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The Naruto Family Tree Explained

"Naruto" is more than just a story about ninjas and martial arts. The franchise is really about friends, family, and how the ones people hold dear strengthen them — especially the ones held dear by the title character, Naruto Uzumaki. Throughout the series, the families — or ninja clans — start to play a larger role in explaining who people are and where their abilities come from. They also begin to separate the shinobi, showing that while fighters like Rock Lee can work really hard to become one of the best in the world, others like his teammate Neji have inimitable talents based solely on their bloodline.

Since Naruto is at the center of the series, he's obviously going to have some really deep bloodlines. His family tree can get pretty confusing, especially if you follow it back to the birth of jutsu and shinobi.  But if you follow it back to then, you suddenly understand why he is so powerful. To start, though, by the traditional standards in which a child is given their father's last name, one has to wonder why Naruto is an Uzumaki and not a Namikaze.

Naruto is the son of Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki

Minato Namikaze was the 4th Hokage, a man much-beloved by the Village Hidden in the Leaves and respected (and feared) by nearly every other. His mother was Kushina Uzumaki, one of the last remnants of a clan that was all but wiped out. There are many theories, then, about why Naruto wasn't a Namikaze. Probably one of the most universally accepted is that Minato's prestige would make Naruto a big target, and many people wanted vengeance on the shinobi (legend has it that Minato wiped out 1000 enemy shinobi in an instant, obviously leaving behind a long trail of family members who would want to get even). When Minato realized he was going to die and not be there to protect his son, he wanted the boy's lineage hidden.

Whatever the reason, Naruto was given his mother's name. He doesn't even know his father was the Fourth Hokage (nor does the audience) until several hundred episodes in. On the other hand, Uzumaki is also a more prestigious last name than Namikaze, as we'll see as we explore how deep the Uzumaki family tree goes.

Jiraiya was the closest he ever had to a father figure

Jiraiya was Minato's sensei, and the two were close throughout Minato's life. Jiraiya was one of the first to discover that Minato and Kushina were expecting a child, and he even inspired the boy's name. His first novel was about a shinobi with ideas of peace through strength and compassion; that shinobi's name was Naruto. Indeed, Minato was so inspired by the tale he and Kushina decided to name their only child after the character.

Later on, when the orphaned and much-derided young Naruto meets Jiraiya, he gets his first taste of what it would be like to have a dad, albeit a "pervy" one who is at best an absentee father. Still, the scene in which Jiraiya splits a popsicle with the boy — something he'd always envied seeing other children do with their father — is one of the most poignant in the series. Jiraiya helps turn him from a village ne'er-do-well into its strongest warrior and notably takes him for three years of one-on-one training. While not blood-related, Jiraiya's role as a sort of Godfather merits mention, especially since he also taught Naruto's dad.

An Uzumaki cousin

The remnants of the Uzumaki clan spread out after their village was wiped out by the others. However, Naruto Uzumaki does have at least one contemporary cousin — Karin, who sports the signature red Uzumaki hair. She's initially introduced after being liberated by Sasuke from one of Orochimaru's bases (after Sasuke kills Orochimaru).

Karin has the Uzumaki's legendary life force and abilities. She can sense other people by their chakra signature and replenish another shinobi's chakra by letting them bite her. This is a talent and a curse, as it leads to a young life of pain, and in the anime, it also causes her mother to get bit to death and drained by a harsh village leader.

Karin is an amazing kunoichi who — in "Naruto: Shippuden" and beyond — has a big role in the lives of Naruto, Sasuke, and the rest of the shinobi. Even more, following the Uzumaki lineage shows that their clan is actually one of the noblest families to have ever existed on the planet.

Uzumaki ancestors

The Uzumakis are descended from Asura Otsutsuki, the youngest son of Hagoromo Otsutsuki and grandson to Kaguya Otsutsuki, the Godlike alien who founded all jutsu on the planet as well as the tailed beasts.

