extensive action and unexpected moments of horror.

Let’s look journey to the west 3 movie the comedy first, since Conquering the Demons is above all else a comedy. Stephen Chow is a master of a form of film comedy known as ‘mo lei tau’, or ‘nonsense’ comedy. It’s a form of comedy less concerned with obvious jokes and more with unexpected non-sequiturs, deliberate contrasts between action and dialogue, and cultural and historical anachronisms. One character will begin politely asking questions to another in the middle of a pitched battle. A thief who’s faked his own death finds he can’t turn off the blood-spraying prosthetic he has built, and tries to continue a normal conversation as fake blood spews endless from his neck. A monk climbs a mountain to meet with the Monkey King, only to find he’s a middle-aged lothario with thinning hair and 1970s dance moves. When done well, this style of comedy is enormously funny, and via previous films including Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle Chow has firmly established himself as a master of mo lei tau. Beyond anything else Conquering the Demons is a remarkably funny movie.

The action is brilliantly staged, with numerous sword-fights and kung fu displays. It’s also liberally packed with computer-generated effects, some of which are exceptional in how they have been designed and employed. Admittedly the reliance on CGI grows a little out of the control by the film’s climax, but by that point I was too well engaged with the characters to really mind all that much. It’s the horror that surprised me the most. It only creeps in occasionally, but when it does it’s unexpectedly effective and wildly left of field. It gives the film an entirely new angle on the source material that I don’t remember seeing before. Chow is smart enough to use the horror elements sparingly, and as such they simply add another layer to the film rather than send it too far off-course.

Wen Zhang is great as the young Xuanzang, performing with a wide-eyed naivety and relentless clam optimism. Other demon hunters track down and murder demons with swords and enchanted rings; Xuanzang calms them with a music box and reads them nursery rhymes. Huang Bo is exceptional as the Monkey King, playing the role with relaxed slouches and seedy sideways glances. It would seem close to impossible to do something genuinely new with the character after so many other adaptations, but he really manages it. In later scenes he shows off even more striking sides to the character: not only confident and brash but actively mean-spirited and what is a trust company. To me the highlight among the cast is Shu Qi as Duan, a talented demon hunter who keeps crossing paths with Xuanzang. I’ve seen her play dramatic roles for years, in the Young and Dangerous films, or The Eye 2, or Confession of Pain. Until I watched Conquering the Demons I had no idea what a strong gift she had for comedy. She has an enormous screen presence as well; she’s easily the most charismatic thing on screen.

Anyone who has already seen Chow’s earlier films will not be surprised to see Conquering the Demons continues his outstanding track record. Anyone who hasn’t seen his films before will be in for a treat: this is a great movie.

This review was originally published at The Angriest on 22 July 2015.

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List of media adaptations of Journey to the West

Wikimedia list article

Depiction of the Forbidden Temple's Sun Wukongas depicted in a scene in a Beijing opera.

Journey to the West, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, was written in the 16th century and attributed to Wu Cheng'en. Stories and characters were widely used, especially in Beijing opera, and has been adapted many times in modern film, television, stage, and other media.


Stage plays[edit]

  • The Monkey Sun (Opičák Sun), a 1984 production adapting several chapters from the novel by the Theatre Esence in Prague, Czechoslovakia.[2]
  • Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King, a 2001 children's play by Elizabeth Wong.[3]
  • The Monkey King, a 2005 production by the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[4][5]
  • Journey to the West: The Musical, a stage musical which received its world premiere at the New York Musical Theatre Festival on 25 September 2006.[6]
  • Monkey: Journey to the West, a stage musical version created by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. It premiered as part of the Manchester International Festival at the Palace Theatre on 28 June 2007.
  • Mary Zimmerman, Introduction by Anthony C. Yu, Journey to the West: A Play (Northwestern University Press, 2011).
  • Monkey: A Journey to the West, a live storytelling by Sebastian Lockwood of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, presented in February 2012.[citation needed]


  • The Cave of the Silken Web, or Pan Si Dong, a 1927 silent adaptation of one chapter of the novel.[7] It was followed by a 1930 sequel, The Cave of the Silken Web II (alternatively known as Spiders II).[8]
  • Princess Iron Fan, a 1941 liberal adaptation of a short sequence from Journey to the West; the first Chinese animated feature film.
  • Monkey Sun, a 1959 Japanese film produced by Toho, released as Sun Wukong in Japan, as The Adventures of Sun Wu Kung in the United States, and as Monkey Sun internationally.[9]
  • Shanghai Animation Film Studio produced several animated films based on chapters from Journey to the West:
  • Alakazam the Great, a retelling of the first part of the story based on the characters designed by Osamu Tezuka. It was one of the first anime films produced by Toei Animation.
  • 1960s Hong Kong film series employee benefits brokers near me by the Shaw Brothers Studio and directed by Ho Meng-hua:
  • Battles With The Red Boy, 1972 Taiwanese film
  • The Fantastic Magic Baby, a 1975 Hong Kong film directed by Chang Cheh.
  • Monkey King With 72 Magic, a 1979 Taiwanese film directed and produced by Fu Ching-Wa,[17] telling the story from the birth of Sun Wu Kong to his imprisonment by Buddha.
  • Doraemon: The Record of Nobita's Parallel Visit to the West is based on Journey to the West. It is the 9th feature-length Doraemon film, which was released in 1988. The monsters of the Jouney to the West video game are released in the real world. Nobita and his friends become characters of Journey to the West and fight against the monsters to restore the peace.
  • New Pilgrims to the West, a 1982 Taiwanese movie directed by Chan Jun-Leung. A sequel, Monkey War, was released the same year.
  • Go West to Subdue Demons, a 1992 movie directed by Chang Cheh.
  • A Chinese Odyssey, a two-part 1995 Hong Kong fantasy comedy film loosely based on the novel starring Stephen Chow and Athena Chu Yan.
  • Heavenly Legend, a 1998 Taiwanese film by Tai Seng Entertainment that is partially based on the novel.[citation needed]
  • A Chinese Tall Story (2005), a Hong Kong comedy film loosely based on the novel.
  • Fire Ball, a 2005 Taiwanese animated feature film made by Wang Film Productions and directed by Wong Tung.[18]
  • Saiyūki, also known as Monkey Magic: The Movie and Adventures of the Super Monkey, is a Japanese feature film produced by Fuji Television, released in Japan on 14 July 2007.[19] The film was made in lieu of a second season of the 2006 television series by the same name. The film was a box office success, becoming the 8th highest-grossing film of 2007 in Japan.[20]
  • Monkey King vs. Er Lang Shen is a 2007 CGChinese animated film produced by Yuan Cheng depicting Wukong's fight against Er Lang Shen.
  • The Forbidden Kingdom is a 2008 Chinese-American fantasy-adventure martial arts film featuring Jet Li as the Monkey King.
  • Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons is a 2013 Hong Kong comedy film loosely based on the novel.
  • The Monkey King is a 2014 Chinese-Hong Kong film directed by Cheang Pou-soi depicting Wukong's rebellion against Heaven.
  • In March 2011, Neil Gaiman announced plans to pen a screen adaptation of Journey to the West at the request of television producer Zhang Jizhong. Guillermo del Toro is rumoured as a possible director and James Cameron will also consult on the film.[21]
  • Monkey King: Hero Is Back is a 2015 Chinese animation film directed by first time director Tian Xiaopeng. The film is based on the story of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King and his journey to the west to fight a powerful source of evil after being freed from his seal. As of 2015, it was the highest grossing Chinese animated film.
  • In New Gods: Nezha Reborn, Li Yunxiang (who is the reincarnation of Nezha) meets with a masked man who he believes is the Six Eared Macaque, who turns out to be the legendary Sun Wukong and offers to teach him how to control his powers to fight against his half-brother Ao Bing and his father the Dragon of the East Ao Guang.
  • Spark: A Space Tail shows similarities to the novel such as Spark, a monkey protagonist who weirds a staff just like Monkey King, Vix who fills in as Tripitaka, Chunk as Pigsy and the Flagship Captain as Sandy.
  • Monkey King: Reborn is a 2021 animated film about Sun Wukong and his companions must rescue their master Tang Monk from the King of Demons who took him as revenge for his imprisonment.
  • Surprise is a low-budget 2015 Chinese fantasy comedy film directed by Show Joy. It had wide previews on 12 and 13 December and was released on 18 December 2015.
  • Dream Journey is a 2016 Chinese comedy film. Followed by Dream Journey 2: Princess Iron Fan (2017), Dream Journey 3: The Land of Many (2017), Dream Journey 4: Biography of Demon, Dream Journey 5: Legendary Treasure (2019) and Dream Journey 6:Tian Mang Shen Quan (2019). Produced by Zhejiang Meishi Zhongle Media.
  • Wu Kong stars Eddie Peng as Sun Wukong and Ni Ni as his lover, Zixia
  • Two Princesses, Journey to the West (2017) a film directed by Jia Kai.
  • Buddies in India (2017) a comedy film
  • Screenwriter Christopher Yost and Richard Taylor are working on a blockbuster retelling of the "Monkey King" for modern audiences for Los Angeles-based Abstract Entertainment and Eracme Entertainment of China.[22]

Television series[edit]

