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Sun Wukong - The Buddha has Awakened by Ghostexorcist Sun Wukong - The Buddha has Awakened :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 5 2
Literature
The Skills Sun Wukong Learns From Subhuti
This entry will explore the curriculum that Sun Wukong follows while studying under the immortal sage Master Subhuti in India. Monkey stays in the immortal's monastery for a total of ten years, the first seven living as a junior Daoist monk and the last three as a close disciple of Subhuti. Apart from menial tasks like fetching firewood and water, tending the garden, and cleaning the monastery grounds, Monkey first receives lessons on human language and etiquette, calligraphy, scripture reading, and minor ritual procedures like incense burning. These are taught to him by his senior religious brothers, thereby freeing up the Sage to teach higher level lessons on philosophy, internal alchemy, magic, and other skills to his more advanced students.
I should point out that Sun's greatest asset during his training appears to be a supernatural mental acuity. Upon becoming
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Sun Wukong and His Teacher Master Subhuti by Ghostexorcist Sun Wukong and His Teacher Master Subhuti :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 5 1 Sun Wukong: The Immortal has Awakened by Ghostexorcist Sun Wukong: The Immortal has Awakened :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 2 0 Sun Wukong learns of the Three Calamities by Ghostexorcist Sun Wukong learns of the Three Calamities :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 4 1
Literature
The Worship of Sun Wukong in Wanfu Temple
As a historian of the great Chinese classic Journey to the West (1592), much of my time researching is spent flipping through piles of books or searching the internet. Rarely do I get the opportunity to conduct field research on living traditions connected with the novel. That’s why I was excited to learn of the Buddho-Daoist Wanfu temple (Wanfu an, 萬福庵) (fig. 1 and 2) in Tainan, Taiwan where they worship Sun Wukong under his guise as the Great Sage Equaling Heaven (Qitian Dasheng, 齊天大聖). This happened to coincide with a short break from school, allowing me time to travel. I left Taipei where I live and stayed in the West Central District of the southern municipality. My afternoon was spent independently touring both floors of the recently renovated temple and taking numerous pho
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CSI: Monkey King by Ghostexorcist CSI: Monkey King :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 2 0 Ceramic 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven' Calabash by Ghostexorcist Ceramic 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven' Calabash :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 0 0 Monkey Lee by Ghostexorcist Monkey Lee :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 7 10
Literature
Sun Wukong's Greatest Feat of Strength
Last updated: 08/10/2018
Now that I’ve written an entry debunking the idea that Sun Wukong’s staff anchored the Milky Way, I now want to write a piece about his greatest feat of strength in Journey to the West. This feat takes place in chapter 33 after Zhu Bajie has been captured by two demon brothers, Kings Goldhorn (Jinjiao Dawang, 金角大王) and Silverhorn (Yinjiao Dawang, 銀角大王). King Silverhorn, the younger of the two, then sets out to capture Tripitaka but is forced to resort to trickery when he learn
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Literature
10 Facts About Sun Wukong the Monkey King
I recently created a youtube video detailing ten lesser-known facts about the Monkey King. Below I link to the video and present the script.

Opening:

