In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, this week we take a look at China’s most famous demonic simian, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and his Journey to the West guarding the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. Then we’ll look at the historical 15 year long westward journey of Xuanzang as he seeks sutras from India to bring enlightenment to China.
Time Period Covered:
Major Historical Figures:
San Zang Master Xuanzang (Chen Hui) [602-664]
Major Fictional Figures:
Sun Wukong (The Handsome Monkey King, Mei Hou Wang)
Zhu Bajie (Pig of the Eight Commandments)
Sha Wujing (The Sandy Friar)
Bodhisattva Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy and Compassion)
Major Works Cited:
Wu, Chang’en, The Journey to the West (1592).
Xuanzang, Da Tang Xiyu Ji (Great Tang Records of the Western Regions) (646).
“The History of Xuan Zang.” http://www.vbtutor.net/Xiyouji/history.htm
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang) (602—664 C.E.)” web.archive.org/web/2013011608330….edu/xuanzang/#H1
Cao, Shibang. “Fact vs. Fiction” in Dust in the Wind: Retracing Dharma Master Xuanzang’s Western Pilgrimage
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