Hokuto Renkitōza

Kenshiro, as depicted in the manga.
Name in Kanji ケンシロウ
Name in Romaji Kenshirō
Alternate spelling(s) Kenshirow
Fighting Style Hokuto Shin Ken
Hokuto Sōke no Ken
Family Hyō (older brother)
Raoh (adoptive older brother)
Toki (adoptive older brother)
Jagi (adoptive older brother)
Yuria (fiancée)
Ryuken (adoptive father/sifu)
Ryu (adoptive nephew)
Kenshiro Kasumi (uncle)
Unborn son (True Savior Legend)
Position(s) 64th Successor of Hokuto Shin Ken
Appearances Manga (ch. 1-245)
Anime (ep. 1-152)
Voice actor(s) Akira Kamiya
Ryō Horikawa (young)
Takehito Koyasu (Shin Hokuto no Ken)
Kunihiro Kawamoto (Legend of Heroes, Legends ReVIVE)
Hiroshi Abe (Shin Kyūseishu Densetsu)
Eiji Hanawa (young, Raoh Den Junai no Shō)
Yūko Gibu (young, Yuria Den)
Hiro Shimono (young, Raoh Den Gekitō no Shō)
Hideo Ishikawa (Ten no Haoh PSP)
Katsuyuki Konishi (Hokuto Musō, Shin Hokuto Musō, J-Stars Victory Vs, Ichigo Aji, Jump Force, Fitness Boxing)
Naomi Shindō (young, Shin Hokuto Musō)
Shinnosuke Tachibana (DD Hokuto no Ken)
Takaya Kuroda (Hokuto ga Gotoku)
Lex Lang (TV series dub)
John Vickery (1986 movie dub)
Robert Ashker Kraft (Shin Hokuto no Ken dub)
Kaiji Tang (Hokuto Musou dub)
Robbie Daymond (Hokuto ga Gotoku, Raoh Den Junai no Shou dub)
William Winckler (Toei dub)

Kenshirō (ケンシロウ) (Ken for short) is the main protagonist of the Hokuto no Ken manga, anime and related media. He is a martial artist and the 64th successor of the Hokuto Shinken style and considered one of the greatest successors in its 1,800 year history.

Kenshiro spends his days wandering the wasteland, in search of his lost love Yuria. He fights evil and injustice as he goes, killing the wicked and the cruel wherever he finds them. Kenshiro is violent and uncompromising, but he is not cruel, and rarely gives into his wrath.

His famous catchphrase is "You are already dead" (お前はもう死んでいる, Omae wa mou shindeiru), a phrase he delivers to the opponents whom he kills before they even know they are dead.



Kenshiro was born in the land of Shura as part of the Hokuto Soke line, he and his older brother Hyoh was caught in a fire in Taiseiden but was rescued by Hahaja. When an invasion broke out in the land of Shura, Jukei sent Kenshiro along with Raoh and Toki to Ryuken to take care of them with one of the brothers trained in the ways of Hokuto Shinken in order to save the land of Shura.

Raoh, Toki, and the baby Kenshiro would fall into the care of Ryuken, the master of Hokuto Shinken. Ryuken would later train all three of the children in Hokuto Shinken. Kenshiro become adoptive brother to Raoh and Toki, who were themselves biological brothers. Jagi was also adopted by Ryuken. This would set in motion their eventual cataclysmic rivalry.

The Nuclear War

After the nuclear war of 199X and the death of Ryuken, Kenshiro left with his fiancée, Yuria, to find a future for themselves in the post-apocalyptic world. However, this was curtailed by Shin, a rival from the Nanto Koshū Ken school, who defeated Kenshiro and engraved the trademark seven scars on his chest, before kidnapping Yuria for himself.

