I guess there are some Naruto fans who read this blog, so let’s analize one detail I don’t think many people know. I’m talking about the origin of the name of the main character. If you are not a fan, you can still keep reading because there are a few things about Japanese culture I think will be interesting to everybody.
Naruto is not a Japanese first name, as everyone I’ve asked has told me such a name doesn’t exist. But the thing is that “Naruto” is something you eat. It is one of the ingredients in Ramen, which by the way is Naruto’s favourite meal.
Detail of a Naruto
The white stuff of the naruto is a paste made out of mashed fish and the spiral is made out of different herbs. It can also be called “Narutomaki”, which literally means “rolled naruto” or also, “naruto pie”. The truth is that naruto doesn’t have any other meaning, but thanks to the spiral decorating the food, it has gotten to somehow refer to “spiral” or “whirl”. Doesn’t it remind you a little of Uzumaki Naruto’s personality?
Ramen of the kind Naruto eats. Note there’s a piece of naruto.
Real ramen with a piece of naruto.
There’s also a part of the sea in Japan that is called Naruto and is known for the whirlpools that appear when the tide goes up and down. We go back to the whirls and spirals. But if we literally translate the kanjis in the name of this sea, they mean “door that roars”, due to the sounds the sea makes when there are whirlpools.
Whirlpools in Naruto sea
Naruto Sea in 1857
This area of whirlpools is crossed by a bridge called Naruto.
More pics of the Naruto Sea
Regarding “Uzumaki”, it can literally be translated as “whirlpool” or “whirl”. Think about the many spirals and symbols that look like spirals you see in the series. Note Naruto’s clothing or the chakra lines that the nine-tail fox gives him.