Dragon Ball Culture Book

dragon ball culture book cover

Dragon Ball Culture will change the way you view Dragon Ball.

Dragon Ball may be your favorite show, but do you understand the culture that influenced your life and is a part of you?

As the world’s #1 recognized anime and manga, Dragon Ball has reached hundreds of millions of fans. Yet there has never been a book that explores its cultural content.

Where did Akira Toriyama receive the inspiration for Dragon Ball? What’s the meaning behind Tenshinhan’s third eye? And just what the heck is Chaozu?!

As an expert in traditional Chinese and Japanese culture, I will reveal the cultural origins of Dragon Ball and answer the questions you have always pondered.

You’ll discover the ancient Chinese martial arts techniques that inspired the kamehameha, dodonpa, and taiyō-ken. As well as Son Goku’s Buddhist and Daoist inspiration in Sun Wukong, Piccolo’s “demon nature,” the Tenkaichi Budokai’s ancient Chinese precursor, and the origin of both Kame-sennin and Uranai Baba.

Dragon Ball Culture encapsulates the first 153 episodes and 194 chapters (16 volumes) of the original Dragon Ball series.

There are 58 chapters spread across several hundred pages. Along the journey you’ll travel from Akira Toriyama’s youth as a fan of foreign films, to Goku’s fated encounter with Bulma, the summoning of Shenron, the defeat of the Red Ribbon Army, and the victory over Ma Junior.

The book features over 60 original illustrations in the Akira Toriyama style, penned by the amazing artist and Dragon Ball fan, Javier Secano.

dragon ball culture bulma and yamcha

Dragon Ball is where culture and imagination meet. It is a testament to both traditional and modern culture, as a synthesis of what’s old in the form of what’s new.

Since Dragon Ball has been watched and read by so many and influenced lives in subtle and profound ways, it is significant and deserves a book exploring these phenomena.

In reading Dragon Ball Culture, you will better understand yourself.

Stay tuned for more info and the publication date.

And get excited, the next book in The Dao of Dragon Ball series is here, and your wish will finally be granted!

dragon ball culture piccolo daimao



  • Jonathan Kyle Banks

    Yes my friend, yes.

  • Kakarot88

    This is the one I’ve been waiting for!

  • Michael Tenorio

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

    • Thanks, Michael. I’m writing it as we speak.

      • Michael Tenorio

        Awesome. I’ll set aside some money and get it the second it’s release is announced

      • Amir Gholamian

        Hi when can we expect this book to be released? Like a very approximate guideline?

        Can not wait for this book to be released. Since I first got into the Legend of Zelda I have been extremely fascinated by Japanese Culture, Philosophy and Psychology which naturally led me to Dragon Ball which I have ever since loved.

        Thanks for writing this 🙂

        • Thanks, Amir. I’m glad you’re eager to read the book.

          The book is 40% complete, and I was hoping to have it out in ebook form by Christmas, but a January release is more likely. Then a few weeks the print edition will be published. But no promises, just doing my best. That’s why I haven’t announced a hard publication date yet.

  • Goten Son

    Honestly i don’t think culture had that much to do with it you see i believe that mankind has been visited by a super being that pops in whenever it pleases him to do so and that is why the bible describes the same being whom the oriental peoples speak of. Even the cover on your book pays homage to the true identity of Son Goku aka the almighty King of the universe and Creator of mankind. Behold the Lord Goku rides upon a swift cloud wielding his power pole with great power and glory amen.

  • Benton

    can’t wait!!

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  • Sūn Wúkōng

    Thank you, Derek Padula! You’re insightful Enlightening reads literally send me into the Room of Spirit & Time(Śūnyatā/Wújí :+)
    *Dragon Ball Legend* ~

    • Sūn Wùkōng

      lol, Wùkōng* ~

    • You’re welcome, Sūn Wúkōng. I’m glad to know the Monkey King enjoys my writing on such a profound level. Or should I say, The Great Sage Equal to Heaven.

  • Kevin Burkett

    Yes, Can’t wait to read this book, The wish has been granted and no dragon balls necessary!

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  • James

    When will this be released?!?! This looks amazing!

    • The book is at 70% completion. I’m putting in 12 hours on it each day, doing my best to get it out as soon as possible. Glad you’re excited for it. I think it WILL be amazing!

  • Ben A.K.A TheDragonBaller

    I’m so excited man i read your first book it’s over 9000! and i couldn’t put it down so I’m even more excited for this one! also cant wait to see what you did with dragon ball light of hope the trailer is amazing and the fact that you’re writing the script makes it even better!

    • Thanks, Ben. I’m glad you’re excited. I’m pouring my heart and soul into each of these projects.

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  • Maricruz Villalobos Zamora

    Oh God, I want it. I NEED IT. I’ve been a Dragon Ball fan all my life, this is a dream come true (you can’t see me, but I promise I’m crying).

    • Hi Maricruz. I’m glad you had such a strong reaction to the book announcement. I’m currently 81% complete with the rough draft and working hard on it every day.

      Why are you crying? Or how do you feel so moved by it? I’m striving to make it the best book I can so its content can reach you in a profound way.

      • Maricruz Villalobos Zamora

        Dude I’m Latin American, Dragon Ball was a key part of my entire childhood. When I can I’m getting a physical copy to show everybody I know, and half of them will be as exited as me!

        • Yes, Dragon Ball is the manga of an entire generation. Wherever it goes it represents the children who grew up with it. Like yourself, I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

          That’s great to hear! The book will be translated into Spanish as well. Likely a few months after the English.

        • Yes, Dragon Ball is the manga of an entire generation. Wherever it goes it represents the children who grew up with it. Like yourself, I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

          That’s great to hear! The book will be translated into Spanish as well. Likely a few months after the English.

  • Samuel Faryan

    I cannot wait to hold your new book in my hands 🙂 hope it’ll be a highly informative read 🙂 Btw, besides obvious references to Asian culture, have you acknowledges the paralles btw Goku’s origin and the stories of Moses or even Superman? (or does the book not include the Saiyan saga storyline & themes) Also, how many pages can we expect the book to have, more or less? 🙂 Thnx in advance, and have a good time writing it? 🙂 We all have faith in you and your work, Derek Padula!

    • Dragon Ball Culture doesn’t go into the DBZ and Saiyan content. So the Superman, Goku, Moses comparison will be in the sequel, titled Dragon Ball Z Culture. I actually wrote the chapter for it over 6 years ago, but it’s never been published.

      The book is currently over 600 pages long in Word document, so I imagine when it’s done and formatted into print it might end up at over 800 pages!

      Thank you for having faith in my work. That’s a nice motivator!

  • shamine

    Will u please let mw know once this has been released??

    • Yes, will do. I expect the ebook to be out by the end of October. Hopefully the print version as well. But if nothing else, it will be available for Christmas.

  • Jim R. McClanahan

    Thanks for the heads up. I’m looking forward to reading this.

    • You’re welcome Jim. Thanks for your article on Sun Wukong. It was helpful. Glad you’re looking forward to reading the book.

  • Lucas Sabatino Guimarães

    goku > superman
    btw, you have an amount of knowledge about db verse,, congrats for your job
    and when the book will be finished?

  • Jude Bailey

    very good books, is there a release date for the physical copy of the 4th book?

    • Thanks, Jude. It’ll likely be out in November or December. I have been busy formatting Dragon Soul for print and finishing up Dragon Ball Culture Volume 7 for ebook. Once those are done in the next couple of months, I’ll work on Volume 4 for print. I’m glad you’re eager to read it.

      • Jude Bailey

        Awesome,excited for both dragon soul and the the rest of DB culture.