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Shadow Imitation Technique
Kanji 影真似の術
Rōmaji Kagemane no Jutsu
Viz print media The Art of Me-And-My-Shadow
English anime Ninja Art: Shadow Possession Jutsu, Shadow Paralysis Jutsu
Alternative names Shadow Bind Technique (影縛りの術, Kageshibari no Jutsu), Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique (木ノ葉秘伝・影縛りの術, Konoha Hiden: Kageshibari no Jutsu, Literally meaning: Tree Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique), Ninja Art: Shadow Imitation Technique (忍法・影真似の術, Ninpō: Kagemane no Jutsu)
Manga Volume #7, Naruto Chapter #55
Anime Naruto Episode #33
Novel Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky
Movie Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Game Naruto: Ninja Council
OVA Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie
Classification Nara Symbol Hiden, Ninjutsu
Class Supplementary
Range Short to Mid range
Hand seals Rat
Derived jutsu

The Shadow Imitation Technique is a signature technique of the Nara Clan which allows the user to manipulate their shadow.


The user extends their shadow on any surface (even water)[2] and as far as they want as long as there is a sufficient area. Once it comes into contact with a target's shadow, the two merge and the target is forced to imitate the user's movements. Therefore, the two can throw shuriken at each other at the same time if the user desires that (of course, to prevent hurting themselves, the user just has to have the shuriken holster in a place where you don't normally have it, like the back, so that the opponent draws nothing when the user draws a shuriken). If the target is out of range, the user can produce a better light source to increase their shadow's size or rely on pre-existing shadows for their shadow to freely travel through.[3] It's also possible to split one's shadow, either to trap more opponents at once, or to create a distraction.


The major downside of the Shadow Imitation is that it is tiring to use repeatedly; Hidan notes that the ability is subject to some form of diminishing return and decreases in potency after repeated use (Shikamaru Nara can only maintain it for 5 minutes per use).[4] If the user is low on chakra, the performance rate of the technique also deteriorates. Insufficient lighting will make the technique less effective. A particularly strong opponent can also resist the shadow's forced imitation. The technique also forces the user to move the same as the victim so if the victim was hit with enough blunt force to move them, the user has the movements forced on them.[5]


  • It was originally created somewhere in Konoha's region as a way to capture deer for their antlers. From there, it was treated as a secret technique, and transmitted to the following generations.[1]
  • Shikaku calls this technique by its old name: the Shadow Bind Technique (影縛りの術, Kageshibari no Jutsu, English TV: Shadow Paralysis Jutsu) (exactly "Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique" (木ノ葉秘伝・影縛りの術, Konoha Hiden: Kageshibari no Jutsu, Literally meaning: Tree Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique). Shikamaru also uses this name in Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds. The old version simply paralysed the target. The imitation aspect was apparently added sometime between Orochimaru's defection from Konoha and his later invasion of the village.
  • It does not appear to affect the opponent's face, allowing them freedom of speech, thus this technique can be used for interrogation purposes.
  • In the English dub anime, Sakon states that he had mastered this technique.[6]
  • In the Naruto: Clash of Ninja series, Kakashi can perform this technique by copying it with his Sharingan.
  • In Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2, using this technique on multiple opponents at once gives it the name Eight Way Shadow Imitation Technique.
  • The user of the technique has been shown to move the same way as the target if they are moved.[7]
  • In The Last: Naruto the Movie, Shikamaru was able to use this technique to manipulate the movements of several puppets, despite remaining stationary.
  • Konohamaru Sarutobi was able to use this technique through his Kote, after Shikamaru sealed the technique into the device.
  • Inojin Yamanaka has posed his ink snakes as this technique in order to trick Metal Lee.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 First Databook, page 171
  2. Naruto chapter 535, page 6
  3. Naruto chapter 207, pages 17-18
  4. Naruto chapter 336, page 7
  5. Naruto chapter 96, page 16
  6. Naruto episode 112
  7. Naruto chapter 96, page 19
  8. Boruto episode 3