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| (千手一族, Senju Ichizoku)
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game, Movie|
The Senju clan (千手一族, Senju Ichizoku) was one of the clans responsible for founding the first shinobi village: Konohagakure — the other being their rival Uchiha clan. Although the clan itself no longer appears to exist as a group, the Senju continue to influence Konoha's politics through their philosophy of the Will of Fire and the corresponding interpretation of the role of the Hokage position.
The Senju are descendants of Asura Ōtsutsuki, the younger son of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki. Through Asura, the Senju inherited the Hagoromo's "body", granting them a powerful life force and chakra. Unlike most other clans, the Senju never developed a trademark ability or style of combat, its members instead being equally proficient in all the ninja arts. It is from this balance that they acquired their name, "Senju" (千手, Literally meaning: "a thousand skills", "a thousand hands"), in reference to their being "the clan with a thousand skills" (「千の手を持つ一族」, "sen no te o motsu ichizoku").
The Senju are distant relatives of the Uzumaki clan, and for that reason the two clans remained close allies throughout the years. Members at times married between clans, as with Hashirama Senju and Mito Uzumaki, and the Uzumaki would provide fūinjutsu whenever the Senju needed one performed. More distantly, the Senju are also related to the Uchiha clan, who descend from Hagoromo's elder son, Indra. Whereas Indra believed peace could be achieved through power, Asura believed peace could be achieved through love, a difference of mindset that caused them to battle over inheritance to the Sage's ways during their lifetimes. Their battle continued through the generations to their descendants, though neither the Senju nor the Uchiha remembered this reason for their conflict.
By the time of the Warring States Period, the Senju and Uchiha had emerged as the strongest shinobi clans in the world. When one of the fledgling countries of the era would hire the Senju to fight in their wars, the opposing side would hire the Uchiha. The constant warfare between their clans only fueled their hatred, with all Senju owing the death of a loved one to an Uchiha and vice versa. But centuries of conflict began to wear on members of the clan; Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha met as children and became friends, bonding over their disapproval of the combat and death that they and their younger brothers were constantly subjected to and dreaming of a time when children wouldn't need to fight. Unable to do anything about the world at their age, Madara turned away from their dreams.
Hashirama and Madara continued to face each other in battle over the coming years. In time, each became the leader of their respective clan, position that Hashirama tried to use to broker peace between them and finally achieve their childhood dreams. Despite growing interest in peace amongst the Uchiha, Madara was reluctant, opting instead to have one last contest for supremacy against the Senju. He was defeated, but rather than kill Madara, Hashirama offered to give up his own life if it would stop the fighting. Madara was moved by the gesture and agreed to peace. Their unified clans made a pact with the Land of Fire to create a hidden village within its borders, what would become Konohagakure. Other clans settled in Konoha to share their peace and Konoha's model was adopted across the shinobi world.
The villagers of Konoha selected Hashirama to be their First Hokage, Konoha's leader. Madara interpreted this as the first step in the Senju's supremacy over the Uchiha, and for that reason left the village in protest. Hashirama had no intention of the Senju being left in charge and in fact believed it would be best if all Konoha's villagers, the Senju and Uchiha included, focused on Konoha's interests rather than their clan's. Despite this, Madara's fears would end up coming true: Hashirama's brother became the Second Hokage, his grandaughter becomes the Fifth Hokage, and all other Hokage have been part of a tree of student–teacher relationships that trace back to Hashirama.
It isn't clear if the Senju still formally exist as a clan, as no living Konoha villagers are known to still bear the name. Konoha Hiden suggests that they are no longer active, as Kiba Inuzuka only recognises the name from history classes. Despite this, the Senju's influence continues to live on in all of Konoha's inhabitants, chiefly through the Senju's Will of Fire.
- All known pre-Konoha male Senju's name end in "-ma" (ま), more commonly written using the kanji "間", which can refer to space or a room.
- Although they owe part of their fame as the "Senju clan of the forest" (森の千手一族, Mori no Senju Ichizoku) to the Wood Release, Hashirama Senju was the only clan member known to be able to use it.
- The clan's symbol resembles a Vajra, both a symbol and a ritual object present in Buddhism and Hinduism. As a symbol, it represents both indestructible and irresistible force.