What does Naruto mean?
The name of the titular hero of the wildly popular ninja anime/manga franchise has become recognized worldwide. But what exactly does the name ‘Naruto’ mean, and where does it come from?
Ramen Fish Cakes
The name Naruto is inspired by the spiraling fish cakes in ramen noodles, which are called ‘naruto’ in Japanese and are Naruto’s favorite food. The fish cakes symbolize good fortune and prosperity in Japanese culture. Their swirling design is even reminiscent of the red swirling symbol on the backs of Naruto’s outfit and jackets.
Beyond the food, ‘Naruto’ has other significant meanings as well. It can be translated as ‘maelstrom’ – fitting for the chaotic and energetic personality of the heroic young ninja. The name references a turbulent whirlpool, which parallels Naruto’s own fierce determination and fighting spirit to never give up, while also foreshadowing the immense power sealed inside him.
Moreover, ‘Naruto’ is linked to an ancient Japanese mythological story featuring a god who resided in the ‘naruto’ waters and was associated with courage and achievement. This provides fitting inspiration for the lead character embarking on his quest to gain respect and become the Hokage.
The name ‘Uzumaki’, Naruto’s surname, also carries symbolism. It means ‘whirlpool’, again evoking the idea of power and chaos. The Uzumaki clan’s red spiral crest even further connects back visually to the red spirals in the fish cakes.
So while on the surface Naruto’s name may seem silly, it is steeped in deeper metaphorical connections to Japanese culture, mythology, and the character himself. From favorite foods to symbols of strength and destiny, the moniker ‘Naruto’ proves meaningful on many levels for the iconic spirited ninja.