Since his introduction into the Naruto Universe, fans have loved the cool shinobi Kakashi Hatake. As the leader for Team 7 (and the future Team Kakashi), he helped to teach the team how to work together and work past their differences. Under his guidance, they soon learned the meaning of teamwork. His placement into their lives was no accident either. Due to his complicated history with Third and Fourth Hokage as well as Itachi Uchiha, Kakashi seemed destined to lead the team connected to several people he cared about from his past. Not only is Kakashi an excellent leader but also a talented fighter. Even his odd habits of reading romance novels and having a petty rival challenges with Might Guy just added to his appeal.
However, one of the most intriguing aspects of Kakashi has always been the bit of mystery attached to him. Even his appearance, with his headband covering his left eye at all times, intrigued fans of the series. Though some details of his past have been revealed, many fans don’t know about his life before Naruto.
From his years as a young shinobi to his position at the Academy, Kakashi several many tragedies and events that shaped him into the man he is today. His life became so much more than just living in the shadow of his father’s legacy and eventual shame. As he grew older, his past became littered with loss and destruction. However, he managed to grow beyond his circumstances and learn from his history.
Here are 21 Wild Things Kakashi Did Before Season One.
21 His Father’s passing Changed His View Of Life
Growing up as a young boy in Konoha, Kakashi aspired to be a great ninja, but mainly, he wanted to be like his father. Hatake Sakumo a.k.a. The White Fang was considered one of the greatest ninjas in their village. His reputation even reached throughout the shinobi world. With his mother passing away when he was very young, he relied on his father’s guidance and care.
One day, his father failed to complete a particular mission for the village, choosing to save his teammates rather than complete the task. He brought great shame to Konoha since a ninja’s principal objective was the successful completion of their missions. Facing deep depression due to his mistake, Sakumo took his own life. His passing resonated with Kakashi and he swore to always to make the Shinobi rules priority over anything else.
20 Regarded As A Prodigy of His Generation
To make it in the shinobi world, you must prove yourself a worthy ninja. Hard work and dedicated training helped many of the future shinobi begin their journey to success. However, on rare occasions, a young student will show exceptional promise due to his natural abilities. Throughout the series, several characters have proven to be prodigies of their generation.
Orochimaru, Itachi, Neji, and Madara are just a few of the characters that showed outstanding promise at such a young age. However, many people don’t know that Kakashi also displayed extraordinary abilities as well. Much like his father, another prodigy, Kakashi managed to graduate from the Academy early at the top of his class and earned the title of genin at the age of 5.
19 He Began His Rivalry With Might Guy in His Youth
The amusing rivalry between Kakashi and Might Guy became a fixed element of the Naruto Universe. Their never-ending battles and ridiculous scorekeeping became synonymous with their friendship. However, their rivalry actually motivated the two fighters throughout their lives. Developing back at the Academy, Guy and Kakashi both applied at the same time. However, due to his lack of ninjutsu and genjutsu, Guy did not pass the entrance exam.
Sakumo thoughtfully suggested that he become an alternate and led to his enrollment. From then on, Guy declared Kakashi his rival and worked diligently to prove he was just as talented as the young prodigy. During the time of their Chunin Exams, Guy and Kakashi made it into the final round against one another. Unfortunately, Kakashi defeated him and managed to graduate to chunin at only six years old.
18 He Failed at Working as a Team
He became a member of Team Minato alongside Obito and Rin Nohara. By this time, Kakashi had already lost his father, and his new mindset of strictly following the Shinobi rules only came into play. He focused more on completing the missions at hand versus working as a team. This mindset resulted in his group continuing to fail at passing the bell test. Recognizing the necessity of teamwork to pass the test, Kakashi adapted slightly but only long enough for the three to succeed.
The dynamic of the team also took a hit because of the relationship between Obito and Kakashi. Obito found himself envious of Kakashi’s popularity as well as his natural abilities. The team struggled to successfully complete their missions in the future due to these conflicts. During Naruto: Shippuden, Kakashi reflected on this event during episode 360 “Jonin Leader".