  • Monkey (Saiyūki), a 1978–1980 Japanese television series based on Journey to the West. It was translated into English by the BBC.
  • Journey to the West, a two-season television series produced by CCTV, starring Liu Xiao Ling Tong as Sun Wukong. The two seasons were released in 1986 and 1999 respectively. Noted for its faithfulness to the original novel, this series is still considered by many as a classic.
  • Journey to the West, 新・西遊記 [ja], a 1994 Japanese television series. Nippon TV produced another television series, based on Journey to the West, titled New Monkey, it ran for only one season.[citation needed]
  • Journey to the West, a 1996 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB, starring Dicky Cheung as Sun Wukong. It was followed by a 1998 sequel, Journey to the West II, starring Benny Chan as Sun Wukong.
  • Xi You Ji is a 1999 Chinese animated series which was broadcast on CCTV. The whole series was later released on a 26-disc VCD set. The show was later dubbed into English and edited by Cinar (now known as Cookie Jar Entertainment) and was titled Journey to the West - Legends of the Monkey King. It first aired on Teletoon in Canada and was originally shown on the Cookie Jar Toons block on This TV in the United States from 2009 to 2010.[citation needed]
  • After Journey to the West 西游记后传, is a 2000 Chinese television sequel series that is loosely based on the events that take place after Journey to the West. It is produced by Shaanxi Television. The main story centers around a quest to find seventeen magical relics before demons use them to take over heaven and earth.
  • The Monkey King, also called The Lost Empire, a 2001 television adaptation of the legend by Sci Fi Channel.
  • The Monkey King: Quest for the Sutra, a 2002 Hong Kong television series loosely based on the novel. It was produced by TVB and starred Dicky Cheung as Sun Wukong again.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, Monkey King (voiced by Bill Tanzer and Billy West in Season 3) is a mystical trickster that was sealed within a wooden puppet that can only free him if someone pulls it's leg, which would then turn the victim to a puppet. First appearing in "I'll Be a Monkey's Puppet", Jackie buys the puppet from his uncle's competitor so Jade would use it for her school's talent show, unfortunately he pulled it's leg and freed Monkey King and turned himself into a puppet. Luckily Jade use the Rat Talisman to give him life and set out to find the prankster, Uncle and Tohru found out by his competitor that in order to turn Jackie back to normal and trap Monkey King again is for the latter to pull his leg (no matter if it's attached). They successfully manage to trick the trickster in a lumber yard and leave it in the rubble.
  • Saiyūki, a 2006 Japanese television series produced by Fuji Television. The lead character of Son Goku (Sun Wukong) was given to Shingo Katori, a member of the pop group SMAP. This remake has been so successful as to break viewing records with one in three Japanese viewers watching each episode of the series.[23]
  • Wu Cheng'en and Journey to the West, a 2010 Chinese television series which tells the story of Wu Cheng'en and his inspiration for writing the novel. The main cast from the 1986 Journey to the West version reprised their roles in this series.
  • Journey to the West, a 2010 Chinese television series directed and produced by Cheng Lidong, starring Fei Zhenxiang as Sun Wukong. It started airing on Zhejiang Satellite TV on 14 February 2010.
  • Journey to the West, a 2011 Chinese television series produced by Zhang Jizhong, starring Wu Yue as Sun Wukong. It started airing on Southern Television Guangdong on 28 July 2011.
  • Into the Badlands, a 2015 television series produced by AMC and written by Miles Millar and Alfred Gough. It is loosely based on Journey to the West.[24]
  • New Journey to the West, a 2015 South Korean variety show produced by cable channel tvN and Naver. It is directed by Producer Na.
  • A Chinese Odyssey: Love of Eternity aka A Chinese Odyssey: Love You a Does bank of america offer prepaid credit cards Years, a 2017 Chinese series that is based on the movies in A Chinese Odyssey. The series ran for 54 episodes.
  • A Korean Odyssey, a South Korean drama produced by Studio Dragon Corporation and JS Pictures. It aired on tvN on 23 December 2017.
  • The New Legends of Monkey, a 2018 Australian-New Zealand television co-produced by ABC ME, TVNZ, and Netflix.[25]
  • Till We Meet Again, a 2018 Singaporean television series produced by MediaCorp Channel 8, starring Taiwanese actor Kingone Wang, and MediaCorp actors Ian Fang, Julie Tan and Elvin Ng, premiered on 26 November. A Toggle-produced prelude series, aired on Channel 8 on 11 October.[26]
  • Journey to the West Children's Edition aka Tian Zhen Pai Xi You Ji, a 2019 series by Tencent.
  • Sun Wukong (voiced by James Sie) appears as a character in the Amazon series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, based on the popular Dreamworksfranchise. Journey to the west 3 movie depiction is based more on his shapeshifting powers and trickster attitude, relying on confusing enemies with mind games and deception. However, his enemy Baigujing (translated into White Bone Demon and voiced by Elisa Gabrielli) also makes an appearance as the main antagonist of the second half of Season 1, manipulating the Emperor's adoptive daughter (who had become jealous of the Emperor's younger biological daughter taking attention away from her) into murdering him and creating an army of animated Terracotta soldiers, and later constructing a giant automaton to take over as her new body.
  • RWBY, a web-series created by Monty Oum and produced by Rooster Teeth, has a character named Sun Wukong who is inspired by his namesake form Journey to the West. It currently has seven aired seasons. To reference the mythical Sun Wukong, Sun Wukong here is a monkey Faunus (humans with animal attributes, in his case being a monkey's tail), but also uses a staff in combat (though his also splits into nunchuck/shotgun hybrid weapons individually known and Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang), and can generate clones to fight for him.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, those who wield the Monkey Miraculous (previously wielded in universe by Sun Wukong and Sasuke Sarutobi) turn into a hero with numerous references to Sun Wukong. Once activated, the wielder gains use of a staff known as Ruyi Jingu Bang and his main ability Uproar (letting him create toys that, if they hit an opponent, cause their powers to malfunction) can be seen as a reference to his mischievous attitude in the original work.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior, in the episode 42 (32 in the American dub) presents the main characters playing the characters of Journey to the West.
  • Monkie Kid, a LEGO animated spin-off series taking place decades after the original story.
  • An episode of The Librarians has Jacob Stone traveling to Shangri-La to be taught martial arts by the Monkey King (played by Ernie Reyes Jr.).

Comics and animations[edit]

  • Adventures from China: Monkey King, a 20 volume comic series by Wei Dong Chen.[27]
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang features the legend of the Monkey King throughout the book. He uses the story of the Monkey King's quest to become equal to wepay inc god to parallel the feelings of the main character, a Chinese immigrant, who is struggling to fit into American society.
  • Digimon has several Digimon modeled after Journey to the West characters. Gokuumon is based on Sun Wukong, Sanzomon is based on Xuanzang, Cho-Hakkaimon is based on Zhu Bajie, and Shawujinmon is based on Sha Wujing.
  • A 4-part arc in season 2 of Dinosaur King is based around the main characters' time machine landing them in Ancient China and meeting Xuanzang (named "Sanzo Hoshi"). Through their adventure to find a mystical Cosmos Stone, hidden behind a stone door only Sanzo can chant into opening, the three realize that they themselves would become the inspirations for Sanzo's companions from Journey to the West.
  • "The God of High School", a Korean manga/game, with protagonist Jin Mori as the Monkey King Sun Wukong.
  • Dragon Ball was initially inspired by Journey to the West. For example, Sun Wukong (pronounced Son Gokū in Japanese) becomes "Son Goku", who wields an elongating staff weapon, can fly using a magic cloud and has the ability to journey to the west 3 movie into a giant ape. The supporting character Oolong was also based on Zhu Bajie and it was said that Yamcha was based on Sha Wujing. The object of sutras are replaced by the seven "Dragon Balls" and the dragon "Shen Long" who appears from the Dragon Balls to grant a wish. The first arc is a loose adaptation of Journey to the West, while following arcs diverge and tell original stories.
  • Gokū no Daibōken, a 1967 Japanese anime.
  • Iyashite Agerun Saiyūki, a 2007 adult anime.[citation needed]
  • Monkey Magic is an animated retelling of the legend.
  • Monkey Typhoon is a manga and anime series based on the Journey to the West saga, following a futuristic steampunk-retelling of the legend.
  • Osomatsu-kun a 1988 Japanese anime. Episode 64, is based on Journey to the West.
  • Saint is a Hong Kong manhua created by Khoo Fuk-lung go fish the card game online for free loosely based on Journey to the West.
  • Saiyūki is a manga and anime series inspired by the legend. Follow-up series include Saiyūki Gaiden, Saiyūki Ibun and Saiyūki Reload Blast.
  • Secret Journey is an erotic doujin by Po-ju that features a travelling priest, a young boy, who encounters a monkey demoness, Son Goku, who becomes his first disciple.
  • Shinzo is an anime loosely based on Journey to the West.
  • Son-Goku the Monkey
  • Science Fiction Saiyuki Starzinger, a 1978-1979 Japanese anime produced by Toei Animation which features a science fiction / space opera reimagination of the story.
  • The Ape, a graphic novel by Milo Manara and Silverio Pisu published in 1986 by Catalan Communications. Previously serialised in Heavy Metal in 1983, this is a more adult adaptation of Journey to the West with a preface by Renata Pisu. ISBN 978-0-87416-019-2
  • The Flying Superboard is a Korean animated television series based on Journey to the West.[28]
  • The Journey West is a series of illustrated ebooks available for the Kindle and Nook that retell Journey to the West using rhyming verses vaguely reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. Book One: The Monkey King was released in 2011.[29]
  • The Monkey King is a dark sword and sorcery manga inspired by the tale.
  • XIN is an American comic mini-series produced by Anarchy Studio.
  • The play in Love Hina episode 16 is also based on Journey to the West.
  • Episode 31 of Yo-Kai Watch has the characters kidnapped by a yokai and forced to act out the events of Journey of the West.
  • Monkey King, an animated series created in 2009 by China Central Television (CCTV). It was honored with the Golden Panda Award at the 10th Sichuan TV Festival in China.[citation needed]
  • Monkey Khan from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) comics is loosely based on Sun Wukong.
  • Oboro Shirakumo’s quirk Cloud from My Hero Academia is a reference to Sun Wukong.
  • Monty the Magic Monkey 小悟空 (1988 TVB) / TVB is a children's animation about Little WuKong adventures post Journey to the West falling from heavens to live with a Hong Kong family.
  • Some of Doraemon's items are based on Journey to the West, such as Clone Liquid Goku, Kinto food and Goku ring,

Omniscient Reader makes reference to one of the constellations being the Monkey King from Journey to the West



  • Shen Yun Performing Arts has featured several vignettes from Journey to the West in its dance productions, which tour internationally. These include "The Monkey King Triumphs" and "Monkey King Captures Pigsy".[31]
  • Pilobolus staged a dance-theatre work entitled Monkey and the White Bone Demon in 2001. The piece, created by choreographer Alison Chase, one of the founders of Pilobolus, was based on a children's book adaptation of a tale from Journey to the West and featured dancer Matt Kent performing on stilts (as the Demon). The piece, which toured internationally and was critically acclaimed, is also the subject of a thirty-minute "making of" documentary film. Alison Chase has since revived Monkey and the White Bone Demon with her subsequent dance company, Alison Chase Performance.[32]

Books referencing the novel[edit]

