What Does Naruto Mean? The Full Story From The Creator’s Mouth.

Of course, the short meaning to what the word Naruto means is either of:


2. “Fish paste morsel that floats in your ramen noodles that is shaped like a whirlpool”.

But if you want to know the reason that the manga & anime character Naruto is called naruto, your best off getting the information directly from the creator Masashi Kishimoto.

Masashi Kishimoto’s explanation of where the name “Naruto” comes from

In an early interview that Kishimoto gave, which you can read here,  he actually recounts where the comic, and the name, come from. I’ve translated a couple of sections below:


Kishimoto: My reason for wanting to write Naruto was that, at first, I had the idea to make a story about ramen.
I tried writing something about ramen noodles and soup that somehow tied in some kind of strange ramen tale. But, of course, that was never going to be a hit with the kids, so I just kept the name “Naruto”. Then when I thought, what could I write that would suit a name like “Naruto”, I thought something “Japanese”, like Ninjas, could be good, so I went with that.


What I was really trying to do with naruto was to write something about “acceptance” or “being accepted”. Then I tried to do a manga about ramen, and it didn’t get accepted! So, I had this theme of wanting to be accepted, but in the beginning, the editor in charge, just wouldn’t accept my manga, you know?

I myself was also in a rush to find acceptance, so I foisted that on the protagonist, so this theme of acceptance is really a big part of what I make a point of emphasizing in the manga.”

Literal Meanings of the word “Naruto”

So you have several levels of meaning behind the word “Naruto”. From most literal to least literal these meanings are:

1. Whirlpool, maelstrom or strait with a roaring tidal ebb and flow.

2. A kamaboko 蒲鉾, or a steamed seasoned fish paste that is put into a cylindrical, whirlpool-like shape, and is often used in dishes such as ramen.

3. A comic character that was meant first intended to be in a story about ramen, but got repurposed to be used in a comic about Ninjas, and kept his original ramen-related name.

It is probably reasonable to infer that for the author, in light of the comments I mentioned in the interview above, keeping the name “Naruto” was a symbol of the author’s own determination to achieve recognition as a manga artist, despite the setbacks that had been placed in his path.

What does Naruto Uzumaki mean?

As if “Naruto”, “Whirlpool”, wasn’t enough, Naruto was also given the name “Uzumaki”, which is another world for “whirlpool”. Or “maelstrom” if you prefer. I guess you could say “Naruto Uzumaki” is a name that really sucks.

Why are naruto used in Ramen?

I guess the next question that comes up is, why are naruto associated with ramen in the first place?

The main reason is that these pretty swirls of molded fish paste are cheap. Ramen really rose to prominence in the post-war period as being an inexpensive dish that would fill you up. So having the rich “chashu” pork meat was too expensive for many. Throw in a couple of these festive red and white striped fishy morsels though and it was enough to keep most people happy.

What do the Naruto characters’ names mean?

Here is a list of characters’ names with Kanji/Hiragana/Katakana and English meaning:

  1. 鳴門 – Naruto ナルト Whirlpool, or fishcake shaped like a whirlpool in Ramen 渦巻 – Uzumaki うずまき another word for whirlpool
  2. 桜 – Sakura さくら    Cherry Blossom 春の – Haruno はるの of spring
  3. 案山子 – Kakashi かかし scarecrow 畑 – Hatake はたけ Crop field
  4. 鹿丸 – Shikamaru しかまる Deer-Ball 奈良 – Nara なら Old capital of Japan (famous for having deer)
  5.  猪 – Ino いの Boar 山中 – Yamanaka やまなか In the mountains
  6. 長治 – Chouji ちょうじ Era from 1104-1106 秋町 – Akimachi あきまち Autumn City/Road
  7. Kiba キバ Fang 犬塚 – Inuzuka いぬずか Dog mound
  8. 鼬 – Itachi いたち Weasel 団扇 – Uchiwa うちわ Rounded fan
  9. 海豚 – Iruka いるか Dolphin 海の – Umino うみの of the ocean
  10. 篠 – Shino しの clumped dwarf bamboo 油女 – Aburame あぶらめ Fat greenling (fish)
  11. 光永 – Hinata ひなた sunshine 日向 – Hyuga ひゅが sunny place
  12. 蒜山 – Hiruzen ひるぜん Ginger mountain 猿飛 – Sarutobi さるとび Jumping monkey

What is Naruto the Manga anyway?

I assume that most people reading this page are already familiar with the character of Naruto, but if not:

Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The story tells the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition from his peers and village. 

Naruto’s main goals are to become Hokage, which would make him the leader of Konoha, and find out what has happened to Sasuke Uchiha, the older brother he never knew he had. 

The manga was first published in 1997 in Japan. It then became popular worldwide with over 200 million copies sold worldwide as of 2008. In 2005 Viz Media released it into English language countries outside Japan under the name “Naruto”.

The main themes of Naruto are friendship and acceptance. It highlights the importance of finding true friends who will support you on your journey, even when things get tough.

In order to make the Naruto character’s bonds stronger, there are trials put before them which provide common ground for everyone involved. Every character goes through their own personal growth throughout the series making them more relatable than ever before!

Naruto has been adapted into other media including games, movies and novels. The main protagonist Naruto uses his ninjutsu skills and fighting abilities in order to protect his friends from their enemies or create peace by battling powerful opponents such as Pain or Madara Uchiha. Throughout the manga, we see how he grows up with great determination and optimism while struggling with adversity at times too.