Saturday, September 20, 2008

Anthony C. Yu

Anthony C. Yu is a literature and religion scholar. He is currently the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.

Best known for his four-volume translation of The Journey to the West, he coedited Morphologies of Faith: Essays in Religion and Culture in Honor of Nathan A. Scott, Jr. He has also published Rereading the Stone: Desire and the Making of Fiction in “Dream of the Red Chamber.” His latest book is State and Religion in China: Historical and Textual Perspectives.

He has studied at Fuller Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago .

Zhu Bajie

Zhu Bajie , also named ''Zhu Wuneng'' , is one of the three helpers of in the classic Chinese novel ''Journey to the West''. He is called "Pigsy" or "Pig" in many versions of the story.

Zhu Bajie is a complex and developed character in the novel. He looks like a terrible monster, part human and part pig, who often gets himself and his companions into trouble by his laziness, his gluttony, and his propensity for lusting after pretty women. He is jealous of Wukong and always tries to bring him down. His Buddhist name "Zhu Wuneng", given by bodhisattva , means "pig who is ability, or pig who rises to power", a reference to the fact that he values himself so much as to forget his own grisly appearance. Xuanzang gave him the nickname ''Bājiè'' which means "eight " to remind him of his Buddhist diet. He is often seen as the most outgoing of the group. In the original Chinese novel, he is often called ''dāizi'' , meaning "idiot". Sun Wukong, Xuanzang and even the author refer to him as "idiot" over the course of the story. Bodhisattvas and other heavenly beings usually refer to him as "Heavenly Tumbleweed."


Zhu Bajie's name is composed of three characters: ''Zhū'' which means "pig", and ''Bājiè'', which means "Eight Prohibitions". His name was formerly Zhū ''Liùjiè'' , ''liù'' meaning "six". When he committed two more sins, however, his name was changed to ''Bājiè''.


Zhu Bajie originally held the title of ''Tiānpéng Yuánshuǎi'' , commander-in-chief of 80,000 Heavenly Navy Soldiers. When Sun Wu Kong was born, he was a giant demon. Tiānpéng Yuánshuǎi defeated him and he was granted his present title. He was later banished, however, for misbehaviour. At a party organized for all the significant figures in Heaven, Bajie saw the for the first time and was captivated by her beauty. Following a drunken attempt to get close to her, she reported this to the Jade Emperor and thus he was banished to Earth. In some retellings of the story, his banishment is linked to Sun Wukong's downfall. In any case, he was exiled from Heaven and sent to be reincarnated on Earth, where by mishap he fell into a pig farm and was reborn as a man-eating pig-monster known as ''Zhū Gāngliè'' .

In the earlier portions of ''Journey to the West'', Wukong and Xuanzang come to Gao village and find that a daughter of the village elder had been kidnapped and the abductor left a note demanding marriage. After some investigations, Wukong found out that Bajie was the "villain" behind this. He fought with Wukong, but ended the fight when he learned that Wukong is a servant of Xuanzang, revealing that he had been recruited by Guanyin to join their pilgrimage and make atonements for his sins .

Like his fellow disciples, Bajie has supernatural powers. He knows 36 transformations. Like his fellow disciple, Sha Wujing, his combat skills underwater are superior to that of Wukong. The novel makes use of constant imagery and Bajie is most closely linked to the Wood element, as seen by another one of his nicknames, ''Mùmǔ'' .

At the end of the novel, most of Bajie's fellow pilgrims achieve enlightenment and become or arhats, but he does not; although much improved, he is still too much a creature of his base desires. He is instead rewarded for his part in the pilgrimage's success with a job as "Cleanser of the Altars" and all the leftovers he can eat.

As a weapon, he wields a , a nine-tooth iron muck- from Heaven that weighs roughly 5,048 kilos .

Popular culture

In the manga '''' and the anime '''', ''Dragon Ball Z'' and Dragon Ball GT, there is a pig named which is loosely based on Zhu Bajie; he is greedy, ugly, stupid and has the shape-changing ability.

'''', an anime and manga loosely based on ''Journey to the West'', features a major character named is loosely based on Zhu Bajie; indeed, ''Cho Hakkai'' is Japanese for ''Zhu Bajie'', as is his previous name ''Cho Gonou'' . Hakkai, being gentle and polite, and hardly resembling anything but a human, is nothing like Bajie. However, in a team of impostors who take the party's place in a few episodes, Hakkai's counterpart is in fact a slobbish glutton.

In the anime ''InuYasha'', Zhu Bajie's descendant is a demon named Chokyukai that abducts young unmarried women and takes them to his palace.

The Capcom arcade game '''', also loosely based on ''Journey to the West'', features a character drawn from Zhu Bajie in the form of the second-player character Tonton.

Xuanzang (fictional character)

The fictional character Xuanzang is a central character of the classic novel ''Journey to the West''.
For most of the novel he is known as ''-sānzàng'', the title Sānzàng referring to his mission to seek the ''Sānzàngjīng'', the "Three Collections of Scriptures". In some translations, the title is rendered as Tripitaka . He is also commonly referred to as Táng-sēng , which is a courtesy name that, like the former name, reflects his status as the adopted "brother" of the emperor, Taizong. As "Tripitaka" he is a leading character in the cult Japanese Television series .


