Journey to the West

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  • Chinese/Japanese: 西遊記 (Xī Yóu Jì / saiyuuki)

The Journey to the West, known in Japanese as Saiyûki, and also sometimes known simply as Monkey in English, is considered one of the Four Classic Ming Dynasty Novels, along with the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, and The Plum in the Golden Vase. First published in 1592 and based on the Tang Dynasty journey of the monk Xuanzang to India, it is the fantastical story of Sūn Wùkōng (J: Son Gokû), also known as the Monkey King, one of four supernatural disciples assigned by the Buddha himself to accompany Xuanzang and protect him from danger.

The manga and anime series Dragon Ball is loosely based on the story. Numerous plays, TV shows, films, and so forth in both China and Japan retell the famous story.


  • Conrad Schirokauer, et al, A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations, Fourth Edition, Cengage Learning (2012), 254.