Shadow Clone Technique

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editShadow Clone Technique [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 technique developed by the Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju.[3]


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, including the Shadow Clone Technique itself,[4] on their own 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,[5] shadow clones can't be distinguished from the original with the Sharingan, Byakugan, Rinnegan or Rinne Sharingan.[6][7][8][9]

Shadow clones also seem to be able to think for themselves and feel the original'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.[10] Despite being separated, clones still bear connections with their original.

Tasks which require great levels of concentration restrict the number of usable clones[11][12], and changes in the nature of the original's chakra signature will cause the chakra of the clones to resonate similarly.[13]


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 without returning, to pass the information back to the user.[14] Similarly, because they are clones of the original, any chakra that the clone possesses will return to the original after being dispelled.[15] Conversely, the reverse is also true and the original is still able to manipulate the chakra of the clones.[16]

It's also useful for training purposes, since the total amount of experience the user gains is multiplied by the total number of clones being used to train. For example, if a user creates one shadow clone and trains together with this clone for one hour, then dispels the clone, the user gains two hours of training in one hour by adding the hours of clone and the user together. This particular feature is not revealed until Part II by Kakashi Hatake.[17] When done with several hundred, like Naruto does, training that could take weeks or months can be completed in a few hours.[18] 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.[19] Kakashi stated that Naruto is the only person able to do this type of training, due to the amount of chakra that Naruto has.[20]


  • Due to Naruto's extensive usage of this technique, Sasuke sees it as a symbolic way for Naruto to avoid loneliness.[21]
  • In the anime, Sasuke claims that the Sharingan can distinguish clones from the original. This contradicts the manga and other anime episodes.[22]
  • An ostrich named Condor appears in the anime using this technique, but in reality, it was just other ostriches.[23]
  • 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.[24]
    • 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.
  • 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 finger and middle finger by entwining them.
  • In the anime, the Genjutsu World version of Hinata Hyūga is able to use this technique.[25]


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

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