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The Influence of Hsi Yu Chi on Manga and Anime

Have you seen Alakazam? It's a direct adaption of Hsi Yu Chi. Of course, it's been simplified a great deal since it is directed toward young children, but it shows how much Hsi Yu Chi influences today's media. And what about Dragonball? Have you seen that? The character Son Goku could be a direct descendant of Sun Wu Kung! They both use the same sort of weapon, they are both well known for flying on clouds, and to top it off, they have the same name (except that Goku's is in Japanese, but they mean the same thing)!

In the Fifth Century AD, a Chinese Buddhist priest named Hsuan Tsang made a journey to India. After his journey, he wrote about his travels, the people he had met and the differences he observed from kingdom to kingdom. His book was called 'Hsi Yu Chi' (The Record of a Journey To The West). Little did the Tang Dynasty Monk realize that his book would father one of the most well known

works of Chinese literature. Eleven centuries later, another edition of 'His Yu Chi' was written. When it was released, the new 'Hsi Yu Chi' was considered as a disgrace to the community of writers. This ludicrous work which lacked philosophical depth and profundity was not only a satire of the Chinese Imperial System and Chinese bureaucracy, but it was an insult to the two most dominant religions at the time, Buddhism and Taoism. The writer had taken the text 'Hsi Yu Chi' and turned it into what was considered at the time, utter nonsense.

No wonder it was released anonymously.

Until very recently, an unabridged edition of 'Hsi Yu Chi' has not been available to Western Readers. Professor Yu has done a

marvelous job translating the long book (one hundred chapters). The Journey To The West (which is want I will refer to it as from now

on) portrays the world as one which is inhabited by demons, monsters, dragons, fairies, magic and various deities from Chinese

Mythology and pushes the real hero of The Journey ...

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