Journey to the West in China is definitely a masterpiece, sharing the title of “Four Great Classical Novels” with A Dream in Red Mansions, Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Especially the TV series of Journey to the West, it accompanies almost every one’s childhood especially since 1980s. We know that Tang Seng and his 3 apprentices experienced 81 sufferings before they got the real Buddhist scriptures from ancient India.
Which suffering is the toughest one? Why? People always have different opinions.
I, from my personal side, think the Lady Kingdom is the largest difficulty which is most possible to stop his pace to the west. Most other sufferings usually threaten the team with force but the Queen of the Lady Kingdom with love. Yes, Tang Seng also encounters some female spirits who fall in love with him, however, no one like the Queen moved his heart.
Yes, in the TV series, that tough monk who has the strongest spirit for his belief and loyalty to Buddhism says to the Queen of Lady Kingdom: “if there is an afterlife…” In the original novel, Tang Seng also shows the very different emotion to the Queen and also behaves differently to other female spirits.
The love between the two people is obscure but attractive to audiences and readers in such a book with little elements of “love”. The curiosity extends to reality. Many people wonder if there is a Kingdom of Women existed in the history on Xuan Zang’s Journey to the West (Xuan Zang is the prototype of Tang Seng). In the novel, the Lady Kingdom located at the west region of China, along Silk Road.
Experts have no uniform for this question yet. Some people state it existed in ancient Xinjiang, some others think in southwest of China, between Chang’an (ancient Xi’an) and Tibet, some notes in Hubei Province and also some reviews that Kingdom was faked.
However, today there are some places that still keep the traditions like “Lady Kingdom”, Lugu Lake is a good example. Lugu Lake locates at the border of Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province, where Mosuo Minority has lived for generations.
Mousuo people live in Matriarchy with women as the absolute authority while men are the obedient side. The modern marriage system has never applied here. They still keep their own traditional marriage custom—Walking Marriage: men and women would not form marital tie but keep the relationship. A man will come into the girl’s room in the night by climbing her high & steep wall, spend a sweet night and then leave for his own home in the early morning. The babies the girl delivered would be brought up by her family—mothers and her brothers.
Nowadays, Lugu Lake is increasingly popular among travelers due to not only its outstanding scenery but also the unique culture, Matriarchy and Walking Marriage. Chinasilkroadtours.com is always your reliable partner on your way to explore the world. When you want to travel on the Silk Road that Tang Seng and his three apprentices had walked on, we offer various Silk Road Tours for you. If you want to track that mysterious Kingdom of Women and would like know more of such culture, we will arrange a Lugu Lake tour and tours around there, are you interested in it?