| (羅砂, Rasa)
|Anime||Naruto Episode #50|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game|
Rasa (羅砂, Rasa) was the Fourth Kazekage (四代目風影, Yondaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Fourth Wind Shadow) of Sunagakure. Renowned for his ability to use Gold Dust, Rasa's reign as Kazekage was marked by his frequent quelling of outbursts by the One-Tailed Shukaku, which he had sealed into his youngest son, Gaara.
Because the Land of Wind's daimyō cut down Sunagakure's budget and instead used Konohagakure's less expensive services, Rasa saw his own village in danger of extinction. In order to prevent that, he decided to focus on increasing the quality of the ninja in the village. As such, he ordered Chiyo to seal Shukaku within his youngest son, Gaara, so that he could become Suna's ultimate weapon. As a result, his wife, Karura died from childbirth while Gaara was born prematurely, despite Rasa's desperation to save her life. He then taught Gaara ninjutsu, but assigned Yashamaru to be Gaara's caretaker ostracising him from his elder siblings Temari and Kankurō.
However, as Gaara grew and his abilities began to manifest, Rasa realised that this had been a poor choice, and started to view Gaara as a failed experiment that threatened the inhabitants of Suna, due to Gaara's unstable nature of attacking citizens unintentionally. Being pressured by the village's dying resources and with the council declaring that Gaara was useless to them, Rasa formulated a plan with Yashamaru to test out Gaara's control over Shukaku. Upon this Yashamaru died and Gaara lost control, allowing Shukaku to go wild. Rasa used his Gold Dust to stop the beast. After this incident Rasa saw Gaara was indeed a failure and began issuing orders for Gaara's assassination, but all six attempts ended unsuccessfully. However, later when Gaara began to have more control over his powers due to his new ideals of being alone, Rasa saw this as an opportunity to give his son one more chance, and to appreciate Gaara's usefulness, therefore stopped issuing attempts on his son's life, in hopes of him becoming a powerful tool.
In the anime, it was noted that Rasa also sent Pakura to her death as part of an unfair peace treaty between them and Kirigakure where her life was to be forfeited. She was sent to Kirigakure under the pretence of being an envoy, where she was killed. The blame for this was cast on Iwagakure whom his village had a feud with at the time as a means to stir their shinobi to war. Also, during the Third Shinobi World War, as Konohagakure wished to form a peace treaty with the Iwa, they deliberately had the meeting on the Suna borderline, prompting Rasa and his forces to oversee the events should a battle occur. He stated he would deal with any incidents that were to happen, and with that, the Iwa group retreats. Also, in the anime, it was said that Rasa established a rule for the Sunagakure Academy that forbade children who didn't possess skill in ninjutsu or genjutsu to attend.
Befitting his status and responsibility as leader, Rasa cared deeply about the well-being of his village, so much so that he was thinking about to allying with Orochimaru to destroy Konoha to bring Suna's resources back up, despite knowing Orochimaru is a highly dangerous criminal. This turned out to be a fatal mistake on Rasa's behalf, as he and his bodyguards were betrayed and assassinated by Orochimaru. Upon returning from the dead, he hoped that the Third Raikage was right about the next generation being strong enough to stop them from their mindless actions. The anime extends on his ruthless nature as a leader, where he sent Pakura to her death for the betterment of the village.
He loved his wife and children dearly but was also torn between his duties as the village leader and those as a father. This conflict was seen when Gaara was deemed a failure by the council, he was visibly disappointed and ultimately decided to give his son one last chance before deciding whether or not to eliminate him. To this end, he was willing to set an elaborate and potentially heartbreaking lie to see his son's determination. Seeing the failure, he chose the village's safety over his son.
Given his eventual willingness to sacrifice and later ally with Orochimaru for the sake of Sunagakure and the greater good are evidence to suggest that Rasa had a strong utilitarian mindset. He also had a habit of putting "value" on things which might be an allusion to the fact that he used gold dust.
After being reincarnated and seeing his son has become Kazekage and even formed strong bonds with his friends, he comes to regret the horrible life he put Gaara through, solemnly thinking he wasn't worthy to be called his father. Upon being defeated, he acknowledges Gaara had long surpassed him, and tearfully entrusts the safety and future of his village to his son and was happy he was given a chance to reconcile with him.
