Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Bios: Master Splinter

Master Splinter Throughout the Franchise's History

First off the backstory of master Splinter is confusing. In the 1987 TV series he’s Hamato Yoshi  but in the comics and original movies he was Hamato Yoshi’s pet rat? Come on give me a break! Either he is Hamato Yoshi or his pet rat, pick one, stick to the timeline people!

Before He Was Known as Splinter

Before he was known as sensei to the Ninja Turtles, Hamato Yoshi or his pet rat grew up in Osaka, Japan in 1962 part of the Hamato clan.  In the 1987 animated series Splinter was known as Yoshi and learned the art of Ninjutsu in Osaka. In later editions like the films and TV series he was Hamato Yoshi’s pet rat who learned by watching his master train in Ninjutsu.

Ninjutsu is originated from the Shinobi who were called ninjas outside of Japan. The idea behind Ninjutsu teaches unconventional warfare, guerrilla warfare and spying. Yoshi was enrolled at a martial arts school along with his adopted brother Oroku Saki who was a member of the rival Foot clan before it was demolished

Growing up both Yoshi and Oroku were interested in a woman named Tang Shen. When she eventually chose Splinter, Oroku was furious going as far as defaming him in front of her. This caused Yoshi to lose his temper and hit him knocking him down. With his heart torn Saki’s hatred for his brother grew and he rebranded himself as Shredder at this time in his life. 

Later on during the night he arrived at Splinter’s home wanting to fight. He came armed with sharp claws and was about to deal the final blow when Shen sacrificed herself so that Splinter could escape the fire. Their daughter Miwi survived much to the uncertainty of Splinter and was raised by Shredder as Karai.

Hamato Yoshi 1987 TV Series
Yoshi 2003 TV Version

Becoming Master Splinter

After escaping near death at the hand of Shredder and Yoshi made his way to New York.

While feeling lonely he decides to visit a pet store where he is introduced to the Ninja Turtles who are  just babies that haven’t been mutated. This will all change though rather quickly when Yoshi pays for them. 

After leaving the pet store he walked into an alley and overheard members of the Kraang talking. They detect him when his foot scares a rat. While trying to fight back Splinter breaks a can of Mutagen; which, goes all over him and the four baby turtles. 

He manages to get away by going down a sewer drain and quickly find that he has been mutated into a humanoid rat. The Turtles also experience the same as they are mutated into human like versions of themselves. Splinter decides to train to them because he knew that they would need to know how to defend themselves in case they are attacked when going to the surface. He named them after famous Italian Renaissance artists that he discovered in a book about Renaissance artists.

Fighting Style

In his human form he was a master of Ninjutsu. Spent his entire life learning his craft. He started at the fighting school in Osaka and became a sensei soon after. Able to easily defeat larger enemies like Rahzar who went on to say he was “one of the best” and went on to compare him to Shredder. He then  dissed him afterwards saying he doesn’t have the guts to finish a fight. Shredder has extensive knowledge of forbidden techniques that Splinter doesn’t always know about. Despite the knowledge of  the forbidden arts that Shredder holds, Splinter has defeated him twice in Japan and Showdown. He taught April O’Neil the art of Ninjutsu like he did with the Turtles. He’s also somewhere around the age of 50.

Temperment

Splinter in the voice of wisdom which he tries to instill into the Turtles as their sensei and loving guardian. He can seen as strict at times but he’s only like that because he loves them and want them to be safe. He is still haunted by the memory of the fire that took Shen and not being able to find Miwi (known as Karai currently). It was because of that incident that he is known to take extreme precaution to prevent that from ever happening to him again.

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