In Naruto, Yamato called Kakashi as Kakashi-sama, whereas Naruto as Naruto-kun.

Previously, I thought that sama was for equal or higher rank shinobis while kun was for junior rank shinobis. But I noticed that I might be wrong as Hinata too called Naruto as Naruto-kun.

I found some general answers on Yahoo! Answers, but is there a specific reason why they did that in Naruto? What's the actual meaning of sama and kun?

  • 6
    It's the same in anime as it is in real life. Anime generally is Japanese so some translators will keep Japanese Honorifics when doing subtitles of dubs, such as sometimes when Iruka or Kakahi gets called by their students as Iruka-sensei and Kakashi-sensei. the Wikipedia link in the question you linked to is as good of a resource i use
    – Memor-X
    Jun 3, 2015 at 4:34
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    Yamato calls Kakashi as Kakashi-senpai, I have never once heard him say Kakashi-sama.
    – Masked Man
    Jun 3, 2015 at 16:15
  • 1
    That aside, there is nothing specific to anime to be explained here. Since anime is in Japanese, it naturally uses the Japanese honorifics (unless, of course, the "plot" specifically requires it to not do so).
    – Masked Man
    Jun 3, 2015 at 16:16
  • 1
    See also: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/…
    – Masked Man
    Jun 3, 2015 at 16:17
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network and has already been answered there.
    – seijitsu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


Both terms are Japanese honorifics.

Sama (様) is the formal version of "san", used for persons in higher positions (inferiors to superiors). On the other hand, kun (君) is informal and mostly used for males, such as boys or juniors. It is used by superiors to inferiors, by males of the same age and status to each other. In schools, teachers address male students as "kun" while girls as "san" or "chan".

As for anime Naruto, Yamato called Kakashi as Kakashi-sama simply because of respect for the higher position. Kakashi is a lot experienced than him. Meanwhile, Hinata called Naruto with "kun" as an informal honorific for a boy with the same age, that applies too for kun.

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