|Anime||Naruto Episode #159|
Sazanami (サザナミ, Sazanami), formerly known as Tokichi (トキチ, Tokichi), is a bounty hunter.
He was once a bladesmith named Tokichi, but became a bounty hunter when accused for a crime he didn't commit, and changed his name to Sazanami to hide his identity. His biggest target is Gosunkugi, the person who framed him of a murder that took place a long time ago.
Sazanami is a tall, muscular man with two scars on his left cheek, one long scar on the right side of his face, stubble on his chin, a bird shaped birthmark on his chest, and shoulder-length unkempt dark grey hair. He wears a light blue kimono, with a torn-sleeved shirt over it, and a straw hat.
As a former bladesmith, he is skilled in forging quality blades. In his quest to clear his name and working as a bounty hunter, Sazanami developed considerable skill with a sword, able to effortlessly take down three experienced genin. His strikes are fast enough to keep a ninja from casting techniques.
Bounty Hunter Arc
Sazanami meets Naruto Uzumaki, Kiba Inuzuka, and Hinata Hyūga in their search for Gosunkugi. When Naruto provokes a man at a bar, Sazanami saves them by knocking the foe unconscious with amazing speed, leaving the three young ninja in awe. After this, he allows the bar-keep to keep the bounty placed on the attacker as compensation for the damage Naruto caused, but is followed by the gang outside who tell him of their mission and their origin, Konoha.
Learning this, he tried to put the three to sleep because he wanted to defeat Gosunkugi himself. He then went out by himself in search for Gosunkugi. The wanted thief appears to be a shinobi as well, and he ends up getting beaten up. Fortunately, Naruto came just in time to scare Gosunkugi and his men away. However, Sazanami is badly injured. While Naruto and the others were taking care of him and tending his wounds in a small cabin, another bounty hunter called Gatsu breaks into the place. He tried to get Sazanami but failed because Naruto and the others were protecting him. Upon leaving, he accidentally drops a wanted poster. Strangely, they note that the person on the poster's name is Tokichi and has the same bird mark that Sazanami has.
They soon find out about his terrible past. Sazanami lived pleasantly in a small village and made swords. During his delivery he found a family of three killed and found that the murderer was Gosunkugi. Despite this, the villagers mistook Sazanami as the murderer and Sazanami fled. The villagers put him on wanted posts which were later found by Naruto, Kiba, and Hinata. He helps them in their fight against Gosunkugi and helps defeat him. Gatsu catches up and catches Sazanami and Gosunkugi. Later, Gatsu and the village elder revealed to the citizens that Gosunkugi confessed to his crimes and Sazanami proved as innocent.
- Sazanami (漣) means "ripples".
- Sazanami appears in Naruto episode 193 as a competitor in a dōjō match in Rock Lee's flashback.
- One of the bandits in Naruto: Shippūden episode #195 resemble Sazanami.