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Kanji クナイ
Rōmaji Kunai
Manga Chapter #1
Anime Naruto Episode #1
Movie Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Game Naruto: Clash of Ninja
OVA Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Game and 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]
Flying Thunder God Technique

Minato's marked kunai.

  • Minato Namikaze used three-bladed kunai that had a special seal applied to them in order to perform his Flying Thunder God Technique.[6]
  • When the Third Division engaged the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, three-pronged kunai were shown.[7]
  • In the anime, a member of the Kurama clan used a kunai with a shape similar to a combat knife.[8]
  • Tenten used a smaller version of kunai when threatening Menma.[9]
  • During the Chūnin Exam, Tenten used two kunai with curved blades, which were connected through a short chain in the bottom ring.[10]
  • Shiin used kunai with long, thin, red ropes attached to them, similar to a Jōhyō.[9]
  • The Father puppet, created by Sasori, was equipped with a segmented wooden whip covered with kunai.[11]
  • Deidara was shown wielding a kunai with a square hilt in his mouth. Asuma was also seen with a pair of these after being reincarnated.[12]
  • During their battle with Hidan, Izumo Kamizuki and Kotetsu used kunai the size of ordinary blades to attack him.[13] When next observed, the pair were connected by a length of chain, with a weight attached to its centre.[14]
  • In the manga, the Prajñā Group used very long kunai to assault Danzō Shimura.[15] However, in the anime, these were replaced instead by the standard variant of kunai and later katana.[16]
  • An unnamed Iwa shinobi of the First Division used a kunai with a manriki-gusari attached to its hilt, in a similar manner to a kusarigama, during their initial engagement with the Akatsuki forces in the Fourth Shinobi World War.[17]
  • An unnamed Kiri shinobi of the Fourth Division used a kunai with a noticeably serrated edge along at least one of its sides during their first direct engagement with the Second Mizukage and Third Raikage in the Fourth Shinobi World War.[18]
  • Obito Uchiha owns several kunai of immense size, storing them in the other dimension to launch them with Kamui in quick succession.[19]
  • In the anime, a young Naruto finds a special Takigakure kunai with an extending blade on one side before being pursued by The Taki Kunoichi. It had two thin blades, one larger and one smaller, causing it to resemble a jutte or a hachiwara.[20]
  • Among the many weapons created by there were two variations of a kunai: a double-bladed one without a handle, but with poison on the blade (and therefore, dangerous to the user), and one with another ring at the end instead of a blade. Obviously, they were basically useless.[21]
  • Shinobi from Benisu Island uses kunai with curved sides and flat surfaces.[22]
  • Kusuna used a double-bladed kunai that could disconnect into two kunai during his first attempt to assassinate Shion. The kunai each had a grip around the handle.[23]
  • During the assassination attempt on Shion's life, Shizuku was seen using a kunai with two retractable blades at the hilt, which in turn was attached to a chain ending in a handle, thus allowing the kunai to be wielded similarly to a Jōhyō.

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.[24]
  • Tenten used a grenade that released kunai and shrapnel in an omnidirectional manner once it detonated.[25]
  • 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.[26] 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.[27]
  • 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.[28]
Using kunai launcher

Kunai gun from Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds.


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