Even if you've never seen Dragon Ball, you've likely at least heard reference to Goku's signature move, the Kamehameha Wave. It's one of the most well-known aspects of the show in its native Japan, even by people who don't watch anime at all. It's also been heavily referenced in other media over the years. With such an extensive history, there's not much that isn't known about it. Even so, we've managed to find five facts you may not have known about Goku's signature attack.
Kamehameha is the Name of a Hawaiian King
When coming up with the name for the attack, Toriyama's wife suggested he name it "Kamehameha" after the Hawaiian King. Toriyama wanted to include the word "kame" in the name since it means "turtle" and "ha" is "wave" in Japanese, so this name would work perfectly. In the native Hawaiian language, "Kamehameha" means "the lonely one" or "the one set apart." King Kamehameha I was the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii after negotiating the unification of the islands in April 1810.
Goku Learned the Kamehameha Wave After Seeing It Once
Back during the events of the original Dragon Ball series, Goku saw Master Roshi use the Kamehameha Wave to put out a fire that prevented the Ox King from returning home. Afterward, he mimicked what he saw Roshi do and was able to produce enough energy to perform the attack, though only enough to destroy Bulma's car. This was when Master Roshi invited him to study under him once Goku finished looking for the Dragon Balls. He was so impressed that a child managed to learn the move on his first try when it took him 50 years to master it that he was immediately willing to take him on as a student.
Master Roshi Invented the Kamehameha Wave
Master Roshi developed the Kamehameha Wave over a span of 50 years before his appearance in Dragon Ball. He was the first person in the series to use an energy-based attack on-screen when he used it to put out the fire burning in Ox-King's home. While he destroyed the house in the process, he did put out the fire. He would go on to teach Goku, Krillin and Yamcha the move as his students. Since then, there have been several variations of the attack developed by his students and other users, including Deflection and Kaio-Ken Kamehameha.
Krillin and Yamcha Can Use the Kamehameha Wave
While Goku is the one who uses the move the most, he isn't the only one who was taught the technique. Master Roshi would go on to teach both Krillin and Yamcha how to perform the Kamehameha Wave, which they both used during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Krillin used it again during the Namek Saga, pairing it with Gohan's Masenko. Since then, they have taught others to use the attack, and it's become popular among the fighters because it's so effective in combat. We see Future Trunks and Goten use the attack later in the series, as well as Majin Buu and Cell.
The Kamehameha Wave's Color Changes
The color and appearance of the attack vary depending on who's using it and exactly what kind of Kamehameha Wave they're using. Users have personalized the stances used and the form of the energy that of the original Kamehameha Wave, which is whitish-blue the first time it's seen. Sometimes it appears yellow, other times it looks deep blue. Gohan's Electric Kamehameha is yellow, and when Majuub used it, it was pink. When Goku used the 10x Kamehameha, it was red. It's also a reddish color when Goku charged his Kaio-ken Kamehameha, but turned whitish-blue once the energy was released.