Goku mythology

Goku mythology DEFAULT
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#1  Edited By TakenStew22

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Vs.

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Rules

  • Standard feats from mythology versions, not Dragon Ball or Marvel Comics (lol).
  • Both are bloodlusted
  • Win by death or K.O., no BFR
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#3 deactivated-60c27d87637fa

I know very little about both but from what i remember,

Strength: Thor is pretty strong lifting up the midgard serpent on accident (twice), and causing large damage to mountains when he met utgard loki (not to be confused with actual loki). Sun is strong himself, he broke the five phases mountains that was keeping him trapped for hundreds of years after Tripitaka removed the seal.

Speed: I don't remember any speed feats for myth Thor and depending on translation Sun's best speed feat can be as impressive as crossing the universe and back in like 10 minutes to crossing to the edge of heaven which we don't really know the size of.

Versatility: I would say goes to Sun since he knows a lot of magic and has all those transformations.

Durability: Thor's able to tank attacks from people within the same strength class as him so he should be pretty durable, but Sun is literally immortal in four or five different ways.

Honestly I can't really give a solid answer on this since I don't know enough about the two and the fact that their stories get mistranslated sometimes doesn't help.

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#7 KrisBishop

I'm half-decent on Sun Wukong's mythology so if someone could post Thor's feats I can try to come up with a winner.

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#8 TakenStew22

@gateofbabylon said:

I'm half-decent on Sun Wukong's mythology so if someone could post Thor's feats I can try to come up with a winner.

I'll just keep bumping this thread until then.

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#10 deactivated-60c27d87637fa

Yeah I'm thinking Sun might win due to his versatility, speed, and several layers of immortality, I could still be wrong though.

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#11 deactivated-5e7e2f86da4c4

The monkey king is unkillable, can make an army of himself, and can easily blitz. Thor's greater strength and destructive power doesn't matter.

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#12 deactivated-5dbe38e11d7b7

Thor took the power of a neutron star, and he has a one-shot weapon, so he can kill base Goku before he transforms.

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#13 deactivated-60c27d87637fa

@reevjar said:

Thor took the power of a neutron star, and he has a one-shot weapon, so he can kill base Goku before he transforms.

did you not read the op.

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#14 Wot_m8

Sun Wukong is immortal and has some crazy myths. Not sure if Thor can match that.

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#15  Edited By ReiTigerstar

Monkey would tear Thor apart. He has like 5 flavors of immortality plus a significant speed, versatility, and skill advantage.

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#16 deactivated-60c27d87637fa

Yeah Thor's only real advantage hear is strength but that isn't enough to close the gap between every advantage Monkey has.

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#19 Beyond_Dreams

Impossible to tell. I'm going to go with Thor because I adore norse mythology.

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#20 Beyond_Dreams

Isn't it against the rules to have religious figures in battles on CV?

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#21 TakenStew22

@beyond_dreams said:

Isn't it against the rules to have religious figures in battles on CV?

Only biblical ones I believe.

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#23 IndomitableRegal

Pfft. Thursday becomes Sunday. Then the Monkey King decides to claim the actual Sunday and turn new Sunday into Wukongday.

@takenstew22 said:

@beyond_dreamssaid:

Isn't it against the rules to have religious figures in battles on CV?

Only biblical ones I believe.

I think both are treated more as mythological figures than religious ones.

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#24 Beyond_Dreams

@indomitableregal: Just because not as many preaches them doesn't it make them less believable than the Abrahamic religions. I live in Sweden and I have friends all over Scandinavia who are actually preaching the religion to an extent.

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#28 Cergic

Thor is not winning this. His absolute best feats in the mythology combat-wise is oneshotting some giant-leaders, WWE-lifting the midgard serpent and killing it but dying himself. His best durability feat is to survive the weight of the snake, drinking parts of the ocean and Wrestling with time for an impressive duration.

But that pales in comparison to his opponent.

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#29 MErulezall

@cergic said:

Thor is not winning this. His absolute best feats in the mythology combat-wise is oneshotting some giant-leaders, WWE-lifting the midgard serpent and killing it but dying himself. His best durability feat is to survive the weight of the snake, drinking parts of the ocean and Wrestling with time for an impressive duration.

But that pales in comparison to his opponent.

What can his opponent do?

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#30 Cergic

@merulezall:

Afaik he can use that staff of his to smash mountains and blitz left and right. He has some superhuman like skills like freeze breath and x-ray vision. I think he defeated every single diety and warrior in the novels as well. Cannot recall too well

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#32 The_Hajduk

Both are more overpowered than their popular counterparts. Mythological Thor is more like a god than Marvel Thor and he legitimately smashes any body with one strike of his Mjolnir. Meanwhile Wukong has his own godly weapon, and as mentioned he has a ridiculous speed feat, like Flash-level speed, and his strength is at least enough that mountains are nothing for him to lift and smash.

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#34 cosmicallyaware1

@ig-88b said:

The monkey king is unkillable, can make an army of himself, and can easily blitz. Thor's greater strength and destructive power doesn't matter.

yup

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#35 Hypnos0929

Unless Thor can trick the monkey king or trap him under a mountain he can't win. Also can M.K even kill Thor? We're talking about a guy who trashes armies of giants, lowered the world's ocean levels in 3 gulps, has lifted part of the midgard serpent, and created mountains with the force of his swings.

Monkey King's best advantage is his immortality but unless he gets the hammer away from Thor he's gonna be fighting for a very very l9ng time.

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#36 TakenStew22

Bump. Never thought this was gonna get alot of replies. This is interesting.

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#37 NightwingX

Sun Wukong stomps. Way better feats

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#38 deactivated-5e7e2f86da4c4

@hypnos0929: I'm pretty sure the mountain wasn't what actually kept Monkey down, he was sealed there magically. Not just him, but Pig and Sandy also have mountain busting feats.

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#39 Mee09

Sun Wukong is too smart for Thor. Myth Thor would only need to hit him once. But he'll never land that hit. Also it's debatable if it even would kill him as Sun Wukong erased his name from The Book of Life and Death.

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#40 ComanderMurf

Decent Son wukong respect thread. He is an absolute monster.

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#44 gabrielbelmont

sun wukong is Multiverse level(The Buddha is capable of encompassing 10^125 Universes, Wukong should be at least somewhat comparable)

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#45  Edited By Limitless82

Don't know much about mythical Thor, Wukong however is extremely intelligent when it comes to combat and not afraid to resort to dirty trickery even if he can't win physically.

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#47 deactivated-60c27d87637fa

Yeah I'm not sure Thor has a good advantage even in strength. The best feat I can remember him having is lifting the midgard serpent on accident, (twice), but that's lifting strength, when it comes to striking strength he can leave valley sized dents in mountains but Wukong's got that beat with him busting and entire mountain when he first got released from Buddha's seal.

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#49 Red_Leader

*Son Wu Kong, Son Goku is a way different name*

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#50 TakenStew22

@red_leader said:

*Son Wu Kong, Son Goku is a way different name*

Son Goku is his Japanese name. Same thing.

Sours: https://comicvine.gamespot.com/forums/battles-7/thor-norse-mythology-vs-son-goku-chinese-mythology-2052606/

Sun Wukong

Sūn Wùkōng, in the West often called Monkey King or simply Monkey, is a main character in the Chinese novel Journey to the West. He is a prominent cultural and folkloric figure across Asia.

Life[]

Wùkōng begins life as a rock on the Mountain Huaguo, which the winds shape into a monkey that becomes supernaturally animated. He soon becomes leader of a tribe of monkeys who take up safe residence in the Cave of the Water Curtain. Wùkōng reigns happily over the monkeys for many years until he finally begins to realize his own mortality. Seeking a way to become immortal, Wùkōng first trains under a Buddhist patriarch and masters many magic spells. When the Ten Judges of the Dead come to collect him, he fights back, managing to erase his name and all the monkeys’ names from the Book of Life and Death. Kings of Heaven report him to the Jade Emperor for this wrongdoings.

At the immortals' residence on Mount Pénglái, Wùkōng is appointed Keeper of the Heavenly Horses to keep him out of trouble. When he finds out what a low rank this really is, he rebels, appointing himself "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven". After a long fight, the gods are forced to recognize this title, and Wùkōng is appointed guardian of Xī Wáng Mǔ's heavenly peach garden. When he learns that the Bā Xiān have excluded him from an important banquet, he rebels again, stealing Xī Wáng Mǔ's peaches of immortality, Lao Tzu's pills of longevity, and the Jade Emperor’s royal wine, devouring them all. He then returns to the Cave of the Water Curtain, where the Army of Heaven attacks. Wùkōng defeats the entire army as well as Erlang Shen, heaven's greatest general.

Buddha finally traps Wùkōng in a mountain, under a seal with the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. Here he remains until Guānyīn makes him Xuánzàng's disciple. He accompanies Xuánzàng on the journey to retrieve sutras from India, alternatively protecting his companions and causing mischief. Wùkōng ultimately achieves enlightenment and becomes a Buddha, finally getting his long-desired immortality.

