Goku’s T-shirt logo has changed four times in Dragon Ball, but nobody ever noticed

Despite changes throughout the series, Goku’s T-shirt remains an iconic element of Dragon Ball due to its design, color scheme, and association with the protagonist of the highly influential anime. Its popularity has made it recognizable even to those who are unfamiliar with the story. However, many fans may not realize the numerous iterations of the shirt that have appeared throughout the series.

Throughout the Dragon Ball Z series, Goku utilizes a variety of kanji symbols, a reflection of the different masters he encountered on his journey. However, many fans are unaware that these changes were purposeful. The series’ author, Akira Toriyama, was a martial arts enthusiast, evident in the series, and even more subtly through the progression of Goku’s T-shirt, which serves to showcase his development throughout the story.

Please be advised that this article contains spoilers for the Dragon Ball series.

The Symbolism of Goku’s T-shirts in Dragon Ball Z

The different symbols in Goku's T-shirt (Image via Toei Animation).
The different symbols in Goku’s T-shirt (Image via Toei Animation).

Throughout the series, Goku has worn a blue and orange uniform known as a Gi. He first obtained it as a young adult while training with Mr. Popo and Kami, and it has been his signature outfit ever since. Although he originally sported the Turtle Hermit School kanji on his Gi, many are unaware of how it evolved over time.

After training under King Kai in the afterlife during the Saiyan saga, Goku received his symbol from him. He continued to wear this symbol until he reached Namek, where he had become his own master. This is a common practice in martial arts, as individuals often create their own logos once they have achieved a certain level of expertise and wear them on their Gis.

As the Android saga begins, Goku’s T-shirt no longer bears the logo of any master. This is because he has taken on the role of a mentor, as seen when he trained Gohan during the Cell saga and Goten and Trunks during the Buu saga.

Although fans who noticed this have commended it as a representation of Goku’s development as a fighter, this trend has shifted in Dragon Ball Super.

Goku’s Evolution in the Dragon Ball Series

Goku in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation).
Goku in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation).

Despite being a simple T-shirt, Goku’s attire serves as a powerful symbol of his growth and development as a martial artist. However, his impact as one of the most significant anime protagonists of all time remains unparalleled, with many still feeling its influence in modern shonen anime.

Goku’s character embodies many classic elements of the shonen genre, including his cheerful demeanor, training sequences, progression through time skips, and iconic power-ups through transformation, such as the Super Saiyan form.


Throughout the course of the series, Goku’s T-shirt underwent several changes and featured various symbols. These symbols served as a representation of the different masters that Goku had in Dragon Ball. Additionally, the T-shirt serves as a reminder of Goku’s journey from a martial arts student to a master, as evidenced by the way he trained his sons Gohan and Goten, as well as his protégé Trunks.

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