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Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The Third Hokage (三代目火影, Sandaime Hokage; Literally meaning "Third Fire Shadow"), otherwise known by his old name Sarutobi (猿飛). His name, inspired by Sarutobi Sasuke, means "jumping like a monkey", further supported by his Summoning Technique which summons an ape. His mentor, the Second Hokage, also nicknamed him "Monkey" (サル, Saru). Masashi Kishimoto originally planned for the Third Hokage to be a dog, but eventually dumped the idea for being "too weird".

Many aspects of his character are borrowed from the Chinese literature classic Journey to the West; the monkey he summons bears a very strong resemblance to Sun Wukong, the protagonist of Journey to the West, and Sarutobi's chosen weapon is identical to Monkey's magical staff.


Team Senju
Team Senju

As a child, the Third and his former teammates, Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane, were students of the First Hokage and Second Hokage. Later in his life he became the teacher of Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade, who would go on to become known as the "Legendary Three Ninja" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin). In time he became the father of Asuma Sarutobi and later the grandfather of Konohamaru.

While Orochimaru was his student, the Third came to appreciate Orochimaru's natural talent and often told Jiraiya to be more like him. He also came to recognize an inner malice and a lust for power within Orochimaru, and tried to steer his student away from these personality traits. Later, the Professor competed with Danzo to become Hokage. Then, after taking the position of Hokage and occupying it for many years, the Third started looking for a successor to the title. While he hoped to be able to give the position to Orochimaru, it became apparent that Orochimaru was only interested in the role of Hokage as a way to get power. As such, the Third passed on the role of Hokage to one of Jiraiya's former students, Minato Namikaze.

Soon after, the Fourth Hokage sacrificed his life to seal the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox within Naruto Uzumaki, forcing the Third to reassume the role of Hokage. After reacquiring his title, the Third began investigating a number of disappearances within Konoha. Upon reaching the source of the abductions, he found Orochimaru to be the one responsible. Having used those that he kidnapped as test subjects in his quest to gain immortality, Orochimaru allowed his former master a chance to kill him. Ultimately, the Third was unable to bring himself to harm his favorite student, allowing Orochimaru to escape.

Sarutobi was one of four Hidden Leaf villagers who knew the truth about Uchiha Itachi, a ninja of the same village and later an Akatsuki member, along with his, Sarutobi's, former teammates and Danzo.

[edit] Personality

Due to the long life he has lived, the Third serves as a source of wisdom for much of the series, passing on the things he has learned to the next generation. As Hokage he has also acquired a habit of attempting to end things peacefully, and does what he can to avoid bloodshed amongst his allies and his enemies. At the series' start, the Third is one of the few people who sees Naruto Uzumaki as more than the container of the demon fox, and as such becomes someone that Naruto truly admires.

Despite his standing as Hokage, the Third seems to have had some sense of lecherousness in him as he spends much of his free time talking to young girls. When Jiraiya was still his student, he offered to help Jiraiya test the jutsu that would allow the user to spy on naked women unnoticed. Even Jiraiya, in this instance, noted his sensei's perverted qualities. He also fell victim to Naruto's Sexy Technique on more than one occasion.

[edit] Abilities

The Third was called "The God of all Shinobi" and The Professor (プロフェッサー, Purofessā) due to his vast knowledge of jutsu, purportedly knowing all the jutsu within Konoha. Sarutobi may well be the most Intelligent Shinobi in Ninja History. The first jutsu he is seen using is the Telescope Technique (遠眼鏡の術, Tōmegane no Jutsu), which allows him to observe others through his crystal ball over long distances. With Roof Tile Shuriken (瓦手裏剣, Kawara Shuriken) he can launch nearby tiles at an opponent with varying intensities, and by throwing a single shuriken at an opponent he can replicate it to surround the opponent through Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique (手裏剣影分身の術, Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu). This shows that Sarutobi is adapted to every battleground in Konoha and is able to use his surroundings to his advantage.

The more battle-oriented jutsu he is seen using primarily consist of elemental attacks, specifically attacks dealing with fire and earth. Fire Release: Fire Dragon Flame Missile (火遁・火龍炎弾, Katon: Karyū Endan; English TV "Fire Style: Dragon Flame Bomb") allows him to exhale a stream of fire from his mouth. Earth Flow River (土流大河, Doryū Taiga; English TV "Great Mud River") creates a river of mud beneath the opponent to throw them off balance, and he can use the mud with Earth Dragon Bullet (土龍弾, Doryūdan; English TV "Earth Dragon Bomb"), which creates a dragon's head that launches mud balls at an opponent. These projectiles are ignited with Fire Release: Fire Dragon Missile (火遁・火龍弾, Katon: Karyūdan; English TV "Fire Release: Fire Dragon Bomb"). Earth Release: Earth Style Wall (土遁・土流壁, Doton: Doryūheki) allows the Third to spit a stream of mud that solidifies into a protective shield.