Possessions[]

  • Fèngchìzǐjinguān (鳳翅紫金冠)/"Phoenix-feather Cap": One of the treasures of the Dragon Kings, Ào Qin gives this to him in order to get rid of him when he acquires the Rúyì Jīn Gū Bàng.
  • 鎖子黃金甲/ "golden chain mail": One of the treasures of the Dragon Kings; Ào Run gives this to him in order to get rid of him when he acquires the Rúyì Jīn Gū Bàng.
  • Magical Headband: Not so much a possession as a trap; Guanyin gives Xuánzàng this headband to help him keep Wùkōng under control. A special chant causes the headband to tighten, inflicting terrible pain.
  • Ǒusībùyúnlǚ (藕絲步雲履)/"cloud-stepping boots" or "cloud-stepping shoes": Made of lotus fiber, these are one of the treasures of the Dragon Kings; Ào Ming gives them to him in order to get rid of him when he acquires the Rúyì Jīn Gū Bàng.
  • Rúyì Jīn Gū Bàng (如意金箍棒)/"Magic Golden-Clasped Rod" or "Ideal Golden-bound Cudgel": His primary weapon, originally an iron rod used to measure the depth of the sea. The Rúyì Jīn Gū Bàng was given to him by Ào Guǎng. The staff weighs 13,500 jin (8.1 tons), but Wùkōng can lift it easily and change it to any size. He usually shrinks it to the size of a sewing needle and puts it behind his ear when he is not using it.

Abilities[]

  • 72 Bian/"72 Transformations": Allows him to shapeshift into almost any form—however, he is never able to transform his tail. He can also transform each of the 84,000 hairs on his body into another form, animate or inanimate, and often bites the hairs into pieces to create even more copies.
  • Bi Huo Jue/"Fire Avoidance Charm": Allows him to survive fire.
  • Bi Shui Jue/"Water Avoidance Charm": Allows him to survive deep water; however, he is unable to fight while using this ability.
  • Body Freezing Spell: Allows him to immobilize enemies.
  • Huǒyǎn-jīnjīng(火眼金睛)/"fiery-eyes golden-gaze": Allows him to identify evil no matter what form it takes; however, it also causes smoke to sting his eyes. Wùkōng acquired this ability after Lao Tzu traps Wùkōng in his cauldron for 49 days, attempting to distill him as punishment.
  • Jie Suo Fa/"Lock-Breaking Spell": Allows him to point a finger or his staff and open any lock.
  • Jīndǒuyún/"cloud-somersault" or “cloud trapeze”: Allows him to cover 108,000 li (54,000 km, 33,554 mi) in a single leap.
  • Protective Circle: Allows him to erect an impassible barrier by drawing a circle on the ground with his staff.
  • Shen Wai Shen Fa/"Body Outside of Body": Specifically refers to his ability to transform his hairs into fighting clones of himself.
  • Summoning: Allows him to summon local deities.
  • Wind: Allows him to summon strong winds and storms.

Names and Titles[]

Names[]

Sūn Wùkōng is also known as:

  • Cantonese: Suen Ng Hung (孫悟空/孙悟空)
  • English: Monkey King or Monkey
  • Japanese: Son Gokū (そん ごくう)
  • Korean: Son Oh Gong (손오공)
  • Thai: Heng Chia (เห้งเจีย) or Sun Ngo Khong (ซุนหงอคง)
  • Vietnamese: Tôn Ngộ Không
  • Dòu-zhànshèng-fó (鬥戰勝佛)/”Victorious Fighting Buddha”: His name once he achieves enlightenment and becomes a Buddha.
  • Měi Hóuwáng (美猴王)/”Handsome Monkey King”: This is not so much praise of his appearance as it is a jab at his large ego.
  • Shí Hóu (石猴)/”Stone Monkey”: His first name, which refers to the fact that he was supernaturally created from a stone.
  • Sūn Wùkōng (孫悟空)/”Monkey Awakened to Emptiness”: His Buddhist name given to him by the Patriarch.
  • Xíngzhě (行者)/”Ascetic”: This name refers to a wandering monk, a priest’s servant, or anyone leading an ascetic lifestyle. The monk Xuánzàng addresses Wùkōng as this after Wùkōng joins him on his quest for the sutras.

Titles[]

  • Bìmǎwēn (弼馬溫): The title of the Keeper of the Heavenly Horses, a lofty-sounding position that is actually one of the lowest in the Jade Emperor’s court. Wùkōng originally takes this position thinking that it is a much higher rank; when he discovers the truth, he smashes the stables, frees the horses, and quits. Enemies later use this title to taunt him, and he generally refuses to talk about or acknowledge his time as keeper of the horses.
  • Qítiān Dàshèng (齊天大聖)/”Great Sage Equal of Heaven”: He gives himself this title, which would be high-ranking had it existed. He is so persistent about deserving this title that the Jade Emperor eventually gives in, making the Qítiān Dàshèng the guardian of Xī Wáng Mǔ’s heavenly peach garden.

In Culture[]

  • The Sūn Wùkōng festival takes place on the sixteenth day of the eighth lunar month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
  • The Buddhist temple in Xiùmàopíng, Hong Kong, has a shrine to Sūn Wùkōng.
  • Sūn Wùkōng has been depicted in many films, television series, and video games; both directly and indirectly related to Journey to the West. Most recently, he has been played by Jet Li in Forbidden Kingdom.
  • The Korean battle web-toon God of Highschool is the story of Jin Mori who is thrust in a battle between gods & the humans who serve them as well as a select group of humans fighting against them. The character who is the main protagonist of the story is revealed to be the Monkey King who has lost his memories & is currently residing in the human world.
  • Dragon Ball / Dragon Ball Z, the most popular manga series/anime series (according to Shonen Jump), is heavily influenced on Sun Wukong's story. Son Goku (the main character of the franchise) is based off of Sun Wukong. (Source: http://dragonball.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_Ball_(manga)#Relation_to_Journey_to_the_West )
  • The Pokemon Infernape is seemingly based on Sūn Wùkōng

GALLERY[]

References/External Links[]

Sours: https://mythus.fandom.com/wiki/Sun_Wukong
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From Sun Wukong to Son Goku: Mythology in Graphic Novels

In the age of the incessant reimagining, remake, and reboot it can often be difficult to get excited about new releases in a market cluttered with subpar entries into beloved franchises. The best remakes are the ones we tend to forget were remakes in the first place. One graphic novel series that has never failed to deliver, and which very few people realize is a reimagining itself, is Dragon Ball. In 1986 the first chapters were published in Shonen Jump of Akira Toriyama’s reimagining of one of the four classic novels of Chinese mythology, Journey to the West. Dragon Ball is credited with bringing about the “Golden Age of Jump” a period between the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s where manga (Japanese graphic novels) circulation was at its highest. So what made Dragon Ball such a successful reimagining of classic Eastern mythology? A start would be to briefly analyze the protagonists of each story. The original Ming dynasty novel’s protagonist is called Sun Wukong, or the Monkey God, a legendary martial artist who acquires supernatural powers through Taoism. Throughout Journey to the West Sun Wukong goes on an epic journey encountering many obstacles and adversaries. In Dragon Ball the protagonist Son Goku (the Japanese version of the name Sun Wukong) is a young boy with a monkey tail born with incredible strength. Similarly, Goku goes on his own epic journey encountering many enemies and allies. Leo Tolstoy once said, “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” Both of these tales execute the former with great finesse.

 

Of course, Dragon Ball’s plot does diverge from its source of inspiration in many ways but the underlying influence of Journey to the West is never absent. Even the way the characters in Dragon Ball gain spiritual power has ties to Eastern mythology. This inner life force or power is literally referred to as ki or ch’i, the same name it is referred to in many ancient Asian cultures. Additionally, while Dragon Ball’s success can in part be traced to its inclusion of themes found in Eastern mythology, it wouldn’t have worked without Toriyama’s unique style and great storytelling ability. However, the similarities between the two classic works will only continue to grow as Goku ascends to godhood in the highly anticipated Dragon Ball Super, joining his Chinese counterpart in the pantheon of Eastern mythology.

 

DBallv1

 

 

 

References: http://comipress.com/article/2007/05/06/1923

Tags:Dragon Balleng386mythology

Sours: https://graphicnovel.umwblogs.org/2015/09/01/from-sun-wukong-to-son-goku-mythology-in-graphic-novels/
Sun Wukong VS god

Son Goku Mythology :dolls:

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Hello my fellow friends ~^O^~ today I wanted to talk about something besides one piece and so I came to talk about the mythology of son goku :arrow_upper_left: (^▽^) :arrow_upper_right: .

