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Pig in Chinese Culture

Zhu Bajie

Zhu Bajie (also named Zhu Wuneng, his Buddhist name given by Guan Yim) is a character in the classic novel Journey to the West. Zhu Bajie is also known as “Pig” or “Pigsy” in many English versions of the story. He is also one of the most interesting figures in the story. The story of Journey to the West is about the journey of Xuanzhang (a monk) from China to India (602 – 664), a feat Xuanzhang has to make in order to fetch sutras, the sacred religious texts. In the story, this monk is accompanied by a wayward monkey and a strong “pigsy” (Zhu Bajie) and “Sandy” (Sha Wujing). Sun Wukong’s (Monkey King) character is clever and able, while Zhu Bajie represents a dull half-wit who does not lack in courage and strength or the will to fight.

Zhu BajieZhu Bajie used to be an immortal in Heaven, his name was originally called Tianpeng Yuanshuai. He was a commander in charge of the hundred-thousand heavenly military fleet and is later sent to the earth as a punishment for dallying with the Goddess of the Moon, Cheng’e. He is reincarnated as a half pig and half human by mistake when arriving on earth, therefore his face is similar to that of a pig. He is honest and simple but willing to bear hardships at the same time. He is also gluttonous, lazy, lustful and going after petty advantages.

Pigsy - Journey to the West

Journey to the West Pig

The monk Xuanzhang gives Zhu Bajie a chance to make up for his previous mischivousness and make a new start. Xuanzhang gives the pig the name he is now known as and commisions him to come along on his journey. Bajie means “eight abstinences” and it refers to the manner in which the name bearer should conduct himself – with consideration for Buddhist virtue of self-discipIine, which calls for rising above worldly temptations.

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Zhu Bajie

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On the journey to the West, Zhu Bajie’s task is to serve as a companion and a kind of a security guard. Bajie also has supernatural power just like his fellow disciples. He is capable of 36 transformations and his combat skills underwater are superior to that of Sun Wukong. He often carry a nine-toothed iron rake (weighs about 5,000 kg).

Zhu Bajie stays loyal to his master Tangseng (Monk Xuanzang) and he acts upon whatever his fellow disciple Monkey King (Sun Wukong) says. In the story, the pig man is not as mischievous and powerful as the Monkey, although he appears to be courageous but Zhu Bajie has two major weaknesses, that is food and women. In the original Chinese novel, he is often called daizi (means idiot). Xuanzhang, Sun Wukong and even the author himself refer to him as “idiot” over tthe course of the story. After all, Zhu Bajie has made great contribution to the successful obtaining of Buddhist holy scriptures from the West.

Once the monkey Sun Wukong and monk Xuanzhang become enlighted and enter a whole new level of existence, this gullible pigsy finds himself continuing his earthIy journey alone, accompanied by his mortal desires and withuot any hope of personal enlightenment.

Pig in Feng Shui

In Chinese culture, the pig symbolizes sufficient food, fertility, home safety, material joy, prosperity and wealth, all of them are essential for the upkeep of the family. Pigs were also thought to be efficient guardians of children. The Chinese character for home or family is made up of strokes that resembIe a picture of a pig under the roof.

Usually feng shui pigs are depicted with gold ingots and must appear very fat in nature. For excellent feng shui associated to prosperity, wealth abundance, fertility and successful in all affairs:

  1. You can display the feng shui pig in the southeast corner (wealth corner) according to 8-Aspirations Theory to activate a fat wealth luck.
  2. To increase fertility for those aspiring for children, you can display the feng shui pig by your bedside.
  3. Display the feng shui pig at your workdesk, family area or living room to smoothen your endeavours and jazz up more success in all your affairs.
  4. For businessman, you can place a pig on the director’s desk if you are looking to hire committed workforce for company growth.
  5. Place the feng shui pig into your wealth vases or your wealth ships as potent ingredient to generate unlimiting fat income for you or your household.


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