I'm making a game inspired by the anime Naruto and I want to use the word jutsu, used in the anime to mean ninja techniques. Can I do that?

Does the answer change if I change the techniques' specific names, but use the same concept of the hand seals?


The word "jutsu" is simply a Japanese word for "technique." The idea of ninja jutsus is very common in anime and manga, and definitely predates Naruto. As long as you aren't using a jutsu name copied directly from Naruto, you should be fine (and even some of the names are likely to be public domain, as they are mentioned in Japanese ninja folklore).

For example, the body substitution technique, "kawari no jutsu" pops up frequently in a wide variety of anime and manga whenever ninjas are mentioned. Similarly, I can probably name 5 or 6 animes that use the shadow-clone technique, "kagebunshin no jutsu."

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hand seals are also common ninja folklore, used previously in other games too. I'd say you're OK. It's mostly actually the opposite danger you should watch out for: these tropes have been riffed on so much that they've largely worn to cliches. Make sure to add a new twist! \$\endgroup\$ – Anko Jan 2 '16 at 10:02

Jutsu means technique so u can use it ..

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    \$\begingroup\$ There is an earlier answer by stix that already states this. Do you have anything different to add? \$\endgroup\$ – Lars Viklund Jan 2 '16 at 13:23

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