Why Is Naruto An Uzumaki And Not A Namikaze?

Are you wondering why Naruto takes the name Uzumaki instead of Namikaze? We’ve got you covered on that.

When Naruto Uzumaki became the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, fans expected Naruto to drop his Uzumaki last name and formally adopt Minato’s last name Namikaze. Although it never happened, this question never stopped puzzling the fans. Was there any real reason why Naruto never became Naruto Namikaze? If you have ever wondered about this question, grab those ramen bowls because we are about to take the cat out of the bag.

Why Is Naruto Called Naruto Uzumaki Instead Of Namikaze?

Naruto was referred to as Uzumaki taking on his family name from his mother’s side. But why did this happen? Why was Naruto not referred to as Naruto Namikaze?

Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage had a lot of enemies, who would have tried to hurt Naruto if they had known that he was Minato’s son. Naruto’s father, Minato Namikaze, also called the Yellow Flash, was a deadly ninja who killed 1000 shinobi alone in an instant during the Third Shinobi War. He won the war for Konoha, so the other nations had to accept the peace treaty. Naturally, Minato made several foes willing to exact revenge against him and his family at any opportunity. In the nine-tailed demon fox’s attack after Naruto’s birth, Minato and Kushina sacrificed their lives so that Konoha and their child could live. After both his parents died, half the tailed beast was locked inside the newborn Naruto. Uzumaki family was quite known to bear the tailed beasts. Naruto’s mother was too a jinchuriki. Perhaps, being born to Uzumaki, Minato thought this through and fused nine tail chakra into Naruto. Thereafter, the Third Hokage was assigned with Naruto’s care, and it was him who gave him the surname, Uzumaki.

Minato killing the 1000 Shinobi

Considering Naruto’s safety, the surname Uzumaki was a strategic decision on the Third Hokage’s part. If Naruto were to be named Namikaze, Minato’s enemies would have tried to abduct Naruto as he was the only heir of such a prominent person (similar to what they did with Hinata). Moreover, he would have been killed a long time back. If not that, he would have been forced to journey everywhere with an Anbu for both his protection and everyone else’s. Such a sense of restricted freedom could have seriously weighed on a child and affected his life adversely.

How Was Uzumaki A Better Surname For Naruto Than Namikaze?

Though not the ideal surname, Uzumaki was still a safer choice for Naruto than Namikaze. Here are the other reasons to support the idea.

  • If his surname were Namikaze, Naruto would have an even harder time fitting in. Filling the shoes of one of the greatest Hokages ever was no easy task. The adults cornered him because he was a jinchuriki, but the children warmed up to him. Had they known that he was Minato’s son, the guy who saved the leaf village, it is doubtful that they would have stuck around. As an Uzumaki, they saw Naruto as just an ordinary guy as Uzumaki was a non-existent clan in Konoha.
  • Naruto would have turned out bitter had he known that his father was the Hokage who chose the village over him. In the Naruto: Road to Ninja movie, he said, “He (Minato) should not have gotten himself carved into a rock. He should have been there to welcome me home.” Having this realization at 16 years is different from at 4 or 5 years. At a young age, it is hard for a child to understand responsibility. So giving him the surname Namikaze and signaling that he was the son of the Hokage who left him all alone in the world was not such a good idea. Had Naruto felt that Minato had done something out of love for him and then died, he might have ended up feeling a hole deep inside him and might not have been able to control the strong emotions he felt.
  • He was able to grow as an individual and find his path. If he were called Namikaze, he would have been saddled with his father’s heroics before he could branch out and do his own. 

Why Did Naruto Not change His Surname To Namikaze Later?

 After the peace in the Shinobi world, it was unlikely that Minato’s enemies would have attacked Naruto. So why did Naruto not embrace the name Namikaze?

Let us look at some probable reasons why Naruto did not change his name to Namikaze:

  • The Uzumaki name came with a clan and history, whereas Namikaze did not. The only significant record behind the name was that it got the history of being the Fourth Hokage’s name. By keeping the Uzumaki name, he respected the will of his parents. 
  • Naruto had no reason to change his name. It was the name he had gone by his entire life, so there was no point in changing it. It was what everyone knew him as, and what he knew himself as. It was a vital part of his identity.

Kushina Uzumaki
  • Perhaps Naruto wanted to keep a part of his mother’s name alive. Everyone knew about the name Namikaze Minato, but very little of Uzumaki Kushina. Moreover, it was one of the few things that overtly identified Naruto as his mother’s son. From his looks to his jutsu to his sensei, Naruto had “Minato” written all over him. The only things he inherited from Kushina were his personality and the grumpy, prickly roommate that lived in him. So Naruto wanted to retain a part of his mother in his name.

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