Real Name: Unknown
Identity/Class: Supernatural being
Occupation: (former) Commander of the Heavenly Hosts; (current) bodyguard to the Monk Tripitaka
Affiliations: Tripitaka, the Monkey King, Pigsy
Known Relatives: None known
Base of Operations: China; (formerly) Heaven; then The River of Flowing Sands
First Appearance: Journey to the West (c. A.D.1500), although the original legend may date back to c. A.D.600
Powers/Abilities: As well as being extremely strong and able to breathe underwater, Sandy retains some of his magical abilities from when he worked in Heaven. For example, he is able to transform a small gourd into a gigantic one that can be used to cross rivers. He is also a skilled alchemist.
History: Sandy was once the Commander of the Heavenly Hosts. When Monkey was causing trouble in Heaven, Sandy was one of those who fought him in an effort to subdue him. During their fight they smashed the Jade cup, and Sandy got the blame. As punishment he was cast down into the River of Flowing Sands on Earth, where he was transformed into a Fish spirit who devoured anyone who came near his home.
He spent many years there, killing unwary travellers, before he encountered Monkey once more, now the guard for the pilgrim Kuan-Yin (a.k.a. Tripitaka in the TV version). Offered a way back to heaven by the young priest, Sandy joined the quest to the West, and completed the disparate trio of guardians. Serious, calm and slightly arrogant, Sandy provided a perfect foil for Monkey's irrepressibility and Pigsy's buffoonery. Though his pride in his own ability sometimes led to trouble, Sandy was normally a far more useful member of the company than Pigsy.
Comments: In the original story, Monkey, Sandy and Pigsy are all ugly and scary-looking, but Sandy is supposed to be by far the most hideous. However he is also the most spiritually advanced of Tripitaka's three disciples. In the series, he is the most pessimistic, but in the book he is said to be the most balance-minded of the three.
He was armed with a Water Staff (a long, strong stick with a metal blade on each end). Around his neck he wore a necklace consisting of nine skulls, made up from the remains of victims whose skulls refused to sink (normally nothing would float in the River of Flowing Sands, but these proved to be an exception).
Sandy was played by actor Shiro Kishibe in the TV series of Monkey (most of the images of the character are of Shiro in the role, including the one of him when he was still Commander of the Heavenly Hosts). In "The Lost Empire" 2001 tv movie based on the story, the part of "Friar Sand" was played by Kabir Bedi (left).
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Sandy, sidekick to the D.C. hero Sandman (Wesley Dodds)
anyone else with Sand as part of their name
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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