Anime has only become a bigger and bigger deal in the world in the past few decades. With shows like Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, One Piece, Inuyasha, and more paving the way to take the small screens by storm, the Japanese animation style is a hit. W
ith all the art, effort, and style put into them, it's well deserved. Naruto, on its own, grew up with a generation and is loved by viewers from all walks of life.
For more than a decade, viewers have followed the stories of Naruto and his friends as they become great ninja. The adventure is perilous and difficult, yet cathartic and worthwhile. They grew to become so much more than their young selves ever could have dreamed.
Naruto in particular leads an inspiring narrative about wanting to become the hero he dreams of being: the Hokage of his village. He may be brash and the biggest knucklehead ninja when he starts, but he ends as the Seventh Hokage of Konohagakure.
After following his quest to become a leader, fans have met quite a few Hokages and their stories. As the greatest heroes of the village, they are impressive ninja.
However, how much about them is known? It's time to discover their secrets with the 25 Things Only True Fans Know About Hokages.
25 Hokages Only Protect The Land of Fire
Naruto takes place in a fictitious world. In this world exists five lands. Naruto, Sasuke, and the rest of the main cast hail from the hidden leaf village in the Land of Fire.
Hokages are sworn to protect Konoha, their ninja village, and the country around it. They aren't required to protect any other nation.
The Land of Fire is one of the largest and most powerful countries. As the Land of Fire has been in wars with the Land of Lightening, Wind, and Earth, it's vital that they have their own personal guardians.
The Land of Fire is special, though, as it was the first land to implement ninja villages for protection.
24 Every Land Has a Kage
Separate people defend each separate country in the world of Naruto. The Land of Fire has many ninja spread across the land.
In Konoha, the people led by the Hokage. Each ninja village in each land is led by a Kage of their own.
In the lands of Water, Earth, Lightning, and Wind, they have their own leaders in the Mizakage, Tsuchikage, Raikage, and Kazekage, respectively.
A main character of the Naruto series, Gaara, eventually becomes the Land of Wind Kazekage.
Having the same titles doesn't make them friends, though. If countries or their shinobi are ever in opposition with one another, the ninja villages may go to war.
23 Hashirama Senju Created The Position
The Land of Fire once had a brutal war between the Senju and Uchiha clans. Each was desperate enough to send their ninja to fight and a lot of young blood was shed.
After losing two brothers to the war, Hashirama, eldest heir of the Senju clan, was tired of the fighting. Hashirama fought diligently for peace.
It took a brave feat of self-sacrifice for Hashirama to convince the eldest Uchiha son, Madara, to agree to peace.
To protect the land from future heinous acts, Hashirama created the ninja village of Konoha and form the Hokage position to watch over, rule, and protect it.
22 Not Every Hokage Wanted The Job
Hashirama, Tsunade, Hiruzen, and Kakashi all had differing reservations about the position.
Kakashi didn't oppose the honor, he just was wary of the level of responsibility. Hiruzen only became Hokage because the Second Hokage, Tobirama, appointed him shortly before passing away. However, Hiruzen stepped up to the plate and became a great Hokage.
Tsunade only was uncomfortable with the idea because of her years distancing herself from ninja life. However, when necessary it was, she took her rightful place as Hokage.
Hashirama, the First Hokage, is the one who deliberately didn't want the position.
To mend fences with the Uchiha clan, Hashirama intended for Madara Uchiha to become Hokage.
However, that's not how things turned out.
21 Hokage Hand Pick Their Successors
Only Hashirama was ever voted Hokage. Afterwards, leaders would choose the ninja to succeed them. Each leader chose the person they thought best fit for the role.
Unfortunately, older Hokages often had to choose their successors while they were close to perishing.
Naruto is the only Hokage to lead with both of the previous heads before him still alive and around.
Hokages also have a bad habit of only choosing people close to them. Family members and former students are common Hokage candidates.