     Stone Monkey, Handsome Monkey King, Keeper of the Heavenly horses, Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Pilgrim, Victorious Fighting Buddha. Sun Wukong is known by many names. This much beloved character is a staple of modern pop culture, appearing in countless movies, television shows, videogames, and other related media. His most famous adaptation is of course Son Goku from the Dragon Ball Franchise. But he is best known from his adventures in the great 16th-century Chinese classic Journey to the West. In this video we will explore ten facts that even superfans of the novel may not know about the history of the Monkey King. References for each fact are available in the description. Let’s get started.
10. He’s not Chinese
     Jiangsu province, China is hom
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Literature
The Sun Wukong Stone Relief of Kaiyuan Temple
The southern Chinese seaport of Quanzhou in Fujian province is home to Kaiyuan Temple (開元寺), also known as the Purple Cloud Temple (Ziyun si, 紫雲寺), an ancient Buddhist complex originally built in 686. The temple is famous for its two stone pagodas, each of which is covered in 80 lifesize relief carvings of bodhisattvas, arhats, patriarchs, protector deities, and various mythological creatures rendered in a rustic style influenced by the Northern Song Dynasty school of art (Ecke & Demiéville, 1935, pp. 11-18). One figure of interest is a muscular, sword-wielding, monkey-headed warrior (fig. 1) located on the northeastern side of the western pagoda’s fourth story. Many scholars consider this to be an early depiction of
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13th-C. Monkey King Relief w Modern Interpretation by Ghostexorcist 13th-C. Monkey King Relief w Modern Interpretation :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 5 2
Literature
What Does Sun Wukong Look Like?
Last updated: 08/31/2018
Type “Sun Wukong” into google images and you will be presented with an endless array of pictures that range from the familiar to the alien. A fanciful 1960s cartoondepiction of our hero sits to the left of a SMITE video game character with hulking muscles and a weapon more akin to a club than a staff. A toy version of Liu Xiao Ling Tong‘s much beloved 
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Artsy Title by Ghostexorcist Artsy Title :iconghostexorcist:Ghostexorcist 2 0
Literature
Sun Wukong and Martial Arts
Last updated: 08/07/2018
The Monkey King is well known for his prowess with the staff, but the first seven chapters detailing his early life, attainment of immortality, and rebellion against heaven surprisingly do not mention him training in martial arts. It’s generally understand, however, that he learns the art of combat while studying under the immortal sage Subhuti. Beyond the staff, Sun Wukong comes to master boxing, a skill he displays only a few times in the novel. A poem appearing in chapter 51 describes his unarmed battle with a rhinoceros demon. Martial historian Meir Shahar (2008) notes it “[gave] the author an opportunity to display his familiarity with the contemporary jargon of ‘postures’ (shi and
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sun wukong by ImagineFlags sun wukong :iconimagineflags:ImagineFlags 3 1 monkey king fight ver (inflames toys) by ThetisL monkey king fight ver (inflames toys) :iconthetisl:ThetisL 1 0 Allian by maxasabin Allian :iconmaxasabin:maxasabin 259 12 Nataraja and Surya by EbruKash Nataraja and Surya :iconebrukash:EbruKash 19 8 Monkey King by Elmic-Toboo Monkey King :iconelmic-toboo:Elmic-Toboo 6 2 Shiva and Shakti. by goraakkaya Shiva and Shakti. :icongoraakkaya:goraakkaya 26 18 Protect Our Master!!! by poibuts Protect Our Master!!! :iconpoibuts:poibuts 1,237 46 Mama by RedreevGeorge Mama :iconredreevgeorge:RedreevGeorge 304 34 Monkey king by Fufunha Monkey king :iconfufunha:Fufunha 9 3 Shiva by Flycan Shiva :iconflycan:Flycan 70 4 inktober 005 by Tianwaitang inktober 005 :icontianwaitang:Tianwaitang 12 4 the Victorious Fighting Buddha by Tianwaitang the Victorious Fighting Buddha :icontianwaitang:Tianwaitang 23 12 Durga by kevinsidharta Durga :iconkevinsidharta:kevinsidharta 54 9 Journey to the West by SammyTorres Journey to the West :iconsammytorres:SammyTorres 175 25 Sun Wukong by SammyTorres Sun Wukong :iconsammytorres:SammyTorres 165 20 Hanuman by DoctorChevlong Hanuman :icondoctorchevlong:DoctorChevlong 42 19

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Ghostexorcist
Jim R. McClanahan
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United States
U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper-turned-college graduate with a degree in Anthropology and minors in Chinese and Art History. I wanted to be a professional artist in my younger years, but I really don't draw anymore. I make art exclusively on the computer now. Cartoons were my dominant mode of expression for years, but I've transitioned more into photomanipulations.

