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October 28, 2021 13 min read


Jiaozi👹 (🇯🇵餃子 Chaozu), or Riff, is Tenshinhan's closest friend, his training partner and former student of the Hermit of the Crane.



The physical appearance of Jiaozi seems to be inspired by kyonshī (僵屍), a particular type of ghosts present in Japanese culture, and that in Chinese culture are considered not ghosts but vampires, with the name of jiang shi. Like these creatures, in fact, Jiaozi is portrayed with pale skin, practically white, red cheeks and dresses in the style of the Qing dynasty, moreover, very often he moves by levitating, not walking. Another possible source of inspiration for Jiaozi is Nezha, who appears in The Journey to the West, a classic of Chinese literature to which, moreover, Akira Toriyama was inspired in creating Dragon Ball.


Jiaozi is a character marked by a bond of deep friendship and admiration with Tenshinhan, with whom he studied in the School of the Crane, which will leave both at the end of the 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament. Although he appears fragile and almost defenseless, Jiaozi is a warrior with a courage almost unique in the series. During the Saga of the Great Little Wizard, he doesn't hesitate to take the mortal risk of wishing the Dragon God before the demon, even though he is paralyzed by fear, while fighting against Nappa he goes so far as to sacrifice his life to protect his friend Tenshinhan, trying to self-destruct along with the Saiyan👾, even though he is aware of how much stronger and more resistant his opponent is.



Jiaozi makes his debut as a student of the famous and feared School of the Crane, and is an extremely skilled fighter, mastering numerous powers of an unknown nature, as well as very advanced fighting techniques. However, his ability as a fighter is counterbalanced by an untrained intellect; during the 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament, in fact, although he proves to be clearly superior to his opponent Krilin in both experience and power, he is defeated when the opponent makes him do simple mathematical calculations, which puts Jiaozi in the position of having to use his fingers, which allows Krilin to beat him easily.

Special techniques and skills

  • Bukujutsu, or Flying Technique: Jiaozi is able to control his Ki to fly, and also uses this technique to move normally for short distances. In the first series of Dragon Ball, this technique is presented as a hallmark of the School of the Crane.
  • Chonoryoku: this is one of the strangest and yet most effective powers mastered by Jiaozi. Presumably using a variant of telekinesis, Jiaozi acts on the opponent's stomach, causing such painful twinges that he becomes paralyzed. This technique has an effect against both Krillin and Son Goku, but later proves ineffective on Nappa, perhaps due to the enormous difference in strength between the Saiyan and Jiaozi. To throw the Chonoryoku it is necessary to keep the hands in front of him, with the palm open, which forces Jiaozi, in using it, to hit the enemy with kicks.
  • Dodonpa Wave: this technique is probably the most lethal of those in Jiaozi's possession, and was developed by the Crane Hermit, who made it the symbol of his school (similarly to the Kamehameha Wave🌊 for the Turtle School). It is a powerful ray of concentrated, thrown energy from the index finger of the hand. Compared to the Kamehameha, it is much more powerful and faster, making it difficult to dodge or avoid. The beam explodes on contact with the target, but does not cause very extensive damage.
  • Self-Destruction: an extreme technique that consists of gathering and concentrating all one's energy and then releasing it in a violent explosion that disintegrates the body of the user and everything around him. Jiaozi uses this technique in his confrontation with Nappa.
  • Telepathy: Jiaozi is able to communicate mentally with different people, in the manga and anime mainly with Tenshinhan.
  • Telekinesis: through the power of the mind, Jiaozi is able to manipulate physical objects and bodies with great precision. He uses this technique to rig the draws for the quarterfinal matches of the 22nd edition of the Tenkaichi🌎 Tournament.


