In both the original comics and the live-action movies, Splinter was the pet rat of a ninja named Hamato Yoshi in Japan. Intelligent for his species, Splinter was able to learn his master's art by mimicking his movements while he practiced. Yoshi became embroiled in a dispute with a fellow ninja by the name of Oroku Nagi, and was eventually murdered by Nagi's brother Oroku Saki who sought revenge for his brothers death. However in the 1990 film and 2003 TV series Nagi was removed entirely. Additionally in the 1990 film, Splinter escapes from his cage during the murder, and attacked Saki, clawing at his face, while Saki sliced his ear off. It is suggested this mutilation is the reason Saki took the Shredder disguise to hide the scars. While in the 2003 TMNT cartoon it was Hun's face who Splinter clawed.
Without a home, Splinter was forced to run away and live in New York City's sewers. Due to a traffic accident, four baby turtles and a canister of radioactive ooze were sent down into the sewer, where they mutated both Splinter and the turtles. Splinter named the four turtles Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo (after a book on Renaissance Artists that he found in a storm drain) and trained them in the arts of ninjutsu, so that they should take revenge for his dead master, while still raising them as his own sons.
In the 2003 TMNT cartoon, he possesses a significant reputation as a ninja master; in a multi-part episode, he was revealed to be a champion of the Battle Nexus, a multi-dimensional-spanning contest where the greatest combatants of various dimensions come together to fight each other for the title of Battle Nexus Champion. When the Turtles first learn of the Battle Nexus, they participate as well, resulting in Splinter forfeiting when called upon to fight Michelangelo, as he wishes to allow his sons the opportunity to fight where he succeeded in the past.
In the 2003 cartoon during the Battle Nexus, Splinter is referred to as 'Hamato Splinter' indicating either that he regards himself as a member of the Hamato family, or that he took the name in honor of his dead owner. In Fast Forward, Splinter was sent to the future with the Turtles. But when the Turtles finally found a way back to their time, Viral, a villain they met in the future blasted him with a decompiler ray that scattered his bits all over the internet. While Splinter wasn't seen much, the Back to the Sewers season dealt heavily with the Turtles going all over cyberspace to find all of his data bits. Splinter is restored at last in the final episode of the series, just in time to assist April O'Neil and Casey Jones' s wedding, and help defeat the Cyber Shredder.
Master Hamato Splinter is the adoptive father of Leonardo,Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo. He raised them and taught them in the art of Ninjutsu. He is portrayed as a dark gray rat in monk's robes and is stated to weigh 90 lbs.
Splinter started his life as an ordinary rat in Japan who found his way into a home owned by the Ancient One. When he was discovered, his life was spared by Tang Shen, the Ancient One's adopted daughter, who took him as a pet. As in previous versions, Tang Shen became tragically caught up between Hamato Yoshi and a jealous rival, this time Yukio Mashimi, a childhood friend of Yoshi's. The two of them eventually joined the Utroms and became Guardians. But Mashimi's jealousy of Yoshi, both for his advancement as a Guardian, and the love of Tang Shen, led him to murder Shen and betray the Utroms' location to The Shredder. Yoshi killed Mashimi in revenge and went to America with the Utroms, taking Tang Shen's pet with him, and giving him the name Splinter. Later, Yoshi would be tracked down and killed by The Shredder, who tried to force him to reveal the Utroms' location. In this continuity, it was Hun that Splinter scratched as his master Yoshi was attacked, and not Shredder.
Soon after he found the turtles, and then proceded to train them in the way of ninjutsu. When they were older, Splinter named the four turtles, from a battered book he fished out of the storm drain containing the names of Renaissance artists, which he named the Turtles after. He continued to train the Turtles in every way they could, for preparation for evil the four did not fully understand until "The Shredder Strikes Part 1" in which the TMNT learned of the Shredder's evil and hatred and how he killed Splinter's master, Yoshi. The Turtles then continued to fight the Shredder to stop the spread of evil across New York and the world.
- Teaching how to Punch and Kick.
- Covering Inner Strength.
- I want you to take what you learned in training and use it in pairs.
- Practice for 78 hours straight.
- It's important to really think your actions through. It's all like a Game of Chess. You have to be thinking 3 to 4 moves ahead of your opponent. Planning knowing what's coming.
