Japanese manga artist, Masashi Kishimoto (岸本斉史), the author of NARUTO, appeared on TV show on July 20. This was the first time for him to show his face in public.
— What inspired you to create NARUTO?
At first I wanted to create a ramen manga, but it was not really suited for children. So I just picked up the name of Naruto (A common topping on Japanese noodles such as Tokyo-style ramen), and combined Ninja story. Both are the pieces of Japanese culture, so I thought that it was a good combination.
— What would you say is the main theme of NARUTO?
Our need for recognition from others. It was a big theme for me, because my idea of ramen manga also was not recognized.
— Who would you target as the audience of NARUTO?
Fourteen years old boys. I can get down on my knees to beg them to read NARUTO. 14 years old is something special for me, because I began to think that I want to be a manga artist when I was fourteen. I want to give fourteen years old boys a dream as same as people who gave the dream to me.
— Do you have a rival?
Manga artists of Weekly Shonen JUMP, and talented young artists.