|猿飛ヒルゼン Sarutobi Hiruzen
|Manga||Volume #1, Naruto Chapter #1|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #1|
|Novel||Naruto: Innocent Heart, Demonic Blood|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire|
|Game||Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
Hiruzen Sarutobi (猿飛ヒルゼン, Sarutobi Hiruzen) was the Third Hokage (三代目火影, Sandaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Third Fire Shadow). Together with Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane, he was the student of the first two Hokage, Hashirama Senju and Tobirama Senju, and the teacher of Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru.
Born to Sasuke Sarutobi of the Sarutobi clan, Hiruzen was a prodigy who truly stood out in talent. He and his former team-mates, Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane, were students of Tobirama Senju, the Second Hokage. He had somewhat of a rivalry with Danzō Shimura ever since they were children, but Hiruzen always managed to pass milestones before Danzō. During the First Great Shinobi World War, Hiruzen, the rest of Team Tobirama, Danzō, Kagami Uchiha, and Torifu Akimichi were being pursued by enemy Kumogakure ninja. Knowing that one of them would need to distract their pursuers, a task that would result in their death, Hiruzen volunteered. Tobirama chose to be the decoy instead, but before leaving he appointed Hiruzen as the Third Hokage.
Later in his life, Hiruzen became the teacher of Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade, who would go on to become known as the Sannin. In time, he married Biwako and became the father of two children, Asuma Sarutobi and one who has yet to be seen in the series. This unnamed child would later give Hiruzen a grandson: Konohamaru Sarutobi.
While Orochimaru was his student, Hiruzen came to appreciate Orochimaru's natural talent, and often told Jiraiya to be more like him. He also came to recognize an inner malice and a lust for power within Orochimaru, and tried to steer his student away from these personality traits. After serving as Hokage for many years, Hiruzen started looking for a successor to the title. While he hoped to be able to give the position to Orochimaru, it became apparent that Orochimaru was only interested in the role of Hokage for the power it offered. His first choice was Jiraiya, but due to Jiraiya's journeys, Hiruzen instead passed on the role of Hokage to one of Jiraiya's pupils: Minato Namikaze.
Knowing fully well the dangers Minato's wife Kushina Uzumaki (then the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox) would face in childbirth (as the seal holding the tailed beast is prone to weakening at this point in time), he sent his wife Biwako and a few ANBU for security to let her give birth outside the village. Nonetheless, the rogue Madara Uchiha would track them to release the Nine-Tails and order it to attack Konohagakure, while Minato faced Madara, Hiruzen lead Konoha to combat the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. He would then arrive to the scene when Minato decided to seal the Nine-Tails in Naruto, forcing Hiruzen to resume the role of Hokage. He saw to it that the orphaned Naruto would be safe by keeping the identity of his father a secret.
After reacquiring his title, Hiruzen began investigating a number of disappearances within Konoha. Upon reaching the source of the abductions, he found Orochimaru to be the one responsible. Having used those that he kidnapped as test subjects in his quest to gain immortality, Orochimaru allowed his former master a chance to kill him. Ultimately, Hiruzen was unable to bring himself to kill his former prodigy, allowing Orochimaru to escape.
Hiruzen was one of four Konoha elders involved in the massacre of the Uchiha clan. He tried to find a peaceful alternative, but negotiations fell through and, against his wishes, Itachi Uchiha was ordered to wipe out the Uchiha. Itachi proved unable to kill his brother, Sasuke Uchiha, so Hiruzen promised Itachi to keep Sasuke safe.
Due to the long life he had lived, Hiruzen served as a source of wisdom for much of the series, passing on the things he had learned to the next generation. As Hokage, he had also acquired a habit of attempting to end things peacefully, and did what he could to avoid bloodshed amongst his allies and his enemies. At the series' start, Hiruzen was one of the few people who saw Naruto as more than the container of the Nine-Tails, and, as such, became someone that Naruto truly admired, even thinking of Hiruzen as a grandfather-figure.
According to Kakashi Hatake, Hiruzen loved his students deeply, including Orochimaru, no matter how much he has fallen. This was proven when he could not bring himself to kill his prized student ten years before his (Hiruzen's) death, despite Orochimaru being discovered to be conducting highly illegal experiments that resulted in the death of many innocent, and that letting him live would lead to more tragedies. When Hiruzen died, he hoped that he and Orochimaru would one day reunite in the afterlife, as master and student.