As the Fourth Great Ninja War draws to its epic close in the final showdown with Madara Uchiha, Hagoromo — the Sage of Six Paths — explains that Naruto is the reincarnation of Asura. Asura's line, however, is more closely identified with the more-dominant Senju clan. Perhaps since the final living Senju known at the time is a woman, Asura reincarnated in Naruto. Or maybe it was just because he was the right age at the right time. Whatever the reason, though, this also means that Naruto is related to the Senju through Asura.

Since the Uzumaki are essentially cousins to the Senju, Naruto is then related to the Senju. This means he has familial ties with Hashirama Senju (the First Hokage), Tobirama Senju (the Second Hokage), and Tsunade (the Fifth Hokage). This might explain why Naruto — at the time a loud-mouthed, brash kid without a ton of talent — was the only person who could finally convince Tsunade to give up her life as a profligate gambler and take up the role of leading the village. She does constantly think about how much he reminds her of her younger brother.

Uchihas – even more distant cousins

Because the Uzumakis are descended from Asura Otsutsuki, that means Naruto also has some family relation to the Uchiha clan. Hagoromo had two sons: Asura and Indra. Since Indra was more naturally talented, Asura always lived in his shadow. In turn, Asura began to value his friends while Indra valued power. This led to an eventual split between the brothers and created a rivalry that would continue for many generations, long after Indra and Asura were basically forgotten.

This explains the central distance between the Uchiha and Senju clans. Despite being friends who actually started Konoha together, Madara Uchiha became more power-hungry in response to Hashirama Senju's emphasis on peace and compassion, and they had a falling out. Hashirama eventually had to fight and (he thought) kill Madara. This led to the rift between the Uchihas and the rest of the village.

It also means that Naruto is the distant cousin of Sasuke (the reincarnation of Indra) and his powerful brother Itachi.

The Sage of Six Paths connection

As already explained, Hagoromo Otsutsuki is the father of Indra and Asura. By the timeline of "Naruto," Hagoromo is better known as the mythical Sage of Six Paths. During his own life, Hagoromo grew concerned about the growing desire his mother, Kaguya, had to rule over the world, keeping the powers of the God Tree to herself and sacrificing humans to it. Eventually, Hagoromo had to seal her away, and he and Hamura went on to spread ninshū — the more religion-based precursor to ninjutsu — to normal people.

Hagoromo also split his mother's diabolical Ten-Tailed Beast into the nine different Tailed Beasts. When Hagoromo appears to Naruto, he gives the young man his own Sage of Six Paths power, preparing him for a battle that at the time only he knew was coming. This also explains why the Tailed Beasts decide to accept Naruto when he tries to ally with them and why they compare him to the original Sage of Six Paths. 

Given that Hagoromo is the father of Asura, who is credited as the ancestor of both the Senju and Uzumaki clans, Naruto is a descendent of Hagoromo (along the lines of his great-great-grandson).

The Hyuga connection

Hagoromo and his younger twin brother Hamura are the sons of Kaguya Otsutsuki and the first "people" born with the ability to wield chakra. Kaguya brainwashed Hamura to fight against Hagoromo when the elder twin confronted her about her ruthlessness. But Hagoromo was able to free his brother from her power, and the two took her on together, eventually sealing her inside Hagoromo.

Hagoromo developed the Sharingan and Rinnegan. Hamura, on the other hand, inherited his mother's Byakugan. By the "Naruto" timeline, this is the very dojutsu that is the identifying trait and legendary kekkei genkai of the Hyuga clan. Which makes sense since the Hyuga are his descendants. This means that Naruto is a long-separated cousin to the Hyuga clan as well. Luckily, that was far enough back that it's okay that he married Hinata Hyuga and has two children with her.

Hyuga connection 2.0

At the end of "Naruto: Shippuden," Naruto marries Hinata Hyuga, making him a member of the Hyuga clan by marriage. It's pretty remarkable that clans descended from the two sons of Kaguya Otsutsuki are reunited in this way, countless generations later.

