Thursday, December 01, 2005

Monkey Magic

Monkey Magic is a tribute to the cult classic live action Japanese TV series Monkey (sometimes known as Monkey Heaven), made by NTV in the late 1970s, and starring Masaaki Sakai, Toshiyuki Nishida, Shiro Kishibe, Masako Natsume, Tonpei Hidari, Shunji Fujimura, Mieko Takamine.

It's based on one of the great quest stories, a 16th century Chinese epic called Hsi Yu Chi (= Journey to the West). The title Monkey is probably from Arthur Waley's English translation. The tales, set in 630 AD, describe the demons and monsters who try to stop the Tang Priest Hsüan Tsang (Tripitaka) from reaching a Buddhist monastery in India to retrieve Buddhist scriptures. The whole series recounts the exploits of the resourceful, brave, and humorous Monkey, the real hero of the fantasy, as he escorts Tripitaka (the boy priest), the pig monster Pigsy, and the water monster Sandy, on their perilous mission.

Hsüan Tsang (Tripitaka) actually lived and really did go to India in 629 A.D. to get Buddhist scriptures.

Did you use to watch this TV classic?

What was you favourite episode?

I liked the one where Monkey tries to fly out of Buddah's hand and relives himself on Buddah's finger thinking that he has reached the fifth pillar of heaven.

Come on Monkey you need a better flying cloud to get out of Buddah's hand!



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