The Puppet Technique is a unique ninjutsu fighting style; this technique uses chakra threads to control puppets like marionettes. Any number of chakra threads can be used to control a puppet, but users with more skill can use fewer strings per puppet. Both Chiyo and Sasori demonstrated the ability to control entire puppets perfectly using just one thread. While most puppeteers (傀儡使い, kugutsutsukai) would normally be able to control ten puppets at most (one per finger), Sasori's self-modification allowed him to control up to one hundred puppets at a time.
This technique has few weaknesses: according to Shino Aburame's observations during his fight against Kankurō, the Puppet Technique is a long range style, meaning that the puppeteers are weak against close range fighters. Since most puppeteer use his or her hands to manipulate the puppets, if their hands are disabled, then the technique can be neutralised. And because the puppet's movements are based on the mechanisms that were installed inside, interfering with said mechanisms can stall the puppet entirely.
This was demonstrated by Shino during his fight against Kankurō, where he used his bugs to infiltrate Crow's joints, rendering the puppet immobile, and then again by Sasori, who used the Third Kazekage's Iron Sand to stall Chiyo's mechanical Chakra shields. Also, while controlling the puppet, the user is wide open if the opponent bypasses the puppet. For this reason, puppeteers avoid hand to hand battle, relying almost exclusively on their puppets instead.
Another weakness is that a puppet's movement is dependent on the will of the user, and as such there will be a time lag between the user's commands and the puppet's response.
Sasori has managed to create innovative methods that can bypass such weaknesses, such as Hiruko, which is worn like a disguise, serving as armour and defending himself from attacks, and converting himself into a puppet, he can fight at close range without worrying about leaving himself wide open for a counter attack.
In Naruto Shippūden 4: The Lost Tower, the main antagonist Mukade could use this technique to control an entire nation full of puppets at very long range, which numbered in thousands; he achieved this by connecting his chakra strings to a large pillar and pipes specialised in flowing chakra throughout the entire Rōran, expanding the number of strings and distance he can utilise.
- The inventor of this technique is Monzaemon Chikamatsu. Originally used for entertainment purposes, he worked diligently with other shinobi to convert the theatrical art into a unique form of combat.