Ultimate Pop Culture Wiki
Master Roshi
Dragon Ball character
Kame-Sennin First Appearance.jpg
Master Roshi's first appearance in the manga, drawn by Akira Toriyama
First appearanceDragon Ball Chapter #3 Goku - Running to the Sea: 17 July 1984 (1984)
Created byAkira Toriyama
In-universe information
AliasThe Turtle Hermit
Jackie Chun
RelativesUranai Baba (older sister)

Master Roshi, commonly referred to in the original Japanese as the Turtle Hermit (亀仙人, Kame Sennin) and also known as Muten Rōshi (武天老師, lit. "Elder God of Martial Arts"), is a fictional character from the Dragon Ball series created by Akira Toriyama. He is an ancient and wise martial arts master, as well as the creator of the Kamehame-ha (かめはめ波) technique. His students include Grandpa Gohan, The Ox-King, Son Goku, Krillin and Yamcha.


Master Roshi is bald, with a thick van dyke beard and wears sunglasses, which he is almost never seen without. He wears beach clothes or martial arts suits, wields a walking stick, and during the earlier stages of the series, a turtle shell on his back. Unassuming yet wily, and physically frail at first glance, Master Roshi is depicted as a mighty warrior who constantly defies expectations in spite of his advanced age. He is considered a stock character, as he is both the elderly martial arts master and a source of comic relief whose lecherous behaviour is typical of dirty old geezer archetypes in shōnen manga. Roshi is known for his lewd actions throughout the series and is constantly ogling at young women on television exercise shows in his spare time or looking at pornographic magazines. He even bribes the young teen Bulma to show him her panties in exchange for a Dragon Ball earlier in the series. On the other hand, Master Roshi would be depicted as a very wise and compassionate person during the more serious moments in the series, who loves life and its simple pleasures, but is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his friends and students if necessary, such as when he risked his health and pushed his physical limits in order to perform the Mafuba technique (Evil Containment Wave in the English dub) against various opponents who could not be dispatched by conventional means.[1]


Dragon Ball[]

Master Roshi's first appearance is in chapter #3 of the Dragon Ball manga. Roshi lives with his longtime companion, an anthropomorphic turtle referred to as Umigame (ウミガメ, "Sea Turtle"), on an island with a house built on it known as "Kame House". Kame House eventually serves as a gathering place for Goku and his associates throughout the series, as well as a home for certain recurring characters like Oolong or Krillin and his young family. When wishing to fight anonymously at the World Martial Arts Tournament, Roshi assumed the disguise of Jackie Chun, a reference to the real-life actor Jackie Chan.

When tasked with putting out a fire on Mount Frypan, Master Roshi demonstrated an ability to greatly increase his energy. In this state, his appearance changes dramatically, with an enormous increase in muscle mass and likewise height which was nearly equal to Piccolo. Due to his natural precision in battle, this bulky state does not appear to affect his speed and agility. In this state, he can perform many ki attacks at their maximum potential, most noticeably an enhanced version of his Kamehameha attack, which was so powerful that it was able to destroy the moon.

At the beginning of the Dragon Ball series, he is considered to be the strongest mortal fighter in the Dragon Ball universe, however his power level began to pale in comparison to Goku and his allies later in the series. While his legacy is demonstrated in the prolific use of the Kamehameha technique by numerous characters in the series, his prominence have diminished greatly by the time Goku reaches adulthood. He would only make occasional appearances as a supporting character and no longer operate as an active fighter.

Graduates of Roshi's training (i.e. Goku, Krillin, Yamcha) often wear the kanji for "Turtle" ("Kame") on their dogi.

In Toriyama's films and Dragon Ball Super[]

Master Roshi would return to prominence as a major character with the revival of the Dragon Ball Series in the 2010's. In the film Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' and its counterpart story arc in Dragon Ball Super, Master Roshi would join Goku and his friends in their fight against a resurrected Frieza and his army when they invaded Earth to seek vengeance against Goku. It is also implied on one episode that the Paradise Grass is the source of Master Roshi's long lifespan, as he claims that eating some of it would allow him to live on for another 1,000 years.