Dragon Ball


Jiaozi's first appearance, in chronological order, in the first series occurs in a filler episode, titled The Monster👹. Here, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan are two con men who instigate a monster, InoShikaCho, to attack the villagers, and then pretend to intervene to defeat him, later collecting the reward offered by the village. When Son Goku discovers this and denounces the two, Tenshinhan accuses him of being in cahoots with the monster, who, being anything but evil in nature, is induced by Son Goku to apologize to the villagers, causing Jiaozi and Tenshinhan to flee.

The 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament

Subsequently, the two enter the 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament, making their official appearance in the manga. Both are members of the Crane School and students of the infamous Crane Hermit, an unscrupulous teacher who had once been Master Muten's training partner under Master Mutaito, and who is the old man's and his Turtle🐢 School's greatest rival. After making it through the preliminaries, Jiaozi uses, at Tenshinhan's request, his telekinetic powers to manipulate the draws for the quarterfinals, causing the Wolfman to fight Jackie Chun (i.e. Muten in disguise, noting the Wolfman's anger at him) and Yamcha to fight Tenshinhan himself (the two had had a spat shortly before). When Jiaozi draws his number, he is matched together with Krillin.

The third match of the quarter finals, then, pits Jiaozi against Krilin, a match that the audience follows with anticipation, as students from two rival schools face each other. Jiaozi immediately proves to be a difficult opponent for Crilin, being, in spite of appearances, very fast and powerful. Jiaozi also amazes Krilin when he begins to fly over the competition ground, demonstrating his mastery of Bukujutsu, a technique that Muten says is typical of the Crane School.

Jiaozi unleashes another typical Crane technique, the Dodonpa Wave, which Krillin tries to counter by using the Kamehameha Wave🌊, which hits and wounds Jiaozi, who saves himself by flying, avoiding to leave the fighting mat. The little student of the Crane seems to gain the upper hand when he uses a strange technique on Crilin, known as Chonoryoku, which causes such intense stomach cramps in the opponent that he becomes paralyzed.

Krillin is on his way to defeat when he realizes that his opponent can use that technique by holding his palms open in front of him. So he decides to induce him to use his hands, forcing him to do some mathematical operations, which, although simple, make Jiaozi calculate using his fingers. Krillin takes advantage of this, and with a few but powerful blows he knocks his opponent off the ground, winning.

During his fight, however, Tenshinhan discovers that Tao Pai Pai👾, the brother of the Crane Hermit, has been defeated by Son Goku and reports this to their master, who, in a fit of rage, tells his students that he no longer cares about the Tournament; his goal now is to kill Son Goku and Muten's other students for revenge. During the final match between Tenshinhan and Son Goku, Jiaozi uses the Chonoryoku on the boy, paralyzing him and allowing Tenshinhan to kill him, but Tenshinhan, thanks to the words of Jack Chun, who had urged him to abandon the evil path imposed on him by the Crane Hermit and Tao Bai Bai, opposes the impropriety, asking Jiaozi not to interfere. When Jiaozi obeys, the Crane Hermit tries to kill him, and only the intervention of Muten's Kamehameha can save him. From that moment on, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan leave the Crane School, deciding to make friends with Son Goku, Krillin, and Yamcha.

The Return of the Great Little Wizard

Just after the end of the Tenkaichi Tournament, won by Tenshinhan after a thrilling final against Son Goku, Krillin is killed by Tamburello, a demon sent to steal the list of Tenkaichi participants, so as to eliminate them all. Muten, seeing the signature that the monster has left behind, guesses with horror that the Great Wizard Piccolo has returned. Son Goku chases the monster that killed Krillin, but not coming back, Muten concludes that the boy is probably dead, and decides to fight Piccolo, in order to prevent him from ravaging the world again. Sensing that Piccolo is searching for the Dragonballs🐉, Muten, along with Tenshinhan and Jiaozi, retrieves five of them with the intention of having the demon find them, so as to steal the two that Piccolo has already found and summon the Dragon God, asking him to annihilate Piccolo and his demons.

