Archive #11 – PDFs of the Journey to the West 2012 Revised Edition

Note: The additional archived translations have been moved to a new location. See the 08-09-23 update below.

Last updated: 08-09-2023

Here I present PDFs comprising the complete four volume 2012 revised edition of The Journey to the West translated by Anthony C. Yu. This is considered THE most accurate translation of the tale available. I hope those who read and enjoy the digital version will support the official release.

Anthon C. Yu (October 6, 1938 – May 12, 2015) was Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and Professor Emeritus of Religion and Literature in the Chicago Divinity School. I shared a long email correspondence with Prof. Yu, during which we became friends. He was always quick to answer my many questions. His translation remains a treasure trove of explanatory notes and sources.

1. Book blurb

Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time […] With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible (source).

2. PDF Files

Vol. 1

Click to access the-journey-to-the-west-wu-chengen_-anthony-c.-yu-the-journey-to-the-west-volume-1-university-of-chicago-press-2013.pdf

Vol. 2

Click to access the-journey-to-the-west-2012-volume-2.pdf

Vol. 3

Click to access the-journey-to-the-west-2012-volume-3.pdf

Vol. 4

Click to access the-journey-to-the-west-2012-volume-4.pdf

The cover of volume one (larger version).

Update: 03-01-22

I’ve archived a scan of the original Chinese version of the 1592 edition of the novel.

Archive #31 – The Original 1592 Edition of Journey to the West, Complete with Pictures


Update: 07-26-23

I have archived the first complete 1835 Japanese translation of JTTW. It includes amazing woodblock prints.

Archive #41 – PDFs of The Illustrated Journey to the West (Ehon Saiyuki, 繪本西遊記, 1835)

Update: 08-09-23

I have archived a list of other foreign language translations of Journey to the West, including complete and abridged editions.

  • English (W. J. F. Jenner and Arthur Waley)
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Vietnamese

Archive #42 – PDFs of Journey to the West Translations


These have been posted for educational purposes. No malicious copyright infringement is intended. Please support the official release.

12 thoughts on “Archive #11 – PDFs of the Journey to the West 2012 Revised Edition

    1. My copy has the same thing. However, the letters are still there, just not visible. If you copy the poems and paste them into Word or an email, you can see them. I’m not sure why they are cut off like that.

      1. What I’ve heard is that it’s because a pdf leaves certain margins in the document that aren’t always present in the original document, usually for printing convenience. Google tells me you can fix it by setting a custom page size like mentioned here:, though I don’t know if that’s exactly the problem you’re having, or if you can do that with an epub. If you have the time, you could test it out. I would, but word isn’t properly converting the pdf to an editable format for me.

  1. Hello there! I’d be interested to know if you have any information on the Chinese illustrated “comics” from the 60s/70s? I believe they had English translations as well. I grew up with them and now have idea how to track them down.

  2. Hi! I read the beginning of Chapter 2 in Volume One in which Monkey dances with excitement at least a few times. That leads me to wonder: does he have autism, is it just a monkey thing, or is it something that represents his childlike state of mind before he eventually grows out of it? What are your thoughts?

    1. I think Sun was just excited by what he heard. Remember that his species is known as the “Stone Monkey of Numinous Wisdom” (Lingming shihou, 靈明石猴). The term “numinous wisdom” (lingming, 靈明) refers to religious or spiritual knowledge. This allows him to understand the deep spiritual subjects that Subodhi teaches.

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