Warrior, rebel, trickster, monk, Sun Wukong is known by many titles in the East, yet it was a Journey to the West that made him a hero.
In his youth, Sun Wukong gained leadership of the monkey tribes, learned secret arts and spells from a Taoist monk, and acquired the legendary Ruyi Jingu Bang from Ao Kuang, a staff that could change size according to his whim. He defied death itself by wiping his name from the Book of Life and Death, and united many of the other monster tribes who sought to ally with him, an act that garnered the attention of the Jade Emperor.
In an effort to better control the Monkey-King, the Jade Emperor awarded him a title, but when Sun Wukong discovered his new position was little more than “stable boy” he grew angry and declared himself “Great Sage, Equal of Heaven,” and waged war on the heavens. For this treasonous act, he was finally captured and imprisoned beneath a mountain for five centuries.
At long last, the humble monk Xuanzang was seeking disciples to protect him while on his legendary Journey to the West to collect the Indian Sutras. Sun Wukong gladly agreed to serve him, but the Buddha wrapped a golden circlet around the Monkey King’s head so that Xuanzang could control him. With three other disciples, they faced eighty one trials during their quest, and collected the sutras. For his service and strength, Sun Wukong was awarded Buddhahood, finally ascending to heaven and gaining immortality.
With an epic battle between Gods taking place, Sun Wukong’s presence is all but assured.