17 He Developed The Chidori After Failing At Creating The Rasengan
Although all young shinobi receive the same training during their time at the Academy, the development of signature moves and techniques helped set them apart in school. By gauging their strengths and weaknesses, they would create the best technique suited for their fighting style. In Naruto, we watched as Kakashi taught the Chidori to Sasuke because of his extraordinary chakra use.
It soon became one of his go-to techniques in the series. Although the technique became associated with Sasuke mainly, its origins actually began with Kakashi. He developed the technique after a failed attempt at trying to apply his Lightning abilities to the Rasengan. Although he wasn’t able to combine his strengths with his team leader’s unique technique, the failed attempt still became a powerful weapon.
16 He Almost Got His Team Eliminated on One of Their First Missions
Tasked by the Third Hokage to break down the cold-heartedness of Kakashi, Minato Namikaze did everything he could to reach through to him. However, the passing of his father proved to change his view on missions into a laser-focus on strictly following the rules. In addition, the prodigy, now a jonin at twelve years old, thought very highly of himself and became overly confident in his abilities. He often served as the temporary leader for the group while Minato tended to other war-related affairs on the front line.
Once, while trying to use his still imperfect Chidori attack during a mission, he almost destroyed his entire team. His miscalculation in his attack against Iwa-scout Mahiru resulted in Minato stepping in and eliminating the threat instead. Minato forbid the use of his Chidori after that encounter.
15 Kakashi Lost His Eye in Battle
One of the mysteries that began at the start of Naruto surrounded Kakashi’s inexplicable eye injury. Always depicted with his headband covering his left eye, the students pondered on what caused the talented shinobi to get injured. The nature of his injury took place during the Third Shinobi World War on a mission to Kusa. Mahiru's teammates found them, attacked and took Rin in the process.
While Obito tried to convince Kakashi to help him save her, Kakashi refused in order to stay on their mission. Obito reminded him of how his father was a great shinobi that valued friendship, unlike him. Kakashi eventually joined in the rescue and saved Obito from a sneak attack. Tragically, he lost his left eye in the process.
14 Obito Gifted Kakashi With His Sharingan
Kakashi and Obito continued their mission to rescue Rin, finding her in a cave with one of Mahiru’s teammates, Kakko. Finally working as a team, they managed to drive him away and released Rin from capture. However, Kakko tried one last ditch effort to destroy them by causing a cave-in. Kakashi struggled to avoid the falling rocks due to his injury and was almost crushed. Obito stepped in to save his life but got caught under the boulder instead.
Knowing he would perish from his injuries, Obito decided to give Kakashi a gift for his graduation to jonin level. He removed his own left eye with the recently awakened Sharingan and gifted it to his teammate. With Rin’s help, Kakshi successfully restored his vision and gained the coveted dojutsu kekkei genkai of the Uchiha clan.
13 He Needed The Sharingan for the Chidori To Work
With limited weapons at their disposal, Kakashi attempted to use his father’s White Light Chakra Sabre to stop Kakko, but it was destroyed during the fight. Although he was disobeying a direct order from Minato, Kakashi attempted using his Chidori against the enemy. Surprisingly, he realized he could better control the technique thanks to the Sharingan. The eye allowed him to track the use of the weapon and better aim the technique. He successfully utilized the attack against Kakkō and defeated him. Soon after their fight, the rest of the enemy’s clan arrived and surrounded them. Kakashi did his best to stave off the fighters until Minato eventually found them, recusing them from the Iwa clan.
12 Kakashi Unintentionally Eliminated Rin
After returning to their village to mourn the loss of Obito, their team eventually regrouped with the remaining members. They continued their missions during the war with Minato leaving Kakashi in charge in his absence. During one of their various missions, members of Kirigakure, the Village Hidden in the Mist, took Rin. They used her as a Trojan Horse, placing the Three-Tails inside of her knowing it would spring forth and destroy Konoha once she returned there.
