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Xuangang, Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing, fictional characters of a classic Chinese novel. The fictional character Xuanzang is a central character of the classic Chinese novel 'Journey to the West'. Xuanzang, the 'Tang Monk', travels to India to retrieve Buddhist sutras. In the story, he is constantly terrorized by monsters and demons because of a legend that they would obtain immortality by eating the flesh of a holy man. While he is a pacifist who has no fighting ability of his own, he is flanked by his three powerful disciples - Sun Wukong ('The 'Monkey King'), Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing - themselves "monsters" who have vowed to protect him on his journey in order to atone for their sins in Heaven; while the heavenly origins of Sun Wukong are up for debate, both Bajie and Wujing (and even the horse on which Xuanzang rides) were once minor deities in Heaven who were cast to Earth for their wrongdoings. Zhu Bajie looks like a terrible monster, part human and part pig, who often gets himself and his companions into trouble by his laziness, his gluttony, and his propensity for lusting after pretty women; street scene, China Town, Bangkok

Photographer:Valeska Gehrmann
© 2008:Valeska Gehrmann at