  • Xiyoubu (西遊補; A Supplement to the Journey to the West) is a Ming Dynasty addendum to Journey to the West written by Dong Yue in 1640. The novel describes events which occurred between chapters 61 and 62 of Journey to the West.
  • The Monkey King is the 1978 debut novel of British novelist Timothy Mo, whose protagonist mirrors the personality of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King.
  • Tripmaster Monkey is a 1989 novel by Chinese American novelist Maxine Hong Kingston, with widespread references to Journey to the West.
  • Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel American Born Chinese uses the legend of the Monkey King as a major metaphor throughout the book. He uses the Monkey King's quest to become equal to a god to compare the feelings of the main character, a Chinese immigrant, who priority one bank brandon ms struggling to fit into American society.
  • In the children's novel Michael and the Monkey King by Alan James Brown, the Monkey King's mythical journey to the west becomes a modern-day quest to save the lives of a young boy's parents.[33]
  • The Monkey King's Daughter is a series of books by Todd DeBonis for young readers, about the adventures of Meilin Cheng, a 14-year-old Asian-American girl who learns she is the daughter of Sun Wukong.[34]
  • The Dark Heavens, Journey to Wudang and Celestial Battle series are fantasy novels by Kylie Chan in which Sun Wukong is a frequently occurring character.
  • In Kim Stanley Robinson's novel The Years of Rice and Salt, the first chapter (entitled "Awake to Emptiness") is presented in the style of Journey to the West.[35] The protagonist of that chapter, a Mongol warrior named Bold, is an incarnation of Monkey.
  • Mark Salzman's second book The Laughing Sutra (1991) partially re-imagines the Journey to the West in the context of late 20th century Chinese history. A young man, Hsun-ching, sets out to recover a lost sutra and gains a strange-looking companion, ″the colonel″, who claims extremely long life and carries a metal staff. Stories of the Monkey King and Chinese heroes are referenced throughout.
  • Pu Songling writes of Sun Wukong in "The Great Sage, Heaven's Equal", collected in Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio.
  • "The Epic Crush of Genie Lo" by F.C. Yee a young adult fiction book.

Video games[edit]

  • SonSon, a 1984 arcade game by Capcom.
  • Ganso Saiyūki: Super Monkey Daibōken is a 1986 NESRPG based on Journey to the West and made popular by GameCenter CX
  • Cloud Master, released in 1988 by Taito for Arcade, NES and Master System.
  • China Gate is a 1988 arcade game by Technos Japan Corp. It was based on the original story and characters. The Japanese version is titled Saiyu Gōma Roku (西遊降魔録, "Conquering Devil Journeys to the West").[36]
  • Saiyūki World, a 1988 Japan-exclusive NES game by Jaleco.[37][38] It was followed by a 1990 sequel, Saiyūki World 2: Tenjōkai no Majin,[39][40] adapted and released in 1991 as Whomp 'Em.[40][41]
  • Yūyūki, a 1989 text-based adventure video game for the Famicom Disk System and developed by Nintendo.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue (1994), according to scenario writer Kei Shigema, the concept of an oppressive god came from the image of Sun Wukong being unable to escape from the gigantic palm of the Buddha.[42] Shigema stated that "it was a picture showing the arrogance of a god who is saying, 'In the end, you pathetic humans are in my hands.' The moment I understood that, I thought, 'Oh, I definitely want to do this,' it'll definitely match perfectly. So we used it just like that."[43]
  • Journey to the West (Chinese: 西天取经; pinyin: Xītiān Qǔjīng; lit. 'Western Heaven'), is an unlicensedFamicomplatform game produced by Taiwanese developer Chengdu Tai Jing Da Dong and published by TXC Corporation in 1994.[citation needed] In 1996, Waixing Technology produced and released its sequel Journey to the West II (Chinese: 西天取经II; pinyin: Xītiān Qǔjīng II; lit. 'Western Heaven II').
  • The boss of Yellow Desert Zone in Sonic Blast (1996) is a reference to Sun Wukong.
  • Legend of Wukong (1996) is based on Journey to the West.
  • Monkey Magic is a 1999 video game for the PlayStation based on the anime series of the same title.
  • Saiyuki: Journey West is a 1999 tactical role-playing game for the PlayStation. It was developed by Koei.
  • Ether Saga Odyssey is a MMORPG based on Journey to the West and developed by Beijing Perfect World.
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a multi-platform game developed by Ninja Theory based on a futuristic take on the novel.
  • League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Dota 2, Paragon, and Smite all have a playable character based on the Monkey King.[44][45]
  • Dota 2 also has an item called the Monkey King Bar which is based on Sun Wukong's weapon, Ruyi Jingu Bang.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisp is a 2020 video game for the Xbox One which Opher is based on Sun Wukong
  • Westward Journey Online II, a MMORPG developed and run by NetEase.
  • Puzzle & Dragons has Sun Wukong as a usable God.
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars features the Genesis Unit, 3 Robot Masters called Buster Rod.G, Mega Water.S, and Hyper Storm.H; they are based on Sun Wukong, Sha Wujing, and Zhu Bajie respectively. The last letters in each Robot Master's name refers to the Japanese name of their correlating characters (G for "Gokū", S for "Sa Gojō", and H for "Hakkai")
  • West Adventure is a 1994 beat'm up game developed by Panda Entertainment for MS-DOS platform. The game is based on Journey to the West original story and characters.
  • Monster Strike has Sun Wukong as a usable Character.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV has Sun Wukong as a usable Demon.
  • Persona 5 has Sun Wukong as Ryuji Sakamoto's trickster persona named Seiten Taisei.
  • Summoner's War has a monster named Monkey King, the fire version becomes Wukong when awakened.
  • RaiRaiGoku is a pachislo slot machine with a Journey to the West theme.
  • Warriors Orochi games feature Sun Wukong as a character. Warriors Orochi 3[specify] specifically features both the Monkey King and Xuanzang (reimagined as a female dancer) as playable characters. The after-mission cutscene for the mission in which the player unlocks Xuanzang make many references to the novel. Including a conversation between the characters Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ishikawa Goemon speculating on whose roles from the novel they fill.
  • Warframe has a playable character named Wukong.
  • Project X Zone has two protagonists named Kogoro Tenzai and Mii Koryuji, they are both based on Sun Wukong and Xuanzang respectively.
  • Overwatch, in the seasonal event, Overwatch Year of the Rooster, the characters Winston, Roadhog, Reinhardt and Zenyatta are given alternate outfits that makes them look like Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing and Xuanzang.
  • The Pokémon franchise contains Chimchar, Monferno and Infernape (Sun Wukong) as well as Grumpig, Tepig, Pignite and Emboar (Zhu Bajie).
  • Great Sage, Heaven's Equal (齐天大圣), a Chinese language Taiwanese video game for DOS created by Golden Genius
  • Minecraft made a mash-up pack for Chinese mythology with skins mostly from Journey to the West.
  • Monkey King: Hero is Back is adapted to a videogame on the PlayStation 4 in 2019 (4 years after the film's release) where you play as Sun Wukong (renamed Dasheng in the English dub) as you guide Liuer and Pigsy (Zhu Bajie) to fight off Mountain Trolls and other monsters to save the kidnapped children from the clutches of the demon king Hun Dun, use statues of Guanyin to unlock spells to enhance your skills and use various weapons to battle enemies. Two DLCs were available: Mind Palace, which is set within Sun Wukong's mind sealed inside the Bank of america regular savings account minimum crystal where he trains himself in a series of obstacles and traps between different biomes. And Uproar in Heaven, which is before the main story where the monkey king duals against three of the Jade Emperor's greatest warriors, Nezha, Juling Shen and his nephew Erlang Shen.
  • Unruly Heroes by Magic Design Studios for the Xbox One, the PS4, the Nintendo Switch and the PC. You play as Wukong, Sanzang, Kihong and Sandmonk going on a journey to retrieve the sacred parchments from fearsome foes like Rhynehard, Skeletosis, Lady White, Chief Chomp, The Hundred Eyed Demon Lord and King Bull.
  • Lego Brawls' 2021 update has content from Monkie Kid with a battle arena of Flower Fruit Mountain and new characters consisting of Monkie Kid, Mei, Mr. Tang, Pigsy, Monkey King, Princess Iron Fan, Red Son, a Bull Clone, Gold and Silver Horn Demons, and the Spider Queen.
  • Tokyo Afterschool Summoners, in an event quest called Desert Journey, which adapts the whole story of Journey to the West, in which the protagonist is Xuanzang (in the game he/she is called Sanzang), with the characters Seth, Hanuman and Ganglie representing Sha Wujing, Sun Wukong and Zhu Bajie.
  • Black Myth: Wukong, a Chinese adventure/role playing video game being developed by Game Science which depicts Sun Wukong's story, exploits and battles.
  • One of the new Copy Abilities used in Kirby Star Allies, Staff, is based heavily on Sun Wukong, with Kirby's main weapon being an extending staff (similar to Ruyi Jingu Bang), and his helmet being based on that of Sun Wukong.
  • Tiansheng is an Animal Crossing New Horizons villager based off of Sun Wukong. Tiansheng wears the signature circlet on his head and sports a tracksuit similar to Bruce Lee's iconic yellow tracksuit. Nintendo announced Tiansheng as part of the Series 5 Amiibo card villagers released on November 5th, 2021.


