Kumogakure (雲隠れの里, Kumogakure no Sato, Literally meaning: Village Hidden by Clouds) is the hidden village of the Land of Lightning. As one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries, Kumogakure has a Kage as its leader known as the Raikage. Thus far there have been four Raikage, the most recent being A. The village is located in a range of tall mountains, and is literally hidden in the clouds. The Raikage works in a large blue structure built into the tallest mountain.
Shinobi of this village seem to have a natural affinity for Lightning Release nature transformation. Nintaijutsu, and kenjutsu are also promoted as preferred fighting styles in this village. The standard attire for the shinobi from this village consists of a long, grey top which gathers just at the waist to give a sash-like appearance, with a matching coloured bottom. Over this they wear white, one-strapped flak jackets and arm as well as shin-guards.
During the First Shinobi World War, Kumogakure tried to form an alliance with Konohagakure. During a peace treaty ceremony between the Second Raikage and the Second Hokage, the Gold and Silver Brothers staged a coup d'etat. The Hokage was badly injured and the brothers became the most reviled criminals in Kumogakure's history. It is unclear what happened after the failed coup, but a group of Kumogakure ninja known as the Kinkaku Force were responsible for the Second Hokage's death. The First Shinobi War ended with an armistice treaty, but only after all of the Five Great Nations had been seriously damaged. In addition, it was shown in a flashback in the anime that a platoon of Kumo shinobi was decimated by Crystal Release users approximately ten years prior to the start of the series.
Taming the Tailed Beasts
During the reign of the Third Raikage, some 30 years before the Fourth Shinobi World War, the village was plagued by the berserk attacks of the Eight-Tails, due to its host not being able to control its power. The Third Raikage led special teams to combat and re-seal the Eight-Tails in the Kohaku no Jōhei. Many of the shinobi who participated lost their lives. As they could not dispose of such a valuable war deterrent, the village was forced to look for a more suitable jinchūriki. In time the village would come to select Killer B as the beast's host, and the Eight-Tails' rampages were brought to an end.
Kumogakure has had two tailed beasts in its possession: the Two-Tails, sealed within Yugito Nii, and the Eight-Tails, sealed within Killer B. Both are very skilled with their tailed beasts, so much so that B is regarded as one of only four ninja who can completely control a tailed beast. Because of the military potential Yugito and B pose, Kumogakure value both highly.
At some point before Madara took control of the Nine-Tails, the Gold and Silver Brothers were assigned to capture it. Despite times of peace, Kumogakure has not demilitarised and in fact constantly sought to have an edge on the other ninja villages, even going so far as to kidnap Kushina Uzumaki both for her unique chakra, and in order to gain control of the Nine-Tails. Nine years before the start of the series, after the end of another conflict between Kumogakure and Konohagakure, the villages decided to formally end their constant fighting. The Head Ninja of Kumogakure was sent to Konoha to sign a peace treaty. While there, the Head Ninja tried to kidnap Hinata Hyūga so as to gain the Byakugan revealing the true intentions and the treaty to be nothing more than a means to an end. He was killed by her father, Hiashi, but Kumogakure, claiming to have no knowledge of the Head Ninja's motives, demanded Hiashi's body in compensation as per the treaty. They received the body of Hiashi's twin brother, Hizashi, instead, with the latter's cursed seal sealing his Byakugan upon his death foiling Kumogakure's attempt to gain the dōjutsu. To date, no other village has made so many attempts at stealing other techniques as noted by the Third Tsuchikage who stated that during a time when the five nations were at peace, Kumogakure was relentless in their efforts to amass power and techniques — an act which he noted provoked others to employ the Akatsuki.
Fourth Shinobi World War
After Akatsuki captures Yugito and appears to capture B, the Raikage is so outraged by the loss of both that he convenes a Kage Summit to deal with the criminal organisation. At the meeting, the Raikage voices his distrust for the other villages, claiming that only Kumogakure has never employed Akatsuki or had an Akatsuki representative.
For these reasons, when the Shinobi Alliance is formed, the Raikage was selected by Mifune to lead the other villages in fighting Akatsuki during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Along with the fact that Kumogakure is the strongest of the five villages (due to Konoha's weakened strength from the near-consecutive invasions of the village), Kumogakure has the most influence. The other ninja villages agree to have B (having only pretended to be captured) and Naruto Uzumaki sheltered from Akatsuki by Kumogakure; however, they were unaware that Kisame Hoshigaki faked his own death at the hands of Killer B and the Fourth Raikage, and he has been spying on them during the villages' meeting about military strategies while hiding inside Samehada that came with B. The village has also provided a safe location to hide B and Naruto Uzumaki from Akatsuki.
Kumogakure then became the location where the Alliance would gather their forces for battle. An entire military settlement was now at the base of one of the mountains which held a massive camp filled with Shinobi of all five great nations, as well as Samurai from the Land of Iron. Shortly before the war, Darui is appointed commander of the First Division.
- The second fanbook gives Kumogakure a population size of three out of five stars, a military strength of four out of five stars, and an economic strength of five out of five stars. It has the highest total of the five main shinobi villages, possessing the greatest economic strength and only rivalled in military strength by Iwagakure.
- Several shinobi of the village have names that are based on letters of the Roman alphabet, such as "A", "B" and "C" for example. Also, several shinobi have names based on adjectives reflecting their personality, including Omoi (thought), Samui (cold), and Darui (dull) for example.
- Additionally, several shinobi have tattoos of kanji upon their shoulders reflecting some individual characteristic like their techniques, name or seal, including Darui, Kinkaku and B for example.
- In real life, the Kumogakure school is a ninjutsu school dating back to the sixteenth century.
- Several of the village's techniques have a pun of being an English name that has been given kanji that somewhat matches the Japanese pronunciation.