Konohagakure (木ノ葉隠れの里, Konohagakure no Sato; ; Literally meaning "Village Hidden by Tree Leaves"; also known as "Village Hidden in the Leaves" or "Hidden Leaf Village") is the hidden village of the Land of Fire. As the village of one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries, Konohagakure has a Kage as its leader known as the Hokage. There have been five official Hokage, the most recent being Tsunade. On a mountain overlooking the village from the north exists the Hokage Monument which has the faces of all those who have taken the office of Hokage engraved on it. Although Konoha which would later become known as the most powerful village possessing an elite shinobi army corps, much like the country in which it resides, has been relatively peaceful since the end of the Third Shinobi World War, it remains one of the most powerful villages in existence, and has great military power and influence, though this has waned in the past three years following the attacks by Orochimaru and Pain. The shinobi of this village wear blue or black shirts which may or may not have swirl patterns on the shoulders, along with matching coloured pants over a green flak jacket which also has a red swirl on the back, and pockets on the chest area. They also tend to wrap bandages around their legs.
Before the ninja villages came into being, there was the Warring States Period when ninja were organised into small mercenary clans that knew nothing but battle. Two such clans were the Senju clan and the Uchiha clan, who have warred against each other since the time of their ancestors and are revered by others as the strongest ninja clans. Eventually, intending to end the countless bloodshed, Hashirama Senju used his power as leader of his clan to enter a truce with the Uchiha clan despite reluctance from its leader Madara Uchiha. Afterwards, the two clans would form the first shinobi village where Madara and Hashirama had met as children: Konohagakure — a name invented by Madara himself. Hashirama Senju used his Wood Release abilities to produce much of the village's infrastructure. This ability and his ideals were two of the reasons he was chosen to become the village's leader: the Hokage.
However, not being named Hokage and fearing that the Senju would oppress his clan, Madara attempted to gather support to overthrow Hashirama. But after his kin ostracised him, Madara resolved to deal with Hashirama himself by enslaving Kurama the Nine-Tails to do his bidding. The epic battle that ensued, causing the formation of the Valley of the End while Madara was presumed dead, resulted with Kurama sealed within Mito Uzumaki, a member of the Uzumaki clan who were known for their unique chakra, who became the Nine-Tails's first known jinchūriki and created a tradition on it due to the close ties between the Senju and Uzumaki clans. At some point, Hashirama came to bind some of the other tailed beasts and gave them to the other newly formed ninja villages to promote peace. However this peace was short lived.
The First Three World Wars Edit
Konoha took part in the first three Shinobi World Wars. Hashirama died shortly after the village began to flourish, and the mantle of Hokage was passed onto his brother Tobirama Senju who became the Second Hokage. During his administration, making attempts that no other Uchiha ends up like Madara, Tobirama created the Konoha Military Police Force and placed the Uchiha in charge of it. As the building also housed the jail and was located in the vicinity of the Uchiha's compound, this essentially ostracised them from the rest of the village. In giving them this task, Tobirama hoped to redirect the emotional Uchiha into a task which would benefit the village as well as save them from their curse. Tobirama died during the First Shinobi World War when he sacrificed himself to ensure the escape of his subordinates Hiruzen Sarutobi, Kagami Uchiha, Torifu Akimichi as well as Homura Mitokado, and Koharu Utatane from Kumogakure's Kinkaku Force. Having inherited the mantle of Hokage now, Hiruzen later led Konoha's forces during the Second Shinobi World War where his three students Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru became known as the Legendary Sannin. Other than fighting across Amegakure with numerous clashes with its leader Hanzō, little is known of Konoha's actions during the war. Konoha became involved in the Third Shinobi World War fighting the ninja of Iwagakure at Kusagakure. Konoha was almost defeated, but Minato Namikaze helped turn the war back in their favour with his apprentice Obito Uchiha among those who "died" during the war.
Nine-Tails' Attack Edit
- Main article: Nine-Tails' Attack on Konoha
After the end of the Third Shinobi World War, Minato was chosen as the Fourth Hokage. However, Minato's administration was short lived as Obito, having fallen into the Curse of Hatred and became a heir to Madara's legacy, snuck into the village and removing Kurama from its current host, Minato's wife Kushina Uzumaki, to have the tailed beast attack Konoha. Minato was able to defeat the masked ninja, unaware of his true identity, but he and Kushina later sacrificed their lives to seal the Nine-Tails into their son, Naruto Uzumaki. Many ninja died defending the village that day and blame for the events were projected on both Naruto and the Uchiha clan, the former unaware that he became the Nine-Tails's Jinchūriki and latter secretly accused of orchestrating the attack. In the aftermath, becoming Konoha's leader again, Hiruzen learned that Orochimaru had been kidnapping children in an experiment to reproduce Hashirama's power. However, though knowing he had to kill Orochimaru, Hiruzen did nothing and allowed his former apprentice to leave Konoha as a missing-nin who founded his own village to continue his human experimentation: Otogakure.
Hyūga Affair Edit
The Hyūga Affair (日向の件, Hyūga no Ken) — as the incident is known nowadays in Kumogakure — happened nine years prior to the start of the series, while Kumogakure and Konohagakure were at war. In an attempt to put an end to the fighting, they agreed to a peace treaty to be signed on the date which coincided with Hinata Hyūga's third birthday. The treaty was soon revealed to be nothing more than a cover when the person who was the Head Ninja of Kumogakure at the time — who was in Konoha to sign the treaty — attempted to kidnap Hinata in order to obtain the Byakugan and its secrets. The shinobi was killed in his attempt by Hinata's father, Hiashi Hyūga.
