Even Dragon ball fans may be surprised to learn that Goku has a name other than his Saiyan name, Kakarot. Goku’s legacy as a fighter and hero both stems from Dragon Ball’s origins as a parody of Journey to the West, something that has certainly shaped even the current Dragon Ball landscape. In fact, Goku’s secret name is intrinsically linked to his origins in the great Chinese novel.
In Akira Toriyama’s original draft of Dragon Ball, as revealed in an interview for the Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 2 manual, he portrayed Goku as a complete monkey boy. His second sketch closely resembles a boy dressed as a sailor riding in a flying machine as opposed to a Flying Nimbus cloud. His third and final iteration falls somewhere between the monkey and the boy fans know today. This final draft was due to him trying to stay as close as possible to the source material of his film adaptation, Journey to the West. This source material later proved to be the origin of his new protagonist’s name, Son Goku, which itself was simply the Japanese translation of Journey to the West’s most famous character.
Son Goku’s name is also Sun Wukong
Son Goku is the Japanese translation of the Chinese name Sun Wukong, written with the character 悟空. In essence, Goku’s name is Sun Wukong. However, the connection to Sun Wukong doesn’t stop there, as Goku’s alternate name is also deeply connected to his journey as a martial artist. In the original story of Journey to the West, a Buddhist monk named Tang Sangzang is tasked with journeying to India to retrieve a set of Buddhist scrolls. Along the way, he meets a group of demons who later become his most powerful allies. One of those allies is Sun Wukong, and his very name describes his long journey to enlightenment.
Sun Wukong, and by extension, Son Goku’s name can be translated as “enlightenment of emptiness” or “awareness of the void”. This is especially important given Goku’s current path to achieving higher Ultra Instinct levels. In chapter 63 of Dragon Ball Super, the angel trainer Merus sacrificed his life to seal Moro’s power copying technique. His death is ultimately what causes Goku to ascend to Perfect Ultra Instinct again, not because of grief or anger, but because Goku learned to master those emotions and eliminate them. . Goku’s Ultra Instinct is how he enlightened the emptiness.
Goku’s true surreal instincts help him achieve enlightenment
In fact, this trend also continued in Dragon Ball Super’s Granolah the Survivor Saga, where Goku developed a new form of Ultra Instinct, “True” Ultra Instinct. In this state, Goku does not completely separate himself from his emotions but instead makes them work for him. Instead of being controlled by rage, as is the case with the Great Ape form, or needing to be angry to use Super Saiyan in the first place, Goku became the one in control of his feelings. Goku feels his emotions, but he does not let them dictate his actions – the ultimate expression of achieving enlightenment.
Whether Goku achieved more levels of mastery or not, it’s interesting that his path through his various Saiyan forms reflected a journey to enlightenment. Decades of martial arts training have brought Goku to this point, however, his true name and secret have revealed his ultimate goal from the beginning. of Goku its legacy as an offshoot of Sun Wukong will only strengthen its position Dragon ball continues, not just in name but in his actions and growth as a fighter.