So in a thread, Sanzo’s heard that their journey (he highly suspects it’s theirs) is called “The Journey to the West”…and is lass than pleased. He blames it on Goku and Gojyo for saying something stupid without thinking, and it somehow sticking. He also thinks it’s the title a two-year-old came up with.
I was thinking perhaps Sanzo would personally deem it more along the lines of: Genjo Sanzo: Struggling with the Presence of Idiots and Idiocy Since Birth. (Well, not really birth. More reincarnation.)
Anyway. This got me thinking…what would Genjo Sanzo, Son Goku, Cho Hakkai, or Sha Gojyo actually name their journey west if they got to name it, knowing that it’d go into history?
Tagging you people I can think of off the top of my head that are Saiyuki people. Sorry for those I missed! (Cause my head hurts and I’m tired and I know I missed someone.) Everyone’s welcome to reply!
I talk to so many people who have never even heard of the manga Saiyuki, and I wanted to tell all my followers why they should check it out.
Jeep is why you should check it out.
Who is Jeep?
Well, that is a complex metaphysical question, who is anyone really, but what is really important is that Jeep is a tiny white dragon who turns into a literal jeep that the characters use to drive West in the ancient chinese punk-modern setting.
Let me repeat:
A TINY WHITE DRAGON WHO TURNS INTO A JEEP AND IS NAMED JEEP.
He goes ‘Kyuu’.
He flutters around and sits on characters shoulders.
He is the reincarnation of the Dragon God of the Western Sea, a serious and deadly warrior, who died in the prequel and decided “fuck that I’m going to be tiny and white and adorable and melt everyone’s hearts.”
Seriously, ignore the fantastic writing on complex themes like Buddhism and the morality of killing to save yourself, and the fact that is a surprisingly thoughtful adaptation of the classic chinese novel “Journey to the West.” Forget interesting characters that suffer tragedies that define them, but do not limit them, and that the cynical characters and horrific setting ultimately give way to a positive message about how living may be hard but thats what makes it worth it, and how not being reliant on other people doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Ignore all of that.
Focus on the tiny white dragon that turns into a jeep. Do you need any other reason to read something?
(Also, whatever you do READ Saiyuki, do not WATCH Saiyuki. The anime, save for a couple OVA’s, is mostly filler, most of which uses bad sitcom plots like THE PROTAGONISTS FIND A KITTEN, BUT SANZO IS ALERGIC TO THE KITTEN! OH NO! WHAT NOW!)
Saiyuki is by Kazuya Minekura, and ever since Tokyo Pop went under it’s not being translated into english anywhere but online. It’s Josei, which means it’s manga aimed at adult women, which makes it the least imported genre of all manga. Also, interesting note, Dragon Ball is actually a parody of Journey to the West, so one of the main characters is named Son Goku, and no one understands who I’m talking about when I say anything about him. To be fair, pretty much every shonen protagonist is based off Son Goku (from the original novel), in case you were wondering why 90% of them conform to a certain personality and have monkey themes.
Today marks the first day of our annual Journey West.
This year, my family will be driving out to California w/ our trailer, hitting up some southwestern parks on the way (Bryce, Canyonlands, others we haven’t been to in a while) to do some day hikes and mountain biking, summit White Mountain in California afterwards (14,252 ft- 3rd highest mountain in the contiguous states), and then head to our normal vacation destination, above San Francisco, where we will spend a few weeks hiking/biking/playing in the surf.
Halfway through, I’ll be dropped off at SFO and catch a flight to Portland, where I will be meeting the rest of my 5-member party for our Three Sisters Backpacking trip. We will be off the grid for 6-7 days, hopefully summit the south sister, and get 50+ miles in. It will be my first backpacking trip without dad’s expertise alongside me and my first major independent trip.
The one downside is that I won’t have access to any climbing gyms/routes along the way, simply because we won’t have time/I don’t have the proper equipment, but I’ll be in a constant state of activity, so hopefully that won’t be too much of an issue.
I’ll be back in about a month, but I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated with pictures, stories, and much more.
Day 5/6: On the road to the White Mountains of California
Sometime within the next few days, before we hit up the San Fran area per usual, I will (hopefully) be summiting White Mountain Peak in Mono County, California.
White Mountain Peak, at 14,252 feet, is the highest peak in the White Mountains of California, the highest peak in Mono County, and the third highest peak in the state after Mount Whitney and Mount Williamson.
Should be able to see some bristlecone pines/some great views of the Sierras while I’m up there.
Pretty stoked, despite all the shittiness that has gone down in my personal life recently. I dearly hope, to quote one of my favorite José González songs- that every step is moving me up.
In this poignant look at the thirty-year journey of one of our country’s great naturalist writers, Rick Bass describes how he fell in love with the mystique of the West–as a dramatic landscape, as an idea, and as a way of life. Bass grew up in the suburban sprawl of Houston, and after attending college in Utah he spent eight years working in Mississippi as a geologist, until one day he packed up and went in search of something visceral, true, and real. He found it in the remote Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, where despite extensive logging not a single species has gone extinct since the last Ice Age. Bass has lived in “the Yaak” ever since, and in Why I Came West he chronicles his transformation into the writer, hunter, and environmental activist that he is today. He explains how the rugged, wild landscape smoothed out his own rough edges; attempts to define the appeal of the West that so transfixed him as a boy, a place of mountains and outlaws and continual rebirth; and tells of his own role as a reluctant activist—sometimes at odds with his own neighbors—unwilling to stand idly by and watch this treasured place disappear.