- The past is another country. They do things differently there. And yet, it seems that the past lives still, haunting us. But we need not fear the past. It is the future we must fear
- Training hard for a month for the Battle Nexus Tournament.
- Splinter: "We have never revealed ourselves to the other world. You have placed us all in great danger. "
- Splinter: "As you grow older, you will learn there are many ways to do the right thing. But there is no going back. I'm afraid we find ourselves at your mercy."
- Splinter: "Where there is life. There is hope."
- Splinter: "Do not lead with your shoulders Donatello."
- Splinter: "Hmm, we will call this place... "Home."
- Splinter: "Yes, but remember, one must also make time to explore the landskape within."
- Splinter "Ah, my son. So angry. Rage is a monster that will destroy you from within. Raphael, a true warrior finds balance in all things."
- Splinter: "It is dangerous for you to go about openly in the world above. You cannot simply walk amongst the humans. They will not accept who and what you are. It is as the great sage and warrior Kenji Hashimura once said, "Why walk when you can ride?"
- Splinter: "My sons, If you are to become true ninja you must work harder. Your path in life will not be an easy one. The outside world will not be a friendly place for you. You four are different in ways the surface dwellers would never understand. To survive, you must master these skills I teach you. Ninjitsu powers of stealth and secrecy. You must become kage; shadow warriors. And you must never be discovered by the outside world."
- Splinter: "Pain is a blinding force Leonardo physical and emotional.
- Splinter: "Rage is a monster that will destory you from within Raphael."
- Splinter: "Look with your heart Michaelangelo and not your eyes."
- Splinter: "Remember, to be a true ninja you must become one with the shadows. Darkness gives the ninja power, while light reveals the ninja's presence."
- Splinter: "He serves no great purpose. He fights no great evil. He is great evil."
- Splinter: "There is nothing more restful for a ninja then regular training."
- Splinter: "Our bodies need rest to heal... And that includes your mouths."
- Splinter: "Remember my sons even the mighty oak bends before the raging storm winds.
- Splinter: "Life moves as the wheel of destiny turn night to day."
- Splinter: "A creative mind must be balanced by a disciplined body.
- Splinter: "Only be focusing on our inner strength can we overcome our enemy."
- Splinter: "Sometimes is best to sit still and answers will come."
- Splinter: "In the hands of true ninjutsu master anything can be a weapon."
- Splinter: "A weapon is only as good as the arm that wields it."
- Splinter: "How many times did a told you not to sneak out to the surface?"
- Splinter: "It is not the student place to say when a lesson is learned. The studen place is to listen and learn."
- Splinter: "Old wounds are slow to heal."
- Splinter: "We Must learn stillness and alertness for they are the only defense againts the unexpected."
- Splinter: "A ninja's greatest strength is patience."
- Splinter: "The more one learns the less one knows."
- Splinter: "Attacking a wounded soldier. You have no honor."
- Splinter: "These who become obsessed are often their wrost enemy."
- Splinter: "Let your mind become pool of stillness. Break the surface explore the deeps for that is where the true wonders lies.
- Splinter: "A wise ninja does not seek out an enemy who he does not fully understand."
- Splinter: "The two greatest weapons at the ninja disposal are placement and surprise."
- Splinter: "Sometimes the past is a mirror in which we can see the reflection of what danger the future holds."
- Splinter: "Donatello, your Battle Shell is a marvel of engineering. A true testament to your incredible mechanical skills. And I never want to see it in our home again."
- Splinter: "I hate to put either one of you at risk, but only a fool ignores fate and the strange gifts it offers"
- Splinter: "Miss O'Neil, teaching them the ancient art of Ninjutsu was hard enough. I'm afraid even I cannot work miracles."
- Splinter: "You should never have tried to face The Shredder alone. He is too powerful."
- Splinter: "Master Yoshi kept his honor to the end. A true warrior, and a true Guardian."
- Splinter: "The Way of Invisibility takes a lifetime to Master circumstances however require us to train as we go." Observe and Learn. Lesson 1. Lesson 2: The Way of Silence.
- The Lesson
- The Big Brawl, Part 1
- Worlds Collide, Part II