The jinchūriki (人柱力; Literally meaning "Power of Human Sacrifice") are humans that have tailed beasts sealed within them. They exhibit extraordinary powers due to the immense chakra reserves they possess.
The jinchūriki are typically lonely and miserable people, as they are often shunned and discriminated by their fellow villagers, who view them as the tailed beasts themselves. According to Deidara, the first two jinchūriki Akatsuki had captured loathed humanity, and their villages were in fact glad to be rid of them. However, some jinchūriki refuse to waver, even though they have been shunned, and they eventually earned respect. Such examples include Naruto Uzumaki, Killer B, Yagura, Yugito Nii, and Gaara.
Long ago before the founding of the hidden villages, during an era of endless wars between mankind, there existed the Shinju, a tree that was revered as a deity which bore a fruit once every thousand years. Although it was forbidden to consume the Shinju's fruit, it was eaten by Princess Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, who used the power it granted her to end the wars plaguing the lands. Some time after this, Kaguya gave birth to two sons, Hagoromo and Hamura, who became the first humans born with chakra. Enraged that her power had been spread to her children, Kaguya incarnated together with the Shinju, becoming a monster which was christened as the Ten-Tails.
The Ten-Tails rampaged throughout the lands until Kaguya's sons managed to defeat the beast and sealed it within Hagoromo, who became the first jinchūriki in history. This act, along with many other great deeds throughout his lifetime, resulted with Kaguya's son revered as the "Sage of the Six Paths". However, knowing that his death would unleash the Ten-Tails back into the world to continue its rampage and reclaim the chakra that humanity now possesses, the Sage separated the monster's chakra from its body before using Chibaku Tensei to seal the husk in what would become the moon. From there, the Sage used his Creation of All Things ability to divide the chakra into the nine tailed beasts.
Mito Uzumaki later sealed Kurama within herself after her husband's victory against Madara Uchiha at the Valley of the End. During his time as the First Hokage, Hashirama used his Wood Release kekkei genkai to capture and give several tailed beasts to the other shinobi villages as peace treaties, in order to stabilise the balance of power between them. The Second Kazekage of Sunagakure was the first to research the jinchūriki, with the other villages following soon after, with hopes to use the beasts as weapons in human hosts, or in Konohagakure's case, keep the beasts from doing harm to their village, sentiments that the tailed beasts absolutely detest.
In order to prevent the jinchūriki from turning traitor, it is tradition for the host to be selected from the family of the village's own leader. In this way, the jinchūriki not only has strong ties of loyalty to village and their leader, but they also serve to show off the Kage's might. For example, Gaara is the son of the Fourth Kazekage, and Killer B is the adoptive brother and partner of the Fourth Raikage.
Each village has used a different seal when creating their jinchūriki. For example, Konoha used the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style, and Kumogakure used the Iron Armour Seal. Akatsuki, an organisation whose role in the series is to capture the jinchūriki, uses the Sealing Technique: Phantom Dragons Nine Consuming Seals technique to extract and seal the tailed beasts within the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path for future use.
It's been shown some sort of compatibility between the tailed beast and the potential jinchūriki is required; Kushina Uzumaki was selected as Kurama's next host because of her special type of chakra being more suited to the task. Similarly, to become the host of the Ten-Tails, one must be a fully living person, as opposed to having an undead body created by Impure World Reincarnation Technique. If the tailed beast is removed from its jinchūriki's body, the jinchūriki will die. Also, if the jinchūriki dies with the tailed beast still sealed within them, the beast will die too. Because of this, the tailed beasts tend to be very protective of their jinchūriki, and will take any action whenever their lives are in danger. However, it is revealed that the tailed beasts can actually survive their jinchūriki's deaths, with the only consequence being that it will take time for them to revive without a host. The only known way for a jinchūriki to survive after an extraction is if they have strong enough life force, akin to the members of the Uzumaki clan, though the jinchūriki is left in a severely weakened, if not critical, state. If the latter, only re-sealing the tailed beast or immediate medical attention can keep them from dying. Only the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki can safely remove the tailed beasts, so long as the the Ten-Tails's hollow husk remains within them, as it retains a strong life force, though the process will leave the said jinchūriki completely paralysed for a time. In the anime, it at least theorised that certain methods have a chance of safely removing a tailed beast without endangering the host's life. However, if a person is revived with Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation, the extraction process that was performed willingly doesn't affect said person at all,  though forcible extraction will leave reincarnated jinchūriki unconscious.