Favourite style of art: Tibetan Buddhist
Operating System: Windows 8 (unfortunately)
Favourite cartoon character: Freakazoid!
Interests

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Sun Wukong - The Buddha has Awakened
I recently saw this really neat 12th-century Japanese wooden statue of the Chinese Buddhist monk Baozhi (寶志, 418–514) with his face splitting open to reveal the Bodhisattva Guanyin, symbolizing his attainment of enlightenment. 

imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/102…

I decided to do my own version with the Monkey King because he becomes a Buddha at the end of Journey to the West. The outer screaming face gives way to one of serenity, denoting Monkey's transition from an angry immortal to an enlightened Buddha. The sparks at the top represent his headband snapping open since he no longer needs it. Holy light emanates from the Urna on his forehead. 

This article explains my thought process in more depth.

journeytothewestresearch.wordp…

Here are the images used:

1) Screaming Monkey (Snow Macaque bearing teeth):

 www.alamy.com/stock-photo-japa…

 2) Buddha within (resting Snow Macaque):

 www.bbc.com/earth/story/201504…

 3) Headband: Own stock

 4) Spark from snapping headband (welding sparks):

 jooinn.com/sparks-of-welding.h…

 5) Holy rays (sunbeam render):

 picsart.com/i/sticker-sunrays-…

 6) Monk robe:

 pxhere.com/en/photo/933002

 7) Hand (Snow Macaque grooming):

 www.alamy.com/japan-honshu-nag…

8) Background (Tibetan Buddhist Temple):

twinandphotography.blogspot.co…

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This entry will explore the curriculum that Sun Wukong follows while studying under the immortal sage Master Subhuti in India. Monkey stays in the immortal's monastery for a total of ten years, the first seven living as a junior Daoist monk and the last three as a close disciple of Subhuti. Apart from menial tasks like fetching firewood and water, tending the garden, and cleaning the monastery grounds, Monkey first receives lessons on human language and etiquette, calligraphy, scripture reading, and minor ritual procedures like incense burning. These are taught to him by his senior religious brothers, thereby freeing up the Sage to teach higher level lessons on philosophy, internal alchemy, magic, and other skills to his more advanced students.

I should point out that Sun's greatest asset during his training appears to be a supernatural mental acuity. Upon becoming Subhuti's close disciple, Monkey rapidly masters skills that even his more senior religious brothers cannot grasp. The novel therefore refers to our hero as "someone who, knowing one thing, could understand a hundred" (Wu & Yu, 2012, vol. 1, p. 122). Monkey's intellect allows him to outsmart many opponents and bypass many obstacles during his later adventures.

I. Overtly stated

These subjects are overtly mentioned in chapter two.

1) Chinese Philosophy - One poem best describes the philosophical lessons taught by Subhuti:

With words so florid and eloquent
That gold lotus sprang from the ground.
The doctrine of three vehicles he subtly rehearsed,
Including even the laws' minutest tittle.
The yak-tail waved slowly and spouted elegance:
His thunderous voice moved e'en the Ninth Heaven.
For a while he lectured on Dao;
For a while he spoke on Chan--
To harmonize the Three Parties is a natural thing.
One word's elucidation filled with truth
Points to the birthless showing nature's mystery
(Wu & Yu, 2012, vol. 1, p. 122).

This poem is a prime example of the Ming syncretic philosophy of the Three Teachings (Sanjiao, 三教): Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. "The doctrine of the three vehicles" could refer to the three main branches of Buddhism, namely Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, but could also be referring to the Three Teachings (the same as the "Three Parties" mentioned further down the poem). "The yak-tail waved slowly and spouted elegance" refers to the bingfu (秉拂), or "to take hold of the whisk", a metonym for a sermon by a learned Chan (Zen) master conducted from a high chair. The phrase derives from the fly whisk (Sk: vālavyajana; Ch: fuzi, 拂子; Jp: hossu, 払子), a symbol of religious authority held in hand during a lesson (Robert & David, 2013, p. 120). "His thunderous voice moved e'en the Ninth Heaven" refers to the Nine Heavens (jiutian, 九天) of Daoism (Pregadio, 2008, pp. 593-594). And of course the poem goes onto mention Subhuti lecturing on both Chan and the Dao. An immortal lecturing on Buddhism may come as a surprise to some readers. However, it should be remembered that Subhuti is based on one of the Buddha's historical disciples.

