What does Shippuden mean in Naruto?

Naruto Uzumaki in Sage Mode (Image via Srudio Pierrot)
Naruto Uzumaki in Sage Mode (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Since September 1999, Naruto has been a popular series that has never failed to steal the hearts of viewers far and wide.

Masashi Kishimoto's magnum opus has been hugely successful and continues to run even today, competing with some more modern anime as well. Even non-anime watchers will instantly recognize Naruto's signature orange jumpsuit and spiky yellow hair.

Given its length, the show has been divided into 2 segments - Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. The first part is around 200 episodes long, following the adventure of a kid Naruto and his development. The second bit is comparatively long, spanning 500 episodes and depicting a more grown-up cast of characters.

However, since its release, fans have wondered what Shippuden means.

Naruto: What does "Shippuden" actually stand for?

Naruto Shippuden (Image via Studi Pierrot)
Naruto Shippuden (Image via Studi Pierrot)

To understand the meaning, we must first understand the Kanji. The Kanji used in "Shippuden" can be understood as three separate characters. Kanji is used for either literal or implied translations. Separated, the word reads Shi(tsu)-Pu(tsu)-Den. 'Shi' implies 'fast', 'Pu' implies wind, and 'Den' implies chronicles or legends. Put together, it reads "Hurricane Chronicles/Hurricane Legends." However, that stands as the literal translation.

There is a deeper meaning as to why the show was named so. The title fits appropriately given our protagonist's family name, i.e., Uzumaki, which translates to 'swirl,' which is what a hurricane is. The series revolves around him constantly striving to be accepted by those around him, coupled with his dream of becoming the Leaf's Hokage one day.

Moreover, the symbol of the Uzumaki Clan is a swirl. The blonde utilizes Wind Release and bases most of his jutsu around the element. Even his famous Rasengan is a swirling mass of chakra. The Number 1 Knucklehead Ninja is arguably a hurricane itself as he explores the squall of power, friendship and war.

A major bit of Shippuden is centered around our hero's promise to bring his best friend, Sasuke, back to the light. Sasuke Uchiha was a shinobi adept at Lightning Release. Just as his teammate used Wind Release, Sasuke based most of his moves around Lightning Release. The two clashed throughout the series, which was symbolic of wind and lightning forming the perfect storm.

The Six Paths of Yin and the Six Paths of Yang (image via Studio Pierrot)
The Six Paths of Yin and the Six Paths of Yang (image via Studio Pierrot)

Our yellow-colored hero and Sasuke stand as opposites of one another, literally a yin and yang dynamic. In fact, they were even given such a status by Hagoromo in the form of the Six Paths of Yin and the Six Paths of Yang. The way the series depicts these forces colliding time and again is similar to two cyclone clouds converging, or better still, a hurricane.

The two shinobi share a complicated relationship and often have disputes. But their united power is truly something to marvel at. Shippuden brings to the spotlight the duality of their stormy friendship and epic journey into adulthood. Thus, the title can also be translated as "the swift growth of the legend of Naruto". What a perfect and fitting title indeed!

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury
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