Saiyuuki ('Journey To The West'), the original name of the show in Japan, in Japanese characters

Monkey (Masaaki Sakai) Pigsy (Toshiyuki Nishida) Sandy (Shiro Kishibe) Tripitaka (Masako Natsume) Pigsy 2 (Tonpei Hidari) Yu-Lung (Shunji Fujimura) Buddha (Mieko Takamine)

Monkey Heaven is a tribute to the cult classic live action Japanese TV series Monkey (sometimes known as Monkey Magic), made by NTV in the late 1970s, and starring Masaaki Sakai, Toshiyuki Nishida, Shiro Kishibe, Masako Natsume, Tonpei Hidari, Shunji Fujimura, Mieko Takamine.

It's based on one of the great quest stories, a 16th century Chinese epic called Hsi Yu Chi (= Journey to the West). The title Monkey is probably from Arthur Waley's English translation. The tales, set in 630 AD, describe the demons and monsters who try to stop the Tang Priest Hs�En Tsang (Tripitaka) from reaching a Buddhist monastery in India to retrieve Buddhist scriptures. The whole series recounts the exploits of the resourceful, brave, and humorous Monkey, the real hero of the fantasy, as he escorts Tripitaka, the pig monster Pigsy, and the water monster Sandy, on their perilous mission.

Hs�En Tsang (Tripitaka) actually lived and really did go to India in 629 A.D. to get Buddhist scriptures.

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LATEST UPDATES: UNSEEN: Masaaki Sakai interview (2000) about "Monkey" 1970s TV show (Eng subs)

8 May 2024:  [new] UNSEEN: Masaaki Sakai interview (2000) about "Monkey" 1970s TV show (Eng subs)  [new]
Masaaki Sakai interview (2000)
Masaaki Sakai interview (2000)
It brings me great pleasure to be able to share this extremely rare interview with Masaaki Sakai with Monkey fans all around the world!!

20 June 2021: Gandhara Covers (a Monkey Heaven YouTube channel playlist)
Check out lots of cover versions of "Gandhara", the much-loved ending song to Monkey!
Includes a famous cover by 2 Englishmen in a band called Splinter, a heavy metal version, a ukelele version, an anime character version and lots more!

6 June 2021: Monkey Magic Covers & Remixes (a Monkey Heaven YouTube channel playlist)
Check out lots of cover versions and remixes of "Monkey Magic", the theme song to Monkey!
Includes a Korean reggae version, 100% Japanese version, chorus line version, ukelele version, and so many more!

21 May 2021: Monkey comes to Netflix! (Australia/New Zealand)
All 52 episodes of Monkey are available to watch on Netflix in Australia and New Zealand NOW!
Further details: Monkey: The crazy, cult Japanese TV show that captivated Kiwi kids comes to Netflix!

16 May 2021: Monkey Pictures - Page 10
Check out this new page featuring very rare black-and-white behind-the-scenes and press conference photographs featuring the Monkey cast!

25 Aprll 2021: Unofficial Monkey merchandise (T-shirts, mugs etc.) - Steve McCombe Shop
Buy unofficial Monkey merchandise featuring Steve's original Monkey cartoon designs! Ship to ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

[See Steve's Monkey Gallery for even more of Steve's Monkey artwork!]

25 March 2021:Monkey Episode Picture Quiz
Can you help me identify the Monkey episode for all the episode stills in this online album?
Browse the picture gallery and add a comment with the episode number (Japanese or UK) from the Monkey Episodes - Full Mapping of all 52 Monkey Episodes page!
It's easy to comment - just click the Comment icon at the top right of each photo page in the gallery!

3 October 2020: Monkey: The Complete Series (Restored) Blu-Ray
The entire series of Monkey was released on Blu-ray for the first time ever in October 2020!!!

Monkey: The Complete Series (Restored) Blu-Ray

All 52 episodes have been fully-restored from the original HD masters!
The release includes the 13 "lost" episodes dubbed by the original dubbing actors in 2004!

UK release [Fabulous Films]

  • Blu-ray:
  • DVD version:

    Australia / New Zealand release [Umbrella Entertainment]

  • Blu-ray:
  • DVD version:
    The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!

    15 September 2020: Monkey Cast - Shiro Kishibe
    It is with a very heavy heart that I have to break the news that on 28th August 2020, Shiro Kishibe, the much-loved actor who played the character of Sandy in "Monkey", died of acute heart failure. He was 71 years old.
    Sandy (Shiro Kishibe)

    12 September 2020: Masaaki Sakai (@machaaki_sakai) / Twitter
    On 3rd September 2020, Masaaki Sakai (the actor who played Monkey) started a Twitter account!
    In his self-introduction, he says that his favourite food is bananas!
    Follow him to check out his posts and photos!

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    Last updated: Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 14:40 (GMT).
    Between Wednesday 5th March 1997 and January 2002, this site was called "Monkey!" and resided at Geocities (note: the title of the TV show is simply "Monkey", not "Monkey!" - no exclamation mark)

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