Masashi Kishimoto ,( Kishimoto Masashi, born 8 November 1974) is a Japanese manga artist, well known for creating the manga series Naruto. His younger twin brother, Seishi Kishimoto, is also a manga artist and creator of the manga series 666 Satan (O-Parts Hunter) and Blazer Drive. Two of his former assistants, Osamu Kajisa (Tattoo Hearts) and Yuuichi Itakura (Hand’s), have also gone on to moderate success following their work on Naruto.
Kishimoto’s first work as a manga artist was Karakuri ), which he submitted to Shueisha in 1995. This earned him the Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s monthly “Hop Step Award” in 1996, granted to promising new manga artists. This was followed in 1997 by a pilot version of Naruto (NARUTO), published in Akamaru Jump Summer. In 1998, Kishimoto premiered as a Weekly Shōnen Jump artist with a serialized version of Karakuri in Weekly Shōnen Jump, but it proved unpopular and was canceled soon after. In 1999, a serialized version of Naruto began publication in Weekly Shōnen Jump and quickly became a hit. Naruto is still ongoing, with more than 52 volumes and just over 50 released in English, and has sold over 100 million copies in Japan and over 95 million copies were sold in the US followed by over 93 million copies worldwide (outside Japan and United States) as of volume 36, also being adapted into two successful anime series. The Naruto manga series has become one of Viz Media‘s top properties, accounting for nearly 10% of all manga sales in 2006. The seventh volume of Viz’s release became the first manga to ever win a Quill Award when it claimed the award for “Best Graphic Novel” in 2006. In 2009, Kishimoto designed an extra costume for the video game character Lars Alexandersson for Tekken 6, and in 2010 this character appeared in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 as part of a special cross-promotion. In 2010, Kishimoto also produced a one-shot baseball manga, Bench (, Benchi), as part of Jump’s “Top of the Super Legend” project, a series of six one-shot manga by famed Weekly Shōnen Jump artists, also including Sorachi Hideaki, Konomi Takeshi, Usuta Kyosuke, Akimoto Osamu, and Akira Toriyama.