The Kazekage (風影, Literally meaning: Wind Shadow) is the Kage of Sunagakure, a title bestowed on the village's leader. The Kazekage is generally regarded as the strongest shinobi in the village, responsible for keeping Suna on an even footing with the other villages despite its small size. Gaara Hiden suggests that the Kazekage position is hereditary, or at least that relatives of the Fourth Kazekage are most suitable for the position; this lineage is referred to as the "Kazekage Clan".
The Kazekage title is sometimes considered cursed, as all the Kazekage, including the current, have met untimely deaths at the hands of assassins; the village's affairs are decided by the Suna Council in the interim between Kazekage. Full-bodied statues of all the former Kazekage are kept in council's meeting chambers.
List of Kazekage
Main article: Reto Reto (烈斗, Reto) was the First Kazekage (初代風影, Shodai Kazekage, Literally meaning: First or Founding Wind Shadow) who founded Sunagakure in the Land of Wind, and was said to have gathered all the desert-dwelling shinobi under his control with his overwhelming power.
Main article: Shamon Shamon (沙門, Shamon) was the Second Kazekage (二代目風影, Nidaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Second Wind Shadow) of Sunagakure. He was the first to research the jinchūriki in an attempt to enhance the power of the village.
Main article: Rasa Rasa (羅砂, Rasa) was the Fourth Kazekage (四代目風影, Yondaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Fourth Wind Shadow) of Sunagakure. Renowned for his ability to use Gold Dust, Rasa's reign as Kazekage was marked by his frequent quelling of rampages by the One-Tailed Shukaku, which he had sealed into his youngest son, Gaara.
Main article: Gaara Gaara (我愛羅, Gaara) is a shinobi of Sunagakure. Before he was born, Shukaku was sealed within him, resulting in his mother's death. Regarded as a monster by the village and with nobody to love him, Gaara came to despise the world and began relying only on his own strength, gaining the title Gaara of the Sand Waterfall (砂瀑の我愛羅, Sabaku no Gaara, English TV: Gaara of the Desert). After his defeat by Naruto Uzumaki and his unwavering dedication to his friends, Gaara begins emulating Naruto's method and changes Suna's opinions of him. He eventually becomes the village's Fifth Kazekage (五代目風影, Godaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Fifth Wind Shadow), a position he maintains even after Shukaku was removed from his body by Akatsuki.
Fourth Kazekage Impersonator
Main article: Orochimaru
After killing the Fourth Kazekage, Orochimaru took on his guise and acted as the Fourth Kazekage for several weeks in order to have Sunagakure assist him in the Konoha Crush. He dropped the guise at the start of the battle when beginning his battle with his former master Hiruzen Sarutobi.
- The colour of the Kazekage's garbs was originally depicted as blue in the anime, but was changed to the manga's green colour in Naruto: Shippūden episode 199.
- In the third databook, the First and Second Kazekage are mistakenly switched.
- In Gaara Hiden, before Shikadai Nara was born, the Suna's counsellors state that if his uncles die without heirs, Shikadai, as a descendant of Rasa's bloodline, would become the next Kazekage; Suna considered it a crisis for a Konohagakure-born shinobi to become Kazekage, and this reasoning was used to force Gaara into taking a wife.