Regardless, the jinchūriki retains a small portion of the tailed beast's chakra and should they survive the extraction or be revived, the tailed beast abilities obtained will remain with them..
The seal that keeps the tailed beast within its female jinchūriki is at its weakest when she is in childbirth, due to the nurturing of the child in the womb taking precedence over the reinforcement of the seal, which weakens the seal in direct proportion. As such, a ninja is required to keep the seal intact during childbirth, and restore the seal back to full power afterwards. A full-term pregnancy for a female jinchūriki is about ten months.
With the jinchūriki's access to the tailed beasts' massive chakra reserves and training, they make use of the tailed beasts' considerable abilities to develop their own unique fighting styles: Gaara manipulates sand, Yugito breathes fire, Yagura materialises coral, Rōshi creates and manipulates lava, Han uses steam to his attacks, Utakata produces bubbles and corrosive alkali, Fū is capable of flight, Killer B produces ink, and Naruto has quick regeneration and can detect negative emotions. As the jinchūriki transform themselves into the likeness of their tailed beasts, it further increases the power of their abilities.
Main article: Tailed Beast Control
The jinchūriki have the potential to control their tailed beasts' power, but require intense training and sheer willpower in order to properly wield it. According to Gerotora, whenever the jinchūriki draws out a certain amount of the tailed beasts' chakra, the beasts' very own psyche will fuse along with it, which usually involves an inner struggle between them as the jinchūriki goes deeper into their tailed beasts' forms. If a jinchūriki were to completely give into its influence, the seal will break and the tailed beast will be released. For the jinchūriki to have complete control, they must find something to fill in the void of loneliness within their hearts to give them strength.
List of Jinchūriki
- When someone possesses the tailed beast's chakra but not the beast itself, that person is considered a pseudo-jinchūriki (人柱力もどき, jinchūrikimodoki; English TV "Simulated-jinchūriki"). There have been three successful cases of this thus far: the Gold and Silver Brothers, Sora (anime only), and Fukai (after his reincarnation; anime only).
- Due to the Gold and Silver Brother's success in obtaining the tailed beast's power, an unnamed Kumo-nin tried to copy their method by eating one of Gyūki's tentacles, but instead of becoming a jinchūriki, he died as a result. It is said that Kinkaku and Ginkaku were "something special" and is stated by the Fourth Raikage that they may be distantly related to the Sage of the Six Paths.
- In the anime, Yūkimaru had the ability to partially control Isobu. Isobu was not actually sealed inside of Yūkimaru however, and thus, he was not a true jinchūriki.
- In the anime, Kabuto Yakushi used his Body Recreation Technique with some of Kurama's chakra in order to create a clone of Naruto's four-tailed form. Proving too powerful for Kabuto's control, the clone is able to siphon Kurama's chakra to temporarily increase his power.
- In Naruto: Shippūden the Movie, Yomi was possessed by an evil demon named Mōryō, who was sealed away by Shion's mother.
- In Naruto Shippūden 2: Bonds, both Amaru and Shinnō had each tapped into the power of the Zero-Tails at different times, which was sealed within the Land of the Sky; however, because the Zero-Tails is not an actual tailed beast, nor was the creature sealed in either of them, Amaru and Shinnō are not considered jinchūriki.
- In Naruto 5: Blood Prison, Muku, a young boy sacrificed to the Box of Ultimate Bliss, becomes possessed by a yōkai called Satori.