Sun Wukong and Subhuti

Sun Wukong and Master Subhuti. Take note of the fly whisk in the sage's hands. Photomanipulation by the author (larger version). The original photo of the monk can be found on this blog about the fly whisk.

2) The Secret of Immortality - As I've explained in this article, Sun achieves immortality via breathing exercises designed to absorb yang energy during prescribed times (after midnight and before noon), the retention of chaste semen and transformation into qi energy, and the purification and circulation of the resulting spiritual energy throughout his body. While these practices are traditionally associated in Daoist internal alchemy with the formation of an immortal spirit that is eventually freed from the mortal shell, Monkey's practice results in an ageless, adamantine physical body, one capable of lifting even cosmic mountains.

Immortal Awakened

Monkey achieves immortality. Photomanipulation by the author (larger version).

3) The 72 Heavenly Transformations - This series of oral formulas allows Wukong to change his physical appearance into anything from gods, monsters, and humans to animals, insects, and even inanimate objects like buildings. Subhuti teaches this skill to Monkey with the expressed purpose of escaping three heaven-sent calamities meant to destroy immortals for defying their fate. Despite the intended use, this skill becomes one of his greatest strengths.

Because of Monkey's mental acuity he is able to instantly remember all of the oral formulas imparted to him and, after some practice, he quickly masters the transformations.


Sun's heated battle of transformations with the god Erlang. From the 1965 animated classic Havoc in Heaven.

4) Cloud-Somersaulting - The combination of a hand mudra and an oral formula allows Monkey to rise above the ground and travel at immense speed by somersaulting from cloud to cloud, each leap being 108,000 li, or 33,554 miles (54,000 km) long.

This skill is mastered in a single night.

37e2fc9cebe000bb1c76c73e7ad2963a-d5oas0h

Monkey flying on clouds. Drawing by Funzee on deviantart (larger version).

II. Implied

Sun Wukong's tutelage in these subjects are never stated but are understood to have taken place.

5) General Daoist Magic -  This skill allows him to call forth gods and spirits, part fire and water, create an impassable barrier, conger a wind storm, cast illusions, freeze someone in place, unlock any lock, give human disciples superhuman strength, etc.

What's interesting is that, during his training, Monkey expressly passes on learning the bureaucratic-style magic rites normally used by earthly priests simply because the skill won't result in his immortality. Instead, after achieving eternal life, Sun is just so powerful he can command the very gods themselves to do his bidding. His lack of ritual knowledge is highlighted in chapter 45 when he agrees to engage in a rain-making competition with an animal spirit disguised as a Daoist priest. The spirit relies on an established liturgy involving a ritual sword and tablet, as well as the burning of a written note. This elaborate ritual initiates a bureaucratic chain in which the request is sent to heaven, the Jade Emperor agrees to the appeal, and then heavenly officials, namely the gods of wind, clouds, lightning, and rain, are dispatched to fulfill the application. But Monkey rises into the clouds above to bully the respective deities into helping him instead, noting: "I don't know how to burn charms, issue summons, or strike any tablet. So all of you must play along with me" (Wu & Yu, 2012, vol. 2, p. 293).

Likewise, Monkey is so powerful that he can bring the dead back to life by simply fetching a person's soul from the underworld (like he does for an elderly benefactor in chapter 97).

123 magic

Sun casting a magic spell. Drawing by Poppindollars on deviantart (larger version).

6) The Art of War - I'm including military and civilian martial arts in this section as both are related.

6.1 Weaponry - After returning home in chapter 3, the young immortal teaches his children how to wield a plethora of weapons, including swords, spears, axes, bows and arrows, etc. Of course, he shortly thereafter acquires his magic staff, the weapon most commonly associated with him. Monkey's skill with the staff is so great, in fact, that his supernatural technique is likened in chapter 33 to two of the Seven Military Classics of China.

