Naruto Hokages Explained: Meaning, All Hokages, & More
Naruto’s ambition to become Hokage is a central narrative thread throughout the long-running anime series. But just what exactly is a Hokage, and how is a new one chosen? Let’s take a look at the title in closer detail and explain everything you need to know about Hokages in Naruto.
What Is a Hokage in naruto?
The Hokage (literal meaning: fire shadow) is, specifically, the Kage of Konohagakure. A Kage (literal meaning: shadow) is the leader of one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries’ hidden ninja villages, each of which corresponds to the dominant chakra nature of those areas (Earth, Lightning, Water, Wind, and Konohagakure’s Fire, hence fire shadow).
The Hokage is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the village of Konoha, assigning missions to its ninja and securing funding for its projects or personnel. They very rarely leave their village, except during times of great need.
Hokage is not a hereditary title, and each new Hokage is chosen by the previous leader of the village.
When Does Naruto Become Hokage?
Naruto’s dream of one day becoming Hokage is a recurring subplot throughout the anime’s long run, and is finally achieved after his instrumental part in winning the Fourth Shinobi World War, after which Naruto is made the Seventh Hokage.
Despite Naruto’s ambition to become Hokage throughout the original run of episodes, and throughout Shipudden, the ceremony in which he is elevated is only shown during a Boruto OVA titled “The Day Naruto Became The 7th Hokage”.
While firm dates are hard to nail down, it is estimated that Naruto was around the age of 32 when he became Hokage and remains the current Hokage during the timeline of Boruto (with Konohamaru likely to succeed him as the 8th).
Let’s take a look at wise and powerful leaders who held the title previously:
Hashirama Senju, the 1st Hokage
The First Hokage was Hashirama Senju, a famed member of the Senju ninja clan and one of the founders of Konohagakure. He was hailed as the “God of Shinobi” for his unmatched prowess, although he always strove for peace in a world in which conflict was sadly necessary. His ethos is at the core of the village’s morality to this very day.
Tobirama Senju, the 2nd Hokage
The Second Hokage was Tobirama Senju, the younger brother of the 1st Hokage. He, too, would strive throughout his life to ensure stability for the newly founded ninja village but was stern and stoic whereas Hashirama could be more emotional. He was a firm believer in the Will of Fire, a philosophy that the villagers of Konoha were a family, and that any threat to that family was a threat that must be eliminated.
Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage
The Third Hokage was Hiruzen Sarutobi, and he was the Hokage when the original run of Naruto began. Wise and maternal, Sarutobi was a disciple of the previous two Hokage and was responsible for the strong sense of duty and family that was instilled in Naruto’s entire generation. He retired from his position and would later die with a smile on his lips, in combat with Orochimaru during the invasion of Konoha. Sarutobi is also Konohamaru’s grandfather (Konohamaru is likely to succeed Naruto to become the Eight Hokage).
Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage
The Fourth Hokage was Minato Namikaze, renowned the world over as Konoha’s Yellow Flash, and unlike his son, he was a humble and collected man. He was a friend to both Kakashi and Jiraiya, and would die sealing the Nine-Tails into his newborn son, an act that would set the events of the Naruto series in motion.
Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage
The Fifth Hokage was Tsunade, the only female leader of Konoha so far depicted. Tsunade reigns for the majority of the series and is reputed to be the greatest healer in the world, although she initially has to be persuaded to take on the role of leader. She would retire but remain a voice of stability and reason throughout the series.
Kakashi Hatake, the Sixth Hokage
The Sixth Hokage was Kakashi Hatake, one of Konoha’s most talented ninjas, Team 7’s sensei during the opening arcs of Naruto, and one of the anime’s most popular characters. In the aftermath of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kakashi would succeed Tsunade and oversee the massive rebuilding effort. He was shocked to learn how much paperwork was involved.
And that’s it, everything you need to know about Hokages in Naruto, explained. For more on the wide world of Naruto, check out the suggested links below.
Featured image source: Narutopedia
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