| (はたけサクモ, Hatake Sakumo)
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #159|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga|
Sakumo Hatake (はたけサクモ, Hatake Sakumo), renown across the shinobi world as Konoha's White Fang (木ノ葉の白い牙, Konoha no Shiroi Kiba, English TV: White Fang of the Leaf), was a jōnin of Konohagakure's Hatake clan.
Sakumo was a famous and powerful ninja of Konohagakure who, during his lifetime, held fame that was said to overshadow even that of the Sannin. His son, Kakashi, proved himself a genius like Sakumo and idolised him, desiring to become just as great a ninja as his father. His wife died when Kakashi was very young. Sakumo witnessed his son successfully passing the entrance exam to enter the Academy. Afterwards, he and Kakashi met Might Duy and his son Guy. Sakumo asked Guy to be friends with Kakashi in the Academy, Duy corrected Sakumo informing him that his son had failed the exam. As Kakashi began to openly question Guy's worth as a ninja with his weak aptitude for ninjutsu, Sakumo warned Kakashi to not underestimate Guy as he may someday grow stronger than Kakashi — noticing how arduously Guy trained to improve.
Five years before his son became a jōnin, Sakumo and his team were sent on a mission of great importance to Konoha. When his team-mates' lives were endangered, Sakumo chose to abandon the mission in order to save them. The impact of the mission's failure caused Sakumo to be vilified by the Land of Fire, the villagers of Konoha, and even those he had saved. Dishonoured, Sakumo fell into a deep depression, which caused his abilities to suffer as a result. Eventually, he committed suicide, which drove Kakashi to live strictly according to the Shinobi Rules. For many years, Sakumo stayed in limbo, waiting for the day he could seek forgiveness from his son.
Sakumo was a very kind and loyal man. He loved his only son dearly, often picking him up at the end of the day after Kakashi was done playing with his friends. Despite his tremendous fame and power as a ninja, he was a very humble man, which made Kakashi truly look up to and idolise him. He had a deep devotion to Konoha and an even greater commitment to his allies and loved ones to the point he would put their well-being before anything else; his commitment was so great that he would sacrifice the completion of a mission in order to save his team-mates, which led to him being a public figure of hate and ridicule. He was also shown to be a perceptive man, noticing Guy's worn-out condition and from that discerned Guy's character, correctly predicting Guy to be a late-bloomer and his future growth as a ninja.
Sakumo had a kind face with dark eyes which had deep lines running underneath them. He had spiky, silver-coloured hair that reached into the middle of his back tied in a ponytail and bangs that hung over his forehead protector. He wore a standard Konoha-nin uniform with a pair of gloves, flak jacket, bandages on his right arm, and the addition of distinctive short white sleeve which had red edges and the standard crest of Uzushiogakure on it. He also carried a holster worn diagonally over his right shoulder which held his White Light Chakra Sabre. Overall, Kakashi bears such a great resemblance to him that he has even been mistaken for his father on several occasions.
Sakumo was hailed as a genius shinobi, and was praised for his talents in the ninja arts even by the likes of Minato Namikaze, the future Fourth Hokage. In battle, Sakumo was a truly powerful shinobi, and in his time, his powers were said to be on par with even those of the Sannin. The mere idea of facing Sakumo brought fear to his enemies, as shown from the reaction of an Iwagakure shinobi who mistook Kakashi for him.
He was also very proficient in kenjutsu, his reputation as "Konoha's White Fang" stemming from his extensive use of the White Light Chakra Sabre, which emitted a streak of white chakra when swung. After Sakumo's death, this weapon was bequeathed to Kakashi.
After Kakashi died, having used up his remaining chakra to save Chōji Akimichi from the Asura Path's missile during Pain's assault on Konoha, he found himself in an area of darkness with a single camp-fire, where Sakumo greeted his son and invited him to share his life's story with him. Sakumo lamented that they both died young; though not as young as his wife. Kakashi said that he understood the sacrifice that Sakumo had made for the sake of all the villagers which shocked him. He also finally forgave Sakumo and told him that he was proud of him and what he had done which prompted Sakumo to thank Kakashi. When a ray of light beamed down upon Kakashi, Sakumo told Kakashi that it seemed that he still had a lot of things to do in the world of the living, he was glad that he was able to speak with him, and was thankful that his son had forgiven him. After Kakashi disappeared, Sakumo stated that he could finally move on and see his wife again.
Despite being disgraced for his actions during his last mission, Sakumo's name still has good standing throughout the shinobi world, as displayed when the Fire Daimyō seemed pleased when Kakashi was recommended to become the Sixth Hokage, having recognised him as Sakumo's son.
The Third Tsuchikage, Ōnoki, also identified Kakashi as Sakumo's son when the Kage were deciding on whom they wanted to represent Konoha in the Alliance. Obito Uchiha, Kakashi's team-mate also greatly respected Sakumo for his beliefs that his comrades lives were to be placed before the outcome of a mission or the rules of the shinobi.
Although Kakashi initially tried to live his life in the exact opposite way that Sakumo did, his friendship with Obito Uchiha changed his perspective, leading him to believe that while those who broke the rules were scum, those who abandoned their comrades were worse than scum. Kakashi would later teach these ideals to one of his students, Naruto Uzumaki, who would cherish them and use them as the basis for most of his life, ideals and relationships.
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- The name "Sakumo" is possibly derived from the word "sakumotsu" (作物), meaning "agricultural produce" or "crops". This would tie into the name of his son, Kakashi (案山子), which means "scarecrow", and their family name, Hatake (畑), which means "farmland".
- (To Kakashi) "Thank you for forgiving me… Now I can move on in peace. And finally see your mother…"
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 142
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Chapter 240, page 17
- ↑ Chapter 449, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 253, page 11
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 23
- ↑ Chapter 240, pages 18-19
- ↑ Chapter 241, page 17
- ↑ Chapter 253, page 9, 12
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Chapter 242, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 425, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 449, pages 6-9
- ↑ Chapter 450, page 15
- ↑ Chapter 468, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 241, page 19
- ↑ Chapter 449, page 9