Is it just us or does the just-released design of the Olympic Torch look amazingly like…..
Jingubang, the magic cudgel carried by the legendary Sun Wukong, Sage of Emptiness and Monkey King? Jodi Xu of our Beijing bureau thinks so. “When the unveiling ceremony was held on April 27 in Beijing,” she writes, “the host of the television show exclaimed “This looks exactly like Jin Gu Bang!” when he first saw the torch. The Monkey King is a universally loved figure who appears in the classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West. Jingubang, also known as the as-you-will cudgel, is the magical weapon that wielded by Monkey King when he escorted the Monk of Tang Dynasty, Xuan Zang, to retrive Buddhist sutras from India. It is an iron rod whose size changes according to the whim of the user. When it is not in use, the Monkey King shrank it to the size of a sewing needle and kept it behind his ear.”
The resemblance couldn’t possibly have escaped the designers, who spent endless hours dreaming up different shapes and sizes (a torch with crenelated battlements like the Great Wall, another on which the flame hung off the end of the rod like those carried by children during the Lantern Festival). But although other aspects of the design were explained in minute detail (the cloud pattern on the outside, for example and its connection to cloud-riding Taoist immortals) no mention of the Monkey King was made, so far as I can tell. Perhaps that’s because Monkey spent most of his time using the cudgel to subdue the numerous “western demons” he and his party encountered on the road to India. Or maybe because Monkey is famous for leading a rebellion against the Heavenly Emperor ….