Kanji クナイ
Rōmaji Kunai
Manga Volume #1, Naruto Chapter #1
Anime Naruto Episode #1
Movie Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Game Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō
OVA Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Game, Movie

The kunai (クナイ, Kunai), along with the shuriken, is one of the most common ninja tools. It is a black dagger with a handle wrapped in bandages and a small ring attached to the end of it. The kunai is designed for thrusting and stabbing, though it can still do some damage if thrown despite not being designed for it, and is about the length of one's hand.

Many shinobi attack by attaching an explosive tag to the blade. The kunai is usually thrown so that it lodges in an object near the target, and then the explosion from the attached tag destroys the target. This use of the weapon is known as an explosive kunai (起爆クナイ, kibaku kunai).

Kunai can also be kept on spring-loaded wires up the user's sleeve, as seen in Naruto Uzumaki's fight with Sai when they first met. They can be used for close combat, like a normal knife. Empowered with chakra flow, kunai thrown into targets can cut through solid wood and even solid stone targets.

Shinobi appear to favour them so much due to both their sturdy and dependable nature as well as their evident versatility.

Types of Kunai

Different types of kunai have been seen in the series:

  • Zabuza Momochi was shown using a special kunai that curved inward on one side, making it more suitable for stabbing and thrusting.[1] This type is also shown used by Kirigakure in the anime.
  • Kabuto Yakushi, when threatening to kill a hospitalised Sasuke Uchiha in Part I, held a kunai with a curved blade to Sasuke's neck. This seems to be the same type that Rōshi used.[2] Its design is reminiscent of a Chilean Corvo knife.
  • Before the first part of the Chūnin Exams, Zaku Abumi used kunai with holes in the middle and no rings at the ends.[3]
  • The kunai that Kotetsu Hagane threw at Sukima during the first part of the Chūnin Exams had a tassel connected to the ring (possibly to make it more noticeable).[4]
  • During the second part of the Chūnin Exams, Team Oboro used double-bladed kunai while facing Team 7.[5]
Minato Kunai

Minato's marked kunai.

Kunai Launching Weapons

  • Kiba Inuzuka employed the use of a clone of Akamaru to release kunai when approached. The doppelgänger swelled and then burst, launching the kunai at the opponent.[25]
  • Tenten's metal sphere had kunai welded into it, which when detonated, sent shrapnel fragments flying in an omnidirectional manner.[26]
  • Chiyo used a simple length of cord to thread numerous kunai together, in such a manner that the entirety could be released and thrown consecutively with just a single motion.[27] A similar arrangement was employed by a shinobi of the Third Division, during their attack on the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, in the Fourth Shinobi World War.[28]
  • Dotō Kazahana's army of Yukigakure ninja used mortars mounted on their train compartments to launch massive amounts of kunai at a very rapid rate.[29]
Using kunai launcher

Kunai gun from Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds.

  • The ninja of the Land of the Sky equipped themselves with Handheld Kunai Launchers that could fire kunai rapidly, similar to machine guns.[30]
  • The ninja of the Land of the Sky set up crossbows that launch kunai as traps in Amaru's village after attacking it.[30]
  • When Hiruko declared war against the Five Great Shinobi Countries and Konohagakure was blamed for it, Tsunade had prepared a large amount of mortars with giant kunai loaded into it, akin to missile launchers, in an attempt to defend her village from Sunagakure's attack.[31]
  • In the anime, kunai launching cannons were used as part of a trap, firing automatically at intruders.[32]


  • The alternative spelling for "kunai" is written with the characters 苦無, which translate as "no hard feelings" ("bitter", "hardship" and/or "suffering" (), and "negative", "no", "not", "lack" and/or "have no" ()).
  • Historically, in reality, the kunai were just simple farming tools. When the Japanese emperor announced Martial Law and banned weapons, farming tools were among the easily disguised substitutes adopted, mostly because of how cheap they were to manufacture.


  1. Naruto chapter 26, page 3
  2. Second Naruto artbook, page 4
  3. Naruto chapter 40, page 5
  4. Naruto chapter 41, page 17
  5. Naruto chapter 62, pages 4-6
  6. Naruto chapter 239, page 8
  7. Naruto chapter 523, page 3
  8. Naruto episode 204
  9. 9.0 9.1 Naruto episode 214
  10. Naruto chapter 73, page 19
  11. Naruto chapter 268, pages 5-7
  12. Naruto chapter 533, page 5
  13. Naruto chapter 322, page 16
  14. Naruto chapter 530, page 8
  15. Naruto chapter 456, pages 3, 6
  16. Naruto: Shippūden episode 199
  17. Naruto chapter 526, page 7
  18. Naruto chapter 548, page 6
  19. Naruto chapter 628, pages 3-4
  20. Naruto: Shippūden episode 178
  21. Naruto: Shippūden episode 184
  22. Naruto: Shippūden episode 224
  23. Naruto: Shippūden episode 465
  24. Naruto Shippūden the Movie
  25. Naruto chapter 205, page 7
  26. Naruto chapter 256, page 8
  27. Naruto chapter 264, page 16
  28. Naruto chapter 523, page 3
  29. Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
  30. 30.0 30.1 Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds
  31. Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire
  32. Naruto: Shippūden episode 184