Despite his standing as Hokage, he seemed to have had some sense of lecherousness in him, as he spent much of his free time talking to young girls. When Jiraiya was still his student, he offered to help Jiraiya test the jutsu that would allow the user to spy on naked women unnoticed. Even Jiraiya, in this instance, noted his sensei's perverted qualities. He also fell victim to Naruto's Sexy Technique on more than one occasion, fainting after he saw it.
Hiruzen is one of two known Kage to always wear the official Kage uniform, the other being the Fourth Raikage. Since his time training Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru, he has had a small goatee and short spiked hair, both being dark brown. He also has lines running vertically under each eye. Although an old man, age has not taken much of a toll on his appearance, as it has on his skills, as it would only appear to have given him some gray hair, several wrinkles, and very few liver-spots. With age it would seem that he has also taken on smoking a pipe. When in combat he wears a black jumpsuit with gray shoulder armor, a gauntlet on his right arm, a Leaf forehead protector bandanna with long straps and a ninja helmet which he wears under it. The kanji for "Third Hokage" is inscribed on the back of this outfit, although at the time of the Nine-Tails' attack, when he was retired as Hokage, it merely had the kanji for "fire" (火, hi). He also has two shuriken holsters strapped to either side of his back.
Hiruzen was one of the most powerful shinobi in history. In fact, he was so immensely powerful that he was admired as the God of Shinobi (忍の神, Shinobi no Kami) in his prime. According to Iruka, he was said to be the strongest Hokage Konoha ever had. Enma commented on his battle with Orochimaru, saying that it was "miserable" compared to his prime, even though he had clearly been able to hold his own against Orochimaru and two former Hokage without losing his composure. He was also the longest living and longest reigning Hokage.
Hiruzen was called The Professor (プロフェッサー, Purofessā), due to his mastery of all forms of shinobi combat, and his vast knowledge of jutsu, purportedly knowing all the techniques within Konoha. The first technique he was seen using was the Telescope Technique, which allowed him to observe others through his crystal ball over long distances. With Roof Tile Shuriken, he could launch nearby tiles at an opponent with varying intensities, and by throwing a single shuriken at an opponent, he could replicate it to surround the opponent through Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique.
The more battle-oriented techniques he was seen using primarily consisted of elemental attacks, as he had an affinity for fire and earth. Fire Release: Fire Dragon Flame Missile allowed him to exhale a stream of fire from his mouth. Earth Release: Earth Flow River created a river of mud beneath the opponent to throw them off balance, and he could use the mud with Earth Release: Earth Dragon Bullet, which creates a dragon's head that launches mud balls at an opponent. He had also been shown to be adept in elemental collaboration jutsu, as seen when he ignited the mud ball projectiles with Fire Release: Fire Dragon Missile, creating a stream of lava that can melt nearly anything. Earth Release: Earth Style Wall allowed Hiruzen to spit a stream of mud that solidifies into a protective shield.
Orochimaru showed some surprise that he didn't use more of the Shadow Clone Technique during their battle. An ANBU agent watching the battle scene from nearby mentioned that Hiruzen's chakra levels had dropped to a point where he couldn't use it as much. While this might contradict the large amount of techniques he used in his battle with Orochimaru, it could also show his great chakra control, needing only the minimum amount of chakra to use each technique.
Despite being a man of very accumulated age, he still was able to display considerable striking power, such as in the fight with Orochimaru, using the Enma Pole to smash through even Hashirama's Wood Release successfully and besting even Orochimaru, who was armed with the Kusanagi.
Hiruzen also had a personal summon: Enma, the Monkey King. Enma could turn into a diamond-hard staff, which could alter its length and width at will, or a cage to protect the summoner. The staff was Hiruzen's weapon of choice, and he showed great proficiency in wielding it.
Invasion of Konoha Arc
When the invasion began, Hiruzen was forced to battle Orochimaru, who infiltrated the village and planned Konoha's destruction just so he could kill Hiruzen and kidnap Sasuke Uchiha. Soon after the battle began, Orochimaru resurrects Hashirama and Tobirama, so that Hiruzen could feel the enjoyment of fighting his former masters. Hiruzen quickly resolved to kill his masters and used a very powerful fire technique that was easily countered by one of Tobirama's walls of water that was then turned into an attack that was stopped by Hiruzen's own earth wall. Hiruzen was then however caught by Hashirama's Mokuton. Even after summoning Enma to free himself from Hashirama's Mokuton, Hiruzen, in his old age was unable to defeat the two Hokage, as any damage that was done was simply regenerated. He was further inhibited by his desire to not hurt either. Orochimaru's presence also impeded Hiruzen's fight, as seeing just how monstrous his treasured student had become broke his heart.
