The Buddhist monk Tangseng sees a sign, “Small Thunderclap Monastery,” and foolishly thinks they have reached their goal. His disciple Sun Wukong sees through the illusion, but the false Buddha in the monastery traps him between two gold cymbals and plans to kill his companions. The ensuing struggle involves a golden dragon, a turtle, a snake, twenty eight constellations, and a mysterious being from the highest heaven. Escaping that, the travelers find their path blocked by a giant snake and a huge pile of slimy and foul-smelling rotting fruit.
This is the 22nd book in the best-selling Journey to the West series of stories for students learning to read Chinese. It is based on the events in Chapters 65 through 67 of the epic 16th century novel of the same name by Wu Chen’en. That novel was inspired by an actual journey by the Buddhist monk Tangseng, who traveled from Chang’an westward to India in 629 A.D. and returned seventeen years later with priceless knowledge and spiritual texts. Over the course of the book the four travelers face the 81 tribulations that Tangseng had to endure to attain Buddhahood.
The first 22 books in the Journey to the West series have used a total of about 2000 different Chinese words, but only 821 are used in this book. All new words are defined on the page where they are first used. The book uses Simplified Chinese characters and includes pinyin, an English translation, and a full glossary. A free audiobook is available on YouTube’s Imagin8 Press channel and on www.imagin8press.com.