Naruto is one of the most beloved and iconic anime out there, instantly recognizable to both anime diehards and more casual observers of the medium. It tells the story of the young ninja Naruto Uzumaki on his journey to becoming Hokage, the leader of the ninja village Konoha. In order to use the many cool abilities the show is famous for, ninjas use a complicated series of hand signs in order to activate them. Let’s take a look at these Naruto hands signs and explain how they work.
Naruto – All Hand Signs Explained
The hand signs in Naruto (also known as seals) are a way for a ninja to summon and mold the chakra required to perform a specific ninjutsu or genjutsu technique. Each technique varies, but generally, multiple hand signs must be performed, in rapid succession, in order to activate an ability, such as Naruto’s Shadow Clone Jutsu. As these hand signs must often be performed under extreme duress, such as during battle, memorization of the exact sequence is required.
There are 12 basic hand signs, each associated with a different constellation of the Chinese zodiac. This means there are potentially thousands of combinations for aspiring ninja to master.
In the world of Naruto, hand signs were invented by Indra Ōtsutsuki, the Genius of Ninshū, which would jumpstart the age of the shinobi. Indra’s descendants, the Uchiha clan, would go on to play a pivotal role in the central narrative of Naruto.
Each technique can require a specific number of hand signs to activate, but this depends on the skill of the ninja. For example, Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique requires a total of 44 hand signs to activate, but Tobirama Senju, the Second Hokage, was able to perform it with just one. Similarly, Sasuke Uchiha, by the time of the events of Shippuden, has mastered his Chidori technique to the point where it can be activated with a single seal.
A skilled ninja is thus able to predict the nature of a technique by anticipating the signs used to activate it, allowing them to avoid or counter it. This is what makes the Sharingan such a powerful ability, as it can predict jutsu with perfect clarity, even for a user who can perform it with a single hand sign.
Throughout history, certain rare individuals of extreme power and skill are even able to perform jutsu without hand signs at all, such is their mastery of chakra. Such beings are incredibly potent, as they are able to manifest their abilities without warning. Naruto himself is able to perform this feat, due to his heritage, and the power of the Nine-Tail Demon Fox sealed inside of him.
And that’s it, everything you need to know about Naruto hand signs, explained. For more on the wonderful world of Naruto, check out the suggested guides below.
Featured Image Source: Shueisha