Sun Wu Kong, also known as the Monkey King, is a major character in Journey to the West, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It recounts the legendary pilgrimage of the Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who travelled westwards with three protectors, one of whom was Sun Wu Kong. Published in the 16th century, the popular tale combined comic adventure and profound insight as the group journeyed towards enlightenment aided by the power and virtue of cooperation.
Sun Wu Kong was born on Flower Fruit Mountain from a stone egg that was created by the coupling of Heaven and Earth. He was given the title Monkey King after distinguishing himself by fearlessly leaping through a waterfall and discovering blissful Water Curtain Cave for the other monkeys. Endowed with supernatural powers and hard to control, however, he caused trouble in Heaven and was imprisoned by Buddha. Five centuries later, in exchange for his freedom, he offered to serve as a disciple of the pilgrim Xuanzang who was on his way to retrieve Buddhist scriptures from India.
The Monkey King’s primary weapon was his staff, the ‘Ruyi Jingu Bang’, which he could shrink down to the size of a needle and keep in his ear, or expand to gigantic proportions. Able to leap vast distances and transform his appearance, he was the most powerful member of the pilgrimage and best at combatting the demons who threatened their journey. Having kept Xuanzang safe, Sun Wu Kong was granted Buddhahood for his service and strength on their return to China.
Struck from 99.9% pure silver, this coin features a vivid portrayal of the Monkey King, Sun Wu Kong during his adventures. An ideal release with which to celebrate the Year of the Monkey, just 5,000 of these colourful coins will be released in presentation packaging.