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Now some of you might be thinking it's about goku from dragon ball z but no no no :new_moon_with_face: :point_up: not today :joy: it's about sun wukong the ancient mythology one. So without further a do lets start and enjoy >o<

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:japanese_castle: Legend has that son goku aka sun wukong or King of the monkey's, was born from a magical stone that was atop of a mountain :mount_fuji: . They say he had powers from heaven & earth from the beginning of time. The stone stood 36 feet & 5 inches representing the heaven's and 24 feet representing the solar calendar. Son goku is found in many stories and novels . Son goku has a very interesting culture and background.

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In the mountain son goku made friend's with many animals like the wolfs :wolf: , tiger's :tiger: , leopard :leopard: , & deer's . Son goku knew a saying " there is no calender in the mountain's and when winter was over you don't know the time or year ." At the mountains of flower and fruit son goku established himself as one of the most powerful and influential demon's in the world. In search of a weapon worthy enough for him son goku traveled into the ocean were he acquired the golden banded staff Ruyi yingu bang which could change its size and fight according to son goku's command.

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Also if you watched dbz for a long time you might know something particular (*¯︶¯*)

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Son goku later defeated single- handedly 100,000 army of the heaven's celestial warriors Including four heavenly kings :fearful: , but was captured by the jade emperor and after several failed attempts of execution he was locked away :japanese_castle: . After 49 day's he escaped stronger than ever.

