Sanzang Fashi (三藏法师) or Tripiṭaka-ācārya in Sanskrit is an honorable title for any Buddhist priest who has mastered Tripiṭaka and upholds its teachings of discourse, discipline and doctrine. The Chinese Buddhist priest Xuanzang (玄奘) from the Tang dynasty was one who earned this title after traveling to Tianzhu/Sindhu (天竺, modern day India) to seek the original Buddhist texts, namely sutras. After returning from the pilgrimage, he and his disciple authored the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions (大唐西域記) which details his 17-year journey across Tibet to South India.
The Chinese novel Journey to the West from the Ming dynasty is inspired by Xuanzang's autobiography and the main character Tang Sanzang (唐三藏) is based on Xuanzang himself but with a comical characterization. He is assisted by Longma, Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing along the way which is plagued by demons who believe Sanzang's flesh would grant them immortality.
When non-Chinese media adapts Journey to the West, Tang Sanzang is frequently genderbended from male to female.