  1. ^"Yoshitoshi's 'A Modern "Journey to the West" (Tsūzoku saiyūki)'". Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  2. ^"Opičák Sun" (in Czech). Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  3. ^"Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King by Elizabeth Wong". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  4. ^"Production History". Children's Theatre Company. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  5. ^"The Monkey King Tickets and Information". Theater Mania. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  6. ^"Journey to the West The Musical (website)". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  7. ^"The Cave of the Silken Web (1927)". A Journal of Chinese Film History. The Chinese Mirror. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  8. ^"The Cave of the Silken Web II (1930)". A Journal of Chinese Film History. The Chinese Mirror. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  9. ^"Monkey Sun". Toho Kingdom. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  10. ^"Unseen Films". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  11. ^"Interview: Restoring "The Monkey King"". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  12. ^Ren shen guo (1981) at IMDb[better source needed]
  13. ^"Contact Support". Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  14. ^Jin hou xiang yao (1985) at IMDb[better source needed]
  15. ^"Monkey Goes West (1966)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  16. ^"Nu er guo (1968)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  17. ^"SEE RANK Hou wang da zhan tian bing tian jiang (1979)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  18. ^"Fire Ball (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  19. ^"The Adventures of Super Monkey (2007)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  20. ^"2007 Japan Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  21. ^Jagernauth, Kevin (10 March 2011). "Neil Gaiman To Pen Epic 'Journey To The West'; Guillermo Del Toro Being Courted To Direct". Indiewire The Playlist. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  22. ^"Monkey King Film to Bring Chinese Fable to America". Variety. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  23. ^Lewis, Leo (15 February 2006). "Broadcasters in a spin as Monkey swings back to TV". Times Online. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
  24. ^Into the Badlands Season 3, Episode and Cast Information - AMC
  25. ^Lodderhouse, Diana (20 April 2017). "See-Saw & Jump Team On 'Legend Of The Monkey' For ABC Australia, Netflix". Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  26. ^"TILL WE MEET AGAIN - THE PREQUEL 千年来说对不起之前传". 11 October 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  27. ^"Adventures from China: Monkey King". China Sprout. Retrieved 18 July 2013.[better source needed]
  28. ^Asian Bureau (16 February 2010). "Spotlight on Korea Production Profile: The Flying Superboard". Animation World Network. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  29. ^"The Monkey King 1: Sun WuKong [Kindle Edition]". Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  30. ^"Journey To The West by Monkey". Beggars Group. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  31. ^"Journey to the West". Shen Yun Performing Arts. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  32. ^"Pilobolus Founder to perform at Fort Knox". Ellsworth American. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  33. ^"Alan James Brown's novels". Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  34. ^"The Producers". Words That Cook web site. Words That Cook. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  35. ^Wilson, Andrew (15 June 2002). "Worlds of wonder". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland. p. 10.
  36. ^"China Gate (Saiyou Goumaroku)". coinoexpress. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  37. ^"NES Longplay [172] Saiyuuki World". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  38. ^"Saiyuuki World". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  39. ^"Saiyuuki World 2 - Tenjoukai no Majin (J) - part 1". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  40. ^ ab" - Whomp 'Em". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  41. ^"Whomp 'Em". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  42. ^Game Arts (1997). Lunar I & II Official Design Material Collection. Softbank. p. 90. ISBN .
  43. ^Game Arts (1997). Lunar I & Southern ocean world heritage site Official Design Material Collection. Softbank. p. 91. ISBN .
  44. ^Thursten, Chris. "Valve announce Monkey King, the first Dota 2 hero that isn't a port from DotA". PC Gamer. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  45. ^SMITE - God Reveal: Sun Wukong, The Monkey King - GameSpot

Referenced By / Journey to the West

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

  • The 1960 anime film Alakazam the Great, based on the manga Boku no Son Gokū by Osamu Tezuka, which got another anime film titled Boku no Son Gokū in 2003.
  • Dragon Ball, as it's no secret that the name "Son Gokū" is literally "Sun Wukong" in Japanese on'yomi, who ended up being a very popular character different from his naming origin. This mainly applies to the first Dragon Ball series where the version of Wukong/Gokū is a monkey with a staff and cloud (the said staff and cloud have the same exact Asian names as the original staff and cloud from Journey to the West) travels with Bulma (human with a radar) to find a special treasure, and they are joined by a cowardly pig. This is not the case for later entries, which pretty much turns the Japanese reading of Sun Wukong's name into a whole new "legend" of its own within the anime and manga community; it's almost to the point where the Dragon Ball Z version of Wukong/Gokū barely ever pays enough respect to the source material outside of just his own name being the same.
  • Goku: Midnight Eye
  • Monkey Magic, an animated series which is a straightforward adaptation.
  • Queen's Blade: In the Alternative ContinuityQueen's Blade Grimoire, one of the characters (named Seiten) is inspired by Sun Wukong. This is also notable for being one of the few works when a version of him is depicted as a female.
  • Saiyuki. Follows many elements of the source material with several of its own touches. Ironically, via the trope Decomposite Character, the portrayals of Wukong/Gokū and Wujing/Gojou both carry-on traits that are akin to the original version of Bajie/Hakkai (AKA Pigsy); the above Wukong/Gokū from Dragon Ball and Saiyuki's Wukong/Gokū both share his hunger, while Wujing/Gojou from the latter shares his perverted tendencies and his tendency to fight/argue with Wukong/Gokū.
  • Secret Journey (Shotaconhentai manga by Poju)
  • Secret Journey is an H-Manga that gender-flips the disciples as Goku is now punished for having a journey to the west 3 movie of boys and trying to jump Buddha with the seal resulting in a hair-removing bikini, Pig being roughly the same and Sandy (a Meganekko and Pettanko) needing that type of facial to access a Super Mode giving her Femme Fatalons.
  • Shinzo, where the heroes quest is to look for Shinzo, the last remaining human city after humanity is believed to have been destroyed in a war with the bio-engineered Enterran race centuries before. The saintly-tempered Yakumo frees the anti-heroic Mushra from confinement and they travel together.
  • Starzinger is Journey to the WestIN SPACE! (Dubbed into English as Spaceketeers;The Three Musketeers IN SPACE!)


  • There are many manhua series based on this tale. Some examples are:
    • Journey to the West (Shenjie Manhua)
    • Journey to the West by Zheng Jian He
    • Monkey King by Wei Dong Chen
    • Saint by Khoo Fuk-lung
  • The graphic novel American Born Chinese ties together Monkey's story with the tale of a Chinese-American boy's coming-of-age story and the sitcom-like hilarity of an all-American jock plagued by his painfully stereotypical Chinese cousin. And the Christmas story.
  • The American comic book series XIN, created by Kevin Lau and published by Anarchy Studio in 2003. The main character, Xin, also known as Monkey, was based on the character Sun Wukong. XIN took many facets of the ancient tale and twists them with a modern sensibility.

    Eastern Animation 

  • The Flying Superboard by Hanho Heung-Up.
  • Havoc in Heavennote Sometimes Uproar in Heaven (1964) from the same creators as Princess Iron Fan. Considered one of the greatest works in both Chinese film and animation.
  • Journey to the West: Legends of the Monkey King, an animated series co-produced by CCTV and Cinar, and aired in Canada in the late 1990's via Teletoon. More recently aired on This TV.
  • Journey to the West: Return of the Demon King, a Darker and Edgier 3D animated film released in April 2021.
  • Monkey King, an unsubbed, undubbed Chinese cartoon produced in 1986.
  • Monkey King: Hero Is Back, A Chinese 3D animated buddy-travel/adventure movie released in 2015.
  • Princess Iron Fan (1941), China's first feature-length animated film.


  • The Cave of the Silken Web, a 1927 silent adaptation of the episode where Wukong and co. encounter a group of female spider demons. Feared lost for decades until being rediscovered in 2013.
  • A Chinese Odyssey, two movies directed by Jeff Lau starring Stephen Chow. A later Jeff Lau film, Chinese Odyssey 2002, has no relation to Journey to the West.)
  • The Forbidden Kingdom, a 2008 movie starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
  • Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, a 2013 film directed by Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok. Had a sequel released in 2019, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back.
  • The Lost Empire: The Legend of the Monkey King (a.k.a. The Monkey King), a two-part Made-for-TV Movie for NBC from 2001. An American scholar finds himself transported into the realm of the Monkey King and his companions by a luck goddess and and must help them save the very story of Journey to the West from demons who would remove it from the world — and reverse time itself in the process.
  • The Monkey King, a 2014 Hong Kong film retelling the origin of Monkey, starring Donnie Yen as Sun Wukong. Followed by:
    • The Monkey King 2; Aaron Kwok takes over the title role, joined by Feng Shaofeng (Tang Sanzang), Xiaoshenyang (Zhu Bajie), and Him Law (Sha Wujing). The story depicts the conflict between the heroes and the White Bone Demon (Gong Li).
    • The Monkey King 3; the heroes enter the Womanland of Western Liang and get entangled with the queen (Zhao Liying).
  • Monkey Sun, a 1959 movie by Toho Studios.
  • The Shaw Brothers produced four adaptations: Monkey Goes West (1966), Princess Iron Fan (1966), The Cave of the Silken Web (1967 film), and The Land of Many Perfumes (1968).
  • There is a Denser and Wackier two-part duology, New Pilgrims To The West, made in Taiwan a decade after the Shaws' effort.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Giant Saver the core team of the Chinese Toku series are based on the main characters of the novel.
  • Into the Badlands, the 2015 AMC series is based on the black keys lonely boy remix story with Sunny being Sun Wukong and T.K. as Xuanzang/Tripitaka.
  • A 1986 Journey to the West series what aired on CCTV in China, which got a second season in 1999 adapting portions not covered in obie trice nick cannon diss first one. Officially uploaded to YouTube with English subtitles here.
  • Journey to the West (1996), a Hong Kong 1996 live-action TV series, with a second season airing on 1998. It stars Dicky Cheung as Sun Wukong.
  • Journey to the West (2011), a Chinese 2011 live-action TV series.
  • Monkey series.
  • Monkey King: Quest for The Sutra, a Hong Kong/Taiwanese 2002 live-action TV series. While the characters are clearly those of the pilgrimage as described in the novel, the plot is totally different and twisted compared to the original.
  • The New Legends Of Monkey, Australian-New Zealand production.
  • Saiyuki, a 2006 Japanese TV series that starred Shingo Katori, a member of the pop group SMAP. Such a hit that a third of all viewers tuned into every episode.
  • The Wishbone episode "Barking at Buddha" adapts the first seven chapters, featuring Wishbone as Sun Wukong. ("Okay, I'm not really a monkey, but work with me here. It's a character thing.")


  • Monkey: Journey to the West, an opera by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett done in the Chinese style and mixed up with martial arts and circus acts. Beautiful and humorous.
  • Fred Ho's critically acclaimed, pop culture-infused 1997 Jazz opera Journey Beyond the West: The New Adventures of Monkey.

    Video Games 

  • Black Myth Wukong, an upcoming action game for the Next Gen Consoles and PC from Chinese studio Game Science that's a Dark Fantasy take on the myth.
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
  • The story is retold in a Fate/Grand Order event, introducing Xuanzang as a Caster-class servant, with the protagonist taking on the role of Sun Wukong, David from the Old Testament as Zhu Bajie, Li Shuwen as Sha Wujing, and Lu Bu as Yulong.
  • Ganso Saiyuuki: Super Monkey Daibouken, an infamous Action RPG for the Famicom.
  • Mickey's Journey to the West, where Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy inherited the weapons of Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing respectively.
  • Mighty Monkey, a 1982 Universal arcade Shoot 'em Up.
  • Monkey King: Hero Is Back, a video game adaptation of the film of the same name.
  • Monkey Hero (Obscure PS1 game developed by BLAM!)
  • The Monkey King: The Legend Begins, a Wii game.
  • Kǒudài Xīyóujì, an MMORPG, known in English as Ether Saga Odyssey.
  • Saint, a Wii game.
  • Saiyuki: Journey West, a PS1 video game by Koei.
  • Son Son, a 1984 Capcom arcade game. The title character's granddaughter, named Son Son III, appears in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and has Sun Wukong's powers from the original story.
  • Unruly Heroes, where we can play as the four heroes in a quest to restore the world.
  • YuYuKi, a Japan-only Famicom game published by Nintendo, part of the Famicom Fairytales series that includes Shin Onigashima.