Jiaozi is given the task of summoning the Dragon and making the wish. Piccolo, however, swallows the two spheres, sensing the trap, and after defeating Muten, summons the Dragon God, to whom he plans to ask for eternal youth. Jiaozi, not knowing what to do, on Tenshinhan's advice, gathers all his courage and tries to make his wish before Piccolo can, but the demon kills him before the Dragon can hear him.

Jiaozi's body is taken to the Kame House and placed in a cooling capsule, along with Muten, and is resurrected when Son Goku defeats Piccolo.

The 23rd Tenkaichi Tournament and Piccolo's son


Three years after the defeat of Grand Wizard Piccolo, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan reunite with Son Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Muten, and Bulma for the 23rd Tenkaichi Tournament. Although Jiaozi has become stronger over the past three years, he is unexpectedly defeated and seriously injured in the preliminary round by a very unusual opponent: Tao Pai Pai, believed dead and instead transformed into a cyborg🦾. His defeat will then be avenged by his faithful friend Tenshinhan. Jiaozi will remain absent for the rest of the Tournament, missing the clash between Son Goku and Piccolo, the new Grand Wizard intent on taking revenge for the murder of his father.

Dragon Ball Z

Saiyan Saga

In Dragon Ball Z, Jiaozi is contacted, following Son Goku's death in the clash with Radish, to train at the Shrine of God along with Tenshinhan, Krillin, Yamcha and Yajirobei, since within a year, the Earth will be invaded by two more Saiyans.

When Nappa and Vegeta arrive, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan arrive on the battlefield after Piccolo, Son Gohan, and Krillin, just as Nappa is about to launch an attack on the Saibaimen👹. The first two monsters are defeated by Tenshinhan and Yamcha, though the latter is killed by the Saibaimen he thought he had eliminated. When Nappa decides to take the field, Jiaozi tries to stop him with the Chonoryoku, only to discover that it has no effect on the Saiyan. Seeing Tenshinhan about to be killed by Nappa, Jiaozi flies behind the Saiyan and clings to his back, gathering all the energy he has in his body and exploding himself, not before saying goodbye to his dear friend, asking him to survive the battle even in his memory. However, Tenshinhan will also die shortly thereafter, exhausting all his life force to launch the Kikoho.

Frieza Saga

Not even Piccolo will survive the battle, and he will find himself in the Afterlife together with Yamcha, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan, and all four of them will reach the Kaioh King of the North on his planet, after having walked the Serpent's Path, as Son Goku had already done before them.

Jiaozi will be resurrected with the Namekian Dragon Balls at the end of the Frieza Saga.

Saga of the Androids


A year after the destruction of Namek, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan interrupt their training in the mountains when they sense a huge aura approaching the planet. To their surprise, they discover that Frieza has survived the battle with Son Goku, and now, along with his father King Cold is intent on ravaging the Earth🌎. He witnesses the appearance of the mysterious Saiyan warrior who defeats Frieza and his father, and later reunites with Son Goku, who has returned to Earth after spending a year in space. When Son Goku, following his private conversation with the young man who defeated Frieza, informs the Z Warriors of the appearance of the deadly Androids that will attack the world in three years, Jiaozi goes to train with Tenshinhan, but from then on his role becomes increasingly marginal. He does not appear at the attack of C-19 and C-20, Tenshinhan in fact claims to have left him at home, for fear that he might be killed.

When the clash with the Androids👾 leads to the appearance of Cell, Jiaozi is only shown training with Tenshinhan when he perceives the aura of the new enemy. He does not reappear afterwards, neither during the training in the Room of Spirit and Time nor during the Cell Game.

Majin Buu Saga

During the Majin Buu crisis, Jiaozi makes sporadic appearances, having lost all importance, as well as characters like Tenshinhan, Yamcha and Muten. He is seen with his companion in the mountains, when Son Goku transforms into Super Saiyan 3 and Jiaozi perceives the tremendous aura. They later do not appear in the manga, and it is virtually certain that they die when Majin Buu destroys the Earth following Buu's return to his original form. They are both shown when Son Goku gathers the life force of the Earthlings🌎 to create the Genkidama Sphere to defeat Buu, while holding their hands up to the sky.

