|This is the article on the ninja village. If you are looking for the article on the sand used by Gaara and other shinobi, head to Sand.|
Sunagakure (砂隠れの里, Sunagakure no Sato, Literally meaning: Village Hidden by Sand) is the hidden village of the Land of Wind. As one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries, Sunagakure has a Kage as its leader known as the Kazekage, who resides in a spherical structure in the centre of the village. There have been five Kazekage, the most recent being Gaara.
The Puppet Technique, and from their performance in the Fourth Shinobi World War, the Cloth Binding Technique seem to be common techniques among Sunagakure ninja. Shinobi from this village believe that the accomplishment of a mission predominates the lives of the ninja trying to accomplish it. As such, they are known to be ruthless in battle, meaning to them that failure is not an option. Should failure seem inevitable, a Suna shinobi would almost surely try to make a success of their mission in some way or another as seen when Kankurō secretly retrieved from a piece of Sasori's clothing as a means to track Akatsuki to their hideout.
The standard attire of this village consists of blue or black uniforms underneath flak jackets of various shades of beige to better blend with their natural environment and include shoulders guards. Sand shinobi also tend to wear a common headpiece consisting of a head-wrap and cloth neck-covers to aid against the sun and sandstorms with a headband on top.
A natural defence of Sunagakure is its location in the desert with the protection of lack of water and sandstorms to discourage large-scale invasions. Sunagakure itself lies in a fortified valley behind cliffs of rock. The passage to travel into the valley is in a cleft between two cliff faces which provides a natural defence for the village making the area very hard to attack from the ground. The outside cliff face facing the desert has been terraced for a place for defending shinobi to stand up against assaulting forces. The buildings inside seem to be made of clay or stucco which would help to keep the buildings cool and allow them to also withstand the raging sand storms that are common in the area.
Sunagakure was founded by the First Kazekage, who gathered the desert-dwelling shinobi under his control with his overwhelming power. At some point the village would come to possess Shukaku, and in the coming years the beast was sealed into three different hosts so that its abilities could be studied. The Third Kazekage was able to emulate Shukaku's abilities, earning recognition as the strongest Kazekage in history.
Some time in Sunagakure's history they created the Puppet Brigade in an attempt to create a technique that would give life to their puppets in order to increase their combat effectiveness. Research for such a technique was started and Chiyo eventually developed One's Own Life Reincarnation, but use of the technique came at too high a price at needing the user's life to complete the technique, thus the research was called off and the village continued to use normal puppets. Sasori left the village after the emptiness of lacking parental love finally reached a breaking point, but later returned, kidnapped, and murdered the Third, with Sunagakure taking a gamble and attempting to find their Kage rather than securing their borders against attack.
Sunagakure frequently fought with Konohagakure; Chiyo's attempts to poison enemies during the Second Shinobi World War were often counteracted by Tsunade. To compound this fact, following the Third Shinobi War, the Wind Daimyō began outsourcing missions to Konoha, leading to a lack of funding for Sunagakure. To make up for the loss of military power this created, the Fourth Kazekage had Chiyo seal Shukaku into its third host, his own son: Gaara. It was hoped that Gaara would become a weapon for the village, but the power of Shukaku was too unstable and overwhelming for Gaara and the idea was abandoned. The village then had to rely on the development of new techniques and trading of gold dust in order to keep its standing within the Five Great Shinobi Countries. As time passed, however, the Fourth came to appreciate Gaara's increasing control and returned to relying on him as a weapon.
Another village Sunagakure has frequently fought with, unsurprisingly due to their close proximity, is Iwagakure. This has left the two villages as age old enemies with each side holding a grudge against the other, a fact which makes them highly unwilling allies.
Invasion of Konoha
Main article: Invasion of Konoha At some point, Sunagakure was approached by Orochimaru with a proposition for a joint invasion of Konoha. The Fourth Kazekage was killed and impersonated by Orochimaru to give the impression of support, and Sunagakure was falsely led to a devastating loss against Konoha's forces. Once Orochimaru's deceit was discovered, Sunagakure re-allied itself with Konoha, gaining much from the peace and leading to new prosperity for the village. By Part II, Gaara would be made Fifth Kazekage to replace his father.
When Akatsuki came to Suna to abduct Gaara, Sasori set several explosive tag traps and killed several guards, as well as reactivating two of his sleeper agents, Yūra and Mukade, while Deidara in his bid to draw out the Kazekage, nearly devastated the entire village were it not for Gaara's Air Sand Protective Wall. Regardless, Gaara was captured, and the village was in dismay.
An urgent message was relayed to Konoha for assistance via messenger bird. After Gaara was rescued and revived by Chiyo, at the cost of her own life, he was safely returned to Suna and is currently still the Kazekage. He lost his tailed beast, but still retained the ability to manipulate sand.
Fourth Shinobi World War
When Sunagakure entered the Fourth Shinobi World War, its Cloth Binding Technique users were vital in dealing with Kabuto Yakushi's reincarnated shinobi. This technique caused them to make up the majority of the Sealing Teams in every division of the Allied Shinobi Forces. Shortly before the war, Kankurō was appointed commander of the Surprise Attack Division, and the village's Kazekage, Gaara, its Regimental Commander.
- The second fanbook gives Sunagakure a population size of two out of five stars, a military strength of two out of five stars, and an economic strength of two out of five stars. This gives it the lowest overall score of all the five main shinobi villages.
- Despite the element of sand being unique to Shukaku and its jinchūriki, ninja from this village have been shown to be capable of utilising sand as a tool as well.
- Two very famous and powerful ninja from this village hold sand-related epithets: Gaara of the Sand Waterfall and Sasori of the Red Sand.
- None of the characters from the Sunagakure have stated last names, even though it's the second most frequently seen population in the Naruto series.
- During the Fourth Shinobi World War, several other Suna-nin were seen wielding similar fans alongside Temari. This is an indication that the use of tessenjutsu is a skill generally taught in the village.