Jiang Shi (僵屍 or 殭屍 Kyonshī (Japan), Gangshi (Korea)) are Zombies/Ghosts from the Chinese culture. Most have pale skin, red makeup on their cheeks, and wear outfits from the Qing Dynasty while those turned into Jiang Shi via witchcraft have pale skin and a paper talisman on their forehead.
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).
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.
In Dragon Ball Super, it is shown by Yurin that Earthlings can be turned into Jiang Shi via witchcraft using special talismans placed on the victim's forehead allowing the user to control them. Yurin uses this technique to turn the students of the Tenshin-Style Dojo and Master Roshi into Jiang Shi in order to take revenge on Tien as she is a former student of the Crane School. However it is possible to turn the victim back to normal and counter this technique is to simply peel the talisman off the victim's forehead. This seemed to work on most of Tien's students that were infected. For a stronger individual, such as Roshi when he got infected, dealing a great deal of damage to the victim will separate the sinister energy from their body, burning the talisman off. An example of this is shown when Goku fires a Kamehameha at an affected Roshi, leaving him in his normal stage once again. Another problem is that the Jiang Shi requires input from the one controlling them, as Master Roshi did nothing to counter the Kamehameha Goku fired at him as Yurin had not ordered him to. Similar to Manipulation Sorcery, when turned into a Jiang Shi it brings out the victim's full power as Master Roshi used 100% MAX Power when he fought Tien and Goku as a Jiang Shi and was powerful enough to make Goku excited about the prospect of fighting him again and lead Goku to recruit Master Roshi for the Tournament of Power after learning what Master Roshi was capable of. It is also similar to the Black Water Mist, Tuffle parasites, and Dark Magic as it effectively ends up turning good characters into the users' henchmen forcing the protagonists to find a way to free the victims.
- Chiaotzu's design is based on Jiang Shi and, 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.