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After that he was gonna get revenge on the jade emperor but the bastard sealed son goku using a paper talisman in which was written mantra on mani pamde hum, in gold letter's were son goku remained imprison for five centuries. :tanabata_tree: :rice_scene:

~~~~~~¥

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Five centuries later son goku offered to serve a pilgrim . Xuanzang a monk of the tang dynasty exchanged his freedom after the pilgrimage was complete. Under xuanzang supervision son goku was allowed to journey to the west :earth_asia: .

Throughout the epic novel Journey to the West, Son goku faithfully helped Xuanzang on his journey to India. They both were acompany to atone their previous crime's. After that son goku was a bodyguard for xuanzang and was given his power's from the heaven's. The group encountered a series of eighty-one tribulations before accomplishing their mission and returning safely to China There, Son goku was granted Buddhahood for his service and strength.

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Disciple to Xuanzang

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:large_blue_diamond: :large_blue_circle: :large_orange_diamond: FUN FACTS :small_red_triangle_down: :large_orange_diamond: :large_blue_circle:

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1) Obviously dragon ball series goku himself is inspired by sun wukong.

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2) in league of legends the champion wukong is based out of sun wukong.

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3) smite battle ground of the gods he is playable also from sun wukong.

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4) Naruto shippuden: the four tailed beast is called son goku yet idk if he's based from sun wukong.

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~~~~~~~~~

Thats all hoped you enjoyed and had fun :blush: :smile: and hit that like button ♡ :hearts: and I'll see you wonderful AA fan's next time :wave:

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Sours: https://aminoapps.com/c/anime/page/blog/son-goku-mythology/ggt6_uQqrPw4jMKEVoG2M2mjV2w15B

Mythology goku

Sun Wukong

Sun Wukong (孫悟空), known as the Monkey King, is a Chinese trickster god. He plays a central role in the 16th-century novel Journey to the West, achieving enlightenment as Tang Sanzang’s disciple.

Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King, from Wu Cheng’en’s novel Journey to the West. Japanese surimono woodblock print by Yashima Gakutei, circa 1824.

In Chinese mythology, Sun Wukong (孫悟空), also known as the Monkey King, is a trickster god who plays a central role in Wu Cheng’en’s adventure novel Journey to the West.

Wukong is blessed with unmatched superhuman strength and the ability to transform into 72 different animals and objects. Each of his hairs have transformative powers, and he can magically manipulate wind, water and fire as well. Characterized by his short temper, impatience and proclivity towards anger, Sun Wukong is one of the most important and beloved literary figures in Chinese culture.

Etymology

Sūn Wùkōng’s name is comprised of the characters for “grandson” (孫), “awakened” (悟) and “space”(空). Though the character sūn (孫) usually refers to grandsons, in this context it refers to monkeys. His name literally translates as the “monkey awakened by the emptiness.” Wukong’s name is meant to represent his spiritual journey from an ignorant, short-tempered monkey to a benevolent, enlightened being. In Japan, he is known as Son Goku.

Attributes

Being a monkey, Sun Wukong has a very distinct appearance that sets him apart from the other gods. Prior to his enlightenment, Wukong is usually depicted as a naked macaque. After devoting himself to the Buddhist monk Tang Sanzang, Wukong is generally shown in full warrior gear with special items such as a golden chainmail shirt, a phoenix feathered cap, cloud-walking boots, and an eight ton staff that can shrink to the size of a needle.

Family

Sun Wukong does not have any blood relatives, as he was born from a magical rock. Prior to joining the Jade Emperor’s court, he lorded over a group of wandering monkeys who took care of him and regarded him as their leader.

Mythology

The legend of Sun Wukong first appeared in the Song Dynasty-era adventure novel Journey to the West. The book follows the story of a humble Buddhist monk named Tang Sanzang who travels from his home in Southern China to India in order to bring back holy texts and enlighten his countrymen. After being released from the mountain he was trapped under for 500 years, Wukong serves as the monk's bodyguard throughout his journey.

Origins

In ancient times, a magical rock rested on top of Mount Huagou. One day, a stiff breeze blew upon the rock and caused a fully formed monkey to burst forth from its stone face. Despite having just been born, the young monkey was already able to walk and speak.

When Wukong opened his eyes, golden beams of light shot forth from his pupils, piercing the clouds and startling the Jade Emperor (玉皇). When the Jade Emperor looked for the source of the strange light, all he could see was a baby monkey. Thinking that the light could not possibly emanate from such a source, the Jade Emperor dismissed the incident from his mind.

As he began exploring the forest, Sun Wukong discovered other monkeys and decided to live with them. One day the group was relaxing near a waterfall when they decided to play a game: whoever was brave enough to jump through the falls and find the stream’s source would be named the King of Monkeys.

Sun Wukong jumps into the waterfall while the other monkeys watch from above. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, The Journey to the West, A Popular Version series, 1864.

Sun Wukong immediately leapt through the waterfall and traveled up the stream to find its source. His mission was successful, and he quickly returned and declared himself king. With the support of the forest monkeys, Sun Wukong quickly established himself as a powerful forest demon that would go on to battle the Dragon King and other sea demons. His exploits earned him a number of powerful weapons, including his signature gold chainmail shirt, phoenix cap, cloud-walking boots, and magical eight ton staff.

When the time came for Yan Wang (閻王) and the Kings of Hell to collect Wukong’s soul, Wukong was ready. He tricked Yan Wang into allowing him to return to earth without undergoing reincarnation. Before leaving Hell, Wukong managed to erase his and every other forest monkey’s name from the Book of Life and Death. Troubled that the balance of life was being upset by a mere monkey, Yan Wang appealed to the Jade Emperor for assistance.

Sun Wukong and the Jade Emperor

Upon hearing about the irascible demon of Mount Huaguo, the Jade Emperor felt the best way to subdue Wukong was to let him live in Heaven with the other gods so that he would feel a sense of importance. He issued an invitation to Wukong, who eagerly accepted. After saying goodbye to his friends, the Monkey King set off for the Jade Palace.

Once he got there, however, Sun Wukong discovered he was assigned to the lowest task in all of Heaven: guarding the Jade Emperor’s horses. He quickly realized that because he was a monkey, the other gods would never see him as a peer. In hopes of finding a way to prove himself an equal, the Monkey King became obsessed with the idea of immortality and devoted himself to the pursuit of everlasting life. When the Jade Emperor encouraged him to take up other, more fruitful pursuits, Wukong scorned him:

‘Can this sort of practice lead to immortality?’ asked Wukong.
‘Impossible! Impossible!’ said the Patriarch.
‘I won't learn it then,’ Wukong said.

One day, the Jade Emperor held a party to celebrate his wife, Xiwangmu (西王母). Having been unknowingly excluded from the party, Wukong decided to drop by and was laughed out of the hall by the other gods. Hurt by the actions of his peers, Wukong declared himself to be Qítiān Dàshèng (齊天大聖), or the “Great Sage Equal to Heaven". He also made an enormous banner to taunt the Emperor.

The Jade Emperor sent a battalion of soldiers to arrest Wukong for his insolence, but they proved to be no match for him. After defeating the last solder, the Monkey King shouted victoriously, “Remember my name, Great Sage Equal to Heaven, Sun Wukong!”

Sun Wukong with Chang’e’s Jade Rabbit from Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon.

The Monkey King's victory forced the Jade Emperor to acknowledge his power. In recognition of his talent, the Jade Emperor promoted him to guard Xiwangmu’s Peaches of Immortality. This was not enough for the Monkey King, however, who truly believed that he was the Jade Emperor’s equal. Viewing this promotion as yet another insult, Wukong decided that enough was enough. In a final act of defiance, Wukong ate all of the peaches in the garden. The Jade Emperor was furious, and sent two battalions after the Monkey King. Once again, however, Wukong defeated them all.

Out of options, the Jade Emperor told Buddha what had happened and begged him to intervene. Buddha immediately banished Wukong from Heaven and pinned him underneath a mountain so that he could reflect on his actions.

Journey to the West

For 500 years, Wukong lay immobilized beneath the weight of Buddha’s mountain. Eventually, a traveling monk named Tang Sanzang found the Monkey King and offered to release him on the condition that he would repent and become the monk’s disciple.

Sun Wukong receiving the golden crown of obediance from his new master, Tang Sanzang. Japanese woodblock print (nishiki-e) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, from his series The Journey to the West, A Popular Version, 1865.

At first the Monkey King rejected the monk's offer. Sun Wukong would play servant to no one—least of all a human. After Tang started to walk away, however, Wukong quickly changed his mind. He would gladly serve the monk in exchange for his release.

Before Tang freed Wukong, the goddess of mercy Guanyin (觀音) gave the monk a magical band that granted him control over the Monkey King. After being freed from the weight of the mountain, Sun Wukong joined Tang’s other demonic traveling companions: Zhū Bājiè (猪八戒) or “Piggy”, and Shā Wùjìng (沙悟浄) or “Sandy.”

The Monkey King (top left) is joined by comrades Zhu Bajie (far right) and Erlang Shen (the Chinese god of engineering, among other things; center) as they battle the fearsome Nine Headed Beast (九頭蟲). Nishiki-e woodblock print from the series The Journey to the West, A Popular Version by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1865.

Grateful to be released from his imprisonment, Sun Wukong served Tang faithfully during their journey to India and cheerfully battled demons whenever the need arose. Through his noble deeds and dedication to Tang’s teachings, Sun Wukong eventually achieved enlightenment and put an end to his angry, greedy and envious tendencies.

Pop Culture

Though he’s not commonly worshiped by Buddhist and Taoist practitioners, Sun Wukong is an important Chinese cultural figure and has been featured in a number of TV series, movies and plays.

Journey to the West has been adapted into film a number of times, and was most recently remade in 2013 by Chinese film director and actor Stephen Chow. In the anime Dragon Ball, the character of Son Goku is largely based off the myth of Sun Wukong, hence his superhuman strength and tail. Sun Wukong also serves as the inspiration for the character of the same name in RWBY.