Kakashi eventually rescued her and Rin advised him of this ploy. She begged him to eliminate her to protect the village, but he vehemently disagreed. He then fought the Kiri members that surrounded them. In the middle of the fight, Rin stepped in front of one of his attacks, taking her own life with his Chidori attack.
11 Kakashi and Obito Gained The Mangekyou Sharingan at the Same Time
The secret to unlocking the next level of the Sharingan, the Mangekyo, remained a dark secret within the Uchiha clan. According to their history, one could only achieve this next level by witnessing the demise of someone very close to you. However, the Uchiha clan interpreted this as the person had to be responsible for that elimination.
They then began the heartless practice of destroying their best friends. For Kakashi, his Mangekyo awakened when he witnessed the passing of Rin by his hand (accidentally). Later, fans discovered that Obito had survived the boulder accident and had been in the area when Kakashi and Rin found the Kiri. In fact, his Mangekyo activated due to this trauma as well, at the exact same time as Kakashi’s awakening.
10 He Suffered from Depression over Losing his Teammates
In a strange twist of events, Kakashi found himself going through much of the same trauma as his father. He, too, decided to save the lives of his teammates over completing the mission. However, his choices led to both Obito and Rin losing their lives instead.
Moreover, much like his father, depression set into his heart after their passing. He began having nightmares about their demise and failing to save them. Some distrust in the village started with rumors spreading that he would take out his own comrades to complete a mission, earning him a very unpleasant nickname.
9 Minato Encouraged Him to Join The Anbu
Kakashi continued to withdraw from his peers and other members of the village, sinking deeper into his depression. The intense pain from losing his entire team added to his unending grief over losing his father. Also, he felt like he failed Obito by not fulfilling his final wish: to protect Rin. By this time, Minato moved from being their team leader to being chosen as the Fourth Hokage, beating out Orochimaru.
With the promise to the Third Hokage to watch over Kakashi still in his mind, he offered the grieving boy the chance to join the Anbu. He did exceptionally well in the new organization and quickly rose in the ranks becoming a captain and leading his own team, Team Ro.
8 He Protected Kushina During Her Pregnancy
With the transition from the loss of Team Minato to gaining new peers in the Anbu, Kakashi found renewed motivation. His success on the team, however, linked back to the many issues he suffered from in the first place. The progress made with his former team reverting to his old way of thinking. He became very cold-hearted in his attacks. Taking the advice of the Third Hokage, Minato decided to give Kakashi a special assignment to help him learn to value human life again.
Kakashi became the bodyguard to Minato’s pregnant wife, Kushina. He was tasked with making sure she remained safe when she journeyed outside of their home. Despite his grieving, Kakashi fulfilled his duties perfectly and kept a close watch on the woman from a distance.
7 Kakashi Had a Hand in The Nine-Tails Attack
The events of the night of the Nine-Tail’s attack on the village haunted the residents that lived through the tragedy. They often associated that pain with Naruto and feared his presence. However, the incident itself may not have happened if the secret plan hadn’t been leaked. Surprisingly, Kakashi was at the center of this entire event.
In grieving his fallen teammates, he would often travel to their graves and hold conversations with them. On one such occasion, he revealed the details of Kushina’s pregnancy and the details of the Nine-Tails presence within her. As he spoke to Rin at her grave, his conversation was overheard by Tobi. From there, he researched to discover the location of the planned birth and planned his attack.
6 He Joined Forces With Danzo
Yet again, Kakashi suffered significant losses of additional people her cared about. Not only had he lost comrades during the Nine-Tails’ attack but both Minato and Kushina as well. Falling back into the depths of depression, Kakashi became the easy target of the devious Danzo Shimura.
