Masashi Kishimoto‏‎

masashi kishimoto
Masashi Kishimoto drawing his most popular Manga “Naruto”.

Masashi Kishimoto was born on November 8, 1974 in the Japanese village Katsuta and is a Japanese mangaka (comic book artist) and writer, among his major works, is Naruto created in 1997 and serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump. He is also the creator of 1996’s Karakuri, which received the Hop Step Award, which prompted publishers to continue his work with manga. And he is currently writing his new manga titled “Samurai 8” in partnership with illustrator and mangaka Akira Ookubo who worked as Kishimoto’s assistant for years while publishing Naruto. From May 2016 to October 2020, he oversaw the manga Boruto: Naruto Next Generations written by Ukyo Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. In November 2020, it was announced that he had taken over as writer for the series, replacing Kodachi.

A reader of manga from a very young age, Kishimoto showed a desire to write his manga, citing authors Akira Toriyama and Katsuhiro Otomo as his main inspirations. As a result, Kishimoto spent several years working to write his shōnen manga for Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, of which he was a fan.

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First manga by Kishimoto called “Karakuri”

Life as a Mangaka

A lover of drawing, Kishimoto began drawing considerably at a very young age, after all from a very young age his greatest dream had always been to be a mangaka. He was born in the Katsuta district of Okayama Prefecture. He has a twin brother, Seishi Kishimoto creator of 666 Satan. In 2003, Kishimoto married, but due to being busy never went on a honeymoon with his wife until 2015. The couple has one son. Kishimoto’s father died in early 2014, Naruto chapter 668 is dedicated to his memory. During his last years of school, Kishimoto spent time drawing manga and went to an art college with the hope that he would become a manga artist.

The start of the passion

Upon entering college, Kishimoto decided that he should try his hand at creating a Chanbara manga, as Weekly Shonen Jump had not yet published a title of that genre. However, during the same years, Kishimoto began reading Hiroaki Samura, Blade of the Immortal, and Nobuhiro Watsuki of Rurouni Kenshin who used such a genre. Kishimoto recalls never being surprised by manga since reading Akira and found that he was still unable to compete against them. In his second year of college, Kishimoto began drawing manga for magazine contests. However, he noticed that his works were similar to seinen, aimed at an adult audience, rather than shōnen manga, which is read by children and teenagers.

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A scan from a “Shonen Jump” front cover

Shonen Jump

Wishing to write a Shonen Jump manga that targets a young audience, Kishimoto found his style, however, this was unsuitable for the magazine. Watching the anime series Hashire Melos!, Kishimoto was struck by the character designs employed by the animators and he began researching animators’ works. Later, he met with Tetsuya Nishio, designer of the anime adaptation of the Ninku manga which he considered to be a major influence. Now emulating the way of drawing from various anime character designers, Kishimoto noted that his style began to resemble the shōnen series.