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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm using this section of the site for mainly any miscellaneous information about Tenshinhan that doesn't exactly fit into the other sections of the site. Of course there will also be real questions that people commonly have about Tenshinhan in this section as well.

What is Tenshinhan's height and weight?  

Height: 187 cm (6'2")
Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)

Who is Tenshinhan's voice actor for the animated series?  

Japanese Voice Actor until 2006: Hirotaka Suzuoki
Japanese Voice Actor for DBZ Episodes 82, 84: Koichi Yamadera
Japanese Voice Actor for video games before Kai: Mitsuaki Madono
Japanese Voice Actor for Kai and all media after: Hikaru Midorikawa
English Voice Actors: Chris Cason and John Burgmeier

What is the meaning behind Tenshinhan's name?  

Tenshinhan (天津飯) is based on the Japanese-Chinese specialty dish, Tenshindon (天津丼). It is made up of a crab meat omelette on rice. It is called Tianjin in Northern China. As we all know by now, Akira Toriyama created most names in Dragon Ball based on food to be silly.

Why does Tenshinhan have a 3rd eye?  

Dragon Ball is loosely based on the Chinese novel, Journey to the West. Tenshinhan's character is based on Erlang Shen who is a Chinese God with a third truth-seeing eye in the middle of his forehead. In Eastern philosophies, the third eye (mind's eye) is a mystical concept of a supposed invisible eye, usually depicted as located on the forehead, which provides perception beyond ordinary sight. The official Daizenshuu Guide Books take this a step further and refer to Tenshinhan as a descedent of the Three-Eyed People (an alien race that must have traveled to Earth at some point in the past). Toei Animation characterizes Tenshinhan this way in literature as well. I would assume Akira Toriyama provided this background information of his character, but I can't find any interview where he directly addresses this.

...So he's not a human/Earthling?  

Tenshinhan is characterized as an Earthling in the manga and series. He is also listed under the overarching "Earthling" category in the Daizenshuu Guide Books. However, the Daizenshuu also states in the character guide for Tenshinhan that his physical attributes can't be considered that of an Earthling. So it seems Tenshinhan is an Earthling but with the caveat of alien ancestory (which provides him special abilities). Akira Toriyama was directly asked this question in an interview from 2003 (translated by Herms of He doesn't directly address the question and avoids it by saying:

In certain parts of Asia, beings with a third eye on their forehead are thought to be godlike and are said to possess the power of true seeing. It seems that Tenshinhan, who was raised by the evil Tsuru-Sen’nin [Crane Hermit], lost the ability to use the myriad powers of his third eye for good purposes.

Tenshinhan's voice actor, Hirotaka Suzuoki, had an interview in 1996 where he also alludes to Tenshinhan not being a pure human. He said (translation by Herms of

So, in the studio, Mako-san would say things to me like, “what a loathsome jerk”. (laughs) Tenshinhan is different from ordinary humans, but his interactions with Chiaotzu showed his humanity, so I wasn’t very conscious of him not being an earthling.

So it seems Tenshinhan is an Earthling, but not a pure one. It's a similar situation to Gohan's daughter, Pan, who is 1/4 Saiyan. She's essentially an Earthling by definition but with a degree of alien ancestory. I would assume Tenshinhan is further removed from his ancestory than Pan though. But who is to say?

How many times has Tenshinhan died?  

He's died 2 times in the main timeline. The first time is against Nappa, when he depletes all his energy with a one-handed Kikoho. The 2nd time is when Kid Buu destroys Earth. He died twice in Future Trunks' timeline as well (against Nappa, of course, but also dies permanently after the Androids kill him).