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Hokage Rock

The Hokage Rock.

The Hokage Rock (火影岩, Hokage-iwa) is a mountain overlooking Konohagakure that has all the faces of 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] The Hokage Rock is easily the most identifiable feature in the village, such that when the village is destroyed during Pain's Assault, only the presence of the Hokage Rock (undamaged by the destruction) confirms to others that the rubble was once Konoha. Being such an icon makes it a prime target for pranks, with both Naruto Uzumaki[2] and, years later, Boruto Uzumaki defacing it in order to gain attention.[3]

Adding a Hokage's face to the monument apparently takes time, as the Fifth Hokage's face is not added until some time during the timeskip (in the anime, it is added by episode 187 of the original anime). The anime suggests it doesn't actually take too long, as the Stone Carver adds first Danzō Shimura's face and then Kakashi Hatake's face to the monument prematurely, in turn forcing him to remove their faces once they are not officially given the position.[4] Similarly, faces can be added to the monument before a Hokage officially takes office, as the Sixth Hokage's face is added to the Hokage Rock before he agrees to accept the responsibilities of the office.

Hokage Rock destroyed

The Hokage Rock destroyed.

For the first few decades of the village's history, the Hokage Rock is left mostly untouched, being used only to house the village's archives and protect its villagers during times of attack. In the years since the Fourth Shinobi World War, Konoha has expanded to the plateau above the monument, with the village's new skyscrapers seen towering above it. Some time later, the Hokage Rock was largely damaged.

Trivia

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  • The monument is similar to Mount Rushmore, which features sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents.
  • During the Konoha Crush, the Third Hokage's face cracks, giving those who see it a bad omen.[5] The damage is apparently later repaired.
  • The Fourth Hokage seems to have marked his head on the monument for the Flying Thunder God Technique, as he teleports to its location on two separate occasions.[6][7]
  • In the episode "The Appearance of Strange Visitors", the stone faces were shown to make disgusted grimaces and the monument of the Fourth holding his nose, when Naruto spilled a whole barrel of manure on the wannabe-spies Mondai and Potcha in what he thought to be taijutsu training.
  • In the early episodes of the anime, the Fourth Hokage's hair is depicted as flat. This is corrected in later episodes of Shippūden. Similarly, the Sixth Hokage was depicted with a forehead protector in chapter 699, but without one in The Last: Naruto the Movie.
  • The Seventh Hokage's face is actually what Naruto looked like in his teen years, and not his adult appearance when he actually became Hokage.

References

  1. Naruto chapter 625, page 9
  2. Naruto chapter 1, pages 5-7
  3. Naruto chapter 700, page 13
  4. Naruto: Shippūden episode 219
  5. Naruto chapter 126, page 12
  6. Naruto chapter 502, page 5
  7. Naruto chapter 677, page 16