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Hokage Monument

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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 the 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. 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.[2]

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).[3]
  • 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.

Trivia

  • The first episode of Naruto Shippūden dedicated as the omake to the Hokage Monument, and the five faces it currently has.
  • The monument is probably based on Mount Rushmore, located in the Black Hills, South Dakota, in the United States.
  • The First Hokage's face on the Hokage Monument has a crack across the bridge of the nose similar to Iruka's scar. However, he didn't seem to have any scar or marking while he was alive.
  • 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 correctly in following chapter, and tankobōn releases respectively.
  • Strangely in the anime, the animators keep showing Minato's hair as flat instead of spiky like the manga. However, in Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie, were shown both his spiky and flat hair.

References

  1. Naruto chapter 625, page 9
  2. Naruto chapter 1, pages 5-7
  3. Naruto chapter 126, page 12

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