Dragon Ball Z
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CONTEMPORARY MYTHS

Loosely based on Journey to the West, a Chinese tale of pilgrims on a holy quest for the Buddhist sutras of India, Dragon Ball is rife with spiritual references of an East Asian perspective. Sun Wukong (Japanese: Son Goku), The Handsome Monkey King, is the character that Goku is based on, and Sun Wukong himself is most likely based on Hanuman, the Indian deity and warrior.

King Enma, lord of the afterlife, is based on a Chinese and Japanese deity that weighs the amount of virtue and karma on a person’s soul to determine where they should be sent, Heaven or Hell, and we find that same character in Dragon Ball.

There is a multitude of other examples and references to the Buddhist stories that Japanese children like Akira Toriyama (the creator of Dragon Ball) would have been taught while growing up.
DATABASES
Loosely based on Journey to the West, a Chinese tale of pilgrims on a holy quest for the Buddhist sutras of India, Dragon Ball is rife with spiritual references of an East Asian perspective.  Sun Wukong (Japanese: Son Goku), The Handsome Monkey King, is the character that Goku is based on, and Sun Wukong himself is most likely based on Hanuman, the Indian deity and warrior.

King Enma, lord of the afterlife, is based on a Chinese and Japanese deity that weighs the amount of virtue and karma on a person’s soul to determine where they should be sent, Heaven or Hell, and we find that same character in Dragon Ball.

There is a multitude of other examples and references to the Buddhist stories that Japanese children like Akira Toriyama (the creator of Dragon Ball) would have been taught while growing up.
Toriyama’s Dragon Ball is a very good example of how intertextuality allows Japanese animators to build a world starting from Japanese cultural sources but appealing to many other cultural references,
Japanese and non-Japanese.
Whereas Shenron is an ancient avatar of the eternal, through Goku’s
enlightenment, Goku has come to represent a rejuvenated avatar of the eternal, manifested into the world of finitude. Having become an eternal being, the universal Spirit Bomb’s power is representative of Goku’s power, which is also a metaphor for his newly developed epistemology that allows him to see into the eternal. This is how Omega Shenron, an Eternal Dragon, is defeated. Just as we argued that Piccolo’s first defeat represents a newly found perception to see through the shadow of the world, Omega Shenron’s defeat represents being able to see beyond the shadow of the eternal, namely its destructive nature. While destruction is a part of reality and can hardly be said to be intrinsically pathological, unwarranted destruction for its own sake is pathological. The fact that this destruction is represented by nothing short of the eternal, noumenal reality upon which everything lies and is a manifestation of is evidence of its need to rejuvenate itself through a new avatar, so that it may come again to a healthy balance. Goku represents this balance, as he is both a creator and a destroyer insofar as he eliminates pathological paradigms and by doing so creates healthy ones.
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