    Western Animation 

  • Monkie Kid is a LEGO animated series based on Journey to the West, starring Monkie Kid, an ordinary kid whose life is changed when the Demon Bull King, Monkey King's Arch-Enemy, is resurrected.

    Anime and Manga 

  • The Digimon franchise has taken to doing this in recent years; it started with Kamemon'sPerfect form, Shawujingmon, in Digimon Data Squad, and years later Digimon Jintrix introduced a whole slew of mons based on it: Gokuwmon, ChoHakkaimon, Sagomon, Sanzomon, Shakamon, Kinkakumon and Ginkakumon, several of whom have shown up in Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time.
  • Dirty Pair TV episode 4 briefly showed a pro wrestling match with one wrestler in a Sun Wukong costume (including the circlet and staff).
  • Doraemon's 1988 film Doraemon: The Record of Nobita's Parallel Visit to the West is the long-running series take on the story.
  • High School D×D introduces the descendant of Son Goku named "Bikou" who also has his staff. Also, the original one appears in this series too and he's really strong.
  • Inuyasha:
    • A Villain of the Week in the anime's 6th season is a boar demon who claims to be a descendent of Zhu Bajie, while he hauls around a goofy looking kappa and monkey that he insists are, likewise, descendents of Sha Wujing and Sun Wukong respectively.
    • Also, Inuyasha has an enchanted necklace around his neck which lets Kagome force him to the ground by yelling "Sit, boy!", an obvious reference to Sun Wukong's headache-inducing headband. The entire main cast of InuYasha can effectively be seen as a group of expys - Inu-Yasha himself as Wukong (imprisoned for centuries, hot-tempered, and kept in control by a magic item), Kagome as Monk Xuanzang (pure of heart, the reincarnation of a great holy person, often in need of rescue), Miroku as Bajie (sleazy and viceful), and Sango as Wujing (the sensible foil to Inuyasha and Miroku), with Kirara as the Horse (the Team Pet). Shippo is basically just an additional Team Pet.
  • The Last Saiyuki has a lot references to the story and characters.
  • An entire chapter of Love Hina is devoted to the main characters putting on a play pay pseg bill nj this story for a bunch of children. Naru is initially Sun Wukong, Keitaro is Sanzang, Suu is Bajie, and Motoko is Wujing, with Shirai and Haitani sharing the role of Yulong until they're revealed to be demons. Keitaro's main rival for Naru's affection, Seta, steps in to play the One-Horned King, and Naru and Keitaro switch characters so that Seta and Keitaro can have an epic one-on-one fight in the climax.
  • The appropriately titled episode, "Lupin's Big Saiyuuki" of the Lupin III: Part II TV series, where the Lupin gang are cast as the characters from the tale. It's likely a Homage to Monkey, which debuted shortly before the Lupin version came about. To be specific: Fujiko is Sanzo (carrying forward the gender-bending casting gag), Jigen is Hakkai, Goemon is Gojo, and Lupin is, of course, Son Goku.
  • Naruto contains several shout outs to Journey To The West:
    • Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, is capable of summoning Enma the Monkey King, who wears a tiger-striped kimono and can transform into a journey to the west 3 movie bo staff.
    • Two of the Edo Tensei'd villains, Kinkaku and Ginkaku, derive their names, weapons, and abilities from a pair of half-Youkai warlords.
    • The Four-Tailed Ape is named Son Goku, and even introduces himself with all the titles he has in Journey to the West.
  • At one point, Paprika, from the film of the same name, is shown dressed as the Monkey King as she rides on a cloud.
  • One villain in the Read or Die OAV series.
  • There is a martial artist named Sun Wukong in the manga, Shamo.
  • A School Play staged by the characters of Urusei Yatsura
  • Episode 31 of Yo Kai Watch has the characters kidnapped by a yokai and forced to act out the events of the story.
  • A group of villains in YuYu Hakusho.
  • In Yoroiden Samurai Troopers aka Ronin Warriors, Shu Lei Faun/Kento of the Hardrock (Diamond) is a clear homage of Sun Wukong from his Chinese origin (in the original version), gold headband, element, headband, staff, antics and comparisons (in both versions) to being a monkey.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, Kazami’s old force Mu Dish motif themselves after this story. Kazami himself is based on Zhu Bajie the Pig, as he causes problems for others in vain attempts to make himself look cool (He gets better).
  • SD Gundam World Heroes' main protagonist, Wukong Impulse Gundam, is based off of Journey to the West’s own main protagonist, Sun Wukong, and he has two other personalities, Zhu Bajie Silhouette and Sha Wujing Silhouette, based off of Wukong's comrades Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing. There’s also a character based off of Sanzang the Priest.


  • A Chinese crime lord in the Marvel Universe who'd taken the name of the Monkey King ventured into Sun Wukong's 'tomb' to claim the treasure Wukong had been buried with. There, journey to the west 3 movie encountered the spirit of the real Monkey King, who gave him a test to see if he was worthy of his powers - break out of the hellish realm of the Eighth City. He succeeded, becoming Wukong's avatar, and inheriting his staff and powers, which he put to use fighting crime - having been to Hell, he really didn't want to go back.
  • At the end of Lucifer, Yahweh tells the title character a story about the Monkey King (drawn as a literal monkey in golden armor, able to leap from one end of the universe to the other in a single bound) and the Buddha.
  • Recurring character Monkey Khan in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics).
  • DC Comics has the Monkey Prince, who's apparently the Monkey King's biological son; he wields the Jingu Bang, has Pigsy as his Shifu, and has a circlet that tightens every time Pigsy chants.



  • Boonie Bears film, Entangled Worlds / Fantastica, has the beginning (and ending) set in Sun Wunkong's universe, where his staff is stolen by the Tech Boss's crew to set up for the plot.
  • A Syfy Channel Original Movie where bad special effects and worse writing conspire to force a scholar who has devoted his life to the story to go through a shallow ripoff of its plot after an argument with his wife about it.


  • In Dragon Cauldron, and the other books in the same series, Monkey makes an appearance as a main character, constantly referencing the journey to the west 3 movie that led to his imprisonment under a mountain.
  • In the Grand Central Arena, several of the main characters are refugees from a rogue scientific establishment that attempted to create genetically-engineered replicas of fictional heroes; one of them, Wu, was modeled on Sun Wukong.
  • Kitty's Big Trouble takes place largely in San Francisco's Chinatown, and the title character runs into a fellow named Sun around halfway through the book.
  • The short story "Sir Harold and the Monkey King", from the Harold Shea series of fantasy short stories
  • The Bladedancer stories of the Whateley Universe, especially the first one, in which Chou's journey to Whateley Academy is closely based on Xuanzang's journey. Sun Wukong has in fact been established as a recurring supporting character, and he's still good at stealing the show each time he pops up.
  • The first chapter of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt is written in the style of Journey To The West.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Kamen Rider:
    • The heroes of Kamen Rider Ghost can channel the spirits of historical and folk heroes, one of which is Sanzo (an alternate name for Sanzang). Sanzo's powers are mainly used by Kamen Rider Necrom, and they include the ability to summon Sun Wukong, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing to assist him; and the three can turn into a cloud like Wukong's.
    • Kamen Rider Saber is similarly themed around stories and fairy tales. Saber himself gains powers based on this story under the title Saiyuu Journey, which primarily gives him a gauntlet with Wukong's Telescoping Staff as a kind of Blade Below the Shoulder; and special attacks can use other aspects of the story like the flying cloud.
  • A Korean Odyssey, a modern South Korean comedy retelling that begins with the release of Sun Wukong/Son O-Gong and the reincarnation of Tang Sanzang/Samjang.
  • In the Sesame Street special Big Bird in China, Sun Wukong in full theater glory gives Big Bird the clues to find the Phoenix i.e. Feng Huang.
  • Super Sentai
    • The characters of Ninja Sentai Kakuranger are all based on the main characters (except Jiraiya), with Sasuke corresponding to Sun Wukong (the Hot-Blooded hero), Seikai to Zhu Bajie (a Big Eater obsessed with women), Tsuruhime to Xuanzang (the leader whom the journey to the west 3 movie have been assigned to accompany), and Saizou to Sha Wujing (the extra fighter). Likewise, they also fight lots of youkai and journey around the country.
    • GoGo Sentai Boukenger, where Wukong's size-changing staff was one of the treasures sought by hero and villain.
    • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger featured a Monster of the Week named Dora Kinkaku based on one of the best-known villains in the story. Incidentally, Bandora had gotten Pleprechaun to make him because she hated how the monsters always lost to Sun Wukong.

    Tabletop Games 

  • The "Monk, Eh?" campaign setting in the Pyramid article "The Hubland Mountains for GURPS Discworld" pastiches the already tongue-in-cheek Monkey, with a very obviously female monk called Trickiparka accompanying the orangutan god Buna on his journey to the Rim.
  • In Pathfinder, Sun Wukong is one of the major deities of the setting's East Asia-analogue Tian Xia and the Chaotic Neutral god of trickery, drunkenness, and nature. He was a stone statue given life who became king of all monkeys and then achieved godhood by learning magic under Qi Zhong, the Tian Xia god of magic, and erasing his name from the records of Pharasma, the goddess of death.
  • The Handsome Monkey King is one of the gods included in the Chinese pantheon in Scion, and is available as a player character's divine parent.

