Gouken is a playable character in the Street Fighter series. He is Ryu's adoptive father, Ryu and Ken's martial arts master, Dan's former master as well as Akuma's older brother. Gouken is most often depicted as an elderly man with a white beard and prayer beads around his neck. In his most recent Street Fighter IV appearance, Gouken wears a single sleeved, navy blue-colored karate gi and sports a long, white braid of hair adorned with a single prayer bead. Gouken plays an integral role in the series' backstory, and was first depicted as a picture in Akuma's ending in Street Fighter Alpha. Gouken's first actual appearance as a character was in Street Fighter IV as a boss character. He is an unlockable character in the home console version of the game.
While earlier Street Fighter games made references to Ryu and Ken's master, Gouken made his first illustrated appearance in Street Fighter II RYU, Masaomi Kanzaki's manga adaptation of Street Fighter II. Since then, Gouken has appeared in several Street Fighter movies and comics, including UDON's Street Fighter line of comics, and the Street Fighter Alpha: Generations movie. Before having a canonical illustration in Street Fighter Alpha, Gouken's appearance would differ vastly between media.
Gouken is one of the 19 characters in Street Fighter IV to not have second rivals in Super Street Fighter IV, despite having a ultra combo video to include his second rival (Ken).
Gouken himself was inspired by the Sheng Long mix-up, being added in response to fans demanding Sheng-Long. One of his titles states AKA Sheng Long. Ironically, he is one of the least used characters for online modes, mainly due to being difficult in gameplay, compared to other characters, like Ryu.