Having no other choice, Hiruzen used a combination of shadow clones and the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to seal away the souls of his former masters. As he bid a heartfelt goodbye to his teachers, he turned his attention to Orochimaru. Charging at Orochimaru, and throwing aside his former pupil's Kusanagi, Hiruzen attempted to seal Orochimaru's soul as well. Sensing what Hiruzen was trying to do, Orochimaru called his Kusanagi to him, stabbing Hiruzen in the back.
Despite the fatal injury, Hiruzen continued to try to remove Orochimaru's soul, unconcerned with the sword in his back, due to death being guaranteed as a result of using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal. After an hour passed, Hiruzen came to terms with the fact that he was too old and weak to completely remove Orochimaru's soul. Doing what little he could, and hoping to rectify his mistake of allowing Orochimaru to escape years earlier, Hiruzen sealed Orochimaru's arms, to ensure that he would never again be able to use jutsu, a fitting punishment for Orochimaru's obsession with power.
As Orochimaru began to curse his former master for what he had done, Hiruzen bid Orochimaru farewell, and expressed the hope that they would meet again. Knowing that the village was saved, and seeing Orochimaru as the boy he once was, Hiruzen died with a smile on his face. When Hiruzen died it was implied that he died happy saving the village for the new generation. In Part 2 it was stated by Asuma that Hiruzen thought that protecting the village's youngsters and who were to become the village's future ninja and people was the most important thing.
Hiruzen Sarutobi is a playable character in the following video games:
- His father's and clan's name, inspired by Sarutobi Sasuke, means "jumping like a monkey", further supported by his Summoning Technique, which summons Enma. Tobirama also nicknamed him "Monkey" (サル, Saru).
- Many aspects of his character were borrowed from the Chinese literature classic Journey to the West. Hiruzen's summon, Enma, bears a very strong resemblance to Sun Wukong (孫悟空, Monkey King), the protagonist of the novel, and Hiruzen's chosen weapon was identical to the Monkey King's magical staff.
- During his battle with Orochimaru, maybe as a premonition to his death, Hiruzen's likeness on the Hokage Monument cracked across the face. While the crack was fairly prominent due to its size, it didn't always show up in the anime, due either to a bad angle or a mistake by the animators.
- Hiruzen shares the same nickname with the Sage of the Six Paths. They were both known as the "God of Shinobi" (忍の神, Shinobi no Kami).
- Masashi Kishimoto originally planned for Hiruzen to be a dog, but eventually dumped the idea for being "too weird".
- According to the Naruto Databook:
- (Talking about Naruto) "He has combined Shadow Clone with his own invention, the Sexy Jutsu. What a foolish ninja technique ... and he could probably get me with it, too."
- (To Iruka)"I wonder . . . do you have it, young as you are . . . the Will of Fire?"
- (To Orochimaru in his attempt to save Konoha) "It is a place where every year shinobi are born, raised, grow old, fight, and die to protect their home. These people are precious to me. We share a home, we share a life, and though we may not share ties of blood, they are precious to me. They are my family. And if I do fall you still will fail. I am only one of a long line. I carry this title in trust for those Hokage who came before and those who will come after. I am the Third Hokage!"
- (His last words before his death) "When the tree leaves dance, one shall find flames. The fire's shadow will illuminate the village, and once again, tree leaves shall bud anew."
- ↑ First Databook, page 162
- ↑ Second Databook, pages 143-145
- ↑ Third Databook, pages 170-171
- ↑ Fourth Databook, pages 170-171
- ↑ Naruto chapter 118, page 3
- ↑ Naruto chapter 94, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 121, page 3
- ↑ Naruto chapter 440, page 05
- ↑ Naruto Episode 72
- ↑ Naruto chapter 483, page 17
- ↑ Naruto Episode 1
- ↑ Naruto Episode 69
- ↑ Naruto Episode 73
- ↑ Naruto Episode 80