Monkey's broad knowledge of weapons implies that he learns the famous "Eighteen Martial Arts" (Shiba ban wuyi, 十八般武藝). A vague list of these war implements first appeared during the Song Dynasty, but a later definitive list became "a standard shorthand for complete martial arts knowledge" in Yuan-period stage plays (Lorge, 2012, p. 146). One version of the list appearing in the great Chinese classic The Water Margin (c. 1400) includes everything from chains, clubs, and whips to axes, halberds, and even early firearms (Lorge, 2012, p. 147). Variations on the eighteen weapons remained a staple of Chinese stage plays, oral literature, and written fiction. Therefore, it's no wonder a great warrior like Monkey would come to be associated with the mastery of so many weapons.

the_monkey_king_by_jeremyblz_d21hdow-pre

Monkey assaults heavenly forces with his magic staff. Drawing by JeremyBLZ on deviantart (larger version).

6.2. Military Maneuvers - Monkey goes onto train his children how to march, go on patrol, follow orders directed by flags and battle drums, and advance and retreat, turning the tangled mass of monkeys into an elite army.


Sun's children engaging in mock battles during their training. From Havoc in Heaven. 

6.3. Boxing - Sun displays a mastery of unarmed boxing in chapters one and 50, the former against a demon who takes over his mountain home in his absence and the latter against a Rhinoceros demon who steals his staff. Both chapters describe Monkey using techniques akin to short fist, a style known for quick, compact punches. Learning this close range style may be out of necessity, though, considering Sun is so short (he's less than 4ft (122cm) tall).

In his wonderful book The Shaolin Monastery (2008), Prof. Meir Shahar of Tel Aviv University shows Shaolin kungfu developed during the Ming-Qing transition from a synthesis of Daoist gymnastics (stretching and breathing exercises), religious rituals, and fist techniques. This new form of spiritual cultivation ushered in the era of so-called "internal martial arts", Taiji boxing being the most famous among them.

Interestingly, some of the real world techniques used by Monkey and his opponent in chapter 50 appear in Taiji boxing.

Journey to the West (1592) was published during the late Ming when this synthesis was in full swing. Therefore, Sun's study of martial arts in a religious institution is an accurate snapshot of one facet of 16th-century monastic life.

boxing

Sun teaching a young human apprentice martial arts. Drawing by Celsohenrique on deviantart (larger version).

7) Chinese Medicine - This skill is displayed only once in the novel. In chapter 69, Monkey works to diagnose the long standing malady of a foreign emperor. But due to the immortal's monstrous appearance, he is forced to analyze the ruler from afar, using three magic hairs-turned-golden strings to measure the vibrations of the pulse from three locations of each forearm. Sun deduces the illness is caused by fear and anxiety over the loss of the monarch's queen, who had been kidnapped by a demon. Monkey then concocts three pills from a collection of herbs and administers the elixir with liquid. The medicine causes the emperor to pass an obstruction in his bowls, thus restoring the natural qi flow in his body and curing him of his sickness.

Baring the strings, Monkey's method of reading the pulse aligns with real Chinese medicinal practice. The area of the forearm analyzed by traditional Chinese doctors is known as Cunkou (寸口, the "inch opening"), and this is broken up into the three spots Cun (寸, "inch"), Guan (關, "pass"), and Chi (尺, "foot"). The mirrored spots on each arm are believed to correspond to specific internal organs. For example, the Cun spot (nearest the wrist) on the right hand corresponds to the lung, while that of the left hand corresponds to the heart (source). Therefore, analyzing the pulse at these spots is believed to reveal the health of the corresponding organs.

TCM hand chart

The spots analyzed during pulse diagnosis.