Dragon Ball Super

Battle of the Gods

About six months after Majin Buu's defeat, Jiaozi is invited to Bulma's birthday party on his ship along with everyone else. The God of Destruction, Beerus, arrives on the scene and after a disagreement with Majin Buu, he becomes angry and decides to destroy the Earth. Tenshinhan together with Piccolo and Android 18 try to stop the god without success. Jiaozi witnesses the clash between Son Goku, transformed into the Super Saiyan God, against Beerus.

The Resurrection of 'F'

During the arrival of the revived Frieza, Jiaozi follows Tenshinhan's advice and together with Yamcha decides not to take part in the fight.

Saga of Universe 6

He then participates as a spectator in the Tournament between Universes 6🌎 and 7 called by Beerus and Champa, Gods of Destruction of Universe 7 and Universe 6.


Saga of the Survival of the Universe

Shortly after the Tournament between Universes 6 and 7🌎, Tenshinhan has opened a Dojo where he teaches martial arts along with Jiaozi. During a class where Master Muten is also present, a girl named Yurin comes to the Dojo and asks to be taken as a student, but after hearing the reasons behind her request, Tenshinhan refuses the girl as a student. In the meantime, Son Goku arrives at the Dojo and offers Tenshinhan to participate in the Tournament of Power in exchange for 10 million Zeni, but he refuses. Soon after, Yurin, who actually turns out to be an old classmate of Tenshinhan and Jiaozi from the Crane School, looking for a lookout, attacks the Dojo using Talismans to control the Dojo's students by attacking the nearby village. Teleported to the village by Son Goku, along with Jiaozi and Master Muten, Tenshinhan tries to stop Yurin who has since managed to use one of his Talismans on Master Muten. After a brief confrontation with Master Muten, Tenshinhan is defeated. Later with the help of Son Goku and Jiaozi he manages to stop Yurin and stop the spell that controlled Master Muten. Afterwards, Tenshinhan decides to accept Yurin as a student, given her true motivations for training. Seeing the great damage done by the battle and the commotion made by her students to the village, Tenshinhan decides to participate in the Tournament of Power and use the money from the winnings to rebuild the village.

Saga of the Prisoner of the Galactic Patrol

During the two months of preparation against the Molo Galactic Brigade, Jiaozi along with Tenshinhan is recruited by the Galactic Patrol to help defend Earth🌎.

After witnessing the invasion of the escaped Prisoners, Jiaozi and Tenshinhan head to one of the enemy's ki tracks and both are shown fighting Bikkura Quoitur. The pair manage to keep Bikkura on the defensive, though the Metalman🦾 is not stunned by their barrage of attacks. After their Galactic Patrol allies inform him and Tenshinhan of Bikkura's race, Jiaozi remembers that Metalmen are weak to insults and tries to convince Tenshinhan to insult Bikkura. Tenshinhan can't find the right words, so Jiaozi manages to insult his enemy, calling him a "stupid piece of junk". Jiaozi manages to stop Bikkura, who is caught by the Galactic Patrol.

Jiaozi and Tenshinhan then fly to another source of ki, where they find Yamcha struggling against Zauyogi; the two then assist Yamcha against Zauyogi, but still don't make it. Fortunately, Goku suddenly teleports to their location and intercepts Zauyogi's attack before taking him down with a single blow. During the final battle between Goku and Molo, Jiaozi and the others donate their energy to Vegeta so he can pass it on to Goku. After Molo's defeat, he attends the party held at Mr. Satan's👹 mansion.

Dragon Ball GT

In the Dragon Ball GT anime, he only makes two brief appearances, obviously always together with Tenshinhan. The first time, he is seen when the Earthlings are temporarily transferred to Neo Plant, the Earth being about to explode.