Kenshiro survived his ordeal and spent the next year wandering the wasteland for revenge. During this time, he developed the killer instinct needed to survive in the war-torn age and befriended two young orphans, Bat and Lin, who followed him on his journey. He discovered that Shin had assumed the title of 'King' and was leader of the eponymous KING organization. After defeating Shin's four generals ('Four Jacks' in the anime), he infiltrated his capital city, Southern Cross, to settle things once and for all. Driven by his new strength, Kenshiro soundly defeated Shin but he was too late to rescue Yuria. Before his death, Shin revealed that Yuria had already committed suicide to stop his violent ambition. Refusing to die from Kenshiro's technique, Shin leapt to his death from his palace balcony, as Yuria did before him.


Kenshiro continued to roam the wasteland, never staying at one place for long, as the curse of Hokuto leaves only chaos in its wake. He made a career of destroying those who preyed on the weak and innocent, such as Golan, Jackal and the Fang Clan, which earned him a reputation as a savior among the people. He also discovered that his three older brothers and fellow Hokuto Shinken practitioners: Jagi, Toki and Raoh, had all survived the nuclear holocaust. Jagi, the second-youngest, had long hated Kenshiro and was now committing acts of carnage in his name. It was also revealed that Jagi manipulated Shin into taking Yuria, as well as murdered Rei's parents and abducted his sister. Kenshiro caught up with Jagi and subjected him to a gruesome death. Afterwards, Kenshiro fought against his second-oldest brother, Toki, who had succumbed to madness after the apocalypse, when in actual fact this was Amiba, a jealous rival of Toki who was impersonating him. The real Toki was imprisoned at Cassandra by Raoh, the eldest brother, who had taken the title Ken-Oh (拳王 King of Fists) and aimed to bring order to the world by force. With the help of Rei and Mamiya, Kenshiro toppled the great prison and was reunited with Toki. Toki would become a valuable ally to Kenshiro and intervened during his first fight with Raoh, as the two were on the verge of killing one another.

The Holy Emperor Souther

Kenshiro joined forces with Shu, leader of a guerrilla group against Souther, the Holy Emperor and master of Nanto Hōō Ken, who enslaved children to build his empire. Kenshiro was defeated by Souther when his vital point attacks had no effect on Souther's body. On the brink of death, Kenshiro was rescued by Shu's son, Shiva, who gave his life to aid his escape. However, in retaliation, Souther stormed the rebel hideout and had Shu executed at the summit of the Holy Pyramid. During their rematch, Kenshiro uncovered Souther's secret: the position of his heart and his vital points were reversed. Kenshiro took pity on Souther's tragic past and killed him with a merciful technique, bringing an end to the Holy Emperor's reign.

Final Battle With Raoh

With the final battle with Raoh drawing closer, the mysterious Last Nanto General emerged to challenge Raoh's conquest. The Nanto General's real identity is revealed to be none other than Yuria, Kenshiro's betrothed. She had been saved by the Nanto Goshasei after attempting suicide at Shin's palace and her survival kept a secret to protect her from Raoh. Kenshiro fights Raoh using the ultimate Hokuto Shinken technique Musou Tensei, drawing on his profound sadness to make Raoh tremble in fear. However, Raoh kidnaps Yuria during his escape and prepares to kill the woman he loves if it will grant him the same power. Kenshiro and Raoh have their final battle at the Hokuto Renkitōza, with Raoh having killed Yuria to unlock Musou Tensei. Kenshiro's greater understanding of life and death gives him the edge over his older brother and leads him to victory. Yuria awakens after the battle, as Raoh had actually put her in a false state of death when he realized she was terminally ill. After Raoh's death, Kenshiro spends his next few years living in peace with Yuria, whose disease had been subdued by Raoh's power.

Post Time Skip

The latter half of the manga (and the corresponding Hokuto no Ken 2 anime adaptation) involves Kenshiro teaming up with the adult Bat and Lin, who have formed the Hokuto Army to oppose the tyrannical Jakou and his Imperial forces. The story eventually takes Kenshiro to his birthplace, the Land of Shura, where he learns of his heritage and fights against the warlords who oppress the land. This includes his estranged blood-brother, Hyoh, and the sinister Kaioh, Raoh's other blood-brother. The final story arcs of the manga (which were not adapted for the television series) see Kenshiro taking Raoh's orphaned son, Ryu, under his wing before continuing on his own where he settles the love triangle between himself, Bat and Lin. At the end, Kenshiro heads into the desert alone to fulfill his destiny as the Hokuto Shinken successor. It is assumed that he eventually comes back to Ryu and trains him to become the next 65th Hokuto Shinken successor.


Although still emotionally repressed and stoic like many male heroes in 1980s media, Kenshirō is notable in manga and anime culture of the time for being a sensitive and kind-hearted man who broke the established "men don't cry" cultural stereotype. He is famous for openly lamenting, if not outright despairing over, the suffering of innocents and the deaths of his few noble enemies.

Kenshiro is extremely selfless, putting himself in harm's way for the innocent and the weak. Kenshiro despises injustice and cruelty wherever he sees it. He is often motivated to go out of his way in his quest for days at a time and for many miles off his path in order to deal with a threat to a local population of innocents.

Although he hates cruelty, Kenshiro is ready to use violence without hesitation. He is also shown to be more openly wrathful on the rare occasions where he does get angry. Rather than deny or attempt to rationalize his feelings, he fully accepts his rage and his wish for revenge. He embraces the motivation they give him, disregarding any moral ambiguity.

Voice actors

Kenshiro was voiced by Akira Kamiya in the TV series and 1986 movie, Ryō Horikawa voiced the child Kenshiro in flashbacks. The role of Kenshirō was recast to Takehito Koyasu in the 2003 OVA series New Fist of the North Star and then given to Kunihiro Kawamoto in the 2005 Fist of the North Star arcade game and the 2006 CG animated short film Hokuto no Ken: Legend of Heroes. In the Shin Kyūseishu Densetsu movie series, Kenshirō is voiced by Hiroshi Abe and by Eiji Hanawa as a child. For the Ten no Haoh PSP game, Kenshiro is voiced by Hideo Ishikawa. He is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi in Hokuto Musou. In Hokuto ga Gotoku, a spinoff of the Yakuza series, Kenshiro is voiced by Takaya Kuroda.

English voice actors that have voiced Kenshirō includes John Vickery in the Streamline Pictures dub of the 1986 movie, Lex Lang in the Manga Entertainment dub of the TV series and Robert Kraft (voice actor) in the ADV Films dub of New Fist of the North Star. In the English version of Hokuto Musou (Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage), he is played by Kaiji Tang. Robbie Daymond plays the role in Fist of The North Star: Lost Paradise (Hokuto Ga Gotoku). Gary Daniels played Kenshiro in the 1995 live action film.


In a survey conducted by the Oricon in 2007 between 1,000 people, Kenshiro ranked third place as the "strongest manga character of all time", behind only Son Goku and Doraemon who ranked first and second, respectively. [1]

A "wedding ceremony" for Kenshiro and Yuria was held at the Nippon Seinenkan on September 13, 2008, the date of the 25th anniversary of Fist of the North Star. Tetsuo Hara, Buronson, and other staff who worked on the series attended the ceremony planned by an actual wedding planner, with 3,000 fans applying for the 777 invitations that were available to fans via various outlets.

Character Rating

From Hokuto no Ken: Kyūkyoku Kaisetsusho: Seikimatsu Haō Retsuden.

  • Level: AAA
  • Power: 4
  • Speed: 5
  • Skills: 5
  • Looks: 5
  • Charisma: 5

Top 38 Secrets

Translated from the 1986 magazine Hokuto no Ken Special: All About the Man.