In the Universe Survival arc of Dragon Ball Super, Master Roshi is recruited as a member of Team Universe 7, after Goku was forced to fight him when he was manipulated via witchcraft by a rogue student of Tienshinhan's. It is then revealed that Master Roshi had secretly been training; Goku was surprised and impressed by how well his former master held his own in the fight. Master Roshi would go on and eliminates up to four competitors from other universes during the tournament, before he was forced to eliminate himself following an altercation with Universe 6's Frost where he was brought to the brink of death due to excessive use of the Mafuba technique.

In other media[]

Master Roshi is portrayed by Chow Yun-fat in the American live-action film Dragonball Evolution; his voice was dubbed over by Tsutomu Isobe in the Japanese version.

Roshi is a playable character in the following video games:


Japanese fans voted Master Roshi the thirteenth most popular character of the series in a 2004 poll.[2] Master Roshi is ranked number 9 on IGN's Top 13 Dragon Ball Z Characters List[3], and came in 12th place on Complex.com's list "A Ranking of All the Characters on 'Dragon Ball Z"; Pearce citing that though Master Roshi's role in the series deteriorated with the arrival of the Saiyan characters, he still pops up to offer advice, support, and comic relief.[4] In 2016, Master Roshi was ranked No. 9 on the saikoplus.com list 10 Most Popular Characters in Dragon Ball Z.[5]

Tim Jones from Them Anime Reviews noted that while fan service is prevalent in the original Dragon Ball series and Master Roshi is depicted as a pervert who frequently flirts with or harasses attractive female characters, he believed that it is not very extremely offensive as the hermit quite often gets beaten up or punished in retaliation for comedic effect.[6]

However, a Dragon Ball Super episode received a major complaint by the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization as the part of the story involved Roshi making multiple sexual attacks on the female character Yurin.[7]

Voice actors[]

Master Roshi's design was inspired by the character of Kami-sama from Toriyama's previous manga Dr. SlumpTemplate:Gnr and accordingly was originally voiced by Kōhei Miyauchi,[8] who also voiced Kami-sama in the original Dr. Slump anime. Miyauchi's final acting session before he died was for episode 260 of Dragon Ball Z, which he recorded only 3 months before his death. Kame-Sennin is voiced by Hiroshi Masuoka from episode 288 of Dragon Ball Z onward,[9] in Dragon Ball GT and the 2008 Jump Super Anime Tour film. He is voiced by Kinya Aikawa in the 10th anniversary movie,[10] and by Masaharu Satō in the thirteenth Dragon Ball Z movie and all media following Dragon Ball Kai.[11] In the Ocean dub, he is voiced by Michael Donovan, Ian James Corlett, Peter Kelamis, Don Brown, and Terry Klassen at various points. Dean Galloway voices him in the Blue Water dub, while Mike McFarland voices him in the Funimation dub. He is portrayed by Chow Yun-fat in the American live-action film Dragonball Evolution; his voice was dubbed over by Tsutomu Isobe in the Japanese version.


  1. Dragon ball Volume two chapter 13 page 28 - Roshi: Is it so terrible to grant a dying old man his last wish? - Turtle: Need I remind this "Dying old man" that he drank the Immortality elixir?
  2. Toriyama, Akira (2004) (in Japanese). Dragon Ball Forever. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-873702-4. 
  3. Shawn Saris (3 Aug 2015). "TOP 13 DRAGON BALL Z CHARACTERS". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/08/03/top-15-dragon-ball-z-characters/. 
  4. "A Ranking of All the Characters on 'Dragon Ball Z'". April 2, 2015. http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/04/dragon-ball-z-characters-ranked/king-kai. 
  5. "10 Most Popular Characters in Dragon Ball Z". saikoplus.com. February 25, 2016. https://www.saikoplus.com/2016/02/25/10-most-popular-characters-in-dragon-ball-z/. 
  6. Jones, Tim. "Dragon Ball Review". Them Anime Reviews. Retrieved May 23, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Lascivious Master Roshi Suspected Target in Latest BPO Published Complaint". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 21, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "青二プロダクション 宮内幸平" (in Japanese). Aoni Production. Retrieved 2015-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. (in Japanese) DRAGON BALL 天下一伝説. Shueisha. 2004. pp. 168–169. ISBN 4-08-873705-9. 
  10. "Actor Kinya Aikawa Passes Away". Anime News Network. 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2015-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Dragon Ball Super Main Visual Reveals 2 New Characters". Anime News Network. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>