Its likely that the Eighth Hokage, whenever they are chosen, will be no different.
20 Hokages Live By The "Will Of Fire" Philosophy
The Will of Fire philosophy is rooted in the idea that love is the key to peace. The ancestor of several key clans, Asura Otsutsuki, held this belief.
The spiritual heritage of Konoha has grown through this ideal. The Will of Fire also expands to mean that the village is like a family unit and that all Land of Fire shinobi will protect it.
There are two prominent flame sculptures in the village that represent the motto. One is in the cemetery, while the other is in Hashirama's office.
This is supposedly what gives the Konohae shinobi the strength to continue fighting against all odds.
19 One Woman Made All of The Hokage Ceremonial Haoris
In the animated short The Day Naruto Became Hokage, we learn a little more about the ceremonial hoaris.
Haoris are the customized robes and/or capes that each Hokage wears to symbolize their status.
First, we learn that both Kakashi and Naruto get theirs last minute, right before the ceremony starts.
More interestingly, though, is that the woman doing the embroidery has done it for all seven Hokages.
It's been theorized by fans that the position is possibly up to 100 years old at this point, so this woman has been a dedicated seamstress for a very long time.
18 The Third Hokage Taught One of Naruto's Greatest Enemies
Many of the Hokages taught other ninja before they became leaders. Hiruzen led one of the most fascinating teams. His team consisted of Tsunade, Jiaraya, and Orochimaru.
Tsunade went on to be Hokage. Jiaraya was a great ninja, revered throughout the Land of Fire, and Orochimaru later became one of Konoha, and Naruto's, greatest enemies.
Orochimaru was brilliant and destined for greatness. However, his teachers sensed a darkness in his heart. They hoped that he would overcome it, but Orochimaru only tied himself more to immoral actions.
He began cruel experiments on other people, which led to many of them perishing. He has been a malevolent force against the hidden leaf village.
17 The Appointment of The First Hokage Marked the End of a War
A war between clans engulfed the Land of Fire before Hokages and Konohae ever existed.
Hashirama Senju, who was tired of losing loved ones, longed for peace. He befriended a boy during his childhood who made him wish that the fighting could stop so that they could just be kids.
This person happened to be Madara, a member of an opposing clan. When the boys grew up, they ended the war together.
Hashirama then founded Konoha to unite the people and protect the country from unrest. He also wanted to name a Hokage, someone to lead and protect.
When he became that leader, it marked an uphill climb towards a calmer era.
16 Every Hokage Is Related (Kind of)
Madara Uchiha was concerned when the First Hokage was appointed. He feared that the system would rely on favoritism. Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage, insisted that this wouldn't be the case.
However, it did end up happening Every Hokage has been, in some way, connected.
Hashirama chose his brother, Tobirama, as his successor. Hashirama taught Hiruzen, and Tobirama often worked with him. Minato was the protege of one of Hiruzen's favorite students.
Tsunade was Hiruzen's student and the granddaughter of Hashirama and Kakashi was a beloved student of the Fourth Hokage, Minato.
Also, of course, Naruto was the son of the Fourth Hokage and the student of the Sixth.
15 Villagers Called The First Hokage The "God of Shinobi"
Hashirama Senju was a superb ninja. So much so that the people of his time considered him a god of his craft.
It also helps that he set precedence over how to build and manage a shinobi village. He created the first village, first creed, first Hokage.
After his village was built, each land built a ninja village of their own, with their own Kages. In a world of chaos and feuds, Hashirama brought a certain sense of order.
Between his unmatched powers and his impeccable leadership, Hashirama was a revolutionary man.
14 Orochimaru Almost Became the Fourth Hokage
Hiruzen trained three impeccable students, known as the Sannin. This threesome included Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Orochimaru.
One became the Fifth Hokage, one became a famed writer and ninja, and the third became a malevolent scientist.
