Although ninja ranks in Naruto vary from village to village, the general organizational structure and hierarchy of each village’s ninja systems is largely the same. At the top of the organization is the village chief, or the Kage in the case of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. They rule the village and its shinobi, along with a council, usually consisting of highly ranked ninjas and elders. The shinobi forces are divided into three groups. Regular forces, ANBU, and medical teams. The Special Forces are exclusive ranks of a village, as in the case of the Sannin in Konoha or the Konoha Military Police. There are also Renegade Ninjas, who are ninjas who have deserted their respective villages and therefore are classified as traitors and have no rank.
In this article, we are going to give you more details on each of these organizations and the ranks within it, so that you know exactly what you need to know about each organization and rank.
The organizational structure of the shinobi forces in each village is roughly divided into three groups (or organizations). Each of these groups has a specific task to fill and in this section, we are going to tell you about each of them in short:
The Regular Forces form the foundation of the village and its shinobi system. Most of the ninjas are a part of these forces and together, either individually or as a team, they carry out most of the missions that the town receives. They are also in charge of the various jobs within the organization, such as training and office work.
When a student graduates from the Academy, he usually joins these forces, assuming the rank of Genin. Through various exams and tests, they can be promoted to higher ranks, first Chūnin and after this Jōnin. Sometimes when a shinobi specializes in a very specific skill, they may assume the rank of Tokubetsu Jōnin, which ranks between Jōnin and Chūnin. The promotion system is as follows:
- Genin: Final Exam -> Genin Certification Exam
- Chūnin: Chūnin Selection Exams or Selection/Appointment
- Tokubetsu Jōnin: Selection/Appointment
- Jōnin: Selection/Appointment
- Kage: Selection by the Kage, Daimyō, or a group of high-ranking ninjas
ANBU, short for Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai, are a group of elite shinobi from each village, better known as The Hell Squad. They take their orders directly from the Kage for high-ranking missions such as assassination, torture, and tracking down defecting or treacherous ninjas. The ANBU, in general, work in teams formed depending on the requirements of the mission, which guarantees the greatest possible success.
ANBU members receive this rank from the Kage of their village. They are chosen for each other’s unique abilities. Age, sex, origin, and previous ranks have no weight in the decision.
Members can leave the organization like Kakashi Hatake did, only to return to being Jōnin, though he retains strong ties to the ANBU. His identity is known only to the elders and the Kage of the village. An exception to this is the “Konoha Root” organization, in which all of its members only served Danzō Shimura.
The Medical Ninja is a ninja who specializes in medical treatment and the use of Medical Ninjutsu aimed at healing others. Becoming a Medical Ninja requires high intelligence and excellent chakra control, as well as extensive knowledge of the human body and a wide variety of medical skills, including technical skills to handle advanced tools to create, for example, poison antidotes.
Furthermore, he is trained to avoid being harmed in any way, for the reason that if he gets injured, then there would be no one to heal the other team members from him. The Medical Ninja accompanies other high-ranking ninjas on their missions to increase the team’s survival rate. The Medical Ninja makes use of the Mystic Palm Jutsu, a technique used in surgery by sending chakra from their hands into a wound or affected body part.
For more serious injuries, multiple Medical Ninjas combine their efforts with the Resuscitation and Regeneration Healing Jutsu in which they use a part of the patient’s body as a means of aiding the healing process. Generally, people who have knowledge about this type of Jutsu also have knowledge of the human body, as in the case of Kabuto Yakushi, who is capable of damaging precise points on his opponent’s body through his Chakra scalpel.
Furthermore, with this wisdom, Ninjas are able to create and perform techniques that serve even during battles, such as Tsunade and Sakura Haruno’s Divine Restoration, allowing her to heal wounds by dividing her cells. There are other jobs to your knowledge, such as the example of Hana Inuzuka, a veterinarian who specializes in treating Ninken. Chiyo, in the past, used his knowledge of medicine to create deadly poisons. His efforts were frequently countered by Tsunade, the world’s greatest Medical Ninja.
