editShadow Clone Technique Camera font awesome[1]
Tobirama creating Shadow Clones
Kanji 影分身の術
Rōmaji Kage Bunshin no Jutsu
Viz print media Art of the Shadow Doppelgänger
English anime Shadow Clone Jutsu
Alternative names Art of Shadow Body Splitting
Manga Volume #1, Naruto Chapter #1
Anime Naruto Episode #1
Novel Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky
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, Novel, Game, Movie
Classification Ninjutsu, Clone Techniques
Rank B-rank
Class Supplementary
Hand seals Clone seal or Tiger seal Or Horse[2]
Other jutsu
Derived jutsu
Related jutsu
Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique
  • A (Movie only)

The Shadow Clone Technique is a jōnin-level technique[3] developed by Tobirama Senju.[4]


Similar to the basic Clone Technique, this technique creates copies of the user, however, these clones are corporeal instead of illusions. The user's chakra is evenly distributed among every clone, giving each clone an equal fraction of the user's overall power. The clones are capable of performing techniques on their own, including the Shadow Clone Technique itself,[5] and can even bleed, but will usually disperse after hit by a strong enough force. The clones can also disperse on their own, or be dispelled by the user of the technique.

With the exception of Madara Uchiha, whose mastery of the Sharingan allowed him to tell a clone from the original,[6] shadow clones can't be distinguished from the original with the Sharingan, Byakugan, Rinnegan or Rinne Sharingan.[7][8][9][10]

Shadow clones can think for themselves and feel the original user's pain to some extent, as evidenced by Naruto's clones feeling pain when the Nine-Tails' cloak awakened while he and Kakashi were fighting Deidara.[11] Despite being separated, clones still bear connections with their original. Similarly, when one shares their chakra with others and changes in their own chakra occurs, everyone else will exhibit the same effect.[12]

Tasks which require great levels of concentration restrict the number of usable clones.[13][14] While shadow clones are capable of materialising simple objects and other living beings, the technique is unable to materialise complex machines.


Tailed Beast shadow clone

Naruto's Tailed Beast Mode variant.

Because of the manner in which the clones are created, the user must divide their chakra among the clones, potentially using up all their chakra fairly quickly if the user is low on chakra, or makes too many clones. This is especially problematic when the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique is used; whereas the normal version will only create a few clones, the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique can create hundreds.

A characteristic that is unique to the Shadow Clone Technique is that any experience the clones gain during their existence is transferred to the user once they are dispersed. This makes the technique ideal for spying, since the user can simply send a clone to spy on a target, then have the clone disperse itself on the spot to pass the information back to the user.[15] Similarly, because they are clones of the original, any chakra that the clone possesses will return to the original after being dispelled.[16] Conversely, the reverse is also true and the original is still able to manipulate the chakra of the clones.[17]

It's also useful for training purposes, since the total amount of experience the clones gain is all transferred to the user when they are dispersed. For example, if a user creates one shadow clone and trains together with this clone for one hour, the user will gain a total of two hours of training when the clone is dispelled, despite the training only lasting for one actual hour; the hours of training undergone by both the clone(s) and the user are added together. This particular feature is not revealed until Part II by Kakashi Hatake.[18] By deploying hundreds of clones like Naruto does, training that could take weeks or months can be completed in a few hours.[19] While the technique can be extremely beneficial, attempting to use multiple clones for training purposes can be mentally harmful to the user, as not only is all the experience collected by the user, but so is all the mental stress from training each clone.[20] Kakashi stated that Naruto is the only person able to do this type of training, due to the amount of chakra that Naruto has.[21]


  • Due to Naruto's extensive usage of this technique, Sasuke sees it as a symbolic way for Naruto to avoid loneliness.[22]
  • In the anime, Sasuke claims that the Sharingan can distinguish clones from the original. This contradicts the manga and other anime episodes.[23]
  • In the anime, an ostrich named Condor appeared to use this technique, but in reality, it was just other ostriches.[24]
  • While shadow clones normally disperse after a certain amount of time, Madara was apparently able to produce a shadow clone that could last indefinitely, using it to finalise faking his death.[25]
    • In the anime, during his final battle with Sasuke, Naruto's shadow clones managed to remain intact despite them taking hits, only to have them finally dispersed after being impaled with Amaterasu.[26]
  • Prior to the events of Kakashi Hiden, while waiting for his new arm, Naruto learned to make the seals necessary by making a cross with his left hand's index and middle finger.
  • In the anime, the Genjutsu World version of Hinata Hyūga made use of this technique.[27]


  1. First Databook, page 170
  2. Naruto chapter 167 page 11
  3. Naruto chapter 100, page 5
  4. Naruto chapter 644, page 14
  5. Naruto chapter 561, page 13
  6. Naruto chapter 601, page 2
  7. Naruto chapter 100, page 5
  8. Naruto chapter 260, pages 8-9
  9. Naruto chapter 428, page 5
  10. Naruto chapter 684, page 17
  11. Naruto chapter 277, page 9
  12. Naruto chapter 644, page 13
  13. Naruto chapter 434, page 14
  14. Naruto chapter 637, page 6
  15. Naruto chapter 315, pages 3-7
  16. Naruto chapter 433, pages 6-8
  17. Naruto chapter 644, page 15
  18. Naruto chapter 315, pages 8-9
  19. Naruto chapter 319, page 7
  20. Naruto chapter 318, page 4
  21. Naruto chapter 315, pages 10-11
  22. Naruto chapter 696, page 9
  23. Naruto episode 129
  24. Naruto: Shippūden episode 185
  25. Naruto chapter 681, page 16
  26. Naruto: Shippūden episode 476
  27. Naruto: Shippūden episode 427