III. Conclusion 

Monkey stays in Subhuti's monastery for a total of ten years, the first seven living as a junior Daoist monk and the last three as a close disciple of Subhuti. During his time as a junior monk, he learns human language and etiquette, calligraphy, scripture reading, and incense burning. These foundational skills are taught to him by his senior religious brothers. During his time with Subhuti, Sun learns Chan and Daoist philosophy; the secret of immortality; the 72 heavenly transformations; cloud-somersaulting; general Daoist magic; military arts like troop maneuvering, weapons, and boxing; and medicine.

The skills learned by Sun are varied, straddling the religious, the literary, and the martial. Therefore, Monkey is a perfect example of what Deng Mingdao (1990) calls the "Scholar Warrior":

Skill is the essence of the Scholar Warrior. Such a person strives to develop a wide variety of talents to a degree greater than even a specialist in a particular field. Poet and boxer. Doctor and swordsman. Musician and knight. The Scholar Warrior uses each part of his or her overall ability to keep the whole in balance, and to attain the equilibrium for following the Tao. Uncertainty of the future inspires no fear: whatever happens, the Scholar Warrior has the confidence to face it (p. 10).

Sources

Deng, M. D. (1990). Scholar warrior: An introduction to the Tao in everyday life. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.

Lorge, P. A. (2012). Chinese martial arts: From antiquity to the twenty-first century. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Pregadio, F. (2008). Jiutian 九天 Nine Heavens In F. Pregadio (Ed.), The encyclopedia of Taoism: Volume 1 (pp. 593-594). London [u.a.: Routledge].

Robert, E. B. J., & David, S. L. J. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press.

Shahar, M. (2008). The Shaolin monastery: History, religion, and the Chinese martial arts. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

Wu, C., & Yu, A. C. (2012). The journey to the west: Volumes 1-4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

The Skills Sun Wukong Learns From Subhuti
Here I explore everything that Sun Wukong learns from Master Subhuti, including Chan and Daoist philosophy, the secret of immortality, the 72 transformations, cloud-somersaulting, general Daoist magic, troop maneuvering, weapons, boxing, and medicine.

The article was originally posted here.

journeytothewestresearch.wordp…
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Sun Wukong and His Teacher Master Subhuti
Here I explore everything that Sun Wukong learns from his first teacher Master Subhuti, including Chan and Daoist philosophy, the secret of immortality, the 72 transformations, cloud-somersaulting, general Daoist magic, troop maneuvering, weapons, boxing, and medicine.

journeytothewestresearch.wordp…
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Sun Wukong: The Immortal has Awakened
This is a bare-bones version of a photomanipulation that I have planned but currently lack the technical skills needed to finish. It depicts Sun Wukong upon the fruition of his self-cultivation. I call it "The Immortal has Awakened". I detail the methods used by Monkey in this article:

journeytothewestresearch.wordp…

The images used (all credit to the original photographers)

1) Background - www.epicworldphotography.com/m…

2) Monkey - i.redd.it/vnxkqp4b1fxx.jpg

3) Meditating monk - zenrevolution.files.wordpress.…
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:iconjttwlover:
JTTWlover Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2018
Hi Ghostexorcist (can I call you only Ghost?).
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:iconghostexorcist:
Ghostexorcist Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sure!
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:iconjttwlover:
JTTWlover Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2018
Hi
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:iconghostexorcist:
Ghostexorcist Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi back
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:iconjttwlover:
JTTWlover Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2018
Have you seen the first chap pf “Zodiac kids”?
I’ve submitted it in the Chinese-Fanclub
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:iconghostexorcist:
Ghostexorcist Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No, I'll check it out
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:iconjoerb:
JoeRB Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018
Had no clue you were on deviantart, or had a Monkey King group! Way cool!
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:iconghostexorcist:
Ghostexorcist Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep, been on here for several years. I don't post much art nowadays. I spend so much time studying at school and doing research in my free time. I have a few story ideas on here, but they need fleshing out.

I hope you feel better soon.
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:icondennis64:
Dennis64 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice meme Jim
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:icondali-chen:
Dali-Chen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2017  Professional Filmographer
Thanks for the request.I love monkeyking since I was a 5years boy.
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