    Video Games 

  • Various Multiplayer Online Battle Arena have characters based on Wukong himself.
    • The original Defense of the Ancients has Wukong become a secret Bonus Boss and the first Dota 2 exclusive hero (whose Chinese voice actor was Sun Wukong in the 1986 Animated Adaptation).
    • Monkey King from Heroes of Newerth is based on, but not quite the exact Wukong from the literature.
    • The actual Sun Wukong is also a playable character in Smite as the game is about Crossover Cosmology and Chinese Pantheon is included.
      • Also, their Wukong just to drive home allusions is also voiced by Sean Schemmel, the English voice of the aforementioned Wukong/Gokū from Dragon Ball.
    • Heroes of the Storm only has the Wukong reference via a Legendary skin of Samuro that turns him into a Wukong-like character, simply because Blizzard Entertainment has no major Wukong-like character throughout their games. The cancelled Paragon also featured a direct reference with its own hero named Wukong.
    • The character Wukong the Monkey King in League of Legends. He even has the sameJapanese voice as Dragon Ball's version of Wukong/Gokū that everyone knows.
  • Occasionally referenced in Asura's Wrath, where the main character, just like Son Goku, is sealed underneath a mountain for 500 years, and Augus's extendable blade is basically this to Son Goku's extendable staff.
  • In Bookworm Adventures, Volume 2, the vast majority of enemies in The Monkey King are inspired by Journey, and you even get to recruit Wukong as a partner once you beat him in combat.
  • The time travelers in Dinosaur King spend several episodes visiting with Sanzo Hoshi, aka Tripitaka.
  • Dragalia Lost has a few raid events inspired by the story:
    • "Echoes of Antiquity" is the first. The main focus is on the teacher, Xuan Zang, who is teaching her student Wu Kong about Qilin relics. Wu Kong, like his namesake, has a mischievous streak. His mishandling of a dangerous relic, Jin Gu Er (the golden headband), caused him to transform into the raid boss Qitian Dasheng who bears a stronger resemblance to the Monkey King. Also featured is Yulong, a recruitable dragon who serves as Xuan Zang's steed like his namesake.
    • The characters return a year later in "Timeworn Torment", with Wu Kong as the main character this time and Promoted to Playable. Another issue develops with the Jin Gu Er, as it turns out to have been the seal on a dangerous fiend named Mei Hou Wang — albeit one who has a good side, which Wu Kong has to defend to Xuan Zang. Wu Kong has picked up a few traits of the Monkey King in the interrim, and ironically starts wearing the Jin Gu Er to keep someone else under control (since it can exert an influence on Mei Hou Wang). The story also introduces the game's versions of Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing as followers of Xuan Zang (if sometimes annoying and unwanted ones); with Zhu Bajie as a brash yet honorable Blood Knight journey to the west 3 movie Sha Wujing as a Mad Scientist weapons designer.
  • Qitian Dasheng serves as the final boss of Swallow's Compass dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV. He spends most of the fight swinging his signature Telescoping Staff, and after you survive his ultimate he drops two clones and runs off. "Qitian Dasheng" is notably not a version of the name "Sun Wukong"; it’s the title he gave himself ("Great Sage Equal to Heaven") in response to the court of Heaven not giving him a fancy title he believed he deserved.
  • Fortnite has a Wukong skin available, though he lacks Sun Wukong's tail. His Jingu Bang staff is another optional cosmetic.
  • Granblue Fantasy has Andira, the Erune descendant of Sun Wukong. She inherited most of his powers and tools like the Self-Duplication using hairs, the flying cloud and staff. The player character reminds her of Xuanzang so she decides to go on a journey with them to try to find Tenjiku (or in pinyin, "Tianzhu"; the Chinese/Japanese name for India).
  • Kirby gains a Staff ability in Kirby Star Allies. The Nice Hat associated with the moveset includes Sun Wukong's headband, and the staff itself has the same ability to extend as Wukong's.
  • The Genesis Unit of Wily Tower in the Sega Genesis remake collection Mega Man: The Wily Wars are based on Wukong, Bajie, and Wujing. There's also Hanumachine from Mega Man Zero.
  • The Twin Demon Owls Lechku and Nechku from Ōkami are based on the gold and silver bros.
  • A very rare yet classic beat-em-up game known as Oriental Legend (made by the Taiwanese company IGS) features the trio, the dragon horse (and one original character, Xiaolongnü; lit. Little Dragon Girl; probably based on and named after the heroine of The Return of the Condor Heroes, another epic that has no relations with Journey to the West) as playable characters. The un-localized sequel with extra elements added features a few more characters while also adding Sanzang himself as an unlockable character.
  • The theme to the above-mentioned Monkey series was included as a bonus stage in the second Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan game.
  • Overwatch had an event based on the Chinese New Year in January 2017, and 4 characters (Winston, Roadhog, Reinhardt, and Zenyatta) specifically got skins based on Journey.
  • The Chimchar line in Pokémon is at least partially based on Sun Wukong, especially the gold armor on Infernape. The Tepig line is also based on Zhu Bajie.
  • One of the productions of the Imperial Theater Troupe in Sakura Wars.
  • Seiten Taisei (or in pinyin as "Qitian Dasheng"), i.e. Sun Wukong/Son Gokū, appears as a demon in many Shin Megami Tensei games.
    • Persona 5: Seiten Taisei, as a mythic figure who stole the secrets of immortality from the gods, serves as the ultimate Guardian Entity of your party's Lancer, Ryuji Sakamoto.
  • One of Soulcalibur V's new fighters, Xiba, is very clearly inspired by (if not outright implied to be) Sun Wukong. Likewise akin to his many other expies, he tends to be one of the hungry ones.
  • In Sonic Blast, the boss of Yellow Desert Zone has Robotnik's mech patterned after Sun Wukong.
  • A statue in Yang's stage of Street Fighter III Second Impact has a statue of Sun Wukong/Son Gokū himself trapped in his prison of Wuxingshan/Gogyouzan (lit. Five Elements Mountainnote though it's known as Wuzhishan/Goshizan (Five Fingers Mountain) in most Chinese sources), which can be broken if a strong enough impact occurs around it; doing so will have the Wukong/Gokū statue itself will be freed in prime condition.
  • Sun Wukong is the direct inspiration of the Warframe Wukong, with a powerset based on his most famous abilities like cloud walking and his staff which can grow infinitely large and wide. Fittingly, he was released in China's version of the game first before seeing a worldwide release; much like his fellow Chinese story-based Warframe Nezha.
  • Post-Journey Wukong (going by the pronunciation of Son Gokū in the Japanese version) is an antagonist in Warriors Orochi, implied to have gotten bored with the sacred realm and now running around causing trouble. Sanzang chases after him to try to get him back. When Sanzang in the third installment is recruited into the party, an allusion to the original journey is made, with Hideyoshi -> Wukong/Gokū, Goemon -> Bajie/Hakkai and Ling Tong -> Wujing/Gojou.
    • Ironically in Ling Tong's case, Sha Wujing/Gojou is even an NPC in the third installment. Oh by the way, Sanzang is a girl here.
  • The World Heroes series has a character based off of Sun Wukong, Son Gokuu.

    Web Animation 

  • In RWBY, where each character is based off a mythological or storybook character, Sun Wukong is an easygoing, rogueishmonkey faunus.

    Western Animation 

  • The Monkey King antagonized the heroes a few bank of america credit card student review in Jackie Chan Adventures, portrayed as The Prankster who fancies himself as the King of Comedy, but cursed with the form of a doll until somebody pulls his string.
    • The irony here is that this version of him in Japanese is voiced by Ryusei Nakao, who happens to be the voice of Frieza. Talk about having your voice portray a closer-to-original version of your nemesis.
  • Both Sun Wukong and Baigujing are major characters in Season 2 of Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny. The first episode of season two is even titled "Journey to the East".
  • An episode of Mighty Max involved him teaming up with four "washed up" literary/legendary figures from around the world; one of them was Sun Wukong, who had given up life as the Monkey King to laze about at a zoo.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The current holder of the Monkey Miraculous goes by King Monkey. According to the creators, Sun Wukong himself was a Monkey wielder.
  • Sun Wukong appears in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, revealed to be one of many sentient animals (the Egyptian deities, Quetzalcoatl, Professor Pericles, and Scooby himself included) that are members/descendants of a race of inter-dimensional beings who visited Earth and took the form of animals to assist mankind.

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In US college students’ first course on China, the challenge for instructors is to pack the maximum amount of punch into the experience so that the course will inspire them to seek more opportunities to learn about China at and beyond the college level. One way to achieve this goal is to use a rich text with many applications to help students unpack the complexities of Chinese history, language, politics, economics, and thought. For this purpose, the sixteenth-century novel The Journey to the West, with its many incarnations, is ideal.1 It features a rousing adventure story, which can be read as historical fiction, political satire, and religious allegory. The novel has been reproduced for many types of audiences in many different media, including children’s books, puppet shows, operas, comics, TV series, and movies; each version is different enough to allow instructors to discuss them in the context of important Chinese historical events and cultural elements. Because well-told stories help us make sense of the world, instructors can use this novel as a foundational element to facilitate students’ connections with and between the various elements of the course. In this article, we show how The Journey to the West and its multiple incarnations can be used to help students unpack the complexities of China as a subject and develop a critical awareness or appreciation for a culture different from their own. We first show how the story may be introduced in a way that sets students’ minds for embracing the immense complexity of humanity and Chinese culture. Then, we show how various elements and incarnations of the story can be used to facilitate discussions about some outstanding aspects of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Maoist China (1949–1976), and postreform Communist China.

A Glance at amazon alexa plug Journey to the West

Developed into its full length in the sixteenth century, the 100-chapter novel The Journey to the West (The Journey hereafter) is believed to have its historical basis in the epic pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang (c. 596–664) to India and has been a popular subject for storytellers since the late Tang dynasty. The fictionalized pilgrimage as depicted in the novel sees Xuanzang accompanied by four nonhuman disciples: Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy, and Dragon Horse. The four disciples have been expelled by the Daoist Celestial Court (i.e., Heaven) due to misbehaviors, but will beaccepted by the Bodhisattva Guanyin (AKA the Goddess of Mercy) into Buddhism on condition that they promise to assist Xuanzang’s pilgrimage.

The mischievous Monkey character and his dedicated master Xuanzang have the central roles in the novel, and the first thirteen chapters establish the backstories of how the two became destined for the journey. The exciting part of the tale begins in chapter 14, when Xuanzang releases Monkey from a mountain and together they embark on a journey filled with the humor of Monkey’s mischievous battles against bandits and demons, interspersed with moments of Buddhist enlightenment. Starting here, students get a taste of the original novel and are introduced to the two main characters. A useful in-class exercise is to brainstorm words to describe the two characters. Through this activity, students come to understand the complexity and contrast of the characters’ personalities and why this dynamic is so important not only for the success of the story, but also metaphorically for understanding the complex nature of Chinese culture and society. For example, how have the three distinct and often-contradictory teachings—Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism—been able to operate relatively harmoniously in the lived religious experience of everyday Chinese? An understanding of how each individual has contradictory tendencies and how a story needs such individuals to be successful will set students’ minds for embracing the complexity of the topics to be discussed in the course, such as the various adaptations of Monkey and The Journey, and how they relate to different aspects of China.

