List of media adaptations of Journey to the West

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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


  • The Japanese artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi published a series of prints in 1865 titled Tsûzoku saiyûki (A Modern Journey to the West).[1]

Stage plays[edit]

  • The Monkey Sun (Opičák Sun), a 1984 production adapting several chapters from the novel by the Theatre Esence in Prague, Czechoslovakia.[2]
  • Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King, a 2001 children's play by Elizabeth Wong.[3]
  • Monkey: A Journey to the West, a live storytelling by Sebastian Lockwood of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, presented in February 2012.[citation needed]


  • The Cave of the Silken Web, or Pan Si Dong, a 1927 silent adaptation of one chapter of the novel.[7] It was followed by a 1930 sequel, The Cave of the Silken Web II (alternatively known as Spiders II).[8]
  • Princess Iron Fan, a 1941 liberal adaptation of a short sequence from Journey to the West; the first Chinese animated feature film.
  • Monkey Sun, a 1959 Japanese film produced by Toho, released as Magic Monkey Sun in Japan, as The Adventures of Sun Wu Kung in the United States, and as Monkey Sun internationally.[9]
  • Monkey King With 72 Magic, a 1979 Taiwanese film directed and produced by Fu Ching-Wa.[14]
  • A Chinese Odyssey, a two-part 1995 Hong Kong fantasy comedy film loosely based on the novel.
  • Heavenly Legend, a 1998 Taiwanese film by Tai Seng Entertainment that is partially based on the novel.[citation needed]
  • Saiyūki, also known as Monkey Magic: The Movie and Adventures of the Super Monkey, is a Japanese feature film produced by Fuji Television, released in Japan on 14 July 2007.[17] The film was made in lieu of a second season of the 2006 television series by the same name. The film was a box office success, becoming the 8th highest-grossing film of 2007 in Japan.[18]

Television series[edit]

  • Monkey Magic (Saiyūki), a 1978–1980 Japanese television series based on Journey to the West. It was translated into English by the BBC.
  • Journey to the West, a two season television series produced by CCTV, starring Liu Xiao Ling Tong as Sun Wukong. The two seasons were released in 1986 and 1999 respectively. Noted for its faithfulness to the original novel, this series is still considered by many as a classic.
  • Saiyūki, a 2006 Japanese television series produced by Fuji Television. The lead character of Son Goku (Sun Wukong) was given to Shingo Katori, a member of the pop group SMAP. This remake has been so successful as to break viewing records with one in three Japanese viewers watching each episode of the series.[20]
  • Journey to the West, a 2010 Chinese television series directed and produced by Cheng Lidong, starring Fei Zhenxiang as Sun Wukong. It started airing on Zhejiang Satellite TV on 14 February 2010.

Comics, manga and anime[edit]

  • Dragon Ball was inspired by Journey to the West. Sun Wukong becomes "Son Goku", a Saiyan, the humanoid alien race named after the Japanese title of Journey to the West (Saiyuki), with an elongating staff weapon and the ability to change into a giant ape. The object of sutras are replaced by the seven wish-granting Dragon Balls.
  • Ginseng Fruit (also known as Stealing the Ginseng Fruit), a Chinese animation by Shanghai Animation Film Studio.[citation needed]
  • Havoc in Heaven (also known as Uproar in Heaven), a Chinese animation by Shanghai Animation Film Studio.
  • Monkey Typhoon is a manga and anime series based on the Journey to the West saga, following a futuristic steampunk-retelling of the legend.
  • Pokémon has a Sun Wukong inspired Pokémon named Infernape.[22]
  • Saint is a Hong Kong manhua created by Khoo Fuk-lung and loosely based on Journey to the West.
  • Saiyūki is a manga and anime series inspired by the legend. Follow-up series include Saiyūki Gaiden, Saiyūki Ibun and Saiyūki Reload Blast.
  • Shinzo is an anime loosely based on Journey to the West.
  • Starzinger is an animated science fiction version of the story.
  • The Ape, a graphic novel by Milo Manara and Silverio Pisu published in 1986 by Catalan Communications. Previously serialised in Heavy Metal in 1983, this is a more adult adaptation of Journey to the West with a preface by Renata Pisu. ISBN 978-0-87416-019-2
  • The Flying Superboard is a Korean animated television series based on Journey to the West.[23]
  • The Journey West is a series of illustrated ebooks available for the Kindle and Nook that retell Journey to the West using rhyming verses vaguely reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. Book One: The Monkey King was released in 2011.[24]


