唐三藏 Táng sānzàng, also known by his Sanskrit name Tripitaka, is one of the central figures in the classic Chinese novel Journey To the West. Based on the historical monk Xuanzang, Tripitaka is on the eponymous journey to the West (India) to retrieve sacred Buddhist sutras to bring back to China. He is joined by a trio of powerful demons who have been enlisted by Guanyin to protect him on his quest. This journey forms the backdrop to numerous adventures.
Rendered in Yixing red clay, this pious little Tripitaka is pictured in his characteristic monk's cap and robes, in the process of chanting a sutra. He is so deep in meditation that he is completely unaware of the outside world - you can pour boiling hot tea on him and his expression won't change. Likewise, you can balance your teapot lid on his head and it will be perfectly safe because he sits so still.