Joseph is introduced as Jonathan's grandson living in New York with his grandmother Erina and seems to have naturally inherited the power of the Ripple.
Joseph is the main protagonist of the second arc, Battle Tendency. He is the grandson of Jonathan Joestar, the main protagonist of the first arc, Phantom Blood. Joseph is hotheaded and confrontational. He also has the uncanny ability to predict what his opponent will say next.
His daughter Holly Joestar later gave birth to Jotaro Kujo.
Series 2 - Battle Tendency
Joseph lives in New York with his grandmother Erina and seems to have inherited the power of the Ripple (波紋), as he has a natural ability to use it. When old family friend Speedwagon is reported dead (or missing) in Mexico, Joseph takes it on himself to go check it out. His curiosity is piqued when he is attacked in New York City by an old friend turned vampire. When he goes to Mexico he discovers a secret underground Nazi facility where the Nazis are trying to revive a man who seems to have been trapped in a stone pillar for 2,000 years. Here Joseph meets the Nazi Stroheim (whose character design is said by many to have influenced Capcom when they created Guile, though Dire from Series 1 also looks similar to him).
Unfortunately the Nazis are successful in awakening the man, who is christened "Santana" before he kills most of them. Joseph and Stroheim battle Santana and manage to defeat him, though Stroheim is fatally wounded.
Joseph then heads to Rome, where three more "sleeping pillar men" have been discovered. In Rome, Joseph meets Caesar Zeppeli, a trained hamon user near his age who is supposed to show Joseph the ropes. Before they can do anything besides arguing (Caesar Zeppeli is a descendant of the top hat wearing, wine drinking mentor of Jonathan Joestar. Caesar blames Jonathan Joestar for killing his grand father with his incompetence), they find themselves present when the three sleeping men awaken after their 2,000 year nap. These creatures are something like vampire gods; it turns out that they created the stone mask that turned Dio into a vampire. These three are named Wamuu (Wham!), Esidisi (ACDC), and Kars (The Cars), and their goal is to find the "Red Stone of Aja," which, used with a stone mask, will allow them to become ultimate life forms.
They are extremely powerful; untrained Joseph doesn't stand a chance. Luckily, he manages to talk them out of killing him. Wamuu and Esidisi both end up giving Joseph "wedding rings" which are internal time bombs set to release poison into his blood if he doesn't defeat them within a month. Joseph realizes that he'll have to train or he's going to die, and Caesar introduces Joseph to his master, the beautiful (and extremely talented) Lisa Lisa.
However, before the month is up, Esidisi finds out that Lisa Lisa has the Red Stone of Aja and comes to take it. Joseph uses his new skills to defeat Esidisi, thus earning the wrath of Wamuu and Kars (who previously thought of him as an amusement rather than a threat).
While on pursuit Joseph is reunited with the supposedly-deceased Stroheim, who has been rebuilt by Nazi science as a powerful cyborg, but Stroheim's machine body is quickly cut in half by Kars, who uses the "light mode" (a blade that extends from his arm spins so fast that it reflects light in irregular fashion giving the illusion of glowing sword). In Switzerland the group discovers the location of Wamuu and Kars. Knowing Wamuu and Kars' vulnerability to sunlight, everyone is eager to face them during the day except JoJo. Caesar can't accept this and Joseph and Caesar fight.
Apparently Caesar's father disappeared during his youth, growing up as a thug hating his father, he later finds him. Caesar is eager to kill his father who has abandoned him, but to his surprise Caesar's dad didn't go out to enjoy himself. Following his father to the base of the Colosseum where the three monster sleep, Caesar tries to touch a gem that is embedded in the wall. To his surprise, his father pushes him out of the way and saves Caesar from the wall's trap. Caesar's father is quickly consumed by the flesh of the monsters in their dormant form and leaves a final message to him, telling him to inform Lisa Lisa that the three monsters in the wall will awaken soon.
Disregarding the warnings Caesar approaches the mansion where Wamuu and Kars are residing. Caesar is soon greeted by Wamuu and they fight. It appears that Caesar has the advantage as he nearly fries Wamuu with ripple and refracted sun light, but Wamuu quickly counters his attack with his "holy sand storm" and Caesar loses his ability to use the ripple. When Wamuu, satisfied with the victory, tries to leave, Caesar jumps up and tears out his lip piercing that contains the antidote to JoJo's poison ring. Before he dies from being crushed by a stone slab, Caesar uses his final ripple to make a bubble out of his blood containing the antidote ring. Wamuu sees this but, respecting Caesar as a valiant warrior, he lets the bubble float away. When Joseph and Lisa Lisa arrive too late JoJo finds the bubble and vows not to drink the antidote until he personally has beaten Wamuu.
Joseph then defeats Wamuu in a deadly chariot race and the final showdown against Kars begins. First, keeping his promise, he fights the beautiful Lisa Lisa and though he promised to fight her one-on-one, he lies and sacrifices one of his weaker Vampires and is able to defeat her. Angered by Kars' trickery, Joseph then challenges Kars who looks upon Joseph as weak Ripple user and not even worth fighting seriously. It all seems to be over in this fight against Kars until Stroheim (who has once again been brought back to life because of Nazi Science) and the Nazis, Speedwagon, and Smokey arrive to help Joseph. It is here that the reader also finds out that Lisa Lisa is also the biological mother of Joseph. After using the powers of Ultra violet rays of light it seems that Kars has been killed and the world has been saved. But all is not as it seems. Kars was not only able to place on a stone mask that he had been hiding on his person, but fused with the powers of the Red Stone of Aja, Kars becomes the Ultimate Life form. Now Joseph and the group are frantically trying to think of a way to be this so called Unbeatable lifeform and it seems that victory has once again arrived in Joseph's hands when he is able to send Kars inside an active volcano. But the fight was still not over. Kars was able to cover himself in an armor made of rock and protect himself from the molten lava. It looked like this would be the gruesome end of not only the Joestar's but the world itself, until the volcano erupts and sends both Joseph and Kars flying. Kars is sent into space and though he tries to fly back down to Earth to finish the job, a defense mechanism of his kicks in, freezing his body solid making him unable to travel back to Earth. The battle was finally over and Joseph was able to save the world from Kars' evil.
Weeks later the group of Erina, Lisa Lisa, Messina, Smokey, and Speedwagon pay their respects as they have a funeral for the assumed to be dead Joseph Joestar, but to their surprise Joseph wasn't dead! After falling back down from the sky he ends up in Italy where he is helped by some local fisherman. He also met up with Stroheim, who replaced his severed hand with a cybernetic hand, using Nazi technology. After finding and marrying Lisa Lisa's assistant, Suzi Q he returns back to America to find his friends.
Series 3 - Stardust Crusaders
Joseph comes to the aid of his daughter Holy, and his grandson Jotaro. His main role in the story is minimal in comparison, but important; He teaches his grandson about the Stand, and for the most, has done his share of directing the group towards their goal, through fatherly advices and tactics and analysis. He deciphered Kakyoin's message despite cryptic depictions in regards to Dio's power.
He was defeated several times, even killed, but has been revived.
Series 4 - Diamond is Unbreakable
Joseph has brought the Joestar family into chaos twice, the first time being the discovery of Josuke, and the second is the adoption of Achtung Baby, who Suzi thought was "another secret child Joseph had."
This series focuses on Josuke Higashikata, the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar, with Jotaro Kujo and Joseph Joestar along in a supporting role.
Joseph has aged greatly and can no longer walk without his cane. The aging Joseph also became hard of hearing and not athletic as he used to be.