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What Does NARA SHIKAMARU Mean in Japanese?

nara shikamaru written in japanese lettersNARUTO/BORUTO

Hi, it’s Junko from Japan. The entire name NARA SHIKAMARU is derived from Nara prefecture in Japan. In this post, I’ll explain the meaning of his full name!

What Does SHIKAMARU Mean?

shikamaru written in japanese katakana

SHIKA = deer
MARU = circle, rounded

SHIKA means deer in Japanese. MARU stands for “circle” and is a common suffix for boys’ names in old Japan. OROCHIMARU and KONOHAMARU have the same suffix. The names with MARU sound Ninja-ish.

Shikamaru’s dad is SHIKAKU. The word SHIKAKU means “square” in Japanese. The name of Shikamaru’s son is SHIKADAI. I think it comes from DAIKEI, meaning trapezoid in Japanese. It seems the boys’ names from the Nara family are all related to the names of shapes.

What Does NARA Mean?

nara written in japanese kanji

Shikamaru’s last name NARA stands for Nara prefecture in Japan. Nara is famous for having many wild deer in the city area. For us, hearing the word SHIKA (deer) makes us think of Nara prefecture. 

Deer and people live together in Nara prefecture

After having defeated and sealed Hidan under the ground in the Naruto second arc (Shippuden), Shikamaru told Hidan that fellow deer of the Nara clan would watch over him. According to Shikamaru’s line, only the members of the Nara clan are allowed to enter the forest where Hidan was sealed. That shows that these deer are also part of the Nara clan.

In Oriental medicine, deer horns have been used as a fine medicine. Though there’s no description in NARUTO episodes, the Nara clan may have made secret medicine from them.

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