The Hokage (火影, Literally meaning: Fire Shadow) are the leaders of Konohagakure. They are generally acknowledged as the strongest in the village, although ideology and renown plays a large part in their being chosen for the position. Four shinobi and one kunoichi have gained this title so far, with another shinobi gaining the title of Hokage Candidate.
The title and role was created by Hashirama Senju shortly after the establishment of Konoha. Generally, the new Hokage is selected by the current Hokage upon their retirement, but if the old Hokage dies or is incapacitated before being able to do so, the Fire Daimyō will appoint a Hokage Candidate upon the recommendation of the Konoha council and the Fire Daimyō council. Afterwards, the candidate will need to be approved by the jōnin of the village to become officially Hokage.
After being approved, they move into the Hokage Residence to live in and have their faces carved out in the monument behind it. If the former Hokage is still alive, they will generally keep helping out, making the transition easier and more stable. The Hokage carry their title for life, even after retiring from active duty. The Hokage's office is located in the administrative section of the Academy.
List of Hokage
Main article: Hashirama Senju Hashirama Senju (千手柱間, Senju Hashirama) was the First Hokage (初代火影, Shodai Hokage, Literally meaning: First or Founding Fire Shadow) of Konohagakure. He was famous in life as the God of Shinobi (忍の神, Shinobi no Kami, English TV: The Supreme Shinobi) for his unmatched ninja prowess. Despite that, Hashirama only wanted peace, and to that end founded Konoha with his childhood friend and rival, Madara Uchiha. Although he was not able to achieve peace during his lifetime, his legacy would live on to continue to shape the village for decades after his death.
Main article: Tobirama Senju Tobirama Senju (千手扉間, Senju Tobirama) was a member of the renown Senju clan, who, together with his elder brother, and the Uchiha clan founded the first shinobi village: Konohagakure. Tobirama would work tirelessly to achieve political stability and implement the institutions that made the village system work, thus ensuring Konoha's continuity and prosperity. After his brother's death, he would succeed the title of Second Hokage (二代目火影, Nidaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Second Fire Shadow).
Main article: Hiruzen Sarutobi Hiruzen Sarutobi (猿飛ヒルゼン, Sarutobi Hiruzen) was the Third Hokage (三代目火影, Sandaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Third Fire Shadow) of Konohagakure. A disciple of the village's previous Hokage, Hiruzen was a powerful ninja, hailed as a "God of Shinobi". Though he was only ever directly the teacher of the Sannin, generations of Konoha ninja benefited from his wisdom during his lifetime.
Main article: Minato Namikaze Minato Namikaze (波風ミナト, Namikaze Minato) was the Fourth Hokage (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Fourth Fire Shadow) of Konohagakure. He was famous in life for his speed, leading to the moniker of Konoha's Yellow Flash (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光, Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō, English TV: Yellow Flash of the Leaf). He died during the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha, sacrificing his life to seal a part of the Nine-Tails into his newborn son, Naruto Uzumaki.
Main article: Tsunade Tsunade (綱手) is one of Konohagakure's Sannin. Though celebrated as the world's strongest kunoichi and its greatest medical-nin, the repeated loss of her loved ones caused Tsunade to abandon the life of a shinobi for many years. She is eventually persuaded to return to Konoha as its Fifth Hokage (五代目火影, Godaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Fifth Fire Shadow), where her skills prove invaluable to the village.
Sixth Hokage Candidate
Main article: Danzō Shimura Danzō Shimura (志村ダンゾウ, Shimura Danzō) was an elder of Konohagakure. As the founder and leader of Root, Danzō gained notoriety as The Darkness of the Shinobi (忍の闇, Shinobi no Yami, English TV: The Shinobi of Darkness) because of his frequent unsanctioned actions and his often-suspected (but rarely proven) undermining of specific Konoha personnel. Despite his decades of suspicious deeds, Danzō only ever acted in what he believed were the village's best interests. He was appointed the Sixth Hokage Candidate (六代目火影候補, Rokudaime Hokage Kōho, Literally meaning: Sixth Fire Shadow Candidate) shortly after Pain's assault on the village just before his death.
Alternate Fourth Hokage
- Hashirama Senju was the one to coin the term "Hokage", and actually intended the position to be held by Madara Uchiha. The decision, however, was left up to public consensus, and Hashirama was chosen for the position.
- All of the former Hokage have been sealed away in the stomach of the Death God summoning. Kabuto Yakushi notes that none of them can be reincarnated via the Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation technique. All four, however, were eventually freed by Orochimaru from the Shinigami's stomach, and reincarnated by him.
- At least four of the Hokage had their official office photographs taken while wearing a ceremonial necklace of sorts.
- Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, was said to be the strongest Hokage in the village's history, as well as strongest of the five Kage of his era.
- Kakashi Hatake has been considered a prime candidate for the position as Hokage by several characters. He would have been officially appointed as the Sixth Hokage if Tsunade hadn't woken up moments before hand.
- According to Asuma Sarutobi, his student Shikamaru Nara has the ability to become Hokage, but won't due to him being too lazy to want to.
- Orochimaru was once a prime candidate to be the Fourth Hokage, but due to his lust for power and lack of love for the village, the Third passed him over.
- After Orochimaru was passed over for this position, Hiruzen intended to choose Jiraiya to be the Fourth Hokage, but Jiraiya refused due to his journeys as an author and his quest to chase down the renegade Orochimaru. After Hiruzen and Minato died, Jiraiya was once again offered the position as the Fifth, but he once again rejected it. When Tsunade went into a coma, the Fire Daimyō commented how he would have liked Jiraiya to be the Sixth, but by that time Jiraiya had already died.
- Naruto Uzumaki was made Hokage for a week in the storyline of Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3. Might Guy was also made Hokage (Guykage as it was named) in the Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden spin-off.
- ↑ Chapter 459, page 1
- ↑ Naruto chapter 625, page 7
- ↑ Naruto chapter 520, page 11
- ↑ Naruto chapter 618, pages 13-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 94, page 7
- ↑ First Databook, pages 117 and 265
- ↑ Naruto chapter 94, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 140, page 3
- ↑ Naruto chapter 367, pages 9-10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 450, page 15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 488, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 488, pages 15-16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 328, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 121, pages 6-7
- ↑ Naruto chapter 366, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 140, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 450, page 14