Sun Wukong is featured as a character in the video games Sonson, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, League of Legends, and Warriors Orochi.

References

Bibliography

  1. New World Encyclopedia contributors. "Journey to the West." New World Encyclopedia. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Journey_to_the_West.

  2. Trapp, James. "Is the Monkey King the world's most popular superhero?." British Council. Voices Magazine. https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/monkey-king-worlds-most-popular-superhero

  3. Wikipedia contributors. “Monkey King.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_King.

  4. Yang, Lihui, Deming An, and Jessica Anderson. Turner. Handbook of Chinese Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Citation

About the Author

Mae Hamilton is a freelance journalist with a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sours: https://mythopedia.com/chinese-mythology/gods/sun-wukong/
Sun Wukong - The Monkey King

Monkey King

Character in Chinese mythology

For other uses, see Monkey King (disambiguation).

For other uses of "Son Goku", see Son Goku (disambiguation).

"Wukong" redirects here. For other uses, see Wukong (disambiguation).

"Qi Tian Da Sheng" redirects here. For Pu Songling's story, see The Great Sage, Heaven's Equal.

Monkey King
Sun Wukong
Xiyou.PNG

Sun Wukong

SpeciesMonkey
GenderMale
BirthplaceFlowers and Fruit Mountain
SourceJourney to the West, 16th century
AbilityImmortality, 72 Bian (Morphing Powers), Jin Dou Yun (Cloud Surfing), Jin Gang Bu Huai Zhi Shen (Superhuman Durability), Jin Jing Huo Yan (True Sight)
WeaponRuyi Jingu Bang/Ding Hai Shen Zhen
Master/Shifu/Gang LeaderXuanzang

The Monkey King, known as Sun Wukong (孫悟空/孙悟空) in Mandarin Chinese, is a legendary mythical figure best known as one of the main characters in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West (西遊記/西游记) and many later stories and adaptations.[2] In Journey to the West, Sun Wukong is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After rebelling against heaven, he is imprisoned under a mountain by the Buddha. After five hundred years, he accompanies the monk Tang Sanzang (唐三藏) and two other disciples on a journey to retrieve Buddhistsutras from the West (the Indian subcontinent), where Buddha and his followers reside.

Sun Wukong possesses many abilities. He has immense strength and is able to support the weight of two celestial mountains on his shoulders while running "with the speed of a meteor".[3] He is extremely fast, able to travel 108,000 li (54,000 km, 34,000 mi) in one somersault. Sun Wukong also acquires the 72 Earthly Transformations, which allow him to access 72 unique powers, including the ability to transform into various animals and objects. He is a skilled fighter, capable of defeating the best warriors of heaven. His hair possesses magical properties, capable of creating copies of himself or transforming into various weapons, animals and other objects. He also demonstrates partial weather manipulation abilities and can stop people in place with fixing magic.[4]

History[edit]

As one of the most enduring Chinese literary characters, the Monkey King has a varied background and colorful cultural history. His inspiration comes from an amalgam of Indian and Chinese culture. The Monkey King was possibly influenced by the Hindu deity Hanuman, the Monkey-God, from the Ramayana,[5][6][7] via stories passed by Buddhists who traveled to China. The Monkey King's origin story includes the wind blowing on a stone, whereas Hanuman is the son of the God of Wind. Some scholars believe the character originated from the first disciple of Xuanzang, Shi Banto.[8]

His inspiration might have also come from the White Monkey legends from the Chinese Chu kingdom (700–223 BC), which revered gibbons.[5] These legends gave rise to stories and art motifs during the Han dynasty, eventually contributing to the Monkey King figure.

He may have also been influenced by local folk religion from Fuzhou province, where monkey gods were worshipped long before the novel. This included the three Monkey Saints of Lin Shui Palace, who were once demons, who were subdued by the goddess Madam Chen Jing Gu, the Empress Lin Shui. The three were Dan Xia Da Sheng (丹霞大聖), the Red Face Monkey Sage, Tong Tian Da Sheng (通天大聖), the Black Face Monkey Sage, and Shuang Shuang San Lang (爽爽三聖), the White Face Monkey Sage.[9] The two traditional mainstream religions practiced in Fuzhou are Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. Traditionally, many people practice both religions simultaneously. However, the origins of local religion dated back centuries. These diverse religions incorporated elements such as gods and doctrines from different provincial folk religions and cultures, such as totem worship and traditional legends. Though there are primarily two main religions in China, since it is so large, different folk stories will vary from towns, cities, and provinces with their own myths about different deities.[5] Sun Wukong's religious status in Buddhism is often denied by Buddhist monks both Chinese and non-Chinese alike, but is very welcomed by the general public, spreading its name across the globe and establishing itself as a cultural icon.[5]

Background[edit]

Birth and early life[edit]

Depiction of the Forbidden Temple's Sun Wukong as depicted in a scene in a Peking opera

According to Journey to the West, the Monkey King is born from a strong magic stone that sits atop the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. This stone is no ordinary stone, however, because it receives the nurture of heaven (yang), which possesses a positive nature, and earth (yin), which possesses a negative nature, and thus is able to produce living beings (according to Taoist philosophies). The stone develops a magic womb, which bursts open one day to produce a stone egg about the size of a ball.

When the wind blows on the egg, it turns into a stone monkey that can already crawl and walk. This origin is likely an allusion to the Hindu Monkey-god, Hanuman, whose father was the Wind god. As his eyes move, two beams of golden light shoot toward the Jade palace and startle the Jade Emperor. When he sees the light he orders two of his officers to investigate. They report the stone monkey, and that the light is dying down as the monkey eats and drinks. The Jade Emperor believes him to be nothing special.

On the mountain, the monkey befriends various animals and joins a group of other wild monkeys. After playing, the monkeys regularly bathe in a stream. One day, they decide to seek the source of the stream and climb the mountain to a waterfall. They declare that whoever goes through the waterfall, finds the stream's source, and comes out again will become their king. The stone monkey volunteers and jumps into the waterfall.

He finds a large iron bridge over rushing water, across which is a cave. He persuades the other monkeys to jump in also, and they make it into their home. Sun Wukong then reminds them of their prior declaration, so they declare him their king. He takes the throne and calls himself Handsome Monkey King(美猴王). This happiness does not last. When one of his older monkey friends dies, the Monkey King is very upset. He decides to strive out of his island on a self made raft, in search of an Immortal to teach him knowledge and how to beat death.

He comes ashore and wanders around. Humans see him and flee, uncertain of his monkey humanoid appearance. He takes some clothes that were left out to dry, and continues on foot. His face hidden by a hood, he travels through towns and sees many examples of human degeneracy and vice. He continues on and into a forest. The Monkey King hears a Woodcutter singing an interesting song, and when questioning the Woodcutter about the origin he learns he was taught it by an Immortal who resides in the forest.

The Monkey King comes to the entrance of a temple of which resides a magical taoist martial artist named Puti Zhushi, who initially refuses to let him in. The Monkey King waits outside the entrance for many months, refusing to leave. Puti Zhushi is impressed with his persistence and allows the Monkey King to enter. Puti Zhushi accepts the Monkey King as a student, teaching him all advanced Taoist practices including the way of Immortality, telling Sun Wukong it was his destiny to know. Puti Zhushi later advises Sun Wukong never to needlessly show off his skills, for to do so may encourage others to ask him to teach them. He counsels that if you do teach them, they may go on to cause trouble, and if you don't teach them, they will resent you for it. He then forbids the Monkey King from ever revealing who taught him, and loyal Sun Wukong promises never to reveal who his Master was. With that Sun Wukong awakes back in the forest, realizing all the years of teaching had taken place in some form of compressed time trance. Later, whenever Sun Wukong is asked about his powers and skills, he gives an honest answer when saying that he learned it all in his dreams.

When he returns he learns that a demon called the Demon king of Confusion is kidnapping the monkeys on the flower-fruit mountain to useas slaves, he kills the demon and his minions, and saves the kiddnapped monkeys. He also brings the entire weapon storage of a nearby country for his subjects, but is unable to find a weapon fit for himself. On hearing that Dragon Kings possess many treasures, and in search of a weapon, he travels to the oceans and finds the palace of a Dragon King. At the entrance Sun Wukong asks for an introduction, but the Dragon King Ao Guang tells his guards to turn him away. Sun Wukong barges in anyway, brushing off protests from the guards, insisting the Dragon King must be confused to turn away a fellow King. Inside he introduces himself and encourages the Dragon King to give him a weapon. Quickly realizing Sun Wukong is quite formidable, the Dragon King feigns willingness and hospitality, ordering his underlings to bring out weapon after weapon. Sun Wukong tests each weapon, but none are robust enough for the Monkey King, who is unhappy at the situation. Sun Wukong then acquires the golden-banded staff Ruyi Jingu Bang/Ding Hai Shen Zhen (如意金箍棒/定海神针), the stabilizer of the Four Seas and a treasure of Ao Guang, the dragon-king of the Eastern Seas. The Monkey King is the only creature strong enough to wield the staff-like weapon and there is an instant affinity between them. The golden-banded staff can change its size, elongate, fly, and attack opponents according to its master's will. It weighs 13,500 jīn or 7960 kg. When not wielding the weapon, the Monkey King shrinks it down to the size of a sewing needle and stores it in his ear.

In addition to taking the magical staff, the Monkey King encourages the Dragon King to gift him attire fit for a King. The Dragon King calls upon the other major Dragon Kings for assistance to source this for Sun Wukong, and they arrive and give Sun Wukong a golden chain mail shirt (鎖子黃金甲), a phoenix-feather cap (鳳翅紫金冠 Fèngchìzǐjinguān), and cloud-walking boots (藕絲步雲履 Ǒusībùyúnlǚ). The phoenix-feather cap was one of the treasures of the dragon kings, a circlet of red gold adorned with phoenix feathers. Traditionally, it is depicted as a metal circlet with two striped feathers attached to the front, presumably the signature plumage of the Fenghuang or Chinese phoenix. Sun Wukong thanks the Dragon Kings and leaves happy.

