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The Journey to the West, Revised Edition, Volume 3


Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West,initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China’s most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.

With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible. 

One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu’s elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.

440 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1983, 2012

Asian Studies: East Asia

Literature and Literary Criticism: Asian Languages

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments, First Edition
Acknowledgments, Revised Edition


51 Mind Monkey in vain uses a thousand tricks;
Futile water and fire makes it hard to smelt demons.

52 Wukong greatly disturbed the Golden Helmet Cave;
Tathāgata reveals in secret the true master.

53 Imbibing, the Chan Lord conceives a ghostly child;
Yellow Dame brings water to end the weird fetus.

54 Dharma-nature, going west, reaches the Women State;
Mind Monkey makes a plan to flee the fair sex.

55 Deviant form makes lustful play for Tripitaka Tang;
Upright nature safeguards the untainted self.

56 Wild Spirit slays brutish bandits;
Wayward Way sets loose Mind Monkey.

57 True Pilgrim lays bare his woes at Mount Potalaka;
False Monkey King transcribes texts at Water-Curtain Cave.

58 Two Minds cause disorder in the great cosmos;
It’s hard for one body to realize true

59 Tripitaka Tang’s path is blocked at Mountain of Flames;
Pilgrim Sun baits for the first time the palm-leaf fan.

60 Bull Demon King stops fighting to attend a lavish feast;
Pilgrim Sun baits for the second time the palm-leaf fan.

61 Zhu Eight Rules assists in defeating the demon king;
Pilgrim Sun baits for the third time the palm-leaf fan.

62 To wash off filth, to bathe the mind, just sweep a pagoda;
To bind demons and return to the lord is self-cultivation.

63 Two monks, quelling fiends, disturb the dragon palace;
The sages, destroying deviates, acquire the treasures.

64 At Bramble Ridge Wuneng exerted great effort;
At Shrine of Sylvan Immortals Tripitaka discusses poetry.

65 Fiends set up falsely the Small Thunderclap;
The four pilgrims all meet a great ordeal.

66 Many gods meet injury;
Maitreya binds a fiend.

67 Having rescued Tuoluo, Chan Nature is secure;
Escaping filthiness, the Mind of Dao is pure.

68 At Scarlet-Purple Kingdom the Tang monk speaks of past eras;
Pilgrim Sun performs on an arm broken in three places.

69 At night the Lord of the Mind refines medicines;
At a banquet the king speaks of the perverse fiend.

70 The monstrous demon’s treasures release smoke, sand, and fire;
Wukong uses a trick to steal the purple-gold bells.

71 By a false name Pilgrim defeats the fiendish wolf;
In epiphany Guanyin subdues the monster-king.

72 At Cobweb Cave Seven Passions delude the Origin;
At Purgation Spring Eight Rules forgets all manners.

73 Passions, because of old enmity, beget calamity ;
Demon-trapped, the Mind Lord with luck breaks the light.

74 Long Life reports how vicious the demons are;
Pilgrim displays his transformation power.

75 Mind Monkey drills through the yin-yang body;
Demon lords return to the true great Way.


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