Naruto is a popular Japanese manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto, which ran from 1999 to 2014 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.
This fictional story draws inspiration from
Japanese legends about ninjas and uses it as a medium for entertainment, at the same time it teaches valuable life lessons and introduces the concept of meditation to young readers.
In this blog, I will delve into how Kishimoto uses the ninja philosophy as a tool to teach meditation and mindfulness to his readers.
The story of Naruto is a story of awakening, of understanding the nature of ourselves and the emotional baggage we all carry and the long road to resolution.
Naruto Uzumaki is a popular anime character and the manga series follows his life from his teenage years.
Orphaned and with no other relatives, Naruto desperately wants to bond with the others in his village and to get their attention indulges in various mischievous acts because only when the others are angry will they interact with him. This is a recognizable scenario for many an ‘outsider’ in a small community, and young people in particular can identify with this.
Enter Naruto’s World of Meditation
Over time Naruto comes to realise that he wants to be respected, and so he tries to provide value to the village and to the country through good deeds rather than bad, with the ultimate aim of becoming a great leader.
To this end he begins a training arc based around the premise of drawing strength from nature through meditation, learning to be absolutely still in body and mind. Through this he develops super powers, being able to control and change his body.
Of course we do not draw strength externally from nature, but from within ourselves and hopefully followers of the manga series come to understand that meditating will make them stronger in both their physical and emotional being. Less prone to anger or irritation, more accepting of challenges in life, more becoming one with others and the world.
Naruto Meditation in Real Life
The idea that we could learn meditation lessons from anime characters and stories might seem almost too good to be true.
But there is one meditative technique taught to Naruto that can be used in the real world of physical combat and combative sports – the Battle Meditation.
Battle meditation can be used to force enemies to surrender.
It helps lift warriors’ spirits and keeps them focused despite overwhelming odds.
Through the use of Naruto meditation techniques, a person is able to perform a breathing exercise that will allow them to clear their minds, thus allowing them to fight better.
With a clear mind they can react faster and better take in what is happening around them.
Naruto teaches those who wish to emulate him that training is a lengthy process, indeed one that never ends.
Naruto’s Sage mode draws inspiration from Buddhist teachings, which has symbolic meaning.
In Buddhism, meditation allows the user access to knowledge of the universe, as well as spiritual energy.
The Sage Mode in Naruto boosts the user’s Chakra reserves, allowing them to heal wounds, recover from exhaustion, and withstand physical trauma.
I wrote this blog post after watching the Naruto series on YouTube, which taught me many valuable life lessons that have continued to benefit me.
The series is also available on Amazon, in the form of popular movie volumes like “The Last – Naruto the Movie (Dubbed)”.
Naruto is a beloved ninja character in the entertainment world.
Historically, ninjas were not just assassins as they are often depicted in popular culture, but were primarily spies, scouts and guerrilla soldiers. They were hired for their expertise in unconventional warfare.
While Naruto may be a fictional character, the lessons he learns, the challenges he faces and the mistakes he makes are all relatable to real life.
Naruto, even as entertainment, teaches valuable life lessons, introduces the concept of meditation and helps young readers to grow.