Upon his return to the mountain, he demonstrates the new weapon to his monkey tribe and draws the attention of other beastly powers, who seek to ally with him. He forms a fraternity with the Bull Demon King (牛魔王), the Saurian Demon King (蛟魔王), the Single-horned Demon King (单角魔王), the Roc Demon King (鵬魔王), the Lion Spirit King (獅狔王), the Macaque Spirit King (獼猴王) and the snub-nosed monkey Spirit King (禺狨王).

The Monkey King, now sentenced to death for extorting the Dragon Kings, then defies Hell's attempt to collect his soul. He wipes his name out of the Book of Life and Death, a collection of books claimed to have every name of every mortal alive and the ability to manipulate lifespan, along with the names of all monkeys known to him. The Dragon Kings and the Kings of Hell report him once again to the Jade Emperor.[4] The heavenly army uses everything, even trying to erase him from existence altogether, but ultimately fail.

Havoc in Heaven[edit]

Hoping that a promotion and a rank amongst the gods will make him more manageable, the Jade Emperor invites the Monkey King to Heaven. The Monkey King believes he is receiving an honorable place as one of the gods as he is told he will be made 'Protector of the Horses' (a fancy term the Heavens coined for a stable-boy), the lowest job in heaven. When he discovers the importance of status in Heaven, and how he has been given the lowest position, the Monkey King sets the Cloud Horses free from the stable, then returns to his own kingdom and proclaims himself The Great Sage, Heaven's Equal.

The Heavens reluctantly recognize his self-proclaimed title after Gold Star advises the Jade Emperor against rushing into military action against the 'brash, rude and impudent'[citation needed] monkey, warning that failing to defeat Monkey would harm the reputation of Heaven. Gold Star advises the Jade Emperor to superficially appease Sun Wukong's vanity while treating him as a pet, and invite him back to Heaven to keep him from causing trouble on earth. The Jade Emperor agrees after Gold Star laughs that, in reality, the fanciful title is a meaningless joke revealing Sun Wukong's overconfidence and ignorance to the important workings of Heaven.

Sun Wukong suspects a trap but is happy when Gold Star, acting as an envoy, addresses him as Great Sage Equal of Heaven and presents him with official papers. Gold Star tells Sun Wukong he's been granted a far more important position as 'Guardian of the Heavenly Peach Garden,' which peach-loving Sun Wukong accepts. Later, when seven heavenly maidens are sent by the Queen Mother Xi Wangmu to pluck peaches for the Royal Banquet, Sun Wukong discovers every important god and goddess has been invited to the banquet except for him. When he tells the maidens he is Great Sage Equal of Heaven, the maidens giggle, replying that everyone in Heaven knows he is merely an immortal who tends to the peach garden. The Monkey King's indignation then turns to open defiance.

During the preparations for the Royal Banquet, Sun Wukong sneaks in to taste the fine foods and drink royal wine. In a tipsy state, the Monkey King roams Heaven while all the gods and goddesses are on their way to the banquet. He reaches high levels of the palace that the authorities of Heaven leave unguarded, for they can only be accessed by deities of the highest and purest spiritual power. Upon realizing that he is at the top of the 33 layers of the heavenly palace, Sun Wukong steals and consumes Laozi's Pills of Immortality and Xi Wangmu's Peaches of Immortality, takes the remainder of the Jade Emperor's royal wine, and then escapes back to his kingdom in preparation for his rebellion.

The Jade Emperor refuses to accept Gold Star's counsel to find another peaceful way to deal with Sun Wukong and orders his forces to mobilize. Laughing continuously and fully enjoying himself, and with a combination of martial prowess, guile, and quick-witted creative responses to many different types of powerful Heavenly weapons used against him, the Monkey King single-handedly defeats the Army of Heaven's 100,000 celestial warriors, all 28 constellations, Nezha, and all of the Four Heavenly Kings. Then Guanyin the Boddhisattva of Mercy and her disciple Muzha/Moksha arrive. Guanyin sends Muzha to inspect the situation and fight Sun Wukong. Muzha is Defeated and then Guanyin suggests the jade emperor's nephew Erlang Shen to fight Wukong. Wukong and Erlang are evenly matched and eventually both turn into terrifying figures and Wukong's monkey army gets scared and runs away. Sun Wukong is disheartened and turns into a fish to run away then both of them keep shapeshifting to turn into more powerful things than the other, finally Laozi throws his Diamond Jade ring at Wukong from behind while he is fighting knocking him senseless and enabling Erlang to bind him up.

After several failed attempts at execution, Sun Wukong is locked into Laozi's eight-way trigramcrucible for 49 days in order to be distilled into an elixir by samadhi fires; this will allow Laozi to regain his pills of longevity. The fire of the crucible is hot enough to burn beings of so much unspeakable power, they rival Buddha himself.

However, when the cauldron is opened 49 days later, the Monkey King jumps out - having survived by hiding in a corner marked by the wind trigram, where there was less fire. In fact, the heat from the samadhi fires have reinforced his bodily frame, making him stronger than ever before and impervious to greater damage. The heat also gives him a new ability; the Monkey King can now to recognize evil with his new huǒyǎn-jīnjīng (火眼金睛) (lit. "golden-gaze"). Sun Wukong then proceeds to destroy the crucible and makes his way to Heaven's main chamber to confront the Jade Emperor and his senior advisors.

Imprisonment[edit]

The Jade Emperor and the authorities of Heaven appeal to the Buddha, who arrives from his temple in the West in person. On listening to Sun Wukong make a case that he should be the new Jade Emperor, the Buddha makes a bet that the Monkey King cannot escape from his palm. The Monkey King smugly accepts the bet. He leaps and flies to the end of the world. Seeing nothing there but five pillars, the Monkey King believes that he has reached the ends of universe. To prove his trail, he marks a pillar with a phrase declaring himself the Great Sage Equal to Heaven and urinates on a pillar. He then leaps back and returns to Buddha's palm to claim his victory in winning the bet. Sun Wukong is then very surprised to find that the five "pillars" he found are merely fingers of the Buddha's hand, finding it impossible to believe. When the Monkey King tries to escape the palm, Buddha turns his hand and brings down a rockfall, sending Sun Wukong hurtling back down to earth. The rocks form a mountain on top of Sun Wukong. Before the Monkey King can lift it off, the Buddha seals him there, using a paper talisman bearing the mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, in gold letters. The Monkey King remains imprisoned in stocks for five hundred years to 'learn patience and humility,'[citation needed] with only his head and hands protruding from the base of the mountain. The Buddha arranges two earth spirits to feed the Monkey King Iron Pellets when he is hungry, and Molten Copper when he is thirsty.[4] Power the equivalent of the Buddha's is given to all Buddhas, meaning that they all have the Buddha's abilities and power, but only Buddha has the key to disable their power if they disobey.

Disciple to Tang Sanzang[edit]

Sun Wukong with Tang Sanzang
Sun Wukong fighting a wind demon

Five hundred years later, the BodhisattvaGuanyin searches for disciples to protect a pilgrim on a journey to the West to retrieve the Buddhist sutras. In the hearing of this, the Monkey King offers to serve the pilgrim, Tang Sanzang, a monk of the Tang dynasty, in exchange for his freedom after the pilgrimage is complete. Understanding Sun Wukong will be difficult to control, Guanyin gives Tang Sanzang a gift from the Buddha: a magical circlet which, once the Monkey King is tricked into putting it on, can never be removed. When Tang Sanzang chants a certain sutra, the band will tighten and cause an unbearable headache. To be fair, Guanyin gives the Monkey King three special hairs, only to be used in dire emergencies. Under Tang Sanzang's supervision, the Monkey King is allowed to journey to the West.

Throughout the novel, the Monkey King faithfully helps Tang Sanzang on his journey to India. They are joined by "Pigsy" (猪八戒 Zhu Bajie) and "Sandy" (沙悟浄 Sha Wujing), both of whom accompany the priest to atone for their previous crimes. Tang Sanzang's safety is constantly under threat from demons and other supernatural beings, as well as bandits, as they believe that by eating Tang Sanzang's flesh, one will obtain immortality and great power. The Monkey King often acts as Tang Sanzang's bodyguard to combat these threats. The group encounters a series of eighty-one tribulations before accomplishing their mission and returning safely to China. During the journey, the Monkey King learns about virtues and the teachings of Buddhism. There, the Monkey King attains Buddhahood, becoming the "Victorious Fighting Buddha" (Dòu-zhànshèng-fó (鬥戰勝佛)), for his service and strength.[4] We also see that Monkey king also knows about the fate of Tang Sangzang and also of his knowledge in pretty much everything, as at 3 occasions he knew that the monk was supposed to suffer and he also cures a king who had been ill for many years, and he knows properties of herbs no one knew of.

Names and titles[edit]

Sun Wukong is known/pronounced as Suen Ng-hung in Cantonese, Son Gokū in Japanese, Son Oh Gong in Korean, Sun Ngō͘-Khong in Minnan, Tôn Ngộ Không in Vietnamese, Sung Ghokong or Sung Gokhong in Javanese, Sun Ngokong in Thai, "Wu Khone" in Arakanese and Sun Gokong in Malay and Indonesian.

Painted mural depicting Sun Wukong (in yellow) and other main characters of the novel

Listed in the order that they were acquired:

Shí Hóu (石猴)
Meaning the "Stone monkey." This refers to his physical essence, being born from a sphere of rock after millennia of incubation on the Bloom Mountains/Flower-Fruit Mountain.
Měi Hóuwáng (美猴王)
Meaning "Handsome Monkey-King," Houwang for short. The adjective Měi means "beautiful, handsome, pretty". It also means "to be pleased with oneself," referring to his ego. Hóu ("monkey") also highlights his "naughty and impish" character.
Sūn Wùkōng (孫悟空)
The name given to him by his first master, Patriarch Bodhi (Subodhi). The surname Sūn was given as an in-joke about the monkey, as monkeys are also called húsūn (猢猻), and can mean either a literal or a figurative monkey (or a macaque). The surname sūn (孫) and the "monkey" sūn (猻) only differ in that the latter carries an extra "dog" (quǎn) radical to highlight that 猻 refers to an animal. The given name Wùkōng means "awakened toemptiness," sometimes translated as Aware of Vacuity.
Bìmǎwēn (弼馬溫)
The title of the keeper of the Heavenly Horses, a punning of bìmǎwēn (避馬瘟; lit. "avoiding the horses' plague"). A monkey was often put in a stable, as people believed its presence could prevent the horses from catching illness. Sun Wukong was given this position by the Jade Emperor after his first intrusion into Heaven. He was promised that it was a good position to have and that he would be in the highest position. After discovering it was one of the lowest jobs in Heaven, he became angry, smashed the entire stable, set the horses free, and then quit. From then on, the title bìmǎwēn was used by his adversaries to mock him.