Regular Forces ninja ranks and titles
Now that we’ve gone over the organizations themselves, we can go over the specific ranks and titles for the only group among these that has such a system – the Regular Forces. Namely, the ANBU and the Medical Teams don’t have such a specific hierarchical structure as the Regular Forces do so we don’t have anything to explain in that aspect. Now, let us go over the ranks, from lowest to highest:
Academy Students are those ninjas who are in training to become official ninjas or in other cases, the student may choose to serve or work for the ninja community. After passing the final test, which consists of presenting certain ninjutsu, the students are graduated and divided into groups of 3, which each group will go with a Chūnin or Jōnin, and begin their ninja career.
Genin are those who carry out missions and training in groups usually of three together with a Chūnin or Jōnin. These are usually tasked with the easiest missions for their ninja training, assigning them very simple D-rank missions, such as pet care, in between taking care of themselves. However, sometimes, they are allowed to do C rank missions which, unlike D rank missions, do include simple battles against bandits and other types of low-trained people. Genin usually know a few simple seals and techniques.
The genin twice a year have the opportunity to take the exam for promotion to Chūnin with the consent of the Jōnin, so if he is passed, they can have access to this level. A Chūnin is in charge of doing level C and B missions. In addition, he can be a teacher at the ninja academy. Chūnin have the right to be the leader of a group on a mission.
Tokubetsu Jōnin are ranked between Jōnin and Chūnin rank, and perform assigned missions according to their specialties. Its members have, in addition to their high level, a specialization in various disciplines, such as interrogator, examiner, tracker, instructor, etc. Some examples of these are the Tokubetsu Jōnin of Konoha.
To become a Jōnin, the ninja in question must have control over a minimum of two types of chakra nature or have a specialty referring to some type of techniques (such as Kurenai in Genjutsu or Might Guy in Taijutsu), but it is known that ninjas of this rank (to which belong: Kakashi Hatake, Might Guy, Kurenai Yūhi, Asuma Sarutobi, Neji Hyūga, etc.), have the possibility to continue doing missions with other high-ranking ninjas (as Genma and Raidō do), form a group with three genin under your responsibility (such as Kakashi, Asuma, Kurenai or Guy) or enter the ANBU. These ninja are the only ones who can be entrusted with an A or S rank mission, which are usually highly dangerous, such as assassinations or espionage of a rival village.
Kage is the highest title a Ninja can receive, the leader of the village. Only the leaders of the five great Ninja villages are allowed to bear this title. In general, they are the most powerful ninjas of their time, although sometimes, there may be exceptions. For example, a ninja may be the most powerful when he is installed as a Kage, but over time, he may lose strength, eventually being outclassed by a younger ninja.
A Kage can retire over time and pass his title to a successor. The title, once given, is borne permanently. This creates cases where there can be more than one Kage at a time, but only one of them is active – as was the case with the Fourth Hokage and the Third Hokage, when the Third gives the title to the Fourth, only to come out of retirement. when the Fourth died.
Their elite status is attributed to the tendency for most Kage to be related to previous Kage, or to have been personally trained by a Kage, or a student of a Kage.
In addition to these, there are two additional ranks that do not belong to the standard hierarchy, but are nevertheless important, which is why we are going to explain them here. They are:
Chūbu is the rank currently held by Sai, which he obtained at some point after the end of the Fourth Shinobi World War. However, it is unknown what significance this rank change has, nor how it fits into the Shinobi Hierarchy System.
The Sannin originate from the Hidden Village of Konoha, and their names are Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru. All of them have a level higher than that of a jōnin, being able to equate with a Kage. His teacher was the third. The title of Sannin was given to them by the leader of the Hidden Rain Village, Hanzō of the Salamander, when they were young for surviving a battle against him.
The Missing-nin or the Rogue Ninja have left their hidden villages and can have different ranks. These ninjas are considered traitors and are generally hunted down and killed for any secrets they may carry. Rival ninja villages may be interested in obtaining this information, as it could help them gain an advantage in battle or obtain some succession technique from that village.
Villages often send out teams of scout ninjas to hunt down and eliminate rogue ninjas, though they are generally virtually impossible to find unless they do something to attract attention, as it’s in their best interest to stay hidden.
The members of Akatsuki are all rogue ninja except Nagato and Konan, who both belong to the Rain Village. Sasuke Uchiha was also considered a renegade ninja for having left Konoha to go with Orochimaru in search of power. These ninjas are characterized by having their village protectors with a fissure, which symbolizes their status as fugitives and rebels.