| (波風ミナト, Namikaze Minato)
|Anime||Naruto Episode #1|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden 4: The Lost Tower|
|Game||Naruto: Ultimate Ninja|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game and Movie|
|Tailed Beast||Kurama (Yin Half) (Forms)|
|Academy Grad. Age||10|
Minato Namikaze (波風ミナト, Namikaze Minato), also known as Konoha's Yellow Flash (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光, Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō; English "Yellow Flash of the Leaf"), was the Fourth Hokage (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage; Literally meaning "Fourth Fire Shadow"), the student of Jiraiya and the teacher of Kakashi Hatake, Obito Uchiha, and Rin. He was the lover of Kushina Uzumaki and the father of Naruto Uzumaki.
According to those who knew him, Minato was a very talented ninja, having been considered a genius that appeared once a generation. He graduated from the Ninja Academy at the age of ten, and was added to a Genin team under the tutelage of Jiraiya. Jiraiya took a special interest in Minato, and accepted him as an apprentice, amongst other things teaching him the Summoning Technique.
In later years, Minato was put in charge of a Genin team of his own, consisting of Kakashi Hatake, Rin and Obito Uchiha.
Konoha's Yellow Flash
During Kakashi Gaiden, set during the Third Great Shinobi World War, Minato led his team on a mission into Kusagakure. Due to Kakashi recently being promoted to Jōnin, Minato gave leadership of the mission to Kakashi while he went to help Konoha's forces on the front lines. Before leaving, he gave Kakashi a special kunai as a congratulatory present, outfitted with the seal used for his Flying Thunder God Technique.
While helping his fellow Konoha ninja, he used the Flying Thunder God Technique to destroy all the opposing Iwagakure ninja in an instant. He returned to Kakashi in time to save him and Rin from another group of the foes, but could not save Obito after giving Kakashi his Sharingan. When Kakashi and Rin recovered from the ordeal, Minato helped them to complete the task of destroying the Kannabi Bridge.
Some time after the war ended, Hiruzen Sarutobi chose Minato, who was not even thirty years of age, to lead Konoha as the Fourth Hokage. During Minato's reign, he had a relationship with Kushina Uzumaki, who would later become pregnant with his son.
After reading Jiraiya's book, where the main character was named Naruto, Minato said that the protagonist was just like Jiraiya. It was then that Minato revealed that he and Kushina wanted to raise their child to be a shinobi like the one in the book, and for that reason they decided to name him "Naruto" after the main character. Jiraiya pointed out that it would make him Naruto's godfather and asked if they were sure that they would want that. Minato stated Jiraiya was a good example for them all and that he could not think of a finer shinobi than him.
Soon after Naruto was born, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked Konohagakure. Minato rushed to the village's help, where he and Gamabunta faced off against the Nine-Tails, but the beast's power could not be matched. Having recognized that the Nine-Tails was being controlled by Madara Uchiha, and seeing that he predicted his every move, Minato decided to defeat the demon and give Konoha the means to combat Madara if he should ever attack the village again. He used the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to seal the Nine-Tails into Naruto's body, hoping that his son would someday be able to use its power. When Minato sealed the Nine-Tails within Naruto, he split its chakra in two, the Yin and Yang. Minato sealed the Yang half within Naruto with the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style, and sealed the Yin half with the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, thus making it inaccessible to Naruto. The act cost Minato his life, and he died as the village's greatest hero.
Minato's standard attire was a standard Leaf ninja uniform and a flak jacket; after becoming Hokage, he also wore a short-sleeve long white coat with red flame edges and the kanji "Fourth Hokage" written vertically down on the back. On more than one occasion, Naruto has been said to look strikingly like his father Minato. Like Naruto, Minato had bright blue-eyes and spiky blond hair with the addition of chin-length strands framing both sides of his face. According to Jiraiya, Minato was considered to be very handsome as many women became infatuated with him.
Jiraiya and Tsunade pointed out that, while Naruto physically bears great resemblance to Minato, his personality and style of Ninjutsu are almost identical to his mother. While Naruto is boisterous and relatively thick, Minato was calm, collected, and highly perceptive. When faced with an enemy, he could kill in cold blood, and seemed well aware of the terror his reputation inspired in his foes. He appeared to be respectful of those around him; he didn't like freely speaking about others' pasts, and was said to be a very nice person.
Jiraiya had said that Minato was a shrewd person, and was not the man who could do something without reason. He was also shown to be very analytical from how quickly he could determine the strength and weakness of Kakashi's new technique, the Chidori. All in all, Minato was known for his unbeatable determination and unbelievable drive, which he passed onto his son. His devotion to the village and his love for his friends inspired all those around him, and, as a result, he became well-liked by the villagers. Minato was nevertheless understanding, that Naruto might feel hurt by the fact that his own father had sealed a monster inside him.
Minato's dying wish was for Konoha to view Naruto as a hero who had helped defeat the Nine-Tails, rather than the host of the monster that had attacked the village. However, few of the villagers would honor this request, leaving Naruto to grow up as an outcast of the village. During the course of the series, Naruto is able to change how the villagers view him for the better, but at the same time must combat the Nine-Tails sealed within him. All the while, Naruto would never know who his parents were, Hiruzen feeling it was best that the world not know who Naruto's father was.