While Naruto and Hinata have united these clans through marriage, though, their children are the literal blood reconnection of these two disparate branches of the family tree. Boruto and Himawari can trace their lineage back to both Hamura and Hagoromo, which no doubt explains how formidable they are. Especially Boruto since, obviously, he's the star of his own eponymous anime. This also shows how complex these family trees are, and even more how branches don't grow completely separated from one another. One has to wonder how many other times previously the Otsutsuki line intersected and created the powerful shinobi who would define the world for generations before the final uneasy peace seen in the "Naruto" timeline.

Cousin Kimimaro Kaguya

Hamura Otsutsuki's other Earth line became the Kaguya clan, named after Hamura's mom. The Kaguya are basically extinct by the "Naruto" timeline. The only remaining member we see is Kimimaro, but he has the clan's rare kekkei genkai that was handed down from Kaguya herself.

Kimimaro can control his own bodily structure and manipulate his bones to become anything from a shield or spikes to projectiles. This helps him to kill the Kazekage before the Konoha Crush and enables him to almost kill the terrifying Gaara — while still a jinchuriki — a little later. The clan also inherited another trait from Kaguya, though: her ruthlessness.

The reason the Kaguya clan is gone by the time of the series is that they simply loved war for war's sake. Constantly fighting as a way to indulge bloodlust and show power is no way to ensure longevity. It is especially dangerous when the clan locked up their most-powerful members (like Kimimaro) out of fear of their powers.

Naruto is related to the Moon Clan

After founding his own Earth clans, Hamura went to the moon with the remaining Otsutsuki to guard over his mother's sealed body. There he founded the Moon clan, the embodiment of the Otsutsuki's original celestial heritage. It makes sense that there would be a moon clan. The Infinite Tsukuyomi, which Kaguya and Madara both used to enslave mankind, requires reflecting a Rinne Sharingan off the moon to cast the world into an essentially unbreakable genjutsu.

The Moon Clan, aka the remaining Otsuski, dwindled over the years, especially after Hamura's death. By the "Naruto" timeline, the only one left is Toneri Otsutsuki. Hamura wanted peace, but his last descendant, Toneri, misinterprets Hamura's will and uses his power to bring the moon closer to the Earth, setting up what becomes a major element in the "Boruto" series. Of course, as previously explained, through Hamura Otsutsuki, Naruto and (even more so) Hinata are related to Toneri, which leads Hinata to be tasked with stopping Toneri.

Black Zetsu

This is a tough one. Black Zetsu isn't technically a human, and it's debatable whether he's even a true living being, though he was in the Akatsuki as part of Zetsu. Madara thought Black Zetsu was a manifestation of his will, but in reality, Black Zetsu was a living manifestation of Kaguya's will, created by her before she was sealed away as the conduit through which she could return. Black Zetsu essentially manipulates the Uchiha to the point that Madara thinks the Infinite Tsukuyomi is something he discovers, only to have Black Zetsu betray him and reveal that Kaguya was pulling the strings all along.

Therefore Black Zetsu is either Kaguya's creation or Kaguya herself or, in all likelihood, both. As her creation, he's kind of like a brother to Hagoromo, which relates him to Naruto more directly. As Kaguya, though, he's still related to Naruto, just one more generation back. So either he's Naruto's super-distant uncle or his great-great-whatever-grandmother.

Sister-in-law Sakura

Finally, here's another marriage link in Naruto's family tree. As explained, the Uzumakis are related to the Uchihas through Hagoromo's children. Sasuke and Naruto are essentially brothers as reincarnations of Hagoromo's sons, Asura and Indra. Which means that Sakura, the girl Naruto pined after from childhood — and with whom he and Sasuke had a sort of romantic triangle — is now his sister-in-law. Or distant cousin-in-law.

This also means that Boruto and Himawari are related by marriage to Sarada, the daughter of Sasuke and Sakura. This turns the initial dislike and rivalry between Boruto and Sarada into a sort of extension of the age-old family feud handed down from the earliest stretches of their family lines. This complex and long-lasting dynamic is just one of the elements that makes the "Naruto" series so compelling and fascinating. No wonder it's almost a thousand episodes in and seems to only be gaining steam.