In the story, he is constantly terrorized by monsters and demons because of a legend that they would obtain immortality by eating the flesh of a holy man. While he is a pacifist who has no fighting ability of his own, he is flanked by his three powerful disciples - Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing - themselves "monsters" who have vowed to protect him on his journey in order to atone for their sins in Heaven; while the heavenly origins of Wukong are up for debate, both Bajie and Wujing were once minor deities in Heaven who were cast to Earth for their wrongdoings.

Historical background

Xuanzang is partly modelled after the historical Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk , whose life was the book's inspiration; the real Xuanzang made a perilous journey on foot from China to to obtain Buddhist sutras.

In recent years, a mural on the wall of a mountain pass on the way to the China/India border was discovered that is purported to show the real Xuanzang flanked by a small hairy man that some scholars have theorized might have been the inspiration for the character of the Monkey King.

Wu Cheng'en

Wu Cheng'en , courtesy name Ruzhong , was a Chinese novelist and poet of the Ming Dynasty. He was born in . He studied in ancient Nanjing University for more than 10 years.

His most famous novel is ''Journey to the West'', in which, among other fantastic adventures the monk encounters the Flaming Mountains. The novel has been enjoyed by many generations of Chinese and is the most popular Chinese classic folk novel. A popular translation of the novel is by Arthur Waley and entitled . However, it has been condensed from the original three volume text to a single volume and is not suitable for study. It is, nonetheless. an excellent introduction to this monumental work and makes the uncondensed version easier to follow.

Wu's poetry focused on the expression of emotions, and for this reason his work has been compared to that of Li Bai.

White Soft-shelled Turtle

White Soft-shelled Turtle a character featured within the famed ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West. This ancient white turtle is an entity from Heaven that had performed ill deeds on accident and is now forced to roam around the eastern River of Heaven. After Sun Wukong and the others retrieve two children from the hands of a sinister demon, they are thanked greatly by the Chen family and continue on their way through the River of Heaven. This is at the point in which the ancient white turtle is seen for the first time. After the large turtle leads Sanzang and his disciples across the river, he pleads for Sanzang to ask the lord Tathagata when he is to be converted and how long he is to live. Unfortunately however after meeting with the Tathagata, Sanzang never remembered to ask about the turtle. After Sanzang and the others were returning to China atop this white turtle once again – at the point in which they were dropped half way to China to complete their 81st ordeal – the large white turtle asks Sanzang as like many years before about his future. The ashamed Sanzang does not say anything, leading for the white turtle to submerge himself in rage which would have normally drowned the Tang priest. After Sanzang and the others reached shore and dried off their ancient scriptures, this ancient white turtle would never truly be shown again in its dismay.

Tawny Lion

* ''see also: Journey to the West main article

Tawny Lion a character featured within the famous ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West. Tawny Lion is first featured around Chapter 89, in which he stole all three of Sanzang’s disciples weapons by absorbing them and running back off to his family. Pig and Friar Sand, along with Sun Wukong later end up sneaking into Tawny Lion’s palace-forest area disguised as two of Tawny Lion’s demon underlings. After they retrieve their weapons, they fight against Tawny Lion. As revealed during the fight, Tawny Lion wields a long golden halberd-like weapon that he uses with superb skill. Tawny Lion is defeated after a short amount of time. He then flees to his grandfather’s for support. After he, along with his grandfather head back to the main direction to attack the city in which Sun Wukong had been, Tawny Lion comes across his original forest-palace, only in great ruins. Tawny Lion sees his fellow family members lying slaughtered. This leads to him even attempting suicide – smashing head against a large rock – but he is quickly stopped by his demon allies. Tawny Lion vows ultimate revenge against Sun Wukong during this point with tears flowing from his eyes. During the mist of the night, in which Greenface designs their plan, Tawny Lion sets out in attempt to capture Wukong, Pig, and Friar Sand, which is part of the plan. After Tawny Lion’s hatred explodes against Wukong, a fine duel ensues. Wukong manages however to seize a moment of distraction in Tawny Lion to deliver a fatal blow upon his body. Thus, this golden haired lion spirit died while never being able to have revenge.

Square Gao

Square Gao a minor character featured within the famed ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West. Square Gao is the head of Gao Village, in which he is always complaining about his son-in-law. This son-in-law of his happens to be Zhu Bajie, a sex crazed pig. Zhu Bajie had forced Square Gao his son-in-law so that he could attain his daughter as his own wife. As later seen, Bajie eats up all the food that Square Gao has as his daughter's "husband". After Sanzang and Wukong arrive to this village, Square Gao immediately appears before them and pleads for a request to rescue his daughter. After Wukong is in the process of rescueing his daughter, Square Gao effectively calls out his daughter's name and she is effectively saved. After the whole issue is resolved, Square Gao awards Wukong and Sanzang greatly with a banquet and expresses his utmost thanks. After this arc, Square Gao is never shown again at any point.