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Jonin (上忍, Jōnin; ; Literally meaning "High Ninja", Meaning (Viz) "Elite Ninja"; ) are generally highly-experienced ninja with great individual skill who serve as military captains. They are often sent on A-rank missions, and experienced Jonin may even be sent on S-rank missions (which are considered to be the greatest difficulty). They may also carry out these missions alone. They are sometimes assigned as sensei for three-person teams of Genin. It is as of yet unknown what one has to undergo to become one. It is mentioned in the Naruto Anime Profiles databook that Jonin are appointed, however there was mention of a Jonin exam in the Kurama filler arc. It is known that most Jonin are generally able to use at least two types of elemental chakra, some genjutsu, and above-average taijutsu skills.

Becoming a Jonin is the second highest level ninja you can become with the exception of being a Kage. Jonin are given very intense and serious missions that most of the time include assassinations. They may carry out these missions alone. When a ninja becomes a Jonin, he/she may be assigned three Genin to look over. One part of their duties is to help instruct and train these Genin to become competent ninjas.