|This is the article on the Hidden Village. If you are looking for the article on the shinobi, head to Kiri. For other uses, see Kiri (disambiguation).|
Kirigakure (霧隠れの里, Kirigakure no Sato, Literally meaning: Village Hidden by Mist), infamously known as the "Village of the Bloody Mist" (血霧の里, Chigiri no Sato), is the shinobi village located in the Land of Water. As one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries, Kirigakure has a Kage as its leader known as the Mizukage. There have been five Mizukage, the current one being Mei Terumī. An unusually high number of missing-nin seem to originate from this village and as such a unique classification of ANBU known as hunter-nin are specifically tasked with eliminating these defectors.
The standard attire in this village revolves mainly around a pinstriped material which the shinobi wear as bracers and greaves which merge into their sandals. Underneath this, they wear a full-black shirt and pants over which they wear the villages' standard grey flak jacket. Some also wear waist-guards. A majority of the shinobi from this village are very proficient with Water Release techniques. Kirigakure's architecture is composed of several cylindrical buildings, with the Mizukage's office being the widest and largest. Most of the taller buildings have trees on them. Befitting its name, the village is surrounded by a thick mist, with several mountains in the background, making it difficult to find by foreigners.
Kirigakure was founded by the First Mizukage. At some point, following a meeting between the five founding Kage, the First Hokage distributed the tailed beasts to the Five Great Shinobi Countries as peace offerings to ensure balance amongst the nations. At a latter point 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. During the Third Shinobi World War, Kirigakure captured Rin Nohara and made her the jinchūriki of Isobu, hoping to use her to destroy Konohagakure. They allowed Kakashi Hatake to retrieve Rin and sent jōnin and ANBU pursuing them, so they would get to Konoha as fast as possible, where the beast would be released on the village. This however failed as Rin willingly let herself be killed by Kakashi in order to protect Konohagakure. The Kirigakure shinobi were subsequently killed by Obito Uchiha who had witnessed everything.
Kirigakure does seem to have experienced a number of internal conflicts. The Kaguya clan once waged war against Kirigakure to quench their lust for battle and were slaughtered by the village's superior forces. Because of their efficiency on the battlefield, those with kekkei genkai are fielded in times of war, but Kirigakure ninja and most other citizens of the Land of Water are suspicious of those with genetic abilities and have persecuted them in the past. This persecution is known to have reached the point where parents imprisoned children or attempted to kill their children and entire clans were wiped out.
During the reign of the Fourth Mizukage, Kirigakure began using a new graduation ritual for their academy: death matches for students who wish to move on into the ranks of ninja. This act reinforced the infamous nickname "Village of the Bloody Mist" (血霧の里, Chigiri no Sato). Students who did exceptionally well during the graduation became prime candidates for the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, a group of ninja skilled with bladed weapons. Though this practice was eventually discontinued after Zabuza Momochi slaughtered an entire graduating class, not yet being a student himself. Yagura's term as Mizukage caused great turmoil for the village: ninja began craving power and taking part in questionable activities such as in Zabuza's case when he attempted to assassinate the Mizukage. Kisame Hoshigaki, a member of the Seven Swordsmen who was disillusioned by the corruption was among those who knew the truth that Yagura was really being controlled by Obito Uchiha, yet sided with the masked ninja and eventually defected after trying to overthrow the government and assassinating several officials. Because of this association, many believed the Akatsuki was created in Kirigakure rather than Amegakure. Since Mei has taken office, the village has taken a new stance and has begin working on their diplomatic relations and internal policies as well as their overall image while aiming to be recognised as a more open-minded nation.
In the anime, ten years before the Shinobi Alliance was formed, it was revealed that Kirigakure bore a grudge against Iwagakure for the event known as the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass where Iwa ninja caused the deaths of Junsai and Suiren to take an important scroll that Iwa ninja helped a Kiri team including Ganryū retrieve from Kumogakure shinobi who had previously stolen it.
Kirigakure had two tailed beasts in its possession: the Three-Tails and the Six-Tails. The Three-Tails was sealed within Yagura, though by the time Akatsuki went after it, it was roaming free. The Six-Tails' host, Utakata, was captured and had his tailed beast extracted by Akatsuki. Utakata's capture is the subject of its own arc in the anime.
- The village is named after Saizō Kirigakure of the Sanada Ten Braves, a group of legendary ninja that served under daimyō Yukimura Sanada during Japan's Warring States period, and rival to his comrade Sasuke Sarutobi. His surname is a play on his associated with fog and illusions. The village's trademark technique, Hiding in Mist Technique also plays on Saizō's ability.
- The second fanbook gives Kirigakure a population size of two out of five stars, a military strength of three out of five stars, and an economic strength of two out of five stars.
- Kirigakure does not seem to have a ninja registration system.
- Despite the persecution of people with kekkei genkai in the past, the village's current Mizukage has two kekkei genkai.
- During the second fight between Zabuza Momochi and Kakashi Hatake, the former used a kunai with an edge of the blade curving inward, making the point sharper and more suited for stabbing or thrusting. Later in the anime, this blade was depicted as Kirigakure's special variation of the standard kunai.