The Curse of Hatred (憎しみの呪い, Nikushimi no Noroi), is an ideal that is said to have been passed down from Indra Ōtsutsuki — the Uchiha clan's forefather — to his many descendants. The origins of this way of thinking can be traced back to the time of the Sage of the Six Paths, who on his deathbed chose to name his younger son his successor over his elder son, despite the elder's supposed birthright. The Sage chose the child he thought most suitable to continue his legacy: Asura, who believed love was necessary to achieve peace, over Indra, who sought power to bring peace. Consumed by hatred and envy after their father's death, Indra — manipulated by Black Zetsu — waged war against his brother, and began a cycle of conflict that transcended time and culminated in mutual hostility between the brothers' descendants: the Uchiha and the Senju.
As was revealed by the Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju: the Uchiha are people greatly devoted to love and friendship. Because the Uchiha tend to conceal their more affectionate traits, a member's love can be transformed into hatred in the blink of an eye if they somehow lose the object of their love. The despair of the experience causes a manifestation of unique chakra within that Uchiha's brain, impacting the optic nerves and creating the Sharingan. Furthermore, advanced forms of the Sharingan require extremely painful experiences that cause the user to delve into darkness that utterly consumes them. This causes the Uchiha to do anything and everything in their power to achieve their goals and show their own superiority, regardless of the consequences and repercussions of their actions, starting a war and/or bringing about their own deaths being two prominent examples.
An Uchiha who falls victim to the curse can give up that hatred if someone close to them can reach them, though this is incredibly difficult as the Uchiha becomes largely unreasonable and unflinching in their singular desire. For example, Madara Uchiha succumbed to the curse after cutting off his friendship with Hashirama Senju, then gave up that hatred when he acknowledged Hashirama's willingness to kill himself to bring peace between the clans, only to fall once again when learns that the villagers and his own clan didn't trust his warnings about Tobirama. During the time Madara gave up his hatred, it didn't appear to have entirely left him but rather he focused it on Konoha's wellbeing, such as when he unprovokedly attacked Mū and Ōnoki so they would submit to Konoha's authority when they brought up Hashirama's terms of both villages standing equally. Whereas in the village, he would be the first to help children who have tripped and fell and would regularly have a kind and gentle look in his eyes.
The curse also causes victims to become narrow-minded. A main example of this was when Itachi reprimanded his own father Fugaku, Yashiro, Tekka, and Inabi for focusing on the well-being of the clan alone instead of focusing on the well-being of Konoha; they accused Itachi of being arrogant and spilling nonsense, even threatening to arrest him, knowing full-well they would not be able to. When Shisui wrote a suicide note telling his clan he cannot follow through with the coup d'tact, their narrowmindedness made them unable to understand this, believing he would even sacrifice innocent lives for the sake of the Uchiha Clan and simply accused Itachi of killing him.
Over the years, there have been several Uchiha who managed to transcend the limitations of acting only for the sake of the clan, and instead valuing Konoha as a whole. Uchiha including Kagami — a subordinate of the Second Hokage, his descendant Shisui, and Shisui's best friend, Itachi, all inherited the Will of Fire, acting in the best interest of their village as opposed to themselves. These Uchiha seemingly had the fact that they spent a great deal of their time away from the clan and doing activities that allowed them to see the greater good outside their clan.
- It has been noted that the Senju clan's Will of Fire is fated to clash against the Curse of Hatred and Obito believes that Sasuke Uchiha and Naruto Uzumaki, both respectively embodying the polar ideals, are destined to fight to the death.
- Kakashi Hatake theorised that Obito never lost his Will of Fire despite falling to hatred, and the two conflicting ideals is what ultimately prevented him from completing the Eye of the Moon Plan when he had the chance.