When they were young, Hiruzen considered Orochimaru the brightest of the bunch and had him in mind as the next Hokage. However, as Orochimaru aged, an evil grew in his heart that cared less and less for others and more about his twisted ideals.
Hiruzen waited for him to grow out of it, but alas, Orochimaru did not. Hiruzen instead chose Minato Namikaze to be the next Hokage, a decision that led Orochimaru to leave Konoha.
13 Tsunade Is The Only Female Hokage
Out of seven great ninja, the only female was Tsunade. While other powerful female ninja exist in the world of Naruto, none went on to become Hokage.
One of the most prominent female ninja was Kushina, wife of the Fourth Hokage, Minato. Kushina wanted to be the next Hokage herself when she was younger.
However, this dream withered away due to the fact that she struggled with the Nine Tailed Fox that was sealed inside of her.
Some might say that the First Hokage being Tsunade's grandfather is what gave her the edge to finally break the pattern of men.
Tsunade more than earned her position, though, as she's a strong, protective, powerful ninja in her own right.
12 Hokages Interact Little With Other Kages
Though they share the same rank, the five ninja leaders almost only interact at Kage summits.
The purpose of these summits is to make vital decisions about matters that jeopardize all of their villages. Otherwise, Kages and their respective hidden villages keep to themselves.
It's also uncommon for the Kages to meet because the differing ninja hubs come to odds with one another fairly often.
Unless it's for the good of all villages, most Kages focus on protecting their own more than anything else.
There is also an understanding that Kages are constantly busy running, organizing, and leading their villages. There isn't much time for pleasantries with other Kage unless necessary.
11 The First Hokage Should Have Been Sasuke's Ancestor
After the great feud between the Uchiha and Senju clans ended, Hashirama was determined to mend fences with the Uchihas.
He wanted the people of Konoha to learn to trust the outside clan. Madara Uchiha was meant to be Hokage when the role was created. This way, Hashirama would remain a trusted member of the tribe but Madara could show off the skills and strengths of his people.
However, the village voted Hashirama as their Hokage. Hashirama wanted Madara as his advisor, Madara didn't want this position, as he was convinced that there was no place for the Uchiha Clan in Konoha.
10 The Fourth Hokage Was Naruto's Father
Until season seven, Naruto has little knowledge of his parents. During his fight with an enemy called Pain, however, his father appears to him.
This is when Naruto learns that his father was the Fourth Hokage-- the Hokage that he spent his childhood admiring.
He learns more about the event that caused his father to perish and discovered how he came to be. This was a huge moment for Naruto, as his own flesh and blood was revealed to be his greatest hero.
More than ever, it solidified Naruto's resolve about becoming Hokage.
9 The First Six Hokages All Wear The Same Necklace
In each of their official photos, the first Six Hokages all wore their traditional haori, hat, and a necklace that is passed down through the generations.
The necklace initially belonged to the first Hokage, Hashirama Senju. While every Hokage wore it, only Hashirama and his granddaughter, Tsunade, were known to wear it consistently.
Tsunade had terrible luck with the necklace, though. The necklace unfortunately seemed to doom some around her. This most painfully included the love of her life, Dan Kato. T
sunade gave the necklace as a good luck gift to Dan, but the war struck him down shortly after.
Despite her efforts, Tsunade could not save him, and struggled emotionally for years because of it.
8 Jiraiya Refused All Offers of Becoming Hokage
Trained with Orochimaru and Tsunade, Jiraiya is one of the strongest ninja in Naruto. Past Hokages offered the position to Jiraiya three times. Every time, he refused.
Jiraiya was told that his destiny was to teach the Child of Prophecy, who would one day save the world. He believed strongly in this future and wouldn't let being Hokage get in the way of this.
Initially, he thought that his student Minato, the Fourth Hokage, was the prophesied child. However, he later learned that Naruto was the child and trained him.
Hokage or not, he valiantly protected the village.
