Son Goku

From Academic Kids

Son Goku (孫悟空 Son Gokū) is the Japanese language version of the character Sun Wukong, a monkey god in the Chinese myth of the Journey to the West.

Fictional characters called Son Goku are to be found in a number of anime series based on this myth. One is in the universe of Dragon Ball; another is in the series Saiyuki.

Dragon Ball

In the original Dragon Ball series, Son Goku shares many traits, skills and tools with the character Sun Wukong; Dragon Ball is an obvious homage to the story Journey to the West. The similarities include the fact that that both characters are monkeys (Saiyans transform into giant monkeys, Ouzaru, under the full moon), and thus have tails. They also both have useful tools, like Kinto'un, a magical cloud which they can summon to ride on; and a handy resizeable cudgel - called in Dragon Ball the "Nyoibō" (or in the English-dubbed version, the "Power Pole".)

Goku also meets other characters who were inspired by Journey to the West, including the perverse pig (Zhu Bajie), called Oolong in Dragon Ball. At one point, thanks to a special piece of candy given to Oolong by Bulma, whenever he heard a sound similar to that of a pig's sweeing, he had to "go to the bathroom".

Goku's birth name is Kakarrot (Kakarotto), which is a pun on the word Carrot in Japanese.


In Saiyuki, Son Goku is a deity who was imprisoned for five hundred years after rebelling against the gods. He was released by the monk Genjyo Sanzo. When Sanzo was dispatched by the gods to journey to the west and stop a process that was causing the world's demons to go mad and turn on the humans with whom they had lived peacefully, Son Goku accompanied him, along with the demon Cho Hakkai and the half-demon Sha Gojyo.

Son Goku is a skilled fighter with the nyoi-bou (nyoi-bō). Although a deity, he is kept in human form with power limiters that he wears as a headband. When these are removed, he goes berserk and is as likely to attack his allies as his enemies. He is known for his voracious appetite. The power-limiting headband concept was borrowed by the DBZ movies for their character Brolli and is inspired by the original Chinese legend.

See also



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