A second and final appearance is made in the last episode. When Son Goku leaves the world together with the Dragon God, the two of them are seen flying over the sky, and they can't help but remember the adventures they had together with Son Goku and the Z Warriors during all those years.



The Tournament of Miifan

Jiaozi is the emperor of Miifan. However, his subordinates Crane Hermit and Tao Pai Pai want to conquer the kingdom. The Ran Ran doll is stolen from Jiaozi's room and Jiaozi is made to believe that he needs to collect the Dragon Balls to find it, even though the real purpose is to conquer Miifan. The night before the Miifan Martial Arts Tournament, Jiaozi feels fear and tells Tenshinhan about his nightmare. The next day, when Bora is killed by Tao Pai Pai, Tenshinhan and the Crane Hermit take control of the government. The Crane Hermit orders Tenshinhan to kill Jiaozi, but Tenshinhan refuses to do so. In the end, Tenshinhan returns Ran to Jiaozi.

The Great Battle for the Fate of the World

Jiaozi helps Son Goku, Yamcha, Krillin, and Tenshinhan fight Turles and his henchmen.

The Evil Demon Threat

Battle of the Gods

Jiaozi makes an appearance seeing him attending Bulma's birthday party.

Voice actors

  • 🇯🇵Japanese dubbing: Hiroko Emori
  • Italian dubbing: Federica Valenti
  • English dubbing:
  • Harmony Gold Dubbing: Rebecca Forstadt
  • Ocean Group dubbing: Cathy Weseluck
  • Dubbing by Funimation: Monika Antonelli (DB, DBZ, first videogames), Brina Palencia (last videogames, DBZ Kai and DBS)
  • Dubbing AB Groupe: Jodie Forrest † (DBZ movie 9 and most of the DBZ 3 movie), Ed Marcus (some lines in the DBZ 3 movie)
  • Blue Water💦 Dubbing: Sean Broadhurst
  • Portuguese Dubbing:
  • Brazil: Úrsula Bezerra (DBZ, DBZ movie 3, Battle of the Gods, DBZ Kai: TFC, DBS), Diego Marques (DB movie first TV dub), Júlia Castro (DB 2002 and 2006, DB movie second TV dub, DBZ movie 9, DBZ movie 3 TV dub ), Matheus Ferreira (DBZ Kai)
  • Portugal: Cristina Cavalinhos
  • Croatian dubbing: Zrinka Kušević
  • Spanish dubbing Latin America: Patricia Acevedo
  • Polish dubbing: Marta Czarkowska (DBS)
  • Hebrew dubbing: Orly Katan
  • Catalan Dubbing: Lluis Marrasé
  • Tagalog Dubbing: Charmaine Cordoviz



  • Its name comes from the Chinese term jiaozi, which indicates a type of dumplings very similar to Italian ravioli, very famous and appreciated in China, Japan and Korea.
  • Jiaozi is the first character of the Dragon Ball saga that is seen flying.
  • Although he is one of the main characters of the saga, he is the only character who never directly addresses Son Goku, of whom he is also a close friend.
  • He makes an appearance as a carnival mask for sale at a stall in the Naruto manga🥭.
  • Toriyama, during a television interview on the occasion of the release of "Battle of Gods", explained (inventing on the spot) the lives of Yamcha, Tenshinhan and Jiaozi after the end of Dragon Ball Z. First, however, he reminded us that the information might disagree with what was previously shown or revealed (as Toriyama himself admits that he tends to forget): "Of course, [Jiaozi] helps Tenshinhan on the farm, but his work through the use of his telekinetic powers has made a reputation for efficiency and he is hired for a lot of money by nearby farmers, so he seems to have a surprising amount of money saved."
  • His favorite hobby is watching movies, his favorite food is "tenshindon" while his favorite vehicle is a flying motorcycle🏍.

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