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Will of Fire

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Will of Fire Sculpture
The Will of Fire being depicted where the Kage are buried in the Konoha cemetery.

The Will of Fire (火の意志, Hi no Ishi) is a recurring element throughout the Naruto series. It is an ideal rooting from the belief of the Senju clan ancestor that love is the key to peace.[1] It would eventually become the life philosophy which Hashirama and the Senju clan lived by, which has since been passed on to many ninja from Konohagakure as a part of their spiritual heritage.[2] It states that every true Konoha shinobi must love, believe, cherish and fight for the village's sake, as previous generations had done before them.[3] In Konoha, there is a sculpture of a flame in the cemetery representing this will, it has the kanji for "Hokage" (火影; Literally meaning "Fire Shadow") inscribed below it. Hashirama was also depicted sitting on a throne-like chair with a similar sculpture in the background.[4]

According to Hiruzen Sarutobi, this is what gives Konohagakure shinobi the strength to continue fighting against all odds, building willpower and strength of character. It is also symbolic of the hopes and dreams of the previous generation being passed to the next; for example, when Asuma Sarutobi was killed, his hopes and dreams were passed to Shikamaru Nara, who asked that Asuma's will would in turn be passed on to his and Kurenai's child.[5]

This is also seen with the shinobi of the village identifying a "King" (玉, Gyoku) which is simply anything or anyone they want to protect. When he was younger, Asuma Sarutobi was asked by his father who the 'King' was. Conflicted over whether it was the Daimyō of the Land of Fire or the Hokage, he was unable to answer him. Much later in his life, Asuma realised what his father meant and came to view his then unborn child as his 'King'.[5] Shikamaru later came to realise that the 'King' was the unborn generations of Konohagakure to come,[6] and Konohamaru Sarutobi believes that they are the civilians of the village that cannot fight for themselves.[7]

Trivia

References

  1. Naruto chapter 462, page 12
  2. Naruto chapter 329, page 7
  3. Naruto chapter 139, pages 5-6
  4. Naruto chapter 399, page 8
  5. 5.0 5.1 Naruto chapter 328, page 8
  6. Naruto chapter 342, page 16
  7. Naruto: Shippūden episode 234
  8. Naruto chapter 462, pages 14-15
  9. Naruto chapter 575
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