The Kazekage (風影, Literally meaning: Wind Shadow) are the leaders of Sunagakure. Feared and respected across the world, they are responsible for making Sunagakure a powerful and great village, despite its small size. However, being responsible for raising so many great shinobi seems to come at a heavy price, as all the Kazekage, including the current, so far have met untimely deaths at the hands of assassins. For this reason, the Kazekage lineage is sometimes considered cursed. Statues of all the former Kazekage are kept in the room where Sunagakure's council convenes, similar to the Hokage Monument.
List of Kazekage
The First Kazekage (初代風影, Shodai Kazekage, Literally meaning: First or Founding Wind Shadow) was the founder of Sunagakure, and was said to have gathered all the desert-dwelling shinobi under his control with his overwhelming power.
The Second Kazekage (二代目風影, Nidaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Second Wind Shadow) was the successor of the First Kazekage. He was the first to research the jinchūriki, in an attempt to greatly enhance the power of the village. He wore a mask that covered the lower half of his face.
Main article: Fourth Kazekage 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) is a shinobi of Sunagakure. He was made the jinchūriki of the One-Tailed Shukaku before he was born, causing the villagers of Suna to fear him as a monster. With nobody to connect to, Gaara grew up hating the world and looking out only for himself, justifying his own existence by killing anyone he came across. After being defeated in battle by Naruto Uzumaki, a jinchūriki like himself who found strength in his friendships, Gaara starts emulating Naruto. He becomes Suna's Fifth Kazekage (五代目風影, Godaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Fifth Wind Shadow) so that he can protect the village and all those who live there, in the process dispelling the villagers' and the rest of the world's fears of him.
- 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 chapter #266, the Kazekage statues show the masked Kazekage as the First, and the bald Kazekage as the Second. However, the third databook, the masked Kazekage is shown as the Second, and the bald Kazekage, the First.