The Third Hokage also has a personal summon: the monkey king, Enma. Enma can turn into a diamond-hard staff which can alter its length and width at will. This staff is the Third Hokage's weapon of choice, and he shows great proficiency in wielding it.

The Third Hokage is unarguably one of most powerful Shinobi in Shinobi History. Iruka even stated that the Third Hokage is said to be the most powerful Hokage. The Monkey King Enma commented on his battle with Orochimaru that it was "miserable" compared to the Third's prime even though The Third had clearly been able to withstand Orochimaru, The First and Second Hokage, even to the extent of repelling and withstanding Shodai's Mokuton and Nidaime's Suiton jutsu's and able to blow up both the First and Second's arms and legs respectively. The Third was also elected to be Hokage at a very very young age by the previous still living two Hokage's. This showcases the trust that First and Second had upon the Third Hokage's abilities to protect Konohagakure.

[edit] Part I

[edit] Invasion of Konoha arc

When the invasion of Konoha begins, the Third is forced to do battle with Orochimaru, who infiltrated the village and planned Konoha's destruction just so that he could kill the Third and kidnap Sasuke Uchiha. Soon after the battle begins, Orochimaru resurrects the first two Hokages so that the Third can feel the enjoyment of fighting a former master. In his old age, the Third is unable to be much of a match for the two Hokage, and is further inhibited by his desire to not hurt either. Orochimaru's presence also impedes the Third's fight, as seeing just how monstrous his treasured student has become breaks his heart. Although he uses his summon, Enma, to help him in battle, the Third is unable to make a dent in the two Hokage, as any damage that is done is simply regenerated.

Having no other choice, the Third uses a combination of shadow clones and the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to seal away the souls of his former masters. As he bids a heartfelt goodbye to his teachers, he turns his attention to Orochimaru. Charging at Orochimaru and throwing aside his former pupil's Kusanagi, the Third attempts to seal Orochimaru's soul as well. Sensing what the Third is trying to do, Orochimaru calls his Kusanagi to him, stabbing the Third in the back.

Despite the fatal injury, the Third continues to try to remove Orochimaru's soul, unconcerned with the sword in his back due to death being guaranteed as a result of using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal. After a hour passes, the Third comes to terms with the fact that he is too old and weak to completely remove Orochimaru's soul. Doing what little he can and hoping to rectify his mistake of allowing Orochimaru to escape years earlier, the Third seals Orochimaru's arms to ensure that he will never again be able to use jutsu, a punishment for Orochimaru's obsession with power. As Orochimaru begins to curse his former master for what he has done, the Third bids Orochimaru farewell and hopes that they will meet again. Knowing that the village is saved and seeing Orochimaru as the boy he once was, the Third dies with a smile on his face.

Sarutobi's death
Sarutobi's death

During his battle with Orochimaru, the Third's likeness on the Hokage Monument cracked across the face. While the crack is fairly prominent due to its size, it doesn't always show up in the anime due either to a bad angle or a mistake by the animators. Later filler arcs try to address this discrepancy by filling up the crack, but the filling is revealed to be numerous exploding tags, and as such is removed.

Spoiler Warning Ends: Spoiler details end here.

[edit] Quotes

  • "Twelve years ago, a Nine-Tailed Fox suddenly appeared. It's tails lashed out, smashing mountains and sending tidal waves crashing to the shores. The ninja rose up to defend their villages."
  • "He's combined Shadow Cloning with his own invention, the Sexy Jutsu. What a foolish ninja technique...and he could probably get me with it, too."
  • "When the tree leaves dance, one shall find flames. The fire's shadow will illuminate the village, and once again, tree leaves shall bud anew." (his last words before his death)

[edit] Sources

  • First Official Data Book (秘伝・臨の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Rin no Sho Character Official Data Book)
  • Second Official Data Book (秘伝・闘の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Tō no Sho Character Official Data Book)
  • Jump's 2nd Great Hero Book's Mini Data Book (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
  • Naruto anime and manga Guidebook (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
  • Taken directly from the Naruto manga chapters and anime episodes.
Facts about SarutobiRDF feed
Age 69 (deceased) +
Birthdate February 8 +
Blood type A +
Gender Male +
Height 163.1 cm (1.631 m, 5.351 ft, 64.213 in) +
Weight 50.6 kg (111.554 lb) +

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