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Upon becoming a shinobi, one must abide by specific rules when out in the field. Ninja follow this code in order to "kill their emotions," preventing them from running wild and causing the mission to be a failure. The most important thing for a shinobi is to be a tool for achieving their village and country's goals. Emotions are considered unnecessary things.

These rules are taught to a young ninja when they are enrolled in the Academy.

Known Rules


  • Rule #04. "A shinobi must always put the mission first."[1]
  • Rule #25. "A shinobi must never show their tears during a mission."[2]
  • Rule #??. "A shinobi must see the hidden meanings within the hidden meanings."[3]
  • Rule #??. "A shinobi must follow their commander's instructions."[4]
  • Rule #??. "A shinobi must prepare before it is too late to."[5]
  • Rule #??. "A shinobi must never show any weakness."[6]

Breaking the Rules

While many shinobi follow the rules and strive to become emotionless, they are still human, and may not be capable of completely killing their emotions. Nor may this be ideal. For instance, Sakumo Hatake abandoned a mission of immense significance after the lives of his comrades were compromised.[7] Minato explained to his students that while the rules and regulations are important, they are not infallible. A ninja must also know when to bend these rules in order to adapt and cope with the situation.[8] For Kakashi, his belief is that "while those who break the rules of the ninja world are scum, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum", a belief that he derived from his team-mate Obito.[9][10] In Naruto's case, he does not believe strictly following these rules will make him a true ninja, and has decided to be a ninja in his own way, by never giving up.[11]


  • During the Warring States Period, one of the rules forbade shinobi from revealing their surnames for fear of retaliation outside of combat.[12]
  • Two known "most basics of basics for a shinobi"[13] are:
    • Always watch your back.
    • Always be two steps ahead of the enemy.
  • Jiraya stated that the three prohibitions[14] for a shinobi are:
    • Alcohol
    • Women
    • Money (However, it is observed that he himself neglected them).[15]


  1. Naruto chapter 240, page 19
  2. Naruto chapter 240, page 12
  3. Naruto chapter 8, page 19
  4. Naruto chapter 240, page 3
  5. Naruto chapter 17, page 8
  6. Finally a clash! Jōnin vs. Genin!! Indiscriminate Grand Melee Tournament Meeting!! OVA
  7. Naruto chapter 240, pages 18-19
  8. Naruto chapter 240, page 13
  9. Naruto chapter 8, page 18
  10. Naruto chapter 241, page 19
  11. Naruto chapter 33, page 16
  12. Naruto chapter 622, page 7
  13. Naruto episode 144
  14. Naruto chapter 150 page 4-5
  15. Naruto chapter 150 page 10