With Minato's death, Hiruzen was forced to resume his position as Hokage, due to Minato not being able to choose his successor. He made a decree that forbade the villagers from speaking aloud that Naruto was the container of the Nine-Tails, hoping that the villagers' children would not shun him as their parents did. He otherwise tried to make Naruto's life as comfortable as he could, being one of the few people to appreciate him and putting up with his mischievous deeds.
He left Jiraiya a key to the seal that kept the Nine-Tails sealed within Naruto, to be used to strengthen it whenever it began to weaken. As a final safety measure, he left an imprint of himself within Naruto's subconscious that would react whenever the seal was on the verge of breaking. This imprint could watch Naruto grow up and had the one-time ability of returning the seal to its original strength.
For most of the series, Minato was only referred to in passing. Later, in Part II, he began appearing in flashbacks.
Invasion of Pain arc
It was not until Pain attacked Konoha that he made an actual appearance in the story. When Naruto started to give into the temptations of power from the Nine-Tails, and was about to release the beast, the imprint Minato left behind stopped him. Although he voiced his dislike of seeing the Nine-Tails again, he pointed out that its actions had allowed him to see his son. Naruto picked up on this, and was overjoyed to finally find out who his father was. Minato tried to talk with Naruto, but the Nine-Tails kept interrupting the conversation, so they went someplace that was quiet. After the shock of finding his father, Naruto was quickly outraged at the idea that Minato would seal the Nine-Tails in his own son, and punched him in the stomach. Minato apologized for having sealed the Nine-Tails into him and explained his reason for doing it, and Naruto quickly got over his rage at the thought of being the Fourth's son.
Because he had a limited amount of time to talk to Naruto, Minato briefly caught up with him, at the same time indicating that he knew Pain had killed Jiraiya. He expressed his suspicions that Pain, like the Nine-Tails years earlier, was being controlled by Madara Uchiha. He went onto suggest that, as long as the current ninja system exists, people like Pain, who were ruined by war and only went on to new wars, will continue to exist. He restored the seal on Naruto's stomach, and encouraged Naruto to find a way to stop the vicious cycle of death and destruction, voicing his confidence in Naruto before disappearing.
According to Jiraiya, Minato was one of the most gifted shinobi who ever lived. He created the Rasengan, a technique that does not rely on hand signs, but instead uses a concentration of spinning chakra in the form of a sphere in the user's palm, which inflicts immense damage to its target on contact. Minato had planned to add his own nature manipulation training to the Rasengan, making it even more powerful, but could not manage to combine the two prior to his premature death. He also had a high degree of knowledge in fūinjutsu, as he is one of the two shinobi known to be capable of performing the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, the other one was Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage. To allow Naruto access to the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's chakra, Minato placed the Four Symbols Seal on him. In addition, he was one of the few individuals capable of getting Gamabunta to cooperate with him.
It is unknown exactly how strong Minato was in combat. Anko, in discussion with the Third Hokage about Orochimaru's immense strength and his threat to the village, stated that she wished the Fourth had been alive to face him. During the Third Great Shinobi War, flee-on-sight orders were given to enemy ninjas in case he ever appeared on the battlefield. This stemmed from his Flying Thunder God Technique, which essentially allowed him to teleport to any location with the use of a special seal. By throwing kunai that had the seal attached to them behind enemy lines, Minato could wipe out an entire platoon in the blink of an eye without receiving a scratch. This earned him the nickname of Konoha's "Yellow Flash", because of the near untraceable speed at which Minato (with his yellow hair) moved when using this jutsu, even without which he showed seemingly instantaneous reflexes and raw quickness.
- Minato means "harbor" (港) and Namikaze means "waves and wind" (波風).
- He appears in all of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja games as an ultimate jutsu of Naruto's called "Mysterious Aid arrives", and is a playable character in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3, Ultimate Ninja 4: Naruto Shippūden, Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 5 and Naruto Shippūden: Narutimate Accel 3.
- Minato appears in the fourth Naruto OVA called: "Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!" where he is seen walking down a hallway as Naruto is rushing by to use the restroom.
- Minato's silhouette can be seen in the background of the Naruto: Shippūden season 3 intro standing behind Naruto and Sora and under the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, in reference to the Demon Fox Attack of Konoha that binds all four characters.
- According to the third Naruto databook:
- Minato's hobby was reading. Especially Jiraiya's novels were his favorite.
- Minato wished to fight Jiraiya.
- Minato's favorite food was Kushina's homemade cooking.
- Minato completed 847 official missions in total: 122 D-rank, 147 C-rank, 216 B-rank, 323 A-rank, 39 S-rank.
- Minato's favorite phrase was "The fire's shadow illuminates the village" (火の影は里を照らす, Hi no kage wa sato o terasu).
- (To Jiraiya) "You're a man with a true skill... an example we should all follow. I can't think of a finer shinobi than you!"
- "The seal is set so that if eight tails are released, I'll appear within your consciousness. I didn't want that to happen... I never wanted to see you again, Nine-Tails, but... I looked forward to seeing how my son had grown... so I guess you could call it even."
- (To the Kakashi Squad) "The most important thing for a shinobi is teamwork!"
- (To Naruto) "You will find the answer... I believe in you."
- (To Naruto) "Konoha can be rebuilt... I'm counting on you, Naruto."
- ↑ Third Databook, page 163
- ↑ Naruto chapter 450, page 15; Council mentioning the Fourth was younger than what Kakashi is now (thirty years old) when he became the Hokage
- ↑ Naruto Chapter 382, Pages 08-11
- ↑ Naruto Chapter 440
- ↑ Naruto chapter 370, pages 12-13