Technology in Naruto is pretty interesting. With shinobi using chakra for warfare, and the most common building materials in Konoha seemingly being wood and rotting metal, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Naruto world has some pretty advanced technology. Kishimoto once stated that he would never put guns into his universe, but that didn’t stop him from putting a satellite into space. Or correct me if I’m wrong here, but those are satellite dishes mounted to the roof. And don’t they generally require… a satellite in space to broadcast?
For that matter, the Naruto universe has television. We see Tsunade receiving messages from messenger birds, but here are the lords of the five countries communicating over television. It wouldn’t be odd for them to have telephone technology as well. They have optometrists and glasses, they have photography, they have plastic. Which means that somewhere out there, in the Naruto universe, there are factories and refineries. They don’t have cars, but they have industry. And the technology is distributed unevenly enough that we don’t notice its prescience in Konoha.
Konoha even has electricity, but where does their electricity come from?Do they have nuclear power plants? Wind turbines? Solar energy? Do they generate electricity through some unknown-to-us process using chakra? Kishimoto only ever addresses how chakra works in the Naruto universe, but there is an odd mix between chakra usage and industrial technology in his universe. The top left panel features what look like batteries. The kanji on them mean “electricity”. Looking at the map of Konoha, I didn’t spot any obvious factories. But the electricity has to come from somewhere. And what about water treatment plants? They have running water, but when Sasuke and Naruto fight on the hospital roof before the timejump, they destroy what appear to be water tanks. And looking at the map of Konoha, there appear to be more water tanks mounted on the roofs of other large buildings. So the question is then, does Konoha have flowing water and sewers, or are they reliant on water tanks for all of their water usage?
Shinobi villages are exceptions rather than the norm in the Naruto universe, and my guess is that outside of Konoha… ninja and chakra manipulation are rare. Konoha may even be one of the more rural places in this universe, especially in comparison to say, Amegakure, which has skyscrapers.
Which… when you think about that bridge-builder Tazuna from the beginning of Naruto, there’s a pretty big discrepancy in technology and building techniques. But in the end, it’s not that different from our own world. I assume if you’re reading this on tumblr that you live in technologically developed cities for the most part. But there are places even in technologically developed countries where people still live off the land, or live with a mix of modern technology and rural techniques. So it’s something to think about in the Naruto world.