(Submitted by TurtleGurl84)
Background: 1953 - 1994
Hamato Yoshi was a member of the League of Assassins. After becoming an assassin, he met the spiritualist Tang Shen. They soon married after she helped him embrace spirituality and recognize the beauty in the world.
Yoshi was often at odds with his best friend, Oroku Saki. Saki did not like Tang Shen's influence on Yoshi and Yoshi felt that Saki was perverting the League for his personal gain. It all came to a head when Oroku Saki and his followers broke into the Hamato home. Yoshi awoke to the sound of Tang Shen screaming. Yoshi then watched as his four sons were executed. Yoshi was mortally wounded and left with his dead family as Saki ordered the house burnt to hide evidence of his crimes. With his dying breath, Hamato Yoshi used the spiritual techniques Tang Shen had taught him to call upon ancient spirits to use the souls of his sons and himself to carry out their revenge against Oroku Saki.
Splinter: 2000 - 2009
Splinter began life (at least this life) as a test rat in the old STAR Labs facility in Elgin. Initially he was part of an experiment on a psychotropic mutagenic compound that gave the cognitive characteristics of a person to an animal or as Baxter Stockman and my father put it: "splintering" the human-like cognition from the instinctual animal state (a term from which Splinter was given his name). Splinter was the most successful test subject and became sort of the unofficial lab mascot after surviving all the experiments, living beyond the lifespan of a normal rat.
When the turtles arrived, Splinter seemed very interested in them so I moved his caged next to their aquarium. For five years the ancient rat and the turtles lived in the lab like this. Splinter's lifespan was remarkable and he was kept around to see just how long he would live as my father and his lab partner were convinced their experiments had increased his lifespan.
Due to an accidental overdose of mutagen being poured over the rat and the turtles, Splinter became a more human-like rat, with increased size, more human capabilities such as the power of speech, and bipedal movement. The Turtles had likewise been mutated into humanoid turtles, and though they were originally mutated in the developed state of toddlers, Splinter had evolved into a more adult state which allowed him to help rescue the turtles from a fire, a cruel alley cat, and keep them hidden from the humans, while also looking after their survival needs.
Splinter: 2009 - Present
Shortly after the excitement of their earliest days settled down, Splinter felt a rush of spiritual memories which convinced him he was once a human named Hamato Yoshi, a ninja master who was murdered fifteen years prior. He also felt that the turtles were the four murdered Hamato children, also reincarnated. As such, Splinter took care of his "sons" as he taught them ninjutsu and emphasized their bond as a family.
During Star City's infestation of demonic forces, Splinter sent his sons into their trial by fire. They proved themselves then and again later during the Reach invasion, which alerted Splinter to the alien race known as the "Utrom," a term jogged Hamato Yoshi's memories and helped Splinter realized that Star City was in grave danger.
- (Submitted by TurtleGurl84) Splinter's actual date of birth is a mystery. We know he was probably born in 2000 but we have no real idea when he was actually born. But he's pretty adamant that his birthday is March 3rd. That seems to point to him actually having some connection to Hamato Yoshi as he was born on March 3rd, 1953. Also, Splinter identifies himself as a widower.
- Mutant Fancy Rat Physiology: Splinter refers to himself as the reincarnation of Hamato Yoshi, who he believes became a Tesso, a Japanese spirit of vengeance, upon his death. However, while Splinter's claims have evidence, we can verify he is a domesticated rat who was exposed to mutagenic experiments which caused him to mutate into a large, humanoid rat.
- Enhanced Agility: Splinter is coordinated beyond most human athletes though he rarely shows this, possibly due to his old age as he usually relies on a cane to move around.
- Enhanced Senses: Splinter can easily detect when another is near due to his ninja instinct, but highly enhanced through his keen hearing and acute sense of smell. He also has supernatural senses and limited psychic awareness. He claims he is not psychic, only slightly sensitive.
- Enhanced Speed & Reflexes: Splinter can drop to all fours to cover distance with astonishing speed, able to keep pace with cars for short sprints or scamper up vertical surfaces 30 to 50 feet tall. Splinter often uses small, precise movement to effectively (and effortlessly) evade attacks from multiple skilled attackers at the same time.
- Enhanced Strength: As a result of the experiments conducted on him, Splinter has exceptional strength, but rarely demonstrates his full power due to his reserved personality and his older age (for a rat). At the very least, he is strong enough to throw a full-grown man with his tail.
- Sharp Teeth: Splinter's jaws can break bones with a bite. His teeth also grow rapidly so he can gnaw through most things, given enough time.
- Tail: Splinter has trained his tail to be somewhat prehensile. He often uses this to trip or ensnare opponents, or disarm them. Outside of combat, he can use it to help support his weight and maintain balance.
- Ninja Training Instinct: Splinter is a great and powerful master of Ninjutsu, rivaling other world-class masters such as Oroku Saki, Talia al Ghul, and others. This is further proof he has some sort of connection to Hamato Yoshi.
- Master Infiltrator: Splinter is able to be one with darkness. He can hide and move within the shadows without being noticed.
- Master of Ninjitsu: Splinter is considered to be a world-class ninja master, having mastered its many jutsus. Splinter's extraordinary skills on Ninjutsu are so remarkably high that Crusher Crock referred to him as "one of the best." Splinter claims that in his previous life, he knew only one rival: Oroku Saki. The two were evenly matched in most ways but had reached their peaks by different paths. Hamato focused on harmonizing his spirit, body, and mind and spiritual discipline.
- Occultist: Splinter, like Hamato Yoshi, is a practitioner of many occult practices such as alchemy, astral projection, and Kuji-kiri. Kuji-kiri is an esoteric practice which, when performed with an array of hand "seals," incantations, and focus of one's chi allows healing, exorcism, and even more spectacular effects rituals such as briefly paralyzing opponents.
- Old Age: Splinter was already aged past the lifespan of a domesticated rat when he mutated and as such is quite old. Though he has shown himself able to fight with ample vigor in brief spurts, a long drawn-out fight could be the end of him. Something of which he seems to be quite aware.
- Physicality: 3 — Trained / Exceptional
- Occult: 6 — World-Class / Superb
- Weapons: 7 — Legendary
- Experience: 5 — Master / Remarkable
- Ranged: 4 — Expert / Enhanced
- Strategy: 6 — World-Class / Superb
- TOTAL: 130
- RANKING: High Threat
Trivia and Notes
- Hamato Yoshi was once known for his unruly temper and lack of discipline. But with the help of his mentor Masato and his love Tang Shen he learned to control his temper.
- April O'Neil is his pupil. When the turtles saved her, she kept telling Splinter she had no idea why the Foot Clan wanted her because she was a "nobody." Splinter put that back on her when he took her on as a pupil, saying in a previous life he had trained a ninja so stealthy they called him "Nobody." It's now April's ops moniker.
- Master Splinter tends to perceive things through the lens of Japanese mythology, particularly about his and the Turtles' supposed reincarnation. Splinter calls Old Hob "bakeneko" or "nekomata" which are both references to cat-like yokai from Japanese mythology. He tends to use "Bakeneko" when Hob is not around, but uses "Nekomata" when addressing Hob directly.
- When he was human his weapon of choice was tekko. After the ceremony of choosing his weapon he didn't let go of it.
- The last words he heard (as Hamato Yoshi) from Oroku Saki before he killed him were "I shall see you again in the forest" to which he responded with "This isn't over."
- There is a circle in 'Eth Alth'eban named after him.
- Splinter is a character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and its related media.