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Academy

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The Ninja Academy (忍者学校, Akademī) is Konoha's training center for Academy Students before they become Genin. It was founded by Tobirama Senju, the Second Hokage.

Appearance

This building can be identified by the tree in front which has a swing on it (on which Naruto Uzumaki is sometimes seated). Classrooms in the academy are large and have high ceilings, based on a theory that larger classrooms lead to expansive education, expanding even to the blackboard itself. In front of the blackboard is a podium, situated far from the students' desks and put in a position where the teacher can view everyone at once.

Admission requirements for Konoha's Academy

  1. Love the village and hope to help preserve peace and prosperity.
  2. Have a mind that will not yield, able to endure hard training and work.
  3. Be healthy in mind and body.

If the above conditions are met, admission to the Academy will be granted.[1]

Curriculum

Academy interior

Iruka's classroom, as shown in episode 1

Aside from the obvious lessons one would learn from a Ninja Academy, all students receive essential knowledge, such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, geography, etc. Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka are also shown to have taken special kunoichi classes, where they were taught things about other cultures and how knowledge of things like flower arranging will help them to blend in during an infiltration mission. Students also have to study the Rules of the Shinobi. Special lectures read by highly experienced shinobi are sometimes held.

Taught by Chūnin instructors, all ninja potentials are lectured on tactics and strategies. They are instructed on the basics of trap-setting. They are taken through the handling of ninja weapons and tools, like shuriken and kunai, learning how to throw and wield them through target practice. Academy students are also taught about chakra and how to use it, hand seals and the basic levels of:

  • Taijutsu classes serve as the Ninja Academy's equivalent of Physical education class (Moegi's least favorite class during her time at the Academy). In taijutsu class, students are engaged in physical activities to help train their bodies and develop their stamina.
  • Ninjutsu classes provide the bulk of what potential ninja learn at the Academy. The subject of ninjutsu encompasses techniques that use chakra and allows the user to do something that they otherwise would be incapable of doing. Techniques such as the Transformation Technique and the Clone Technique are taught to students at the Academy that will build up to what they'll learn from their Jōnin-sensei.
  • Genjutsu classes are not touched much upon except for explaining what genjutsu is. When learning about genjutsu, students are advised to determine if they are trapped in a genjutsu, and then how to release themselves from it.

Student Body

The best student of any graduating class is awarded the title of "Number One Rookie;" known Number One Rookies include Neji Hyūga, Sasuke Uchiha, Kakashi Hatake, Orochimaru and Itachi Uchiha. On the bottom end of the pecking order of any graduating class is the "Dead-Last," the name given to the student who performed the worst out of their class; known Dead Lasts include Rock Lee, Naruto Uzumaki, Jiraiya, Obito Uchiha, and Might Guy.

Graduation

Graduating from the Academy usually consists of taking both a written exam and a practical exam, administered by a Chūnin instructor, to earn enough marks to pass. Upon graduating, students receive a forehead protector, proof of their achievement. Graduating students are then separated into squads of three Genin and assigned to a Jōnin-sensei to instruct them further. At this point, they will be tested once again by their Jōnin teacher to assess whether they would be able to handle the demands that will be made of them as ninja (i.e. the dynamics of teamwork).

Students who don't pass the tests set by their Chūnin-sensei may be held back for another year. However, students who do pass the tests set by their Chūnin-sensei, but later fail the tests administered by their assigned Jōnin-sensei, may either be sent back to the academy or else, depending on their performance, dropped from the program at their Jōnin-sensei's discretion.

Although students are only instructed in the use of basic level Genjutsu, Ninjutsu and Taijutsu, knowledge of these techniques are ultimately not pivotal to their success as ninja; students like Rock Lee, who graduated knowing only Taijutsu, and Naruto Uzumaki, who failed to perform the Clone Technique, an E-Rank technique, but could effortlessly perform the Shadow Clone Technique, a B-Rank Jōnin-level technique, are both examples of this.

Other Ninja Academies

Graduation requirements vary from academy to academy. In Konoha, the graduation exam is comprised of some sort of written test, as well as knowledge of basic techniques. Some limited details about the other Hidden Village Ninja Academies have also been disclosed:

  • The Suna Ninja Academy: Not much has been mentioned about the previous curriculum, but during the final Pre-Shippūden filler arc in Part I of the anime it was revealed that the Ninja Academy at Suna has adopted a new training program that emulated that same training program as the Konoha Ninja Academy, and in Part II the success of the new training program was commented upon.
  • The Kiri Ninja Academy: At one point in its past, the Kiri Ninja Academy final graduation exam consisted of pitting all of the Ninja Academy's graduates against each other in a battle to the death, with the winners/survivors graduating. After Zabuza Momochi, not yet himself a student, imposed himself into the fight and slaughtered all one hundred of that year's students, the practice was discontinued in favor of more humane and less depopulating methods.

Trivia

  • Although the Japanese name for the Ninja Academy is simply Academy (Akademī; usually written as アカデミー), it's written with the kanji for ninja school (忍者学校; usually pronounced as "ninja gakkō").
  • In the anime, there is also an academy that teachers must pass in order to teach the next generations of ninja.
  • Despite being "Dead Last", the known students who have achieved such status have all grown up to be powerful and highly respected ninjas.

References

  1. First Naruto Official Fanbook

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