Learning about Traditional China through The Journey

Written in the late Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and based on a true event during the Tang dynasty (618–907), The Journey offers the opportunity to introduce two of the “golden eras” in Chinese history. With almost 4,000 years of written history, there is a lot of Chinese history to potentially cover, but for a course that seeks to introduce China studies through multiple disciplinary lenses, a focus on the Ming dynasty, alongside the more recent events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, may suffice. The chapter on the Ming in Patricia Ebrey’s Cambridge Illustrated History of China offers a vivid depiction of Ming society.2 After reading the chapter and watching episodes 2 and 3 from the 1986 TV series of The Journey, students can quickly map the hierarchical structure of the court of the Ming government onto that of the Celestial Court in The Journey.3 Students can also connect Monkey’s eagerness to seek a position in the Celestial Court with the civil service examination in the Ming dynasty.4 From these connections, students can get a sense of China’s hierarchical social structure and its traditional emphasis on self-improvement through education. These connections serve as foundations for students to understand the historical continuities and differences when discussing the political structure and educational system of contemporary China.

The history of the Ming dynasty is also important because it is one of the wealthiest eras in China’s history and has some interesting correlations with contemporary China, such as both being periods of international economic interactions. Employing The Journey as a fictional account of history offers a unique opportunity for the correspondences and differences between traditional and contemporary China to be highlighted and analyzed.

The syncretism of the three major teachings of traditional China, namely Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, culminated when Ming General and statesman Wang Yangming’s (1472–1529) teaching of “learning of the mind” became popularized in the empire. Inspired by Chan (Japanese, Zen) Buddhist philosophy, Wang emphasized that a true understanding of the essence of morality can only be achieved through cultivating one’s own mind, which means persistent personal enactment of moral principles. The Journey depicts the lived religious experience of everyday Chinese. To help appreciate the interplay of belief systems, students can read Asian Studies Professor Joseph Adler’s Chinese Religious Traditions, accompanied by some application exercises to highlight the distinct reasoning patterns of the three major teachings. Such application exercises might include asking students to play the roles of hardcore Confucianists, Daoists, and Buddhists, who are requested to comment on such phenomena as family reverence, gender roles, death, humanity, and the vicissitudes of life.

At this point, students begin to realize that the journey actually represents the ongoing effort to end attachment to worldly things such as fame and money, which often make the mind susceptible to moral corruption. Students will also be able to identify the Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist elements as they read other selected 1st edition machamp card value from the novel and view other adaptations of the story, such as the movie Conquering the Demons.5Conquering the Demons is a fun movie to watch, and it presents a lively and modern interpretation of The Journey as Buddhist allegory.6

The three major teachings and their syncretism should be included in an introductory course in their own right, but they also frame the Chinese worldview and inform people’s daily practices across much of East and Southeast Asia. A solid understanding can provide a useful lens for appreciating the perspectives and practices prevalent across the region. Further, discussing the three teachings offers the opportunity to remind students of the limitation of English translations of Chinese concepts, which is an important issue involved in cross-cultural studies. For example, the Chinese word zongjiao (the clan’s teaching), a compound that first appeared in Chinese translations of Buddhist sutras referring to different schools of Buddhist thoughts, has often been equated as religion and applied to Confucianism and Daoism.7 Reflecting on what they have learned about traditional Chinese thought, students may discuss whether the three teachings, especially Confucianism, count as “religions” in the English sense.

The fact that novels like The Journey proliferated during the Ming dynasty reveals the advanced printing technology and expanded readership during the period.8 This opens up a variety of different inquiries. For example, what kinds of books got printed? How was copyright handled? Who read the books? What social changes came with the printing technology? Questions like these lead students to discussions about various aspects of social life in the Ming, such as the role of media, censorship, literacy, leisure, and women’s education and social status. These topics could and should be revisited and expanded throughout the course. The roles of technology and media also provide a useful lens for understanding contemporary China.

Learning about Maoist China through The Journey

Maoist China refers to the period from the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 to the launch of the Reform and Opening Up initiative in 1978.9 The founding of the PRC was celebrated by much of the nation at the time as a great victory of the Chinese people over the oppression from imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism. Mao Zedong, the national leader of China from 1949 until 1976, was given the status of perfect hero or “the people’s great savior” by his cadres.10 Of course history proved that despite some positive reforms, Mao was, along with Stalin and Hitler, one the twentieth century’s most evil tyrants. It was in such historical context that the mischievous Monkey was transformed into a proletarian revolutionary hero, as depicted in the cartoon movie Havoc in Heaven (AKA The Monkey King) and several of its immediate antecedents in popular art forms and in print.11 To facilitate the discussion of the cartoon movie, background readings may include chapter 3 of Hongmei Home remedies for headache in temples book Transforming Monkey, which reviews the various adaptations of Monkey’s story up to the Mao years and discusses how the Monkey character was then transformed from trickster to hero.

From the 1963 cartoon movie’s depiction of the officials in the Celestial Court, students can see a prevalent Communist Chinese view of the backwardness of the alleged Chinese feudal system and the corruption of elites. By comparing the storyline of this cartoon with either the two episodes they have watched from the 1986 TV series, which also emphasize the story of Monkey’s uproar in Heaven, or chapters 3 to 7 in the novel, students will notice how the changes to the details of the cartoon make Monkey almost entirely an innocent victim of the Celestial Court. The cartoon’s ending with Monkey’s victory over the celestial troops without being subjugated by Buddha is also an interesting point for discussion. It symbolizes the victory of the proletarian revolutionaries, while ignoring religion.

Since media resources about Maoist China abound both online and in print, instructors can provide students with a list of events during this period, such as the Korean War (1950–1953), the Great Leap Forward (1958–1963), the China–USSR border dispute in the late 1960s, and the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Students can do research outside class and then present in class their analyses of why and how the events happened and were related. As a starting point, students should watch the documentary titled China: A Century of Revolution 1949–1976 on YouTube or read Clayton Brown’s EAA article, one of the most succinct and useful introductions to the Great Leap Forward.12 The research and discussions should get students ready for the economic reformto come, which has been the direct cause of the economic boom that lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of abject poverty and a series of side effects, including corruption, environmental issues, and intensifying social inequality.

Learning about Postreform Communist China through The Journey

The launch of the Reform and Opening Up initiative by Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997) in 1978 marked a new era for China. Through a series of dramatic economic reforms and opening China’s economy to the outside world by 1980, this initiative transformed China into, until a few years ago, the world’s fastest-growing industrializing country and now the world’s second-largest economy. The famous Taiwanese cartoonist Tsai Chih-Chung’s comic version Journey to the West, first published in 1987, is an amusing way to introduce how the story was adapted to mock the popular jetblue mastercard customer service practices and perspectives during the early days of the economic reform.13 The inclusion of this text allows instructors to remind students why The Journey remains relevant to China and Chinese peoples, as the numerous twentieth- and twenty-first-century adaptations demonstrate. It also offers a lighthearted insight into the impact of the economic reform period. Students may also read the first two chapters of Chinese–American journalist Leslie Chang’s Factory Girls and chapters from major contemporary Chinese author Yu Hua’s book China in Ten Words for vivid depictions of Chinese society during the economic boom, and discuss where China might go next.

Themes to be explored about contemporary China can revolve around media and the concept of “soft power.” Since the early twenty-first century, soft power has been a component of China’s national development strategy and the alleged goal of the PRC’s foreign policy. Media has been employed as an important tool for manipulating soft power. For some initial knowledge of media’s role in soft power, students may read the introduction and Wanning Sun’s chapter in Screening China’s Soft Power. Sun’s chapter raises the distinction between “soft power by design” and “soft power by accident.”14 A nice media resource is the BBC’s two-minute cartoon ad for the Beijing Olympics. The cartoon features Monkey’s “journey to the East,” assuming a familiarity with the story among at least the BBC portion of the world audience.15 A discussion of why the BBC chose Monkey for the ad will introduce students to questions about China’s viability for cultural export. Later in the course, The Journey can be related more directly to the Silk Road and in turn to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to be discussed in a later section.

For general knowledge of how different disciplines, such as economics and political science, have made sense of soft power and what soft power may mean for China, students can read China studies scholars Young Nam Cho and Jong Ho Jeong’s article “China’s Soft Power: Discussions, Resources, and Prospects” and social psychologist Kwang-kuo Hwang’s article “Face and Favor: The Chinese Power Game.” These readings present students with scholars’ ideas about China’s soft power potential and strategy. Cho and Jeong’s article also briefly describes the global context for China’s soft power initiative. To get a sense of China’s aggressiveness in cultural exports, students can read Media Studies Professor Aynne Kokas’s book Hollywood Made in China (particularly chapter 3), which discusses how China’s movie policy influences Hollywood, and media and democratic studies expert Shanthi Kalathil’s article “Beyond the Great Firewall,” which includes a comprehensive report of the measures China has been taking to manipulate the global information system.16 With background knowledge obtained from these readings, students will be able to generate interesting discussions as they view the media products produced in contemporary China, such as the ones to be discussed in the following sections.

As Chinese society drastically changes, Monkey also can you send money on zelle with a credit card a major transformation—from a fighter to a lover who struggles to find his own identity. The transformation was marked by Stephen Chow’s movie A Chinese Odyssey (1995). Produced by a Hong Kong director two years before Hong Kong’s return to China, this movie has been interpreted as Hong Kong’s uncertainty about its fate after returning to China.17 Discussion questions invite students to consider the symbolism of Joker’s (a human bandit leader who is initially unaware that he is the reincarnation of Monkey) resistance against transforming back into the hero Monkey. Further, the ending, which leaves the viewer with a deep sense of sadness and helplessness, can spark discussions about the physical and emotional losses that the characters undergo in their spiritual journey and the hard choices they are forced to make in order for their journey to be successful.

