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Hokage Monument

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Hokage Rock

The Hokage Monument.

The Hokage Monument, Hokage Mountain or the Hokage Rock (火影岩, Hokage-iwa) is the most representative landmark of Konohagakure. It is a mountain that has had the faces of all the Hokage carved into the stone. It was envisioned by Hashirama Senju as a symbol that the Hokage would always watch over the village.[1]

At the beginning of the series, the Monument had the faces of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Hokage. During the time-skip, the face of the Fifth Hokage was added to the mountain. In the anime, while the Fifth was in a coma, it was shown that the faces of Danzō Shimura and later Kakashi Hatake were to be carved in as the next Hokage after the Fifth, but Tsunade's recovery stopped this procedure before it could be done.[2] When he was younger, Naruto Uzumaki graffiti the faces of the four Hokage as a means to gain attention, and revealed that he planned to surpass them, stating that his face will someday too be in the monument.[3]

The Monument has been important during many parts of the story, mostly because of its symbolism:

  • In the episode "The Appearance of Strange Visitors", the stone faces were jokingly shown to make disgusted grimaces and the monument of the Fourth holding his nose, when Naruto spilt a whole barrel of manure on the wannabe-spies Mondai and Potcha in what he thought to be taijutsu training.
  • During Orochimaru's attack on Konoha, the Third Hokage's face cracked, giving a bad omen (signalling the Hokage's death at the hands of Orochimaru).[4]
  • During the Trap Master Arc, the climax occurred at the Hokage Monument, symbolising that the future of the village was safe in the hands of the genin.
  • During Pain's invasion, after using Shinra Tensei, most of the village was destroyed, but the Hokage Monument escaped the gravitational attack. After his return, Naruto was confused about where he was. But, after seeing the Hokage Monument, he realised that the ruins he was surrounded by were the remains of Konoha.

There are several places built into, and on top of the mountain where the monument such as the Konoha Archive Library as well as a safe house that the villagers evacuate to in times of dire straits. It was also shown durable enough to remain standing even after Pain's assault on the village.

Minato also seems to have marked his head on the monument as he jumped to its location at least twice throughout the series.

Trivia

  • In the anime episode 187, Tsunade's face is already on the monument before Naruto and Jiraiya leave the village.
  • Although Naruto notices Tsunade's face only at the start of Part II, in the anime, Tsunade's face was carved while Naruto was still in the village and taking missions. This can be explained in one way: it is an error, albeit a very consistent one.
  • The monument is similar to Mount Rushmore, which features sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents.
  • The first episode of Naruto: Shippūden has the omake dedicated to the Hokage Monument, and the five faces it currently has.
  • In the past, both the First and Third Hokage's monuments have cracked across the face. In the case of the latter, when this happened it was seen as a bad omen during the Invasion of Konoha. The faces have since been restored.
  • In chapter 599 when Obito looked back at the monument, Minato's face was already carved into the mountain. Minato, however, was stated to not have become Hokage until after the Third Shinobi World War. This was subsequently corrected in the following chapters, and tankobōn releases respectively.
  • The Fourth Hokage's hair is depicted flat in the anime and also in early chapters of the manga.[5] However, it is depicted to be spiky in all later chapters of the manga.

References

  1. Naruto chapter 625, page 9
  2. Naruto: Shippūden episode 219
  3. Naruto chapter 1, pages 5-7
  4. Naruto chapter 126, page 12
  5. Naruto chapter 94, page 10

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