List of media adaptations of Journey to the West

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Depiction of the Forbidden Temple's Sun Wukong as depicted in a scene in a Beijing opera
The pilgrims Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Sandy, and Pigsy at Western Paradise in production The Monkey Sun (Theatre Esence, 1984).

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]


Television series[edit]

Comics, manga and anime[edit]

  • Alakazam the Great, a retelling of the first part of the story based on the characters designed by Osamu Tezuka. It was one of the first anime films produced by Toei Animation.
  • Adventures from China: Monkey King, a 20 volume comic series by Wei Dong Chen.[24][better source needed]
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Parallel "Journey to the West", a 1988 anime
  • Dragon Ball was initially inspired by Journey to the West. For example, Sun Wukong becomes "Son Goku", who wields an elongating staff weapon, can fly using a magic cloud and has the ability to change into a giant ape. The supporting character Oolong was also based on Zhu Bajie. The object of sutras are replaced by the seven wish-granting Dragon Balls.
  • Gokū no Daibōken, a 1967 Japanese anime.
  • Iyashite Agerun Saiyūki, a 2007 adult anime.[citation needed]
  • Monkey Magic is an animated retelling of the legend.
  • 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.[25]
  • 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.
  • Secret Journey is an erotic doujin by Po-ju that features a travelling priest, a young boy, who encounters a monkey demoness, Son Goku, who becomes his first disciple.
  • 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.[26]
  • 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.[27]
  • The Monkey King is a dark sword and sorcery manga inspired by the tale.
  • Xi You Ji is a 1999 Chinese cartoon broadcast on CCTV. The whole series was later released on a 26-disc VCD set. The show was later dubbed into English and edited by Cinar (now known as Cookie Jar Entertainment) and was titled Journey to the West - Legends of the Monkey King. It first aired on Teletoon in Canada and was originally shown on the Cookie Jar Toons block on This TV in the United States from 2009 to 2010.[citation needed]
  • XIN is an American comic mini-series produced by Anarchy Studio.
  • The play in Love Hina episode 16 is also based on Journey to the West.



  • 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".[29]

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.[30]
  • 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.[31]
  • The Dark Heavens, Journey to Wudang and Celestial Battle series are fantasy novels by Kylie Chan in which Sun Wukong is a frequently occurring character.
  • In Kim Stanley Robinson's novel The Years of Rice and Salt, the first chapter (entitled "Awake to Emptiness") is presented in the style of Journey to the West.[32] The protagonist of that chapter, a Mongol warrior named Bold, is an incarnation of Monkey.
  • 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.



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  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)". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  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. 
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  16. ^ "Nu er guo (1968)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "SEE RANK Hou wang da zhan tian bing tian jiang (1979)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Fire Ball (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Adventures of Super Monkey (2007)". IMDb. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "2007 Japan Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ Lewis, Leo (2006-02-15). "Broadcasters in a spin as Monkey swings back to TV". Times Online. Retrieved 2008-10-18.  Archived
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  24. ^ "Adventures from China: Monkey King". China Sprout. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Infernape (Pokémon)". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Asian Bureau (16 February 2010). "Spotlight on Korea Production Profile: The Flying Superboard". Animation World Network. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "The Monkey King 1: Sun WuKong [Kindle Edition]". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "Journey To The West by Monkey". Beggars Group. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  29. ^ "Journey to the West". Shen Yun Performing Arts. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Alan James Brown's novels". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  31. ^ "The Producers". Words That Cook web site. Words That Cook. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  32. ^ Wilson, Andrew (June 15, 2002). "Worlds of wonder". The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland). p. 10. 
  33. ^ "China Gate (Saiyou Goumaroku)". coinoexpress. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  34. ^ "NES Longplay [172] Saiyuuki World". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  35. ^ "Saiyuuki World". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  36. ^ "Saiyuuki World 2 - Tenjoukai no Majin (J) - part 1". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  37. ^ a b " - Whomp 'Em". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  38. ^ "Whomp 'Em". Retrieved 7 October 2014.