Uchiha Clan Massacre Edit
- Main article: Uchiha Clan Massacre
Due to being blamed for the Nine Tails's attack on the village, believing that Madara's warning of them becoming nothing more than second class citizens is becoming a reality, many of the Uchiha members began plotting a coup d'état that would wrest control of Konoha. However, there were few members of the Uchiha who saw the dangers from such a venture. One such figure being Itachi Uchiha, who became a spy for Konoha's leadership. After peace talks failed, his part in the death of Shisui Uchiha playing a factor in it, Danzō Shimura orders Itachi to wipe out his clan. Assisted by Obito, whom he thought was Madara himself, Itachi killed all but one of kin: his younger brother, Sasuke Uchiha. Honouring Itachi's request as he leaves the village, Hiruzen promises to protect Sasuke from Danzō. From there, the higher ups cover up the slaughter as cold-blooded murder with Itachi joining the Akatsuki to protect Konoha while living as a fugitive for the rest of his life. However, wishing to be punished for his crime, Itachi told Sasuke to live a life of vengeance so he would die by his brother's hand and restore their clan's honour.
Joint Otogakure-Sunagakure Invasion Edit
- Main article: Invasion of Konoha
Around five years after the Uchiha clan massacre, Konoha was invaded by Orochimaru forging a alliance with Sunagakure ninja to end the peace and prosperity that Konoha alone had enjoyed since the Third Ninja War. Prior to the final stage of the Chūnin Exams, Orochimaru murdered the Fourth Kazekage and assumed his identity to get close enough to his former mentor to strike. Though the invaders were repelled, Konoha suffered heavy casualties that included Hiruzen after he redeemed himself by disabling Orochimaru's ability of using normal forms of ninjutsu when he could not take his former apprentice with him in death. Though Tsunade was named the Fifth Hokage, recovery for the rest of Konoha's military forces was slow and understaffed to the point that it could not properly respond to events occurring in the interim, such as Itachi and Kisame Hoshigaki sneaking into Konoha in search of Naruto and Sasuke's defection weeks later.
Pain's Invasion Edit
- Main article: Invasion of Pain
Three years after the failed Sand and Sound invasion, the Akatsuki's leader Pain attacked the village in an effort to capture Naruto. Konoha's forces had some success while fighting the Six Paths of Pain individually, but could do nothing to stop the village's destruction by Pain's Shinra Tensei. Naruto returned to Konoha shortly afterwards (having been delayed by Danzō's actions) and defeated Pain before confronting Nagato, the man behind Pain, about his actions in the death of both their mentor Jiraiya and Konoha's citizens. After Naruto convinced him that his actions were wrong, Nagato gave his life to revive everyone that died during the invasion. Naruto has since then been celebrated as a hero of the village.
Because of the attack, Konoha lost much of its economic and military capabilities, falling behind Iwagakure. Konoha's status as the most powerful village also passed onto Kumogakure. Tsunade was left in a coma from exhausting herself in protecting Konoha from Pain, causing Danzō Shimura to temporarily take office as her replacement. Danzō oversaw the start of the village's lengthy rebuilding process and dealt with the immediate aftermath of Pain's attack. Also, Sasuke's international crimes are now known to Konoha, which led the village to sever ties with him to prevent him from becoming a burden any longer, and officially brand him as a criminal to be killed.
Fourth Shinobi World War Edit
- Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War
Following Pain's attack on Konoha, along with the Akatsuki's other actions against the other ninja villages, the five Kage hold a Kage Summit to decide how to proceed with the organisation. After learning of his true goals for the tailed beasts, the ninja villages join forces to combat the Akatsuki's true leader Tobi who declared the Fourth Shinobi World War. Danzō is killed shortly after war is declared, but Tsunade wakes up from her coma in time to resume her position as Hokage and plan the village's actions during the war. Despite being under construction, the village is being used as a haven of sorts for refugees from countries predicted to become battlefields such as Land of Hot Water and the Land of Frost. By the time Orochimaru and Taka had been able to sneak into the village during the Fourth Shinobi World War, most of the village's old structures had been erected such as the administrative side of the Academy.
Within the village there are many powerful and well respected clans. Of these there are four clans which are regarded as noble clans. These are the: Aburame, Akimichi, Hyūga and Uchiha clans — the latter of which was regarded as the most powerful clan in the village. All known clans in the village are:
- The second fanbook gives Konohagakure a population size of five out of five stars, a military strength of three out of five stars, and an economic strength of two out of five stars. It has the greatest population of all the five main shinobi villages.
- The hiragana あん (an) is painted on the four entrance gates of the village (one hiragana on each door). This means "hermitage" or "retreat". In kanji, the character is "庵". There are also torii built all around the perimeter wall of the village.
- Masashi Kishimoto stated that Konohagakure was modelled after his own hometown.
- In the first Naruto volume, page 87, there's a sketch of downtown Konoha. If you look closely, you may also see a billboard with a cartoon version of Masashi Kishimoto with a paintbrush.
- After Konoha's destruction, there were very few glimpses of the village during its reconstruction in the manga until chapter 616, showing the village looking as it did before the invasion. In the anime (as well as Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3), most of the village was built within the crater caused by Pain.