On JapanFM, many questions have been asked as to why Naruto was named Uzumaki and not Namikaze. Since the Uzumaki clan has been completely wiped out many think it makes sense that Naruto is named Namikaze and not the other way around. However, it is not that simple.
Naruto’s father Minato Namikaze has made countless enemies, putting his family in danger
During the Third Shinobi War, before Naruto was born, Minato Namikaze – Naruto’s father – was notoriously feared as the Yellow Lightning, a deadly ninja who single-handedly killed 1,000 shinobi in an instant. From this period, Minato has made several enemies willing to take all the risks to have the opportunity to avenge himself and his family.
In the attack on the Nine-Tailed Fox that immediately followed Naruto’s birth, Minato – the Fourth Hokage – and Kushina Uzumaki sacrificed their lives to save Konoha and their child, Naruto. Half of the Tailed Beast was sealed inside a newly born Naruto, after which both parents died. Guardianship of Naruto was given to the Third Hokage, who gave him the surname Uzumaki.
Uzumaki was a much safer last name for Naruto than Namikaze
After the Uzumaki clan massacre, the few survivors were hunted down and captured by those who wanted their powers for themselves, like Orochimaru. However, this hunt gradually diminished over time until it came to an end. Considering the number of enemies in Minato and the intention of ninjas from other villages to kill all of his relatives, it was logically safer to name Naruto Uzumaki rather than Namikaze.
Neither Uzumaki nor Namikaze were ideal surnames, given the dangers associated with them. Additionally, Naruto was never offered for adoption, as everyone hated him like the Tailed Beast that killed their dear Fourth Hokage. The Third Hokage was obviously not taking good care of him. The Third Hokage never revealed Naruto’s relationship with Minato, although he later learned of his parents’ existence. It was the only way to protect Naruto from his father’s enemies.
When Naruto finally learned the truth about his parents, he said it with confidence, despite the risks, as he was strong enough to face anyone who dared to confront him for revenge. At this point, he was free from the dangers associated with surnames with his powers and could talk about his parents with anyone.