JC is from Taiwan, a country heavily influenced by Chinese culture (the island was a part of China until 1945, China still considers it a territory). One of his favorite fictional characters is from Chinese mythology. His name is Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King. “He’s like a superhero,” J explains. “He goes around on all these adventures, beating up bad guys and saving people.” The character is actually a monkey who carries a giant staff and can transform into various other animals. J says that Sun Wukong “makes his enemies really small and puts them in gourds after defeating them.”
J says that he probably first learned about Sun Wukong from his parents or nanny. The Monkey King is involved in many stories that are told to kids from a young age. J tells me that he remembers making up Sun Wukong stories as a little boy, and pretending to be him while playing make-believe with his friends. The character is apparently very popular in China/Taiwan. He is somewhat of an idol for kids due to his cool fighting abilities.
The popularity of Sun Wukong as a mythological creature is apparent. He is exciting and interesting. The character has a rich history told through an array of stories. This defines the character a lot more than other legends or even myths. Sun Wukong has also become a part of popular western culture. A few characters from video games are modeled after the Monkey King due to his fighting abilities. The movie Kung Fu Panda 3 also features Sun Wukong. It is probably one of China’s most recognized mythological characters.