Since the Third Hokage had given the order that prevented the younger, less experienced ninjas from fighting, Kakashi felt he might have been able to save them if given the chance. Danzō played on this doubt and eventually convinced Kakashi that the Third Hokage could not adequately fulfill his duties. With his mind consumed with the grief he felt, he allowed himself to be manipulated by Danzo. Eventually, he joined his Root division and began spying on the Third Hokage, one of the few people that tried to rescue Kakashi from the depths of his depression.
5 He Turned On Danzo And Became The Third Hokage's Right-Hand Man
During a chance meeting while on a mission, he ran into Kinoe, another member of the Root division. He witnessed the man using Wood Release, a technique that only the First Hokage possessed. Infuriated at discovering this stolen technique, he decided to uncover the truth behind Kinoe and the Third Hokage. He broke into his residence and searched for the truth about the situation.
However, he was discovered by the Third Hokage and confronted him about the technique. He shared that they did try to duplicate it but ceased the experiments after too many test subjects had perished. Had they been successful, though, they could have stopped the Nine-Tails’ attack. Danzo could have used Kinoe’s abilities but failed to do so. Ultimately, Kakashi regained trust in the Hokage and revealed Danzo’s assassination plans. Thanks to his loyalty, Kakashi became the Hokage’s right-hand man.
4 Kakashi and Kihoe Become Allies
Kakashi tricked the assassins Danzo had lined up to eliminate the Hokage into revealing their identities. Kinoe appeared as one of these chosen assassins and the two fought with Kakashi eventually overpowering him. However, he decided to let him go with the possibility of them becoming allies someday. Years later, Kakashi ran into Kinoe in one of Orochimaru's labs that he was investigating.
When Kinoe almost lost his life from one of the leftover experiments in the lab but Kakashi saved him. Kinoe then returned the favor and rescued Kakashi from poisonous gas. Since Kinoe failed to complete his mission of recovering Kakashi’s Sharingan, he was captured by Danzo's and sentenced to punishment. Kakashi recused him just in time and freed him from the Root. He later joined Team Ro in the Anbu under the name Tenzo.
3 He Blamed Himself for Itachi’s Actions
Itachi Uchiha became a member of Team Ro under Kakashi’s leadership. He showed great promise as a member of the Anbu, however, carried the same cold-heartedness that he once did. Concerned for his well-being, he tried to reach out to the young man to help him. Now that he had finally learned the importance of human life and friendship, he attempted to emphasize these same ideas to Itachi.
Despite his best efforts, he could not reach through to Itachi before he promoted off of the team. Sometime later, Team Ro discovered that the entire Uchiha clan had been eliminated with Itachi being behind the attack. He also took out his own best friend to trigger his Mangekyou Sharingan. Kakashi felt responsible for his actions and thought he had failed the young man.
2 He Retired From The Anbu Because Of The Third Hokage
Kakashi spent the better part of his life grieving the loss of so many people he cared about. The final incident with Itachi made him reflect on his life and how he could have been a better influence for him. Given how cold-hearted and uncaring he had once been, Kakashi demonstrated positive growth from his younger days. Taking note of his change, the Third Hokage relieved him of his duties from the Anbu.
He no longer fit the mindset of a ruthless assassin and would better benefit from a new position. He left his Anbu days behind him and re-joined the regular forces within the village. The Hokage thanked him for his service and began his plans to utilize Kakashi in a teaching capacity instead.
1 He Failed Every Team Before Team 7
Years after he left the Anbu, Kakashi took on a position as an instructor at the Academy. His life experiences finally came full circle as he was now in charge of judging the teamwork between the young shinobi. After all of his journeys, he finally learned the importance of working as a team. The mistakes he made as a youth became his guide for instructing the young students.
However, much like his own mindset as a young shinobi, the students he came to teach did not demonstrate the level of teamwork he advocated. He soon gained a reputation for always failing the students he taught. Although he didn’t waiver on his beliefs on teamwork, he started to question if he was too hard on everyone. During Naruto, we find out that Team 7 became the first group he ever passed.
Did Kakashi do anything else important before season one of Naruto? Let us know in the comments!