Naomi Osaka Receives Special Gift From Naruto Creator After Tokyo Olympics 2020 Flame Honor

Published 08/12/2021, 7:22 AM EDT
2018 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Eleven. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning the first set during her victory against Madison Keys of the United States in the Women’s Singles Semi Final match on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2018 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6th, 2018 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


The Japanese tennis star and WTA world number 2, Naomi Osaka received special recognition from Naruto creator, Masashi Kishimoto. The renowned manga artist has gifted her a signed portrait, inspired by his creation, Naruto. Naomi, the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles, was the torch bearer at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Naruto initially began as a manga series and has since seen various adaptations in anime, films, and video games. The original manga series was debuted in 1999 and has gathered massive fandom all over the world. The story follows Naruto, a young Ninja with the aim of becoming the Hokage (leader) of his village.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Naomi Osaka of Japan returns the ball during her Women’s Singles semifinal match against Jennifer Brady of the United States on Day Eleven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka receives Naruto portrait as a gift from creator of the show

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Olympic Games were of significant importance for Naomi Osaka as she was making a comeback after her withdrawal from the French Open. She was the torch bearer at the opening ceremony and also a serious medal hope for Japan. However, things did not go according to Osaka’s plans, and she crashed out in the third round against Marketa Vondrousova.

As a show of appreciation of Osaka’s efforts, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto gifted her a signed portrait. The portrait includes herself alongside the main characters of the show, Naruto and Sakura. She also posted a collage of her memories from the Olympics on her Instagram feed, which included the portrait.

Watch this story: Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Other Tennis Stars Funny Moments With Their Kids

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Osaka’s love for Naruto

Osaka has expressed her love for Naruto in previous interviews, stating that she relates a lot with the protagonist of the show. This wasn’t Naomi’s first interaction with the world of Manga; along with her sister, she launched a manga series ‘Unrivaled Naomi Tenkaichi’ in 2020 which depicted Osaka as the protagonist.

In an interview with Lydia Livecchi from CBR, Osaka revealed her love for the Naruto series. “Just watching as an outsider and seeing all the work that he put in, was really cool when I was younger. He was the outcast, and then he proved himself to people, and we started believing in him. That stubbornness is something maybe I have a little bit,” Osaka said in a 2020 interview.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Naomi will now turn her attentions to the US Open later this month and attempt to defend her title. She has been going through a tough time mentally and will look for a strong finish to the year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Suchit Halder

270 articles

Suchit Halder is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Management Studies from St Xavier's College, Mumbai. With a keen interest in writing and sports, Suchit has previously worked as a content writer at Football Counter and worked with the content team for Delhi Capitals during IPL 2021.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT