Naoko (Nihongo: ナオコ／尚子Naoko) is Joe Musashi's lover and childhood friend, and an important character in Revenge of Shinobi. After the Oboro village is attacked and her father, the Chief and Joe's master is murdered in the attack, Naoko is taken hostage and Joe must brave through Neo Zeed's traps to save her before it is too late.
Naoko was born to the chief of the Oboro Ninja and raised alongside Joe, her childhood best friend that her father raised as a shinobi. She and Joe grew up very close, and as they became adults, they became lovers. As Joe became the youngest Jounin (上忍 High ranking shinobi) in the clan, she would often spend time with him whenever he was off missions, and her father approved of their relationship.
The Revenge of Shinobi
After Joe successfully brought down Zeed, Naoko and her father welcomed him home, and they were at peace for three years. One day while Joe was away on a Musha-shugyo (武者修行;martial pilgrimage) expedition, Neo Zeed attacked the village and left many of their friends and comrades dead. Her father was also viciously wounded in the attack and Naoko herself, taken hostage and imprisoned in the Inner Sanctum of Neo Zeed's headquarters in North America's Eastern Coast.
Joe finds Naoko, trapped in a cell with the ceiling slowly drawing towards her in a bid to crush the life out of her. Joe thinking fast as he battles The Masked Ninja, uses his shuriken to slow the ceiling's descent as he cuts down the vile ninja. Free from the death trap Naoko runs into Joe's arms and watch the setting sun next to her beloved.
Joe's Final Battle
After the battle against Neo Zeed two years ago, Naoko married Joe and the surviving ninja and villagers elected him as the new head of the Oboro clan. For two years they knew bliss, until it is revealed that Neo Zeed is still in business. To protect her and their village, Joe bids her farewell to go on his final mission to destroy Zeed once and for all. Naoko supports her husband and hopes for his safe return.
Naoko is a young woman in her early to mid twenties with dark brown hair tied in a ponytail with a pinkish purple ribbon wearing a light purple dress. In the Shinobi comics however, she is dressed in a white kimono with her hair in a geisha-like pattern.
Her personality is not really touched upon by the developers, but it can be safe to say that she's a woman who loves Joe Musashi very much and is greatly faithful in him. Even when she was held hostage, she believed he would come for her, and to her joy, he did. She loves her father and is more than likely saddened by the deaths of her father and fellow villagers as much as Joe was.
- In Revenge of Shinobi, Naoko and Joe have two endings depending on if the Final Boss is beaten before the ceiling crushes her to death. If the player succeeds, she and Joe will watch the sunset together, but if they fail and Naoko dies, Musashi kneels in silent grief, and looks in the starry skies sadly as a star falls and Naoko's face appears.
- In a magazine screenshot of a beta version of Shinobi, Naoko is mentioned as a victim of Neo Zeed's attack on the village, but this gets scrapped.
- Naoko was named after Noriyoshi Ohba's sister-in-law as a joke, but the name stuck.