Rasa had auburn hair, dark eyes and was usually depicted with a very stern look on his face. He wore a simple black jacket and pants with mesh armour underneath. He carried a small canister strapped to his hip. As he got older, he gained two creases around his mouth. When using his Gold Dust, dark markings appeared around his eyes that bore strong resemblance to Gaara's own dark markings. During his time as the Kazekage, he wore the standard attire of the Kazekage which consisted of a loose fitting green kimono with a white collar and the signature hat with the kanji for wind (風) on it.
Rasa was a very powerful shinobi, as evidenced by his title of Kazekage. He could even subdue a fully released tailed beast like Shukaku. The prospect of his retaliation was enough to keep a great group of Iwa-nin from sparking a conflict at the Land of Wind's border. He was shown to be quite observant, pinpointing Gaara's Third Eye that was spying on him and the other reincarnated Kage after Mū sensed his chakra. He employed a stationary-type fighting style where he manipulated his Gold Dust to attack his opponents. The fact that Rasa was actively developing new techniques for the benefit of Suna indicates that his intelligence was rather high.
With profound research and knowledge of ninjutsu and with exceptional talent, Rasa learnt the Third Kazekage’s kekkei genkai Magnet Release, a simultaneous usage of earth and wind elements. When in use, it caused dark rings to appear around Rasa's eyes, similar to the permanent ones around those of his youngest son. He utilised this ability to manipulate quantities of Gold Dust, being capable of summoning vast amounts of these particles as necessary seemingly from the immediate vicinity around him, over relatively short spans of time. When used offensively, Rasa tended to form dense, fast-moving surges that could range in size from narrow streams to colossal waves, intended to injure a target by violently crashing the compacted material into them. However, when used defensively, he instead created thick barricades of the dust that were durable enough to block large blockades of sand. He was also able to use the Third Eye technique. Due to the fact that gold is heavier than sand, he was able to use this additional weight to subdue even Shukaku whenever it went on a rampage and later stopped a massive amount of sand during his battle with his son, simply by mixing the two substances together. Rasa was also proficient in Water, and Yin Release.
When Orochimaru approached Sunagakure with the proposition of joining forces in invading Konohagakure, Rasa agreed due to the economical decline brought about by the Land of Wind's daimyō using the shinobi of Konoha. Hoping that the success of the invasion would prompt additional funding, Rasa planned to have Gaara unleash Shukaku from the centre of Konoha during the Chūnin Exams to put the Konoha shinobi at a disadvantage from the get-go. However, before he could see his plans unfold, Rasa was murdered by Orochimaru impaling him in the chest with the Sword of Kusanagi.
Having also killed the Kazekage's guards, ditching the corpses in the desert, Orochimaru uses his Vanishing Facial Copy Technique to pose as Rasa until the invasion began, making it easier to manipulate Sunagakure. After the failed invasion, Baki and some other Sunagakure ninja learn the truth of Fourth Kazekage's demise when they found the faceless corpses of him and his bodyguards decomposing out in the desert. Eventually, he was succeeded by his son Gaara.
The Fourth Raikage insinuated that Rasa's death may have been the result of a secret plot of Danzō Shimura with the Akatsuki, more exactly Orochimaru who at the time was no longer a member of the organisation.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
When Mū, despite his camouflage, is later detected approaching the Fourth Division, Kabuto has him summon three other Kage in order to provide support. Amongst this number is Rasa who, during the conversation between the others, discloses that he was only aware of their exploits due to his elders. He then declared that whilst the Second Hokage had died many years before his own lifetime, the wretched ability used to reincarnate them had come into the possession of another, a shinobi named Orochimaru. While the others are preoccupied by their mutual desires to confront each other, only Rasa notices his son's Third Eye observing them from afar.
Pursuing the retreating division throughout the night, each of the Kage lament the possibility of opposing shinobi from their own respective village, with Rasa remaining sceptical of the Third Raikage's belief that the current generation had surpassed their own. Confronted by an enormous wall of sand, he integrates his heavier Gold Dust into the approaching wave in order to slow it down, under the presumption that Gaara had already unleashed Shukaku. Divulging that it was this very method which allowed him to stop the beast in the past, just as his son manages to restrain them with arms of sand, he then dwells on their strength having increased. When Gaara finally comes into view, he is shocked to see his son before him rather than Shukaku, causing him to question about the beast's location, receiving in reply that Gaara was no longer the jinchūriki his father had created.
