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Taiyang is a man with blond hair that has two small strands sticking out from the top and blue eyes which look lilac in the old Team STRQ photo. His facial hair consists of a soul patch and a small stubble along his jawline. On his right arm is a tattoo similar to a heart. His hair was once a bright shade of gold, but in his older age it has notably grayed somewhat, still blond, but just far more subdued.
He wears brown cargo shorts with a dark brown belt, black shoes, a red bandana on his left arm, and a brown leather vest over a tan dress shirt with the right sleeve cut off. For armor, he wears a metal spaulder, leather vambrace, and a brown fingerless glove, all on his right arm.
In his younger days, he did not have his facial hair or his tattoo, he wore an orange bandana around his left arm rather than a red one and wore brown cargo pants rather than shorts.
He possesses a rather muscular build, which compliments his close-quarters style of combat.
Taiyang is shown to be a bit overprotective by both of his daughters, yet still open and caring. His attitude towards helping others in need was passed along to his children too. He appears to have an eccentric side, as he is stated to do things like sending the family pet Zwei through the mail all the time.
During his period of mourning the disappearance and possible passing of Summer Rose, Yang said he "shut down", showing that he loved her greatly and was devastated by her loss. His over-protectiveness of his daughters likely stems from both this and the incident where they were almost slaughtered by Beowolves, had their uncle Qrow Branwen not been around to save them.
Despite being overprotective, he allowed both of his daughters to become huntresses.
In "Family", he is shown to be very sociable, as he is seen talking and having laughs with Peter Port and Bartholomew Oobleck at his house. Taiyang can also be blunt, albeit in a good-natured way, toward his daughters. This trait is shown further in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back" when he discusses the flaws in Yang's fighting style during a sparring session and suggests an alternative approach.
Despite his dangerous and combative profession as a Huntsman, Taiyang also appears to appreciate the simple pleasures of life, such as gardening. This can be seen by his tending to the flower beds along the side of his house in Patch before beginning Yang's physical rehabilitation with her arm and when he notices Raven arriving at his house.
Powers and Abilities
Taiyang is a fully-trained Huntsman and went on dangerous missions with his team. He now teaches at a combat school, Signal Academy, and takes on missions from time to time. It was stated by Ruby in "Round One" that he taught Yang how to fight. In "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", he is shown sparring with his older daughter in hand-to-hand combat.
His strength is shown when he knocks Yang back in the same episode with a single punch, despite her blocking the attack. He is also very durable, able to take a blow from Yang's robotic fist and still remain standing, despite skidding back several feet in the process.
His fighting style appears to rely on a fluid and dynamic flurry of elbow strikes and punches, sweep kicks akin to judo, and heavy emphasis on maintaining his balance at all times.
- For information on choices the creators made for this character, see Taiyang Xiao Long/Behind the Scenes.
- The Chinese transcription of his name, Tàiyáng Xiǎolóng (Simplified: 太阳小龙; Traditional: 太陽小龍) can be translated literally to "Sun Little Dragon". This has the same literal meaning as Yang's name; the characters tài yang (太阳) together mean Sun. tài (太) on its own can be a grammatical intensifier analogous to "very", or an adjective roughly meaning "excessive", "big", or can be used to refer to elders within the family, which gives the possible translation of "Elder Yang Xiao Long".
- Taiyang is the second family member within Ruby and Yang's family to be a professor at Signal, the other being their uncle Qrow.
- Taiyang shares his color scheme with his daughter, Yang.
- Taiyang's fighting style is based on Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop and the famous martial artist Bruce Lee.