Qítiān Dàshèng (齊天大聖)
Meaning "The Great Sage, Heaven's Equal." Wùkōng took this title suggested to him by one of his demon friends, after he wreaked havoc in heaven people who heard of him called him Great Sage (Dàshèng, 大聖). The title originally holds no power, though it is officially a high rank. The Jade Emperor later granted the title the responsibility to guard the Heavenly Peach Garden, keeping Sun Wukong busy so he would not make trouble.
Xíngzhě (行者)
Meaning "ascetic," it refers to a wandering monk, a priest's servant, or a person engaged in performing religious austerities. Tang Sanzang calls Wukong Sūn-xíngzhě when he accepts him as his companion. This is pronounced in Japanese as gyōja (making him Son-gyōja).
Dòu-zhànshèng-fó (鬥戰勝佛)
"Victorious Fighting Buddha." Wukong was given this name once he ascended to Buddhahood at the end of the Journey to the West. This name is also mentioned during the traditional Chinese Buddhist evening services, specifically during the eighty-eight Buddha's repentance.
Líng-míngdàn-hóu (靈明石猴)
"Intelligent Stone Monkey." Wukong is revealed to be one of the four spiritual primates that do not belong to any of the ten categories that all beings in the universe are classified under. His fellow spiritual primates are the Six-Eared Macaque (六耳獼猴) (who is one of his antagonists in the main storyline), the Red-Bottomed Horse Monkey (赤尻馬猴), and the Long-Armed Ape Monkey (通臂猿猴) (neither of who make actual appearances, only mentioned in passing by the Buddha). The powers and abilities of each are equal to that of the others.
Sūn Zhǎnglǎo (孫長老)
Used as an honorific for a monk.

In addition to the names used in the novel, the Monkey King has other names in different languages:

  • Kâu-chê-thian (猴齊天) in Minnan (Taiwan): "Monkey, Equal of Heaven."
  • Maa5 lau1 zing1 (馬騮精) in Cantonese (Hong Kong and Guangdong): "Monkey Imp" (Called so by his enemies).

Immortality[edit]

Sun Wukong gained immortality through seven different means, which together made him one of the most immortal and invincible beings in all of creation.

Disciple to Puti Zhushi[edit]

After feeling down about the future and death, Wukong sets out to find the immortal Taoist patriarch Puti Zhushi to learn how to be immortal. There, Wukong learns spells to grasp all five elements and cultivate the way of immortality, as well as the 72 Earthly Transformations. After seven years of training with the sage, Wukong gains the secret formula to immortality. It is noted that the Court of Heaven does not approve of this method of immortality.[10]

Book of Mortals[edit]

In the middle of the night, Wukong's soul is tied up and dragged to the World of Darkness. He is informed there that his life in the human world has come to an end. In anger, Wukong fights his way through the World of Darkness to complain to "The Ten Kings," who are the judges of the dead. The Ten Kings try to address the complaint and calm Wukong by saying many people in the world have the same name and the fetchers of the dead may have gotten the wrong name. Wukong demands to see the register of life and death, then scribbles out his name, thus making him untouchable by the fetchers of death. It is because Wukong has learned magic/magical arts as a disciple to Puti Zhushi that he can scare the Ten Kings, demanding from them the book of mortals and removing his name, thus making him even more immortal. After this incident, the Ten Kings complain to the Jade Emperor.[10]

Peach of Immortality[edit]

Soon after the Ten Kings complain to the Jade Emperor, the Court of Heaven appoints Sun Wukong as "Keeper of the Heavenly Horses," a fancy name for a stable boy. Angered by this, Wukong rebels and the Havoc in Heaven begins. During the Havoc in Heaven, Wukong is assigned to be the "Guardian of the Heavenly Peach Garden." The garden includes three types of peaches, each of which grant over 3,000 years of life. The first type blooms every three thousand years; anyone who eats it will become immortal, and their body will become both light and strong. The second type blooms every six thousand years; anyone who eats it will be able to fly and enjoy eternal youth. The third type blooms every nine thousand years; anyone who eats it will become "eternal as heaven and earth, as long-lived as the sun and moon." While serving as the guardian, Wukong does not hesitate to eat the peaches, thus granting him immortality and the abilities that come with the peaches. If Wukong had not been appointed as the Guardian of the Heavenly Peach Garden, he would not have eaten the Peaches of Immortality and would not have gained another level of immortality.[10]

Heavenly Wine[edit]

Because of Wukong's rebellious antics, Wukong is not considered as an important celestial deity and is thus not invited to the Queen Mother of the West's royal banquet. After finding out that every other important deity was invited, Wukong impersonates one of the deities that was invited and shows up early to see why the banquet is important. He immediately is distracted by the aroma of the wine and decides to steal and drink it. The heavenly wine has the ability to turn anyone who drinks it to an immortal.[10]

Pills of Longevity[edit]

While drunk from the heavenly wine, Wukong stumbles into Laozi's alchemy lab, where he finds Laozi's pills of longevity, known as "The Immortals' Greatest Treasure." Filled with curiosity about the pills, Wukong eats a gourd of them. Those who eat the pills will become immortal. If Wukong had not been drunk from the heavenly wine, he would not have stumbled into Laozi's alchemy lab and eaten the pills of longevity.[10]

Aftermath of Immortality[edit]

Following Wukong's three cause-and-effect methods of immortality during his time in heaven, he escapes back to his home at the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. The Court of Heaven finds out what Wukong has done and a battle to capture Wukong ensues. Due to the five levels of immortality Wukong has achieved, his body has become nearly invincible and thus survives the multiple execution attempts by heaven. In the notable last execution, Wukong was placed inside Laozi's furnace in hopes that he will be distilled into the elixir of the pills of immortality. Wukong survives 49 days of the samadhi fire in Laozi's furnace and gains the ability to recognize evil. In desperation, the Court of Heaven seeks help from Buddha, who finally imprisons Wukong under a mountain. Wukong's immortality and abilities ultimately come into use after Guanyin suggest him to be a disciple to Tang Sanzang in the Journey to the West. There, he protects Sanzang from the evil demons who try to eat Sanzang to gain immortality. Wukong's own immortality protects him from the various ways the demons try to kill him, such as beheading, disemboweling, poisoning, and boiling oil.[10]

Sometime during the journey, Wukong and his companions obtain Ginseng fruit (人參果; Man-fruit), a fruit even rarer and more powerful than the Peaches of Immortality, as only 30 of them will grow off one particular tree only found on the Longevity Mountain (萬壽山) every 10,000 years. While one smell can grant 360 years of life, consuming one will grant another 47,000 years of life.

All these methods that Sun Wukong uses to achieve immortality are indeed successful. However, all of these are only ways to lengthen life, and do not give Wukong immortality. Furthermore, it’s not possible for the Monkey King to be killed.

In addition to all of the immortality-granting wines and medicines that the Monkey King had consumed while in heaven, upon reaching the Buddha's temple, pilgrims were provided with Buddhist equivalents of such foods, therefore making Sun Wukong even more immortal.

In Xiyoubu[edit]

The brief satirical novel Xiyoubu (西遊補, "Supplement to the Journey to the West," c. 1640) follows Sun as he is trapped in a magical dream world created by the Qing Fish Demon, the embodiment of desire (情, qing). Sun travels back and forth through time, during which he serves as the adjunct King of Hell and judges the soul of the recently dead traitor Qin Hui during the Song dynasty, takes on the appearance of a beautiful concubine and causes the downfall of the Qin dynasty, and faces King Paramita, one of his five sons born to the demoness Princess Iron Fan,[11] on the battlefield during the Tang dynasty.[12] The events of the Xiyoubu take place between the end of chapter 61 and the beginning of chapter 62 of Journey to the West.[13] The author, Tong Yue (童說), wrote the book because he wanted to create an opponent—in this case, desire-itself—that Sun could not defeat with his great strength and martial skill.[14]

Influence[edit]

Further information: List of media adaptations of Journey to the West

  • Some scholars believe the character of the Monkey King may have originated from the first disciple of Xuanzang, Shi Banto.[8]
  • Fujianesefolk religion had already worshipped a number of monkey "great sages" in their lore which might have influenced the author alongside other legends of gods and demons across China.
  • The Hindu deity Hanuman from the Ramayana is considered by some scholars to be a origin for Sun Wukong.[5]
  • In The Shaolin Monastery (2008), Tel Aviv University Professor Meir Shahar claims that Sun influenced a legend concerning the origins of the Shaolin staff method. The legend takes place during the Red Turban Rebellion of the Yuan dynasty. Bandits lay siege to the monastery, but it is saved by a lowly kitchen worker wielding a long fire poker as a makeshift staff. He leaps into the oven and emerges as a monstrous giant big enough to stand astride both Mount Song and the imperial fort atop Shaoshi Mountain (which are five miles apart). The bandits flee upon seeing him. The Shaolin monks later realize that the kitchen worker was the Monastery's local guardian deity, Vajrapani, in disguise. Shahar compares the worker's transformation in the stove with Sun Wukong's time in Laozi's crucible, their use of the staff, and the fact that Sun Wukong and his weapon can both grow to gigantic proportions.[15]
  • Chinese DAMPE satellite is nicknamed after Wu Kong. The name could be understood as "understand the void" literally, relates to the undiscovered dark matter.[16]

Manga and animation[edit]

Cartoon-style models of Monkey King on the streets of Lianyungang
  • The character of Son Goku in Dragon Ball is based on Sun Wukong, as attested by his monkey tail, staff, and name (which is simply the Japanese reading of the same name in Chinese: "孫悟空").[17]
  • The character of Mushra in the Toei Animation Anime Shinzo is based on Sun Wukong, retaining the character's golden headband and telescoping staff.
  • The character of Kongo in Monkey Magic is based on Sun Wukong.
  • In The God of High School, the protagonist Mori Jin's is based on the God Sun Wukong.[18]
  • The character Sun Wukong in RWBY is based on the lore; but instead of using his hair to make the clones, he can make the clones using his semblance through his aura.[19]
  • The character of Sun Wukong, explicitly said to be the trickster of legend, plays a major role in the DreamWorks animated series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny.
  • The main character of Jesse Dart Spaceketeers is based on the monkey king in Force Five, where he wears a golden band around his head that is controlled by the princess, and which may induce agony as well. The golden band is also his primary weapon, a long javelin that decreases in size and shape.