- In Naruto 6: Road to Ninja, Naruto's counterpart in the Genjutsu World, Menma, is the jinchūriki of Kurama's counterpart, the Black Nine-Tails.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Dragon Blade Chronicles, the main antagonist Kuroma Tatsushiro planned to merge with the five Genryū to become the Light Dragon so he can use its power to destroy the world, which Yamato and Naruto thought was similar to becoming a jinchūriki. Later in the game, Akari Tatsushiro instead merged with the Genryū and became the Light Dragon, but was restored to normal by Naruto and the Dragon Blade.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Kizuna Drive, Gensui Amagiri creates a special sealing tag which can transform someone into a false tailed beast.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, like its counterpart, Mecha-Naruto is the "jinchūriki" of a Mecha-Kurama. When Mecha-Naruto uses its awakening, it inserts itself in Mecha-Kurama and uses it as a suit.
- Because of the moon's origin and it being the holder of the Ten-Tails' body, tailed beasts and subsequently their jinchūriki are effected by it, and much more so during a full moon.
- According to Gaara, Shukaku relishes the opportunity to kill anyone in sight, even more so during a full moon.
- In the anime, Fukai, during his time as Gyūki's jinchūriki, noted that he would have trouble sleeping at night, especially during a full moon and at one point was shown to have to suppress a partial manifestation of Gyūki's tail after he had been staring at the full moon. Fukai was also shown to take sleep pills to help with this side-effect of being a jinchūriki.
- The concept of a pseudo-jinchūriki was explored in an anime-exclusive arc, in which Sora was revealed to have had residual chakra from Kurama, collected after it rampaged Konoha, sealed into him. This happened before the introduction of the concept in the manga with the Gold and Silver Brothers.
- The children of female jinchūriki seem to display influences from the tailed beast. The sole example being Naruto who has whisker-like cheek markings which are also exhibited by the Gold and Silver Brothers who were swallowed by Kurama. This also seems to be the case if a tailed beast is sealed within a child while they are still in the womb. This might be the reason behind Gaara's permanent eye-markings while the same ones exhibited by his father, are temporary.
- Takigakure is the only village not belonging to one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries known to have had a jinchūriki.
- The English dub contained a few errors on what a jinchūriki is: for instance, Shikamaru says in Naruto: Shippūden episode 83 that Hidan and Kakuzu are looking for the "jinchūriki inside Naruto", instead of saying the "Fox inside Naruto" or the "tailed beast inside Naruto".
- Madara noted that he could not become the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki with his reincarnated body. Obito managed to have the reincarnated jinchūriki host their tailed beasts again as a result of using the chakra receiver and the Outer Path to temporarily bind the tailed beasts to their jinchūriki.
- In the anime, the six jinchūriki that were used as Obito's Six Paths of Pain, all shared a voice actor with one of each others respective tailed beast.
- ↑ Naruto chapter 266, pages 14-15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 646
- ↑ Naruto chapter 681
- ↑ Naruto chapter 467, pages 14-16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 510, pages 11-12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 500, page 5
- ↑ Naruto chapter 404, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 568, page 13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 493, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 543, page 3
- ↑ Naruto chapter 547, page 3
- ↑ Naruto chapter 614, page 5
- ↑ Naruto chapter 541, page 13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 543, page 9
- ↑ Naruto chapter 501, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 662, page 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 663, pages 1-2
- ↑ Naruto chapter 656, pages 12-13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 664, pages 14-15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 572, page 1
- ↑ Naruto chapter 261, pages 18-19
- ↑ Naruto chapter 278, pages 16-19
- ↑ Naruto chapter 652, page 4
- ↑ Naruto chapter 500, pages 8-9
- ↑ Naruto chapter 565, page 2
- ↑ Naruto chapter 490, pages 10-12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 542, pages 3-4
- ↑ Naruto chapter 261, page 5
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 Naruto chapter 542, page 3
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 68
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Naruto chapter 529, pages 3-5
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 68
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 92
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 292
- ↑ Naruto chapter 91, page 19
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
- ↑ Naruto chapter 420, pages 1-2
- ↑ Naruto chapter 614, pages 5-6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 570 page 4