  • Between 2005 and 2007, the American composer Barry Schrader created a four-part electro-acoustic composition cycle, Monkey King, which was named after the deeds of Sun Wukong.


  • Shen Yun Performing Arts has featured several vignettes from Journey to the West in its dance productions, which tour internationally. These include "The Monkey King Triumphs" and "Monkey King Captures Pigsy".[26]

Books referencing the novel[edit]

  • Xiyoubu (西遊補; A Supplement to the Journey to the West) is a Ming Dynasty addendum to Journey to the West written by Dong Yue in 1640. The novel describes events which occurred between chapters 61 and 62 of Journey to the West.
  • Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel American Born Chinese uses the legend of the Monkey King as a major metaphor throughout the book. He uses the Monkey King's quest to become equal to a god to compare the feelings of the main character, a Chinese immigrant, who is struggling to fit into American society.
  • In the children's novel Michael and the Monkey King by Alan James Brown, the Monkey King's mythical journey to the west becomes a modern day quest to save the lives of a young boy's parents.[27]
  • The Monkey King's Daughter is a series of books by Todd DeBonis for young readers, about the adventures of Meilin Cheng, a 14-year old Asian-American girl who learns she is the daughter of Sun Wukong.[28]
  • The Dark Heavens and Journey to Wudang series are a fantasy novel series by Kylie Chan.
  • Mark Salzman's second book The Laughing Sutra (1991) partially re-imagines the Journey to the West in the context of late 20th century Chinese history. A young man, Hsun-ching, sets out to recover a lost sutra and gains a strange-looking companion, ″the colonel″, who claims extremely long life and carries a metal staff. Stories of the Monkey King and Chinese heroes are referenced throughout.



  1. ^
  2. ^ "Opičák Sun" (in Czech). Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King by Elizabeth Wong". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Production History". Children's Theatre Company. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Monkey King Tickets and Information". Theater Mania. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Journey to the West The Musical (website)
  7. ^ "The Cave of the Silken Web (1927)". A Journal of Chinese Film History. The Chinese Mirror. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Cave of the Silken Web II (1930)". A Journal of Chinese Film History. The Chinese Mirror. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Monkey Sun". Toho Kingdom. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Monkey Goes West (1966)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Nu er guo (1968)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "SEE RANK Hou wang da zhan tian bing tian jiang (1979)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Fire Ball (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "The Adventures of Super Monkey (2007)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "2007 Japan Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (10 March 2011). "Neil Gaiman To Pen Epic 'Journey To The West'; Guillermo Del Toro Being Courted To Direct". Indiewire The Playlist. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Lewis, Leo (2006-02-15). "Broadcasters in a spin as Monkey swings back to TV". Times Online. Retrieved 2008-10-18.  Archived
  21. ^ "Adventures from China: Monkey King". China Sprout. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Asian Bureau (16 February 2010). "Spotlight on Korea Production Profile: The Flying Superboard". Animation World Network. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Monkey King 1: Sun WuKong [Kindle Edition]". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Journey To The West by Monkey". Beggars Group. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  26. ^ "Journey to the West". Shen Yun Performing Arts. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Alan James Brown's novels". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "The Producers". Words That Cook web site. Words That Cook. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  29. ^ Wilson, Andrew (June 15, 2002). "Worlds of wonder". The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland). p. 10. 
  30. ^ "China Gate (Saiyou Goumaroku)". coinoexpress. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^