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Jiang Shi

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LivingDeads10
Jiang Shi
Homeworld(s) Earth, Other World
Average Height Roughly 5–6 feet
Diet Blood

Jiang Shi (僵屍 or 殭屍; called Kyonshī in Japan and Gangshi in Korea) are Zombies/Ghosts from the Chinese culture. They have pale skin, red makeup on their cheeks, and wear outfits from the Qing Dynasty.

Overview

Two Jiang Shi appear hopping one after another before preliminaries of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament begin in the Dragon Ball manga. A Jiang Shi is seen among the living dead who attack Mr. Satan in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, and several are enemies in the video game Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo. According to legend, in the day, the Jiang Shi rests in a coffin or hides in dark places such as caves. At night, it moves around by hopping, with its arms outstretched and kills living creatures to absorb their ki (life essence).

Dragon-ball-revenge-of-king-piccolo-screenshot

Goku attacks Jiang Shi in Revenge of King Piccolo

According to the Chinese folklore, a Jiang Shi is created when a person's soul has not yet exited the corpse after death, because there is still something they must do in life. A Jiang Shi is also said to be created when a person dies of unnatural causes. Another version is that whenever someone dies in a foreign country, a trained spellcaster would cast a spell on a dead body, then the mage would then command the deceased to hop back to their homeland at night. In Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo, Fortuneteller Baba cast a spell on these creatures to protect her palace.

In the legend, these ghouls always keep their arms stretched out in front of them and they cannot walk, only hop, but in Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo they can walk and even run. In this video game, the Jiang Shi who wear green outfits use martial arts, those with a red outfit attack with swords, and those with a blue outfit attack by throwing bombs.

Trivia

  • Chiaotzu's design is based on Jiang Shi. His seeming agelessness may stem from his design being based on a Jiang Shi. Chiaotzu's outfit also looks very close to a Qing one. Although it is uncertain if Chiaotzu explicitly is a Jiang Shi, this would account for him not aging, his physical appearance, and his outfit in Dragon Ball.
  • Android 19 also possesses a somewhat similar appearance to a Jiang Shi. The character design makes sense considering his ability to steal ki through his palms.
  • In the Chinese Folklore, the only way to kill a Jiang Shi is to stab them in the heart with birch or kill the spellcaster. The influence of Western vampire stories brought the blood-sucking aspect to the Jiang Shi.

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