Iwagakure (岩隠れの里, Iwagakure no Sato; English TV "Hidden Stone Village"; Literally meaning "Village Hidden by Rocks") is the hidden village of the Land of Earth. As one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries, Iwagakure has a Kage as its leader known as the Tsuchikage, current being Ōnoki. Iwagakure is well-known for the rock-hard attitude of its shinobi; as soon as the Tsuchikage gives an order, the Iwa-nin do so without hesitation, even if it means death. The standard attire for shinobi from this village consists of red outfit — which can either have one, or both sleeves — a lapel which is usually found on the side without a sleeve and a brown flak jacket — which also may, or may not have a pouch attached to it. They also tend to wear mesh armour around their ankles. Iwagakure ninja seem to specialise in Earth Release techniques.
The rocky mountain ranges that surround the village and country provide a natural stronghold. The village profits from this advantageous position and is proud of its strong defences. The village sits among a mountain range consisting of small narrow waterfalls, with the buildings being composed of rock and stone; shaped from large, elevated formations of rock into tower-like structures. Many of its buildings sit on cliffs connected by a network of bridges. The Tsuchikage's residence seems to be the tallest structure with a cone-shaped roof and bears the kanji for "Earth" (土, Tsuchi) on it.
Iwagakure was founded by the First Tsuchikage. At some point, the First Hokage distributed the tailed beasts to the Five Great Shinobi Countries as peace offerings to ensure balance amongst the nations. During the time when Madara Uchiha was a shinobi of Konohagakure, he approached Mū and Ōnoki where he informed them that despite the alliance that Iwagakure had made with Konoha, his village was to remain the dominant power and that from that point on, they would obey Konoha. Afterwards, Madara fought and defeated them when they engaged him in battle. Sometime in the past, due to great enmity between the Second Mizukage and the Second Tsuchikage, the two men eventually killed each other in a final confrontation. Although it is unknown which, or how many tailed beasts were given, the Four-Tails and Five-Tails were in Iwagakure's possession before their capture by Akatsuki. The Five-Tails, sealed within Han, was captured by Akatsuki under unknown circumstances. The Four-Tails, sealed within Rōshi, was captured by Kisame Hoshigaki while the jinchūriki was exploring the world. In the anime, Akatsuki had claimed that the villages of its first two jinchūriki, which Deidara indicates Han to have been one of, did not care and were glad to be rid of them.
Iwagakure played a small role during the Second Shinobi World War, being one of the villages to participate. The Third Shinobi World War would later make up for this, as Iwagakure becomes the main focus of the war by fighting against Konohagakure across Kusagakure. Despite the actions of Minato Namikaze, Iwagakure had the advantage and was successfully pushing Konoha back into the Land of Fire. When Konoha destroyed the Kannabi Bridge, they cut off Iwagakure's line of supply and turned the war in their favour. Due to their close proximity, Sunagakure and Iwagakure have had many battles over the years, resulting in a bitter enmity between the two villages and their ninja that they are slow to relinquish, even during the Fourth Shinobi World War, where they are allies.
In the past, the Tsuchikage were known for using underhanded tactics to win against their enemies. This included maintaining a strong military strength in times of peace by frequently employing Akatsuki secretly to fight for them during any quarrels they would encounter. This would earn Iwagakure the disapproval of the hidden villages of the other great nations. Other tactics included betraying an ally once the objective was achieved in order to secure the spoils as seen in the anime during the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass when Iwagakure betrayed Kirigakure. Ten years before the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kirigakure requested Iwa's assistance in retrieving valuable documents stolen during Kumo's time of lust for power. Shortly after the documents were retrieved, the group of Iwa-nin betrayed the Kiri-nin on the orders of the Tsuchikage. This betrayal led to years of tension between Iwa and Kiri before the situation was settled, just short of the start of the Fourth Shinobi World War. Deidara, after stealing the village's kinjutsu, defected from the village because his art wasn't appreciated by his fellow village members, including the Third himself. In the anime, it was revealed that he had bombed the village before leaving. He would later accept missions by governments across the nation as a terrorist bomber for hire, which would eventually lead him to being forced into join Akatsuki. Nevertheless, Iwagakure ninja still hold him in high regard.
In the anime, Iwa was also known to have attempted to destroy Konoha many times in the past. Iwa had in the past used their infamous Kamizuru clan to guide them in the battlefield. Unfortunately, they were stopped by the rival bug-users of Konoha: the Aburame clan, leading to the decline of the Kamizuru clan for their failure. After the invasion of Konoha led by Orochimaru had occurred, Iwa took the opportunity to strike back by deploying an extensive amount of genin led by an Iwagakure jōnin to attack Kohona while it was still reeling from the death of the Third Hokage. However, the battalion was disposed of by Kosuke Maruboshi with the help of subordinates.
Fourth Great Shinobi War
At the beginning of the Five Kage Summit Arc, Iwagakure shinobi are seen sending the Tsuchikage and his bodyguards off. When they arrived at the summit, Ōnoki was verbally attacked by the Fourth Raikage who accused him of having affiliations with Akatsuki. However Ōnoki retaliates by commenting on Kumogakure's active lust for power in order to defend his village's actions. After the declaration of the Fourth Shinobi World War by Tobi, Ōnoki declares the creation of the very first Shinobi Alliance after much discussion. Ōnoki later travels back to Kumogakure along with a bodyguard to attend another meeting of the five Kage to discuss preparation for the war. Upon approval from the Earth Daimyō, Iwagakure forces set out for Kumo to attend the upcoming war. By allying with former enemy villages, the Tsuchikage apologises, in the anime, for the bad blood caused, showing a change in Ōnoki's view of the shinobi world and its future. Shortly before the war, Kitsuchi is appointed commander of the Second Division.
- The second fanbook gives Iwagakure a population size of four out of five stars, a military strength of four out of five stars, and an economic strength of two out of five stars. Along with Kumogakure, it has the greatest military strength of the five main shinobi villages.
- Initially in the anime, Kurotsuchi and Akatsuchi were the only two among the shinobi of Iwagakure to be illustrated with red under-shirts and forehead protectors, as distinguished in the manga. The rest kept their brown under-shirts and blue forehead protectors, as they were coloured first in the anime. This was fixed as of Shippūden episode 254.
- Two common features of Iwagakure shinobi are them only having one sleeve and lapel which is usually on the side of the uniform without the sleeve.