AvatarSpirit.Net
Aug 20, 2019 07:33 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
ASN Mainsite: AvatarSpirit.net
 
   Home   Help Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Avatar, Journey to the West and Musashi  (Read 4784 times)
servidor
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 550

Teresa of the Faint Smile


« on: Sep 14, 2006 11:58 am »

I don't know if this topic had been discussed before but I was wondering a about the show's Asian background. I have to admit that my knowledge in the themes I want to converse is very limited and I would gladly hear other members opinions and corrections with a deeper knowledge of this matter.

First I found some loose, very loose similarity between the Avatar's quest and the Chinese classic tale "Journey to the West". The mentioned tale is as famous in the East as the Arthurian legends or the Cid Campeador in the west. Both the show and the tale are journeys of knowledge and enlightenment.

Some character share similarities too, the easiest one was Sokka, who is akin to Zhu Bajie, Pig of the Eight Prohibitions, both are glutons and are fond of the ladies, they both even flirt/ fall in love with the Moon Goddess Change/ Yue. At first I thought that Aang would be similar to the monk Xuan Zang, but given the young Avatar carefree, playful nature and great power, he would be Sun Wukon or Monkey King, both, in a way, ride the clouds, use the staff, Aang was traped in an Iceberg and Sun Wukon under a mountain. Katara would be the monk Xuan Zang, she went to the north in a pilgrimage for knowledge. Both Katara and Xuan Zang released Aang and Sun Wukon from their slumber and took them as disciplines. Maybe Toph or Zuko could be similar to Sha Wujin, I don't have many info of this character other than he was banished. Again Zuko or maybe Appa are akin to Xiao Bai Long, Third prince of the Dragon-King of the West, transformed to a horse to carry Xuan Zang.

More info in "Journey to the West" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_west 

Another similarity I found, maybe I´m trying to hard to find connections that don't exist, is that of Prince Zuko and the young Miyamoto Musashi, from the historical novel "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa rather than the real historical person. I have to admit that I didn't read all the novel, though I liked it, and it was many years ago. Both in their youths were furious, unruly and untamed characters, they never surrender, but with the help of a mentor grew up to become powerful warriors. In the case of Musashi was the Zen Monk Takuan, in Zuko's case his Uncle Iroh. Another similarity is that Musashi was the founder of the niten'ichi "Two heavens as one" or nitoichi "Two swords as one" school that use both the long and short sword in battle. Zuko uses two broad swords. Other situation are the enemies they faced. Zhao, Azula and probably Jet in future episodes, are akin to the Yoshioka sword school and the kenshi Sasaki Kojiro, maybe Azula or Jet are similar to Sasaki Kojiro, in the ground that these characters were/are long-time rivals and the most challenging they ever faced. The last thing I can thing of is the mental state required to bend lighting is, in my uneducated opinion, similar to that practitioners of the Zen strive to achieve, one of the negation of self or ego.

More info on Miyamoto Musashi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyamoto_Musashi                                 
« Last Edit: Sep 14, 2006 01:43 pm by servidor » Logged
Firelord Sunny
Banned Member
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1046

Yip yip!

ladymecha
« Reply #1 on: Sep 14, 2006 02:37 pm »

well Avatar certainly shares some traits of journey to the west, as does dragon ball (in fact Akira Toriyama was a big fan of the story)
Logged

Space, the final frontier...
These are the voyages of the flying bison Appa.
His ongoing mission, to explore strange new worlds,
To help Aang seek out new bending masters and escape the firenation.
To boldy go where no flying bison has gone before...

Keeper of Davros' frozen head
Karalora
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1778


« Reply #2 on: Sep 14, 2006 02:47 pm »

Yeah, Toriyama has openly admitted that he based Dragonball loosely on "Journey to the West." (Of course, it quickly took off in all sorts of weird directions that were never in the original story.)

