While watching "funny Boruto moments" on YouTube, I came across a scene where Naruto tells Iwabe and his team, that he is still a Genin, but he is a Hokage. In the starting episodes of Naruto, it is shown that Hokage is a rank above Jonin, so I want some clarification on why he could skip all the ranks and land at Hokage.

  • Related: anime.stackexchange.com/questions/43854/…
    – Turamarth
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 19:59
  • @Turamarth In the link the answers goes around fillers,OVA, personal opinion but nothing is Canon, and I also watched the the episodes,OVA mentioned so I don't think I got my answer there. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 20:08
  • The accepted answer is based on an interview with Masashi Kishimoto. It pretty much can't get more canon than that.
    – Turamarth
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


He is still a Genin. It was stated by him. (Episode 48)

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What people most of the time overlook is, that the scene with Kakashi and Naruto isn't actual canon though, it should still be noted that these are the requirements. But we're talking about Naruto here he doesn't do things the normal way, which is important later on with the Kishimoto bit.

If we look into the databook book specifically for The Last: Naruto the Movie that plays 2 years after the 4th war, Naruto is still a Genin. 下忍 = Genin.

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Sakura and Shikamaru on the other hand are already Jōnin. 上忍 = Jōnin.

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And the rest are Chūnin. 中忍 = Chūnin.

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Kishimoto specifically let Naruto stay a Genin. And yes, TheLast is canon. He did the character designs and was chief story supervisor. It was also the first time for him that he'd completely written everything from the start, including the lines in a movie production. That came up during the Interview that is linked.

He confirmed that Naruto went from Genin to Hokage.

Q:ナルトといえば火影(忍者の里で一番偉い立場)の夢をかなえましたが、上忍(階級が一番上の忍者) の試験はいつ受けたのでしょうか?

A: ナルトは上忍になっていないんです。下忍(一番下の忍者)のまま火影になりました。サスケも上忍でも中忍でもないし、むしろ里を出ちゃっているから、抜け忍ですよね。あいつら、もうなんなんでしょうね(笑)。でも下忍のままでいきなり火影になった方が、ナルトらしくて面白いかなと思いました。


Q: Speaking of Naruto, his dream of being Hokage came true, but when did he take the exam to become a jounin?

Kishimoto: Naruto didn’t become a jounin. He became Hokage as a genin. Sasuke is not a jounin or chuunin either, but rather, since he left the village, he is a nukenin. That’s enough for them (laughs). But I thought that having him suddenly go from genin to Hokage would be amusing and Naruto-like.

-> To the original Interview (Japanese)

->To the Translation

Even if he never achieved the Jōnin rank he should be as smart and as capable of Chūnin and Jōnin. People can't just become Hokage, not even Naruto. He must have still learned everything that needs to be learned for the Hokage position but just didn't get the chance to actual showcase this in the exams. But I don't think he needed to, I mean everyone (at least the Shinobi part of the Village) saw him during the 4th war and his prowess/abilities. The only thing that was missing was the educational part.

Well, according to Kishimoto, Naruto became the Hokage as a Genin. That should answer it.

  • Does that mean Gaara is also genin hokage? Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 3:26
  • No, it was stated in his character profile in the second databook that he became Chūnin at age 14. He must have gotten the Kazekage position between 14-15 as he was 15 at the beginning of Shippuuden. It is possible that he became Kazekage as a Chūnin but there aren't any more informations about his achieved ranks. But if you ask me, he most likely became the Kazekage as a Chūnin, I don't why Kishimoto would have left it out in Gaara's profile if he was indeed a Jōnin before becoming Kazekage.
    – Ōtsutsuki
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 9:22
  • @Ōtsutsuki so kishimoto covered every possible one thank you. Me too +1 Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 1:57
  • Isn't Hokage its own separate rank though? Can one be a Genin and the Hokage at the same time, or are they mutually exclusive?
    – DeeeFoo
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 21:47

Naruto had a Jounin title before he took up the Hokage title.

What a lot of people get wrong is the Hokage title. It is not only a rank, but also the title given to the leader of Konoha. Each Hidden Village will have a ruling Kage, but also have predecessor Kage (retired). A person could be classified as Kage level, but it is not a rank. It is the scale of power that Shinobi has.

Every Hokage, after Tobirama, before taking up the mantle was a Jounin. It is the custom and tradition of Konoha to appoint a leader who is not only powerful, but wise and collected. He should have a great deal of knowledge regarding major governing factors of the village.

This was the reason Kakashi, after the Great War, offered Naruto the Jounin rank. Of course, with conditions. That would include more studying. Naruto comically declines, but Iruka sensei helps him out (Naruto: Shippūden episode 479).

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