It is also worth comparing A Chinese Odyssey with the same director’s 2013 adaptation of The Journey, Conquering the Demons. A comparison of the different endings of the movies will make students curious about events occurring during the years between the two movies, notably the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and the CCP’s increasing interference in Hong Kong’s administration. The comparison can also illustrate the fall of Hong Kong’s Cantopop (i.e., pop music sung in Cantonese) in the age of China.18 Reflecting this language shift, the 2013 movie adaptation, though produced in Hong Kong, is made in Mandarin instead of Cantonese and features more actors from Mainland China.

Aside from facilitating discussions of the politics and economics of language use in contemporary media, it is fair to say that A Chinese Odyssey has started a fad in more recent productions of The Journey. Not only do new movie adaptations of The Journey come out almost every year, there have also been cartoons, games, online novels, and even songs inspired by Monkey. Jin Hezai’s novel Wu Kong, first posted online in 2000, became so well-received in China that it was republished in print the following year. The novel is not available in English yet, but a movie adaptation of the same name, directed by Derek Kwok, was released in 2017, starring Eddie Peng, Shawn Yue, and Oho Ou, all of whom are popular young faces on the screen in China.

Wu Kong may fhn learning commons watched in its own right for its award-winning action choreography and the rebel spirit demonstrated by Monkey and his fellow fighters. The movie can be seen as an allegory of the individual fighting against the authoritarian system, which is represented by the Destiny Council in the movie.19 Every 1,000 years, the Destiny Council administrates an exam to choose new immortals who can join the Destiny Academy and become candidates for positions in the Destiny Council. This exam mirrors China’s gaokao (college entrance examination), which brings about dramatic effects on people’s lives. Discussions of the movie can be supplemented with readings about China’s education system, especially the preparation and consequences of gaokao.20 Students can explore gaokao independently and share their findings in class.

When connecting Wu Kong and gaokao, discussions can be guided to the role of family and authority/face in China. This brings back the Confucian worldview, whose fundamental metaphor is the family. In the Confucian tradition, the goal of self-cultivation is to keep the family in order, which is the prerequisite for being a leader who can put the nation in order and bring peace to the world. This understanding of the Chinese worldview becomes critical for coming to terms with some of the other elements of contemporary China’s engagement with the rest of the globe.21

The concepts of family and authority/face, by themselves may sound familiar to students, but their unique interactions in Chinese society may go beyond students’ imaginations. A discussion of these concepts in relation to business practices and China’s foreign policy can provide very important lenses for understanding contemporary Chinese society and its global ambition, epitomized by the BRI and “the Chinese dream,” both associated with current Chinese President Xi Jinping.22 The BRI has been a hot topic in the media, so after briefly introducing the “belt” and the journey to the west 3 movie with a map, instructors may ask students to each identify a country of their interest and do research to find out what the BRI might mean for that country. Sharing their findings will provide the class with a more general picture of what the Chinese dream may entail and how China’s “journey to the West” may have extended beyond seeking the true teachings of Buddha from India and been geared toward exporting the traditional China-centered world order through the BRI.

Discussions about the China-centered world order will involve reviewing the Confucian concepts of self, family, nation, and the world (or tianxia in Chinese). Zhang Yimou’s movie Hero (2012) serves as an illustration of how a peaceful tianxia is traditionally believed to be achieved. Comparing the sacrifices and contributions of credit card generator with cvv and expiration date with money protagonists in Hero and those of the protagonists in The Journey, students may consider the traditional Chinese ideal of “hero,” how it may adapt to the contemporary context, and how it differs from their own culture. This discussion may also lead to a discussion of China’s projected global role in the remainder of the twenty-first century and how it may be received by the rest of the world.


The purpose of an introductory course is to get students interested enough and academically prepared to explore the complexity and novelties of the subject. Using The Journey as the foundational element for an introductory course on China, instructors will be able to provide a tantalizing glimpse at the breadth of Chinese history, demonstrate the continuing importance of that history for understanding today’s China, and help students develop a critical awareness and appreciation for Chinese society and culture. The various adaptations of The Journey give students ready inroads for exploring the relevant content for an introductory course on China and introduce them to a variety of lenses to appreciate another culture while critically reflecting on their own.


1. Since a few selected chapters will suffice for the purpose of the course, we recommend using an English version of the full novel. This could be either W. J. F. Jenner’s Journey to the West, 4 vols., reprint ed. (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1984) or Anthony C. Yu’s The Journey to the West, 4 vols., revised ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).

2. Patricia B. Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 190– 219. The titles suggested in this article are intended to be taken as suggestions found to be useful from experience rather than prescriptive requirements.

3. The 1986 TV series produced by CCTV is probably the version understood as the most authentic for many Chinese people. When the names of the characters of The Journey are mentioned, the images created by this TV series would be what many Chinese people picture in their minds.

4. The discussion about civil service examinations can be connected with contemporary China’s college entrance examination, AKA gaokao. Background readings may include Benjamin A. Elman’s article “Civil Service Examinations” in Education in China: Educational History, Models, and Initiatives, ed. Qiang Zha, Ruth Hayhoe, and Heidi Ross (Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing, 2013); chapter 6 of Yong Zhao’s book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (San Francisco: Jossey–Bass, 2014); and Hoi K. Suen and Lan Yu’s article “Chronic Consequences of High-Stakes Testing? Lessons from the Chinese Civil Service Exam” in Comparative Education Review 50, no. 1 (2006): 46–65.

5. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, directed by Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok (Hong Kong: Bingo Movie Development, 2013).

6. The movie Conquering the Demons may be seen as essentially about the spiritual transformation of Xuanzang, who was eventually able to get rid of his worldly attachments by facing and conquering them one by one. The three demons, whom Xuanzang encountered and conquered with the help of the demon hunter Ms. Duan (whose family name shares the same sound as the Chinese word for “to cut off”), may each symbolize a stubborn worldly attachment. That the conquered demons became Xuanzang’s companions on his journey to the west may be a symbol of his spiritual maturity as a Buddhist pilgrim.

7. Shenglai Zhou, “Origin and Evolution of zongjiao, a Word in Chinese,” Journal of Shanghai Normal University (Philosophy & Social Science Edition) 40, no. 5 (2011): 114–119. According to Zhou, the use of zongjiao as the Mandarin counterpart for “religion” is actually a nineteenth-century borrowing from the Japanese, who expanded the meaning of the term to match the Western concept.

8. Two useful readings on these topics are Anne E. McLaren’s chapter “Constructing New Reading Publics in Late Ming China,” in Cynthia J. Brokaw and Chow Kai-wing, eds. Printing and Book Culture in Late Imperial China (Berkeley: University journey to the west 3 movie California Press, 2005) and Raymond Chang’s article “The Renaissance of Book Arts in the Ming Period,” The Journal of Library History (1974–1987) 16, no. 3 (1981): 501–508. 9.We readily acknowledge that events between the Ming dynasty and the Communist China period, such as two opium wars and two world wars, left significant traces on Chinese and world history. However, the Communist China period is more relevant to the students, most of whom (if they are interested in Asia at all) are interested in career opportunities outside the academic field. Therefore, it is appropriate for an introductory course to put more emphasis on Communist China when talking about modern China.

10. This term has been extracted from the Chinese song titled “The East Is Red,” whose lyrics idealize Mao as a perfect hero. This song was the de facto national anthem of the People’s Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

11. Hongmei Sun, what restaurants are open near me today on thanksgiving Monkey (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018), 83.

12. Clayton Brown, “China’s Great Leap Forward,” Education About Asia 17, no. 3 (2012): 29–34.

13. For instance, the social phenomena mocked in the chapter “A Duel with Buddha” include pirating, pursuit for instant profits, the enthusiasm for studying abroad in the USA, the serious littering at tourist sites, 1st premier home health care attraction of the movie industry, and the popularity of instant noodles and other Western goods such as perfume, etc. Tsai Chi-Chung’s Journey to the West comic series is now available in English versions and bilingual versions. For the purpose of the course, selected chapters from the English translations published by Asiapac Books Pte. Ltd. in 1993 would suffice. For interested readers, the entire set of thirty-eight volumes were made available in 2006 by Modern Publishing House in China.

14. Wanning Sun, “Soft Power by Accident or by Design,” in Screening China’s Soft Power, eds. Paola Voci and Luo Hui (London: Routledge, 2017), 196.

15. Ollie Williams, “Monkey’s Journey Begins,” BBC Sport, May 28, 2008,

16. Articles and books mentioned in this paragraph: Young Nam Cho and Jong Ho Jeong, “China’s Soft Power: Discussions, Resources, and Prospects,” Asian Survey 48, no. 3 (2008): 453–472; Kwang-kuo Hwang’s “Face and Favor: The Chinese Power Game,” American Journal of Sociology 92, no. 4 (1987): 944 –974; Aynne Kokas, Hollywood Made in China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017); and Shanthi Kalathil, “Beyond the Great Firewall,” Center for International Media Assistance, accessed April 4, 2019,

17. A Chinese Odyssey, directed by Stephen Chow (Beijing: Xi’an Film Studio, 1995). Also see Hongmei Sun, Transforming Monkey, 95.

18. Yiu-Wai Chu, Hong Kong Cantopop (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2017), 184–195.

19. Wu Kong, directed by Derek Wong (Beijing: New Classics Media, 2017). Based upon the 2000 online novel Wu Kong’s Biography by Jin Hezai. See also Derek Elley, “Review: Wu Kong (2017),” Sino-Cinema, 2017, accessed July 20, 2018,

20. See note 4 above for suggested readings on gaokao.

21. Some background readings about the China-centered world associated bank locations racine wi may include David Bell’s chapter “Realizing Tianxia: Traditional Values and China’s Foreign Policy,” in Chinese Visions of World Order, ed. Ban Wang (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017) and Suisheng Zhao’s article “Rethinking the Chinese World Order: The Imperial Cycle and the Rise of China,” Journal of Contemporary China 24, no. 96 (2015): 961–982.

22. The Chinese Dream, popularized in 2013, refers to the personal and national ideals for individuals and the government in China, including Chinese prosperity, collective effort, socialism, and national glory.

JIANFEN WANG is Assistant Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies at Berea College. She specializes in Chinese pedagogy and curriculum design. She is coauthor of Perform Suzhou: A Course in Intermediate to Advanced Spoken Mandarin, a volume in the Perform China series.

GORDON GRAY is Associate Professor of Media and Culture at Berea College. His academic specialization includes visual culture and media in Southeast Asia. Gordon’s publications have focused on the intersection of popular culture and society.

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