|This is the article on the genjutsu. For the chapter, head to Izanagi.|
Izanagi is a genjutsu that is cast on the user instead of others and is the most powerful amongst this type of genjutsu. When activated, the caster removes the boundaries between reality and illusion within their personal space. To a degree this allows the user to control their own state of existence, but it is normally only active for the briefest of moments.
While the user remains physically real while fighting, this technique is capable of turning any occurrence including injuries and even death inflicted upon themselves while the technique is active into mere "illusions". Whenever the user receives a fatal injury, he or she automatically fades away as though they were an illusion all along and then returns back to reality; physically real and unscathed. The technique is based on an ability the Sage of the Six Paths had, referred to as "Creation of All Things" (万物創造, Banbutsu Sōzō). The process he used is explained to have initially involved the administration of imagination, and the spiritual energy which forms the basis of Yin chakra to create shape and form from nothingness. Then, through the application of vitality, and the physical energy which forms the basis of Yang chakra, he would breathe life into the prior form. Thus, a technique with the power to turn imagination into reality was born, known as Izanagi.
Izanagi can only be used by those with the genetic traits of the Sage of the Six Paths. The Uchiha, descended from the Sage, are able to perform Izanagi with their Sharingan. In exchange for the brief control of reality that it allows them, the Sharingan with which Izanagi is cast becomes blind. For this reason the Uchiha labelled it a kinjutsu. Danzō Shimura, in an effort to make practical use of the technique, had ten Sharingan embedded into his right arm.
To make full use of Izanagi, users must also have the genetic traits of the Senju, who are also descended from the Sage. Partially for this reason Danzō had some of Hashirama Senju's DNA transplanted into his arm, which extended the lifespan of each Sharingan's Izanagi to a minute, allowing him to use the technique for up to ten minutes in total, with breaks in between as he deemed necessary. This had the added benefit of increasing his physical energy and vitality as well as access to Wood Release which could be used to subjugate tailed beasts. However, because Danzō is not an Uchiha, his chakra levels drop substantially every time a new Sharingan is used to activate the technique.
Tobi also makes use of Hashirama's DNA. In contrast to Danzō, Tobi claims to have gained control of Hashirama's DNA. His claim is supported by the fact that he was able to maintain Izanagi during his battle with Konan for ten consecutive minutes at the cost of only one Sharingan.
Like the various techniques used with the Sharingan, this technique is named after a Shintō god. In this case, it is Izanagi, who, together with his sister and wife Izanami, created the islands and other deities of Japan.
One of the most famous stories about Izanagi tells the tale of how he goes into Yomi, the Japanese underworld, to retrieve Izanami after she died giving birth to the Shinto fire god Kagutsuchi. In Yomi, he manages to get Izanami and they both try to leave. However Izanagi was not supposed to look at her before they escape. Right before they reach the exit, Izanagi looks back and sees her in a decayed form. Frightened, Izanagi flees from Yomi and blocks the cave. Izanami curses Izanagi saying that she will kill 1000 people per day. In response, Izanagi says that 1500 people will be born each day.
After his failed attempt to get Izanami, he washes himself in a stream. As he cleans his left eye, Amaterasu is born, as he cleans his right eye, Tsukuyomi is born, and as he cleans his nose, Susanoo is born.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, Danzō uses this as his ultimate technique, letting his Wood Release go out of control, creating a tree that crushes both himself and the opponent, and activating Izanagi at the last moment to escape harm.