In the anime, he and his clan met with Hashirama and the Senju clan in order to deal with a gigantic beast which was on the loose. Using his prowess in fūinjutsu, the Uzumaki's leader was able to seal away the beast once it was cornered.
Ashina was an elderly man, who had long, white hair, moustache, and a squared-off goatee. He also wore armour reminiscent of the period of dress. Under this, he wore a long-sleeved, black outfit, the shoulders of which bore the crest of Uzushiogakure, which were later incorporated into uniform of the Konoha shinobi. On his back, were what appears to be the curved handles of two swords, which in the anime, were shown to be bandaged up. He also wore a forehead protector with his village's symbol etched into it.
Like members of his clan, Ashina specialised in fūinjutsu. He was unrivalled in the handling of fūinjutsu, and was even said to be the forefather of Konoha's fūinjutsu. He was seen in the anime proficient enough to seal a beast within moments. He was also presumably skilled in kenjutsu as he carried two swords strapped to his back. Also, as a member of the Uzumaki clan, Ashina had an extraordinarily powerful life force, allowing him to remain an active shinobi well into his sixties.
Ashina is the name of a Japanese clan from the Sengoku period that were decimated after a large battle.
Ashina's name may be a reference to or inspired by Ashinazuchi, the father of Kushindahime, a deity in Japanese mythology.