7 Naruto Considers Sasuke an Unofficial Hokage
Recently, in Boruto, Naruto has achieved the dream he's had since he was a child-- he became Hokage. As leader, he runs the day-to-day operations of the village.
He keeps the city in order, gives out missions, and is always prepared to defend the village. Naruto does everything that the village needs him to.
Despite his work and achievements, Naruto doesn't give himself all of the credit.
Naruto calls Sasuke the "Shadow Hokage" because of all the things he does outside of the village to keep it safe.
Together, they are a formidable team, protecting the village from multiple angles.
6 The Third and Fourth Hokages Fell Without a Successor
As Hokage is often one of strongest ninja in the Land of Fire, the things they face tend to be intense. The first four leaders all perished in the line of duty.
Only the First and Second were able to pick a successor, while the Fourth and Third did not.
In turn, the Third had to come out of retirement to take over for the Fourth, and when the Third fell, the village had to find a worthy Hokage to step up.
In such a dangerous position, new leaders rarely got to transition into their new job under calm circumstances.
5 A Ninja Doesn't Have to Achieve The Highest Rank to Become Hokage
Naruto is unorthodox, and he became even more so when he became Hokage. The young ninja wasn't even finished reaching the highest ranks of the shinobi when he was offered the job.
Luckily, there was no rule that said he couldn't become Holage. Despite precedence, Naruto became Hokage. It was unlike any ninja before him.
After years of it being his biggest dream, it was good that he didn't let a pesky thing like rank get in his way.
This choice did leave him with less experience than other Hokages, though, a fact that could hurt his career further down the line. Being leader isn't all about power, after all.
4 Retired Hokages Can Become Hokage Again
A Hokage's demise is no small business and the village must react instantly to fill the position. Most times, the leader chooses a successor before they pass away or other ninja choose for them.
One time, neither options were quite feasible. The Fourth Hokage passed away to the Nine Tailed Fox and, with the village in ruin, a leader was needed immediately.
Since he was still alive, the Third Hokage came out of retirement to pick up the pieces.
Prepared, experienced, and alive, Hiruzen was the best choice during this time of crisis and served Konoha well for the rest of his days.
3 All Hokages Wore Official Uniform Hats Except Onr
All of the Kages have a uniform that comes with the job. While few wore traditional garb constantly, one of the least formal Hokages was Tobirama Senju.
Other leaders often wore the hats that all Hokage had worn before them, at least during day-to-day activities. However, Tobirama rarely wore it.
He was only seen wearing it in his official photo. This fashion choice is understandable, however.
The younger Senju brother led the village during a time of conflict, despite trying to follow Hashirama's dreams of peace. The large, traditional hat would've been impractical for the battlefield.
2 Five of the Hokages Had Doomed Rivalries
Hashirama and Tobirama eventually became rivals of the Uchiha brothers, Madara and Inuza. Hiruzen had a rivalry with Danzo., and Kakashi had Obito.
All of the rivals involved tried to take down their Hokage counterpart and perished in the process.
Only Naruto and his father, Minato, were different.
Minato had no clear rival. Naruto, however, was rivals with Sasuke. After his brother destroyed the rest of his clan, Sasuke became an outlaw in order to find him. Meanwhile, Naruto sought to fight against Sasuke to prove that he was capable.
Instead of this rivalry ending in destruction, though, Naruto and Sasuke came out of the situation together.
Changing the pattern, Naruto and Sasuke became friends as adults and even went on to protect the village together.
1 Boruto Breaking The Hokage Rock Could Symbolize an End to Hokages
In the first episode of Boruto, the titular character destroys the famous Hokage rock. This rock has the face of every ninja leader since Hashirama.
Ramming it with a train, Boruto causes a lot of destruction. He helps to repair it, but it's still broken, as nothing can erase the damage that Boruto has done.
Many fans have speculated that this is symbolic. This could be a sign that Boruto's generation will mark the last of the Hokages.
Do you know any other interesting facts about the Hokages in Naruto that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments!