Very minor artwork issue with Wu Kong


In the artwork for Wu Kong, he is shown holding a sword.

Sun Wu Kong, the Monkey King, is one of the most enduring and beloved Chinese deities and literary heroes. Stories about him stretch back for more than 2 thousand years. Thing is, in all the stories his weapon is a magical staff. (Black, with gold bands.)

Yes, it’s very minor. It still bugs me. :slight_smile:


Hou stole Wu Kong’s staff.


Looking up “traditional WuKong” artwork, I see black, red, and yellow staffs, but yes, always a staff. Interesting!


Well, see, it’s “just a staff” in the way King Arthur’s Excalibur is “just a sword”. It has a name – “Ruyi Jingu Bang” (“As-you-will golden-banded cudgel”), it has a well defined set of powers, and there’s a really fun story about how Wu Kong got the thing.


Well NOW you have to tell us the tale!


After the Monkey King learned flying and self-transformation from a Taoist master, he returned to his mountain. He had a new problem, though: he had no weapon that would match his abilities. He tried a big rock, a big tree, even a big banana, but nothing worked. Then, an old monkey told him of the Dragon King, and his treasure-filled palace at the bottom of the Eastern Sea.

The Monkey King was thrilled. He went down to the Eastern Sea, descended to the bottom, kicked open the palace gate, walked in and plopped himself down. “Yo, King. I need a proper weapon for my stature. You have lots of weapons, so you’re going to give me one.”

The Dragon King was in a quandary. On one hand, this guy just waltzed into his palace and demanded a weapon – who the heck does he think he is? On the other hand, if a 4,000-pound gorilla can sit anywhere it likes, where does the King of 4,000-pound gorillas sit? So, not wanting any trouble, he ordered his subjects to bring out some weapons for the Monkey King to inspect.

They brought out spears, swords, maces, halberds, but all of them were too light and flimsy for the Monkey King. The Dragon King was growing desperate when his wife sidled up to him and suggested the giant iron pillar sitting in the back of the treasury.
The Dragon’s subjects dragged out the pillar, which was wide as a barrel and 20 feet tall. Monkey tried it, and found that he could lift it, but it was too cumbersome to use. “Hmm,” said the Monkey King. “I like it, but I wish it could be smaller…”

As soon as he said that, the pillar glowed and shrank to the size of a shepherd’s staff. The Monkey King was delighted. He began whirling and twirling it, causing huge currents in the palace and almost sweeping the Dragon King and his subjects away.

Happy with having found the perfect weapon, Monkey magically shrunk the rod again—this time to the size of a needle. He tucked it behind his ear, where he could carry it for future use in battle. He quickly thanked the Dragon King and set off for his next adventure: he had Heaven to invade and some Peaches of Immortality to steal.


I remember as a kid (so in the 80s) I watched an anime of this story (I grew up in France but my mother is from Vietnam). One of the best stories and videos of my youth.


Dragon King was actually trying to give pause to the Monkey King by offering to show him the “Magic Needle of the Sea Conqueror” even went as far as telling Monkey King that if he can lift this magical weapon, it’s his. Of course, this didn’t turn out well because he severely underestimated the Monkey King’s strength and of course his luck at figuring out how to make the weapon smaller and more manageable.

Let’s also not forget that he also tried to ask for additional things, namely in spiffy gear to go with his new found weapon. But the Dragon King of the East Seas had nothing else to offer that could satisfy the Monkey King aside from the Staff and had to request the help of his brothers from the West, South, and North Seas to produce Headgear, Armor, and Boots.

Monkey King is finally satisfied to leave the Dragon King(s) alone.


Yes, you are exactly correct. I was summarizing. :slight_smile:


@Rook, you could also watch the first arc of Dragon Ball to get essentially the same story :stuck_out_tongue:


Hmm…I must badly remember the storyline…I’ve got Gohan, Mr. Saitan, Vegeta, Picolo, and “This one goes to 9,000!!!” :grin:


Legend has it that Wu Kong lost his staff in a bet with a fiddle player.


:blush:…tell me another story pleaase. Just one more and I promise to go to sleep :bed:


That would be Dragonball Z, I think it was Dragonball (only Dragonball, so the first one) that was referred. :wink: