Has Toriyama ever stated the origin of Kuririn's name in an interview?

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Has Toriyama ever stated the origin of Kuririn's name in an interview?

Post by Thouser » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:05 pm

I think it's probably common knowledge in this fandom that "Kuririn" is a combination of 栗 (kuri, "chestnut") and 少林 (Shaolin, or "Shourin" in Japanese). The "chestnut" being another example of Toriyama's propensity for food related names, and the rin/lin because Kuririn's design is inspired by Shaolin monks (the bald head with incense marks, and the yellow uniform he wore in his earliest appearances).

I stumbled on an old Japanese blog post (http://world-manga.at.webry.info/201204/article_25.html) talking about errors on the infamous wiki, and they say that this "Kuri+Shaolin" origin of the name is a "huge lie."

They have a quote from Toriyama where he gave a typically vague answer saying that the name came from "the character's image" without saying anything about chestnuts or Shaolin. The blogger also says that the fact that Kuririn's daughter is named Marron ("chestnut" in French) is a retroactive reference and doesn't mean that Kuririn's name actually originally came from chestnuts. He also says that a Japanese reader would never make the connection between "Kuririn" and "Shourin."

So, what I'm wondering is: is the wiki actually right and he's just assuming it's wrong because it's the wiki? Or has Toriyama actually never stated this name origin and we as a fandom have all been spreading this inaccurate info based on no actual evidence a la the "intended ending" rumors? Or has Toriyama actually given this explanation and the blogger was just unaware?

(Unrelated to Kuririn, the blogger also shot down the idea that Genki Dama was a pun on "denki gama" (電気釜 "rice cooker"), which I didn't even know was an idea that people had, as well as the theory that Pan's name doesn't just refer to bread, but is also a double entendre referring to the mythological Pan and therefore Satan. He didn't use any quotes from Toriyama those times. For the Pan thing he said there was "absolutely no relationship" with the Greek Pan, and for the Denki Gama thing he said that a Japanese person would never make a pun like that and that 100% of Japanese people wouldn't even recognize that as a pun.)
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Re: Has Toriyama ever stated the origin of Kuririn's name in an interview?

Post by Nejishiki » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:38 am

Here are Toriyama's thoughts in bold.
There are a few things going on with Kuririn’s name, though Toriyama doesn’t really explain any of it (see below). First, kuri-kuri bouzu means a clean-shaven head, which certainly fits him. Second, 栗/kuriis Japanese for “chestnut”, which besides tying back into his “smooth head” image, is carried over into the name of his daughter (and in the anime, his early girlfriend). One of the title pages also shows Kuririn riding an air bike with the栗/kuri kanji on the front. Finally, the “rin” on the end of his name may be a reference to the Shaolin monks (少林/Shourin in Japanese), a staple of martial arts films. “Shaolin” more or less translates to “little forest”, and the temple where Kuririn trained prior to become Kame-sennin’s pupil was called the Oorin Temple (多林寺/Oorin-ji), “big forest temple”, an obvious play on the name Shaolin. The Oorin uniform worn by Kuririn and his formal seniors at Oorin Temple are also clearly based on the Shaolin uniform.
Toriyama Explanation: “This is a name that I decided completely based on just the ambience from the character’s image. At that point, I didn’t think this was going to be a character that would continue to appear for a long time afterwards, so I used this half-baked naming.” [DBF]
Source Spelling:: くりくり/kuri-kuri 栗/kuri, 少林/Shourin
Name Spelling: クリリン/Kuririn
I can't imagine why the blog stated what it did, but as you can see, the source of the name pun is from Dragon Ball Forever. Similarly, I also haven't heard of anyone attributing the Genki Dama to a rice cooker pun. Just for fun, I'll add in the excerpt for Pan, as well. Toriyama is very clear with his naming intentions.
Pan is the Japanese word for bread, derived from the Portuguese “pão” (compare “pan” in Spanish and “pain” in French).
Toriyama Explanation: “Well, to put it simply, she’s the child of gohan, so how about bread?” [as noted above, gohan means ‘rice’ in Japanese. Here Toriyama uses the actual kanji for rice rather than the ones used to write Gohan’s name] [DBF]
Source Spelling:: パン/pan
Name Spelling: same

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