In the classic 1986 series, he was portrayed by the late Yan Huaili in season 1 and Liu Dagang in season 2.
AppearanceAs a demon in Liusha-he, Sha Wujing has a red beard and red hair, wears a necklace made of nine skulls of the monks he killed. As Xuanzang's student, Wujing changed his appearance, and he now has black hair, wearing a Buddhist pilgrim's robe. He often carries his signature weapon ever since his time on Heaven, a magic wooden staff created by Lu Ban.
As a demon in Liusha River, Sha Wujing is a demonic barbarian who likes to capture and eat humans. However, as Xuanzang's follower, he is actually kind-hearted and loyal, and likely the most polite one among the three. He is also the most realistic, and always try to protect innocent people at all cost. However, Wujing is also notable for not daring to voice his own opinion, despite fully aware of Zhu Bajie's mistakes.
BiographyLike Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing was originally a general in Heaven, a Curtain-Lifting General (in Chinese: 卷帘大将). For unknown reason (most versions said it was an accident), he destroyed a valuable vase of the Jade Emperor, led to the general being exiled to Earth as a humanoid man-eating demon in Liusha River(in Chinese: 流沙河, "flowing-sand river", or "quicksand-river"). After listening to the Bodhisattva Guanyin's advice, he waited for Xuanzang's arrival. When the monk did arrive, Wujing was at first mistaken for an enemy and fought Sun Wukong and Zhu Bajie, two of Xuanzang's students, but when the Bodhisattva Guanyin cleared things up, Wujing finally became the third student of Xuanzang, with a new name Sha Heshang, and got a Buddhist pilgrim's robe.
During the journey, Sha Wujing often helped Wukong and Bajie to fight evil forces to protect his master Xuanzang. Eventually after things succeeded, Wujing was received Buddhahood for his service, as the Golden-bodied Arhat (in Chinese:金身罗汉).
Powers and Abilities
- Hand-to-hand combat: Wujing, despite being weaker than Wukong and Bajie, still possesses great hand-to-hand combat skills.
- Fighting weapon: Wujing is armed with his signature weapon, the magic wooden staff.
- Intelligence: Sha Wujing can use both his intellect and strength, and his politeness had helped in many situations.
- 18 Di Sha transformations: Wujing learned only 18 Di Sha transformations, less than Sun Wukong (who has 72 Di Sha transformations) and Zhu Bajie (who has 36 Di Sha transformations).
- His surname Sha ("sand") was taken from his river-home, while his Buddhist name Wujing means "awakened to purity" or "aware of purity".
- There is a theory speculated that the nine monks which Sha Wujing killed is actually Xuanzang's previous nine incarnations. If so, it would make Sha Wujing technically the only demon in Journey to the West to succeeded in eating Xuanzang, ironically since he never intended to do it.