Shinigami in Naruto: All you need to know about the Reaper Death Seal God

The Shinigami in Naruto has had a significant role to play during crucial moments of the series (Image via Pinterest)
The Shinigami in Naruto has had a significant role to play during crucial moments of the series (Image via Pinterest)

Shinigami have not just been confined to anime like Bleach and Death Note, as the God of Death had a significant role to play in Naruto.

Usually, the Shinigami in Naruto is summoned during the forbidden jutsu of Reaper Death Seal. It was first seen in Naruto when it was used by Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, as a dying move to seal off Orochimaru's arms.

The Shinigami in Naruto is nothing like the zombie rockstar viewers have seen on Death Note or the Zanpakutou-wielding grim reapers from Bleach.

In fact, its appearance might be strangely reminiscent of Kaguya, with a white robe and horns. This goes to show that this might be the form in which most gods are imagined in the Shinobi world.


As has been said before, the Shinigami appears only when it is summoned during the casting of the Reaper Death Seal, which is a forbidden sealing jutsu from the Uzumaki clan, and while performing a Reanimation ritual.

The Reaper Death Seal in Naruto: A jutsu that requires a Shinigami

Over the course of the show, only three Shinobi have been seen using the Reaper Death Seal jutsu. Chronologically, it was first used by Minato in order to take down Kurama, on the night that Naruto was born.

Basically, the Reaper Death Seal involves sealing someone's soul within the belly of the Shinigami. However, the caster of this jutsu has to submit their own soul to the Shinigami as well.

Minato sealed himself along with half of Kyuubi within the Shinigami to take the Nine-Tails down. Similarly, Hiruzen Sarutobi, in order to stop Orochimaru, summoned the God of Death and sealed Orochimaru's jutsu casting arms along his own soul.

The Reanimation Jutsu, or Edo Tensei, developed by the Second Hokage Tobirama Senju, also involves invoking the Shinigami.


As Orochimaru demonstrates later, it requires the Death God to possess the body of the caster and then slit his stomach open to spill the souls of the ones the caster wishes to reanimate.

However, the one whose body is possessed by the Death God ends up being a human sacrifice.

It is rather ironic how Orochimaru summoned the Shinigami again and performed a Reanimation ritual to revive the Third Hokage, as well as Minato, in addition to the First and Second Hokage.

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Edited by R. Elahi
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