Forehead Protector

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Forehead Protector
Forehead Protector
Kanji 額当て
Rōmaji Hitai-ate
Literal English Forehead Protector
English anime Headband
Manga Volume #1, Chapter #1
Anime Naruto Episode #1
Movie Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Game Naruto: Clash of Ninja
OVA Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Game, Movie

A forehead protector (額当て, Hitai-ate) is a headband composed of a metal plate and a band of cloth. Forehead protectors are worn by most shinobi and are engraved with the symbol of their hidden village. Forehead protectors have been worn since at least the time of Asura Ōtsutsuki, though there was no engraving then.[1]


Forehead protectors are usually worn as a sign of pride and fealty for one's village. Ninja consider it an honourable, important part of their tradition, and make a point of wearing it at all times, especially when sparring with a comrade from the same village. Although not wearing a forehead protector is frequently viewed as disrespectful to one's village and peers,[2] a ninja who does not wear one may still be loyal to their village.

Hoshigaki Kisame

A scratched forehead protector.

Some missing-nin, such as Zabuza Momochi, continue wearing their forehead protector even after they've left their village. Akatsuki members who retain their forehead protectors carve a long, horizontal scratch across the symbol, to show they have rescinded their allegiances and rejected their villages. Villagers of Amegakure aligned with Pain bear the same scratches across their forehead protectors, but remain loyal to the village; it symbolises their victory during the civil war against Hanzō.

Joint shinobi forehead protectors

The Allied Shinobi Forces' forehead protector.

In preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War, Mifune designs a new forehead protector to be worn by members of the Allied Shinobi Forces. Engraved with the kanji for shinobi (忍), it symbolises that, whereas once each ninja fought for their villages separately, they now stand united under one banner for the same cause. The members of the Alliance wear this in place of their original forehead protector.



Despite being called a "forehead protector", it is not necessary for a ninja to wear it on their forehead or even on their head at all.



There have been some cases where the design of the metal plate or cloth has been modified in some way, beyond mere cloth colour.


  • On the cover for chapter 567, each jinchūriki is shown with a white forehead protector with the kanji for the number of tails of their respective tailed beasts.
  • Masashi Kishimoto, in an interview, noted that he created forehead protectors because he found it too cumbersome to draw Naruto's goggles every week.
  • In episode 27 of Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden, Chōza is seen wearing a forehead protector with the kanji "shinobi", similar to the ones worn by the shinobi of the Allied Shinobi Forces.


  1. Chapter 462
  2. Chapter 175

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