I wonder if the similarities in Avatar were deliberate on Mike and Bryan's part or if they're just subconsciously dipping into the same set of archetypes. I've always thought Aang was very Monkey King-like, but not having read "Journey to the West," I never would have picked up on the other characters.
Logged

Why yes, as a matter of fact, I do write fanfiction.
jakniclesin
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 872

LIES!!!

jakniclesin@yahoo.com
« Reply #3 on: Sep 14, 2006 08:00 pm »

Man too many things are base on The Journey to the West, but I find Avatar to be extemely original and refreshing, escpecially for something coming out of Nickelodeon. I wouldn't dwell on it too long, and I won't...
Logged


Keeper of Toph's Manners.
Kendodude
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: Sep 15, 2006 12:04 am »

Hehe, I still have a bunch of huge children type books from visiting Thailand about the journey west tales. But the books were more based on the monkey king. I thought it was hella amusing to see all the paintings in the book.

I think i'll try digging them up and look for references from episodes of Avatar. I should reread them anyway. For a childrens book it sure has alot of violence and blood. eek.
« Last Edit: Sep 15, 2006 12:06 am by Kendodude » Logged
Yong Wing
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 3592


I'm a brand new sky to hang the stars upon tonight


« Reply #5 on: Sep 15, 2006 05:55 pm »

Wow. Never noticed that many similarities with "Journey To The West" till now. I'll have to read it again.

As for Miyamoto Musashi, I think the creators did take that for Zuko's character. They did say some of the show's anime was inspired by Cowboy Bebop, created by Shinichiro Watanabe, who often associated samurai stuff into his shows. He even had a weird chracter in one episode of Samurai Champloo who said his name was Miyamoto Musashi, but then says he was kidding & says, "Just call me Johnny." I think Musashi fits Zuko well.
Logged



Sig by Sedai ^_^
Darmani
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 948


Maigano
« Reply #6 on: Sep 15, 2006 07:36 pm »

Journey West is so ... I forget the word it means so popular and good that it connects and is apart of everything that finding anything it wouldn't fit is the hard part.  It is considerred one of THE great asian stories of history.  A classic even when it was put to pen like King Arthur. 

The training journey complete with wise mentor is also well and beyond musashi he himself was... well hmm I don't wanna add to the mythos you likely already have in your head (you readers not a single poster) but let's just say the idea was ancient by time his clan would be new, okay?  Its a trope of kungfu fiction.  Its got more in tie with say the myths cultural idioms and idea with asia and martial arts than anything.

I don't mean to rag... well only to an extent when I mean to say you must broaden your horizons completely.  Zuko to the Avatar himself are all well worn character archetypes from the world over.  Its never their originality but their freshness and good execution that makes them what they are .
« Last Edit: Sep 15, 2006 07:41 pm by Darmani » Logged

Darmani promises not to use "CANON" if Zutarians don't use "DESTINY"
I want a Book Air, Avatar Pen and Paper RPG, and *good* near free-form action video game. I also want a pony.
Majin_Koenma
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 747


Proud Aang hater, Introvert and Nonshipper


« Reply #7 on: Sep 15, 2006 08:56 pm »

What a cool topic. I'm actually reading Journey to the west right now, and now that I think about it I do see a few similarities between JTTW and Avatar. Aang does resemble Sun Wukong in some respects, though he lacks the Monkey King's calculating, trouble making nature. Sokka shars some traits in common with Zhu Ba Jie, and Katara remindes me of the monk San Zang in some ways. Mot that I think Avatar is based off JTTW, but it does seem to be drawing on the same steryotypes.
Logged

President of Ba Sing Se/Tessigua master
Keeper of ...
-The Yu Yan Archer's arrows
-Sozin/Roku's crown/The Light Chakra/Master Piandao's sword
ASN's #1 Aang anti-fan
Darmani
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 948


Maigano
« Reply #8 on: Sep 17, 2006 10:42 pm »

When they are nonoffensive or at least particularly judgemental we call them archetypes.

Yah I don't get it either.
Logged

Darmani promises not to use "CANON" if Zutarians don't use "DESTINY"
I want a Book Air, Avatar Pen and Paper RPG, and *good* near free-form action video game. I also want a pony.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines LLC
MySQL | PHP | XHTML | CSS