Unable to comprehend the circumstances surrounding his son's revival after the extraction of the One-Tail, especially in regards to how he obtained friends, Rasa's surprise only escalates when informed that Gaara does not hate him, due to his role as Kazekage now providing perspective into the motives behind his father's previous actions. Recollecting the past, including both his son's birth and eventual descent into failure as a jinchūriki, Rasa supposes that there is some value in his reincarnation as it allows him to determine the worth of his child. Questioning whether Gaara was truly capable of surpassing him, the battle between father and son recommences with the collision of gold and sand, resulting in a mixture of the two. However, by attempting to protect two of the other Kage from an aerial barrage, Gaara's sand is able to restrain all three in an inescapable embrace that adopts the form of his late wife.
Admitting the growth of his son as his counters continue to fail in the face of Gaara's Shield of Sand, Rasa comes to the realisation that all a parent needs do is trust in their children, contradicting his prior concepts of value. Declaring that Gaara's strength comes not from Shukaku but instead from his mother, he tells his son that Karura truly loved him and explains that it was he who had ordered Yashamaru to lie about his mother simply as a test. Apologising to his son for all that he had stolen from him during his childhood, he acknowledges that for all his failures as a parent and having no right to call himself a father, he was still glad that Karura's strength had helped Gaara throughout his life. After hearing Gaara forgive him, before Rasa is sealed, he tearfully recognises that his son had surpassed him and gladly entrusts the village's future to him.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Later, with the release of the Impure World Reincarnation technique, a light of sorts encased Rasa's sealed body as the technique was dispelled and his soul was returned to the afterlife.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Subsequent to Kaguya Ōtsutsuki being sealed by Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha, he and the other deceased Kage were summoned from the Pure Land by Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki to aid him and the Hokage in summoning Team 7, the tailed beasts and Madara Uchiha from Kaguya's dimension. Later, his and the other Kage's souls were returned to the Pure Land.
In Other Media
Rasa is a playable character in the following video games:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution||11 September 2014||16 September 2014|
- The name "Rasa" literally means "demon sand" (羅砂).
- His hair colour was a dull purple colour in his first appearance, but it is auburn in other appearances.
- Rasa is one of only seven known Kage to predominantly wear the position's official uniform — the others being the Fifth Kazekage, Fourth Raikage, First Tsuchikage, First Hokage, Third Hokage, Sixth Hokage, and Seventh Hokage.
- A scene of Orochimaru killing him was shown only in Kimimaro's flashbacks in the anime; however, it was not seen in the original manga.
- According to the databook(s):
- His favourite food was any dish with meat.
- In the fourth databook, Hiden is listed among Rasa's special characteristics, though none of his techniques are known to be classified as such.
- While they have no names in the anime and manga, in his video game appearances, Rasa's Gold Dust techniques are named after his son's techniques.
- As revealed in the Gaara Hiden, Rasa's direct bloodline is highly valued in Suna. When his daughter married Konoha shinobi Shikamaru Nara, the Suna Council demanded his sons take brides and start families as they feared losing Rasa's direct bloodline to Konoha.
- (To Gaara) "You've truly grown Gaara… The only thing a parent needs to do, is trust in their children. That's all… And that in itself has true value."
- (To Gaara) "It appears that I didn't have an eye for value after all. The sand will always protect you… It's not Shukaku's strength that you wield, but your mother Karura's. Your mother truly loved you."
- (To Gaara about Karura) "Your mother was truly strong… Even in death, she continues to believe in you and protect you… That's what helped you bring you to where you are today."
- (To Gaara about his shortcomings) "Now that you've become Kazekage… And you've made real friends… and you have real connections with people. Those are all the things I stole. …But I, your father, never did a thing for you. …No… I couldn't even call myself your father…"
- (To Gaara before he is sealed) "More than I ever could have hoped. You've surpassed me… I entrust the village to you now… Gaara…"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Fourth Databook, page 75
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 285
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 349
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 5
- ↑ Chapter 546, pages 10-12
- ↑ Chapter 547, pages 11-15
- ↑ Chapter 458, page 9
- ↑ Naruto episode 50
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Chapter 547, page 14
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Chapter 548, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 548, page 14