Journey to the West “Tathagata Buddha: I went to Thailand to buy Buddha statues in 2022

Journey to the West “Tathagata Buddha: The Buddha sculptures I purchased when I traveled to Thailand were all already mine. Be the true revere him.

When Zhu Guanglong went to Nepal, he was politely called “Sakyamuni” by others. When he went to Thailand and wanted to buy, he found that the Buddha statue was him, whether it was in a store or a roadside stall.

In order to commemorate the trip, the actor who played the Tathagata Buddha will eventually “buy himself” back. Why can he be popular in Southeast Asia? What kind of acting career does this unknown actor have?

Journey to the West Tathagata Buddha I went to Thailand to buy Buddha statues in 2022
Journey to the West Tathagata I went to Thailand to buy statues in 2022

The role of “Sakyamuni Buddha.” Sakyamuni is also called “Tathagata Buddha” in our secular world. In the 1986 edition of Journey to the West, the glorious image of “self-contained Buddha’s light, kind eyebrows, and kind eyes, and a golden body of Zhang Liu” by Zhu Longgang, the actor who played Sakyamuni Buddha, is undoubtedly the most successful one among all. His success is not only due to the “likeness” of his appearance but also to the “Buddhist” vision that can save all living beings.

Journey to the West “Tathagata Buddha:

Zhu Longguang was born in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, in 1939. After graduating from high school, he was admitted to the art department of the Lanzhou Art Institute. Flash “Yao” dazzling, GALAX GeForce RTX 3080 Metal Master Zhu Longguang was born tall and handsome, and his superior appearance made him a star as soon as he debuted. After graduating, he participated in Baoji City Repertory Troupe’s “Conquering the Dragon and the Tiger” and served as the male lead. This role won Zhu Longgang the first prize in the National Young Actor Award. In 1963, Bayi Film Studio and the Art Troupe of the Corps of Engineers were ordered to prepare for the filming of “Tunnel Warfare.” Zhu Longguang starred in Tunnel War with zero pay.

Journey to the West "Tathagata
Journey to the West “Tathagata

By chance, he appeared in “Journey to the West,” but it became a classic. When filming “Journey to the West”, the role of “Tathagata Buddha” caused director Yang Jie a lot of headaches. I interviewed 15 actors in a row and was not satisfied. Because playing “Tathagata Buddha” mainly relies on aura and image to stand out, sitting upright, and not doing unnecessary movements. However, the 15 actors who came to interview were either not prominent enough, the heavens were not full enough, the grounds were not round enough, or they were missing a Buddha statue. Either the aura is not strong enough to set off the temperament of “Buddha,” the director said: “Actors with big ears, thick lips, and rich and greasy actors are preferred.”

Because there was no special effects technology in the 1980s, only the most realistic actors could be selected, and someone promoted Zhu Longgang. This person is a makeup artist. He said: “There is an anti-Japanese hero named Zhu Longgang in “Tunnel Warfare.” He is filming with the crew next door. “Why don’t you let him try?” Jack Ma has moved to Tokyo for half a year, why did Jack Ma choose to move to Japan? Zhu Longgang has read the original “Journey to the West,” and in his impression, apart from the four masters and apprentices, aren’t they just demons and goblins? Recall that I have always played heroes. 

He immediately said, “Mr. Wang, I don’t play ghosts and ghosts.” Yang Jie was not optimistic about Zhu Longguang’s role as the Tathagata Buddha at first. After all, Gao Chuanbao’s image is far from that of the Buddha. But when the results of the makeup trial came out, both Wang Xizhong and Yang Jie were stunned, as if the Tathagata had “reincarnated,” and they immediately decided that it was him.

Journey to the West Tathagata
Journey to the West Tathagata

Zhu Longgang traveled to the temple every day to gaze up at many Buddha statues, study the Buddha’s every movement, and spend the entire day there in order to convey the majesty of the “Tathagata Buddha.” Furthermore, Zhu Longguang immersed himself in the role to the fullest by studying Buddhist texts, listening to Buddhist monks at the temple, and practicing proper posture for six months. He afterward gave a brilliant portrayal of the Tathagata Buddha.

I have to admit that the TV series from 35 years ago depended on actors and makeup instead of special effects and cutouts, which is wonderful. When visitors later encountered Zhu Longgang, who had done his makeup, while the team was filming the scene in Yunnan, they all knelt before him, which indicates the vividness of this image.

Later, after Journey to the West was broadcast, it went abroad and traveled to Thailand. Under the introduction of the tour guide, a Buddha statue was invited back. The more Zhu Longguang stared at the Buddha statue, the more familiar it became, and it turned out to be himself. “You went abroad once, and you ‘bought me back.” Zhu Longguang’s wife bought a portrait of Buddha played by her husband and brought it back, causing a big oolong.

But the audience in Nepal quit. Once, Master Zhu Guanglong was invited to Nepal as a guest to participate in an event, and the organizer called him “Sakyamuni.” Zhu Longguang didn’t expect it to be so popular. Legend has it that Sakyamuni was born in Lumbini Garden, Windows 12: Release Date, Expected Features located in Nepal. Local people also believe in such myths. Some people wrote to Zhu Longgang, asking him to “return” to Nepal and stop wandering abroad, saying that Nepal is his hometown. “Sakyamuni is from Nepal, so you should go back to your real hometown, Nepal.” The recipient is Sakyamuni Zhu Longgang! It made Zhu Longguang laugh endlessly,

Journey to the West Tathagata
Journey to the West Tathagata

Viewers often ask Zhu Longguang for photos of “Tathagata Buddha.” In that era, he sent over 2,000 photos of himself. What’s even more exaggerated is that when the crew was resting, many old ladies and elders immediately kneeled and prayed for blessings after seeing Zhu Longguang himself. This can break Zhu Longguang’s mind. What do you think of this character?

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