  1. Hearing Ability: Can hear a whisper from 2km away
  2. Eyesight: Can see the aura of a living creature in pitch black darkness
  3. Kinetic Vision: Can intercept a quick arrow the moment it is shot
  4. Sense of Smell: About as good as a hound
  5. Body Characteristics: Index and middle fingers are forged by doing two finger handstands in order to better pierce vital points
  6. Sense of Taste: Sensitive enough to detect poisonous food and such.
  7. Voice: Can mimic many sounds, including animal cries.
  8. Breathing Capacity: 8700 c.c.
  9. Grip: Unmeasurable
  10. Arm Strength: Unmeasurable
  11. Walking Ability: Unmeasurable
  12. Strength of His Back: Unmeasurable
  13. Muscle Strength: Can repel the bullet of a small caliber gun when its strained
  14. Leg Speed: Can move 100m in 9 seconds in steps
  15. Fist Speed: Throws 50 punches in three seconds while performing the Hundred Crack Fist
  16. Jump Strength: 9m a step
  17. Punching Strength: Can split a rock that has 5m of thickness
  18. Kick Strength: Can send a 200kg man flying 25m into the air
  19. Diving Time: 53 minutes
  20. Resistance to Poison: Can endure five times the dose of Potassium Cyanide required to kill an ordinary man
  21. Fasting Resistance: Body can remain strong for three months without eating
  22. Sleep Resistance: Can spend an entire week without sleeping
  23. Memory Capacity: Can memorize up to 50,000 words after reading them once.
  24. Birthdate: 1970s (20 or so years before the Nuclear War)
  25. Blood Type: Unrevealed
  26. Favorite Techniques: Can use techniques from the 108 sects of Nanto Sei Ken in addition to Hokuto Shin Ken
  27. Favorite Weapons: Nunchaku, six-sectioned staffs, throwing knives and such
  28. Special Skills: Has an internal biological clock with a margin of error of more than three seconds in a month
  29. License: Initiated into the secrets of Hokuto Shin Ken passed between a single line of successors
  30. Habit: Cracks his fingers before a fight
  31. Talking Habit: Unrevealed, because he is too taciturn
  32. Hobby: Developing new secret techniques
  33. Favorite Food: There's not much of a room for likes and dislikes at the end of the century (or the post-apocalyptic world)
  34. Esteemed Acquaintance: Ryuken, Raoh, Toki and Shu
  35. Ideal Woman: Yuria
  36. Favorite Clothes: Strong leather jeans that allows him to move easily
  37. Clinical History: None
  38. Academic Background: Well-versed in the super specialized education received from Ryuken. His specialty is in the field of Chinese medicines


  • Given the time period of Kenshiro's birth in 197X and the apocalypse started in 199X, his true age is up to debate among the readers. If Kenshiro was born in late 1970 and the Apocalypse started in the early 1990s Kenshiro was probably a young teenager and thus the world that Kenshiro lived as a saviour happened later. However if Kenshiro was born in the mid 1970's and the apocalypse started in the mid 1990's Kenshiro was in his early 20's when he first met Lin and Bat. According to Han, Kenshiro was sent to the mainland 25 years prior to his and Kenshiro's battle, implying that Kenshiro is 25-27 years of age around this time, but this has not been confirmed.
  • According to Buronson, Kenshiro is specifically based on the martial artist Bruce Lee.[2]
    • Kenshiro pays numerous tributes to Bruce Lee, ranging from his jumping stance to his fighting style and high-pitched battle cries, as well as similar scenes as the ones in which the icon himself appeared in numerous films, such as the fight against Mad Sarge and his men.
    • Kenshiro's appearance during the first three seasons of the Hokuto no Ken anime closely resembles that of Lee.
  • The setting of the series is based on the film Mad Max,[2] along with some influence from the earlier 1970s post-apocalyptic manga Violence Jack. Kenshiro's standard outfit looks similar to Mad Max protagonist Max Rockatansky, whereas his topless battle outfit looks similar to Bruce Lee. Kenshiro also often finds himself fighting enemies similar to ones fought by Max and Violence Jack; for example, his brother Jagi resembles Lord Humongous from Mad Max.
  • Kenshiro's character model can be swapped with Kazuma Kiryu (protagonist of Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku) in Hokuto ga Gotoku.
    • This is a reference to him having the same Japanese voice actor as Kiryu.
  • Kenshiro is given the nicknames "Ken" (by his friends), "The Man With Seven Scars" (by both antagonists and minor characters) and "Man of Hokuto" (by his enemies).