Zhu Ba Jie



Zhu Ba Jie

Meaning: Zhu - surname meaning pig

               Ba - Eight

               Jie - Prohibitions

Origin: Tang San Zang gave him this name when he became his second disciple. Eight Prohibitions refer to the eight basic prohibitions of Buddhism.


Variations: Zhu Bajie


English name(s): Pigsy, Pig (Concise and accurate, yes? >D)


Japanese pronunciation:

Zhu Ba Jie - Cho Hakkai




Unknown. Much older than 500 years.



Pig Demon.


Original Location

Fu Ling Mountain, Gao Village.



Titles/Other Names

(1) Tian Peng Yuan Shuai

His title when he was the general in charge of the Heavenly River and 800,000 navy soldiers.

Japanese pronunciation: Tenpo Gensui


(2) Zhu Wu Neng

The name the Goddess Guanyin gave him when he agreed to protect Tang San Zang. Wu Neng means Awareness of Energy/Ability. Interestingly, when read in a different intonation, it means 'useless', 'without ability'. >D

Japanese pronunciation: Cho Gono


(3) Altar Cleaning God 

His title when he finally attained Buddha status (zheng guo). 'Altar Cleaning' actually means he gets to eat all he wants from all the altars that other gods can't finish. ^_^ Again, this really suits him.




Nine-Toothed Rake (Jiu Chi Ding Pa)

Yes, it is a rake. Yeah, that kind of tool you use to sweep dead leaves and the like. But this isn't any ordinary rake. It was made using a special kind of ice metal, and virtually all the gods in Heaven had a hand in making it. (Well, not all. I was just exaggerating :p) Its structure was made according to the seasons, the constellations, Heaven and Earth, Yin and Yang. It was originally in the possession of the Jade Emperor who gave it to Ba Jie when he became Tian Peng Yuan Shuai.



Magical Powers

(1) 36 Transformation (36 Bian)

It's also a type of transformation magic similar but inferior to Wu Kong's. Because his fa li (magical power) is not strong enough, he can only change into rough, big things, like a mountain, buffalo, rock or a fat man. He needs Wu Kong's help to change into small dainty things like a little girl. Incidentally, Wu Kong had the choice of learning this 36 transformations or the 72 transformations. Happily, he chose the latter immediately.


(2) Cloud Riding

He can fly, yes, but he's very slow compared to Wu Kong because he only knows how to ride clouds.


* Why do I keep comparing him to Wu Kong, you may be thinking? Because I have to give you some idea of his power, and the best way is comparing. Plus, I have a kind of obsession with the monkey guy. ^_^;




(1) Water

He is at ease in deep waters because he was once in charge of the Heavenly River. This is useful because Wu Kong can't fight in water. He also knows what to do while crossing frozen waters, how to find out the depth of a river, and other useful little things like that.


(2) Fighting

He can fight... but not very well. Compared to Wu Kong, at least. Even combined with Wu Jing, Ba Jie wouldn't last very long against him.




In his life as a human, Ba Jie was lazy, stupid, greedy... much like he is now, anyway. Then one day an immortal came to him and advised him to change his way of life, so that he wouldn't suffer when he finally died. Ba Jie upon hearing this asked the immortal to train him. He succeeded into becoming an immortal and ascended to Heaven. He was given the title of Tian Peng Yuan Shuai and was in charge of the Heavenly River.


But one day, after attending the Empress's Peach Banquet, he became very drunk and stumbled into the Guang Han Palace, which is the abode of the Moon Goddess, Chang Er. Because he was drunk, he flirted boldly - very boldly - with Chang Er. Someone reported this to the Jade Emperor and troops surrounded the Guang Han Palace immediately. He was captured and brought to the Jade Emperor. Luckily for him, the God of Venus came forward and asked Jade Emperor to lighten the punishment. So instead of death he was given 2000 strikes of the hammer and exiled from Heaven.


Being the clumsy oaf he was, he went onto the wrong road and was accidentally reincarnated as a pig on Fu Ling Mountain, named Zhu Gang Lie. On the mountain, there was a woman called Sister Luan living in Yun Zhan Cave who let him live with her. Unexpectedly, she died a year later, leaving the cave and everything in it to him. Ba Jie lived on humans until the Goddess of Mercy passed by. She asked him if he was willing to protect the monk of Tang on his pilgrimage to the West. When Ba Jie said yes, she gave him the Buddhist name of Wu Neng and left. Ba Jie waited obediently for Tang San Zang, while obeying the eight prohibitions of Buddhism.


One day, he heard that a wealthy man surnamed Gao from the village nearby was offering his youngest daughter's hand for marriage. Ba Jie went and persuaded old Mr. Gao to accept him. He eventually became a nuisance to the family because he kept showing his true form, an ugly pig demon, sullying their reputation. When Mr. Gao wanted him to sign the divorce documents and leave, he locked his wife up in the rooms in the back yard. Finally, the pilgrims arrived and Wu Kong defeated him. Ba Jie joined their group as San Zang's second disciple.   




Fundamentally, Ba Jie symbolizes man's mundane desires and shortcomings. These three are Ba Jie's basic characteristics:


1. Lustful. He drools disgustingly when he sees beautiful women. Once, he went to spy on eight spider demons (who incidentally looked like beautiful women) when they were bathing in a pool. The pervert changed himself into a monk first and asked if he could bathe with them, and after that he turned into a fish and slinked between their legs......... You get the idea. On a much earlier instance, four gods changed themselves into a beautiful lady and her three young daughters, Zhen Zhen, Ai Ai, and Lian Lian, and gave the pilgrims a test. The fake mother promised them riches and a comfortable life if they would marry her and her daughters. San Zhang ignored her, Wu Kong was kind of derisive, Wu Jing made a little speech on how he had just become San Zhang's disciple and he would never back out of the pilgrimage, and Ba Jie....... was getting an eyeful of the beautiful lady and stuttering...... To cut a long story short, he failed the test and suffered for it, but he didn't learn his lesson. Well, for a while maybe, but old habits are hard to break.


2. Lazy. He complains about his burden and the rough roads - though that may be understandable. But sleeping on the job is not - which he does multiple times. Once, when Wu Kong sends him to scout the area, he goes to sleep in a comfortable spot and prepares a whole load of lies to tell his fellow pilgrims when he goes back. Unknowingly, Wu Kong has been following him from the start. Needless to say, he got chewed out by San Zhang. He is always talking about quitting the pilgrimage whenever they encounter particularly tough obstacles. He would desert his fellow pilgrims without a second thought if they get into trouble. For instance, when he and Wu Jing are fighting a really strong demon (Wu Kong has recently been banished) and they are losing, he gives up and runs away to hide, leaving Wu Jing to fend for himself. Needless to say, Wu Jing is immediately captured by the demon. This goes to show how disloyal he can be.


3. Greedy. Ba Jie has a voracious appetite. He can eat up to 20 times the amount of food for a normal human, and still feel just half full. He is always complaining about being hungry during the journey.


He is also quite humourous, and he provides a lot of the comic relief in the story. He is adequate when it comes to fighting, and helps Wu Kong to defeat some of the demons. He is also a big show-off. There was once when Wu Kong is banished, and they come to a palace, and Ba Jie starts strutting around, doing some showy tricks like turning himself into an enormous giant and flying off on clouds. Naturally, he impresses the king and all the others.


In conclusion, although Ba Jie is a pig-headed, greedy, perverted idiot (as opposed to idiotic pervert XD), he does help out a lot on the journey, albeit reluctantly. He is also one of the most colourful, interesting characters in the story, second only to Wu Kong.








If you have information or comments about Zhu Ba Jie, please tell me.



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