History of the Monkey King's Magic Iron Staff
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06-01-2015, 10:05 PM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2015 08:30 AM by ghostexorcist.)
History of the Monkey King's Magic Iron Staff
TTA members are no doubt familiar with the character Son Goku from the Dragon Ball Franchise. The earliest manga and anime show the character wielding a red pole, known as the Nyoi bo ("As-you-wish" staff), which has the magical ability to grow or shrink according to his will. Both Goku and his weapon are based on the character Sun Wukong and his magical staff from the Chinese classic Journey to the West (1592). Nyoi bo is a transliteration of Sun's staff the Ruyi bang, a shortened form of Ruyi jingu bang ("As-you-wish" gold-banded staff).

[Image: Goku_powerpole.JPG]

I've written three articles that trace the history of Sun's staff. The first shows how the two literary predecessors of the weapon are based on staves used by religious and martial monks in China; the second suggests the initial description of the staff as a pillar of black iron is based on a 4th-century Hindu monument in India; and the third analyzes the inscription on the weapon and traces the term "As-you-wish" (ruyi) to a ritual scepter used by religious and secular authorities.

1) http://historum.com/blogs/ghostexorcist/...-king.html

2) http://historum.com/blogs/ghostexorcist/...staff.html

3) http://historum.com/blogs/ghostexorcist/...staff.html

These articles might appeal to lover's of Asian history, religion, and mythology.
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16-01-2015, 01:41 AM
RE: History of the Monkey King's Magic Iron Staff
The above material is cited in the recently published book Dragon Ball Culture Volume 2: Adventure (2015). The author contacted me on facebook last year and told me that he had incorporated some of my research into his work. He asked me to look over a couple of chapters since I know quite a bit about the original Chinese novel on which the manga is based. I also answered some primate questions for him.
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