What does sannin mean in Japanese

Legendary sannin

The Sannin (actually San-Nin - 三 忍 - three ninja) is the name that denotes the three great shinobi Jiraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade from Konohagakure.
They got this name after a battle during the second known Shinobi World War between Konoha-Nins and Ame-Nins of Hanzou because they were the only survivors. Hanzou let her live on the condition that from now on she would be the "three ninja" describe.[1]
The name "Sannin" is not an official ninja rank as it means nothing more than "three ninja" and none other than Jiraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade. Tsunade is also the Godaime Hokage and Orochimaru is a Nukenin.
When the Sannin met in a fight after the death of Sandaime Hokage, they officially decided not to call themselves Sannin anymore, as their connection had already broken up.[2]

For the changes in Sannin, see Team Sandaime.


  • All three hold the rank of Jonin.
  • All three have been direct contenders for the title of Hokage at one point, with Orochimaru failing due to his cruelty and Jiraiya rejecting it in favor of Tsunade, who was ultimately elected the fifth Hokage.
  • Each of the Sannin has made a member of Team 7 a student.
  • When Tsunade wins a slot machine in Tanzaku-Gai because she received the "7" three times and therefore suspects a bad omen, the other visible images of the machine are a frog, a snake and a snail.[3]
  • The sannin are based on a Japanese folk tale called "The Story of Gallant Jiraiya".


  • Naruto (Manga)
  • Naruto (Anime)

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Manga Volume 40, Chapter 369, Page 12
  2. ↑ Manga Volume 19, Chapter 170, Page 7/8
  3. ↑ Manga Volume 17, Chapter 153, Page 19