  • In 2021, Sunrise Inc. has released an animation series SD Gundam World Heroes,[20] under the SD Gundam franchise. in which feature Sun Wukong as a protagonist along with other mythical characters in novels.

Video games[edit]

  • 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.[21] 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."[22]
  • In Dota 2, a MOBA from Valve, there is a hero called Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. His backstory within Dota also roughly follows the story of Journey to the West.[23]
  • In Heroes of Newerth, a MOBA by S2 Games, there is a hero named "Monkey King."[24]
  • Sun Wukong is a playable character in HiRez Studio's MOBA, Smite. Wukong has abilities based on his staff shifting size, his ability to transform, and his ability to duplicate.[25]
  • In Heroes of the Storm,Blizzard's crossover MOBA, a legendary skin the Monkey King for a hero called Samuro is based on Sun Wukong.[26]
  • League of Legends, a MOBA game from Riot Games, has a champion called Wukong, the Monkey King.[27]
  • In LittleBigPlanet (2008), the Monkey King appeared as a downloadable costume for the game.[28]
  • In Warframe, a Digital Extremes shooter, Sun Wukong appears as one of the playable characters, inhabiting his signature staff, cloning ability, flying ability and immortality techniques.[29]
  • In Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, MOBA from Moonton, the character Sun is based on Sun Wukong.[30]
  • In Honor of Kings, a MOBA from Tencent Gaming, the character Sun Wukong is based on the Monkey King.[31]
  • In Black Myth: Wukong, an upcoming 3rd-person action/RPG game featuring Souls-like gameplay by Chinese indie developer Game Science.[32]
  • Sun Wukong is one of twelve mythological heroes that civilizations can summon in Civilization VI's Heroes and Legends Mode.[33]
  • In Guild Wars 2, an MMORPG by ArenaNet, the Monkey King Tonic transforms the player's character into a representation of Sun Wukong.[34]
  • In Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, the Monkey King is a playable unit from the dynasty faction. He wields a staff that changes in size, and can create copies of himself.
  • In Fortnite, Sun Wukong appears as a playable character as part of the Wukong set, which comprises the character, his Jingu Bang, and Royale Flags.[35]
  • In Asura's Wrath, The titular character has some elements of Wukong. He rages against his fellow gods for betraying him, ends up trapped under a mountain for 500 years, and eventually confronts an evil Buddha called Chakravartin.
  • In "Bookworm Adventures Vol.2", the Monkey King is a companion gained automatically by completing chapter 7 of Book 5 of the Adventure mode. The Monkey King instigates a battle with the protagonist Lex after the player acquires his Collapsible Iron Road as a treasure. The Monkey King is the only companion to provide the player with passive buffs. Every four turns, he changes forms to provide a new benefit. As a boss and companion, The Monkey King cycles between Cloud, Fire, Tree, Ant, and Iron Form. The effects of each to the player are slight but noticeable over time. For example, the Tree Form heals the player for a half heart every turn.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^(from Hokkien pronunciation of "行者" (Hêng-chiá))
  2. ^Shahar, Meir (2008). The Shaolin monastery: History, religion, and the Chinese martial arts. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 92–93. ISBN .
  3. ^Wu Cheng'en and Anthony Yu. The Journey to the West: Vol. 2 (Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press), 108-109.
  4. ^ abcdWu Cheng'en (1500–1582), Journey to the West, Translated by Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 1993.
  5. ^ abcdeHera S. Walker, "Indigenous or Foreign?: A Look at the Origins of the Monkey Hero Sun Wukong", Sino-Platonic Papers, 81 (September 1998)
  6. ^Wendy Doniger. "Hanuman (Hindu mythology)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  7. ^Ramnath Subbaraman, "Beyond the Question of the Monkey Imposter: Indian Influence on the Chinese novel The Journey to the West", Sino-Platonic Papers, 114 (March 2002)
  8. ^ ab"CCTV-大唐西游记". www.cctv.com.
  9. ^"齊天大聖vs.丹霞大聖 @台灣多奇廟 - 探路客 部落格". www.timelog.to (in Chinese). Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  10. ^ abcdefWu, Cheng−en (1982). Journey to the West. Translated by Jenner, William John Francis. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. ISBN .
  11. ^King Paramita is the only son to make an appearance and to be called by name in the novel. These sons did not originally appear in Journey to the West.
  12. ^Tong, Yue, Shuen-fu Lin, Larry James Schulz, and Chengẻn Wu. The Tower of Myriad Mirrors: A Supplement to Journey to the West. Michigan classics in Chinese studies, 1. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2000
  13. ^Tong, The Tower of Myriad Mirrors, p. 5
  14. ^Tong, The Tower of Myriad Mirrors, p. 133
  15. ^Shahar, Meir. The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2008 (ISBN 0-8248-3110-1)
  16. ^"China's new Monkey King set for journey into space". Xinhua. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  17. ^"From Sun Wukong to Son Goku: Mythology in Graphic Novels – The Graphic Novel".
  18. ^"Episode 11: "lay/key"". アニメ「THE GOD OF HIGH SCHOOL ゴッド・オブ・ハイスクール」公式サイト. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  19. ^"RWBY episodes". roosterteeth. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  20. ^"SD GUNDAM WORLD HEROES | GUNDAM.INFO | The official Gundam news and video portal". SD GUNDAM WORLD HEROES | GUNDAM.INFO | The official Gundam news and video portal. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  21. ^Game Arts (1997). Lunar I & II Official Design Material Collection. Softbank. p. 90. ISBN .
  22. ^Game Arts (1997). Lunar I & II Official Design Material Collection. Softbank. p. 91. ISBN .
  23. ^"Dota 2". Monkey King. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  24. ^"Heroes of Newerth - Hero - Monkey King". Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  25. ^"Mixer_Icon_White". Smitegame.com. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  26. ^Heroes of the Storm Samuro Monkey King Skin announcement 风暴英雄 猴王(孙悟空)萨穆罗皮肤, retrieved 1 October 2019
  27. ^"THE MONKEY KING WUKONG". na.leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  28. ^Spaff (16 April 2009). "The Monkey King – Free costume out now". Media Molecule. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  29. ^"Warframe: Wukong". Warframe. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  30. ^"Monkey King: Hero is Back is not the groundbreaking experience it could have been". Abacus. 28 October 2019.
  31. ^"王者荣耀孙悟空-王者荣耀官网网站-腾讯游戏". pvp.qq.com. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  32. ^Black Myth: Wukong - Everything We Know About Gameplay, Release Date, and More - IGN, retrieved 11 October 2020
  33. ^Civilization VI - November 2020 DLC | New Frontier Pass
  34. ^"Endless Monkey King Tonic". wiki.guildwars2.com. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  35. ^"Wukong Archives". Pro Game Guides. Retrieved 10 July 2021.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sun Wukong.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_King

Now discussing:

The Mythology Behind Son Goku, aka Sun Wukong

Just some fun facts for those whose knowledge of Son Goku comes from Dragonballs:

Son Goku is the Japanese transliteration of Sun Wukong, a household name in China via his position as the popular main protagonist in one of the most famous of Chinese novels, "Journey to the West". In the novel, Sun Wukong was originally known as the 'stone ape' because he was born from a heavenly rock (parallel'ing the Juubi and the moon). He became the king of the local monkeys after he led them into the former celestial abode known as the Water-Curtain Cave (Shui-lian/Suiren), where he ruled for many years, styling himself as the "Handsome King of Apes" (Meihou Wang). The mountain where the Stone Ape ruled was known as Flower-Fruit Mountain (Huaguo Shan), the exact same name as the lava jutsu which was used in the manga on the Hachibi.

The Stone Ape ruled over his monkeys for many years, but eventually, he began to fear death, and so left the cave to seek out someone who could teach him the methods by which one could escape death. He was eventually accepted as a disciple by Subhuti, a Buddhist figure who, in the novel, was a Taoist Immortal. Subhuti seems to be a figure, in this case, which the Rikudo-Sennin was based on; like Rikudo and Yonbi, Subhuti was the one who named the Stone Ape "Sun Wukong". Similarly, both Subhuti and Rikudo have both Buddhist and Daoist elements to them; the Yin/Yang elements and the Sacred Treasures of Rikudo come straight from Taoism, while his jutsu are rooted in Buddhist concepts.

After Sun Wukong learned Taoist magical secrets from Subhuti, he was expelled for arrogance and bragging, and had to swear to Subhuti that he would never reveal where his powers came from, as Subhuti foresaw that he would cause problems in the future and didn't want to be blamed for it. This foresight was accurate, as Sun Wukong eventually caused havoc several times in Heaven. At one point, the Celestial Emperor attempted to appease him by giving him the grandiose (but meaningless) title of "Great Sage Equal to Heaven" (Qitiandasheng, translated by Mangastream as "His Holiness of All the Heavens"). At one point during the war in heaven, Sun Wukong was trapped in the Eight-Triagrams Furnace (essentially the same item as the Amber Purifying Pot which the Kin-Gen brothers stole), where he was baked for 49 days, but only came out even more powerful.

Eventually, he caused so much havoc (and was so unstoppable) that the Celestial Emperor had to beg Buddha himself to come and intervene. Buddha eventually trapped Sun Wukong with his five fingers, which he transformed into a magical mountain that would imprison Sun Wukong within (much like the Yonbi, which is chained with chakra chains underneath a giant boulder), releasing him only 500 years later, when Sun Wukong would serve the Buddhist priest Xuanzang in the titular "Journey to the West" to recover sacred Buddhist scrolls of enlightenment. In order to make sure that Wukong would obey, he was fitted with a "Circlet of Tightening" which looks just like the 'crown' the Yonbi wears, which would tighten and cause him great pain if he disobeyed.

One more interesting note is that in the Chinese novel, Sun Wukong was the true master of and wielded a shapeshifting staff known as the Freeform Adamantine Staff (Ruyi Jingu Bang), the same name as the technique which Enma used to transform into a staff. It's possible that there is some connection between Enma and Son Goku in the novel as well; perhaps Enma is the chief protector/weapon for Son Goku? Alternately, it could be that Son Goku represents Sun Wukong as the 'untamed demon' that he was prior to his imprisonment, while Enma represents Sun Wukong as the 'helpful monkey protector' he became to the priest Xuanzang during the 'Journey to the West'. This is supported by the fact that Enma wears a tiger-skin pelt, which in the novel, Xuanzang made for Sun Wukong to keep Sun Wukong warm.

Hope this was interesting/helpful!

 

Sours: https://www.fanverse.org/threads/the-mythology-behind-son-goku-aka-sun-wukong.791597/


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