|This is the article on Minato Namikaze. For the episode of Naruto: Shippūden, head to The Fourth Hokage.|
|波風ミナト Namikaze Minato
|Manga||Volume #27, Naruto Chapter #239|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #1|
|Novel||Naruto: Innocent Heart, Demonic Blood|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Lost Tower|
|Game||Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
|Tailed Beast||Kurama (Yin half) (Forms)|
|Academy Grad. Age||10|
Minato Namikaze (波風ミナト, Namikaze Minato), also known as Konoha's Yellow Flash (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光, Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō, English: Yellow Flash of the Leaf), was the Fourth Hokage (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Fourth Fire Shadow).
When Minato was in the Ninja Academy, his classmate and future wife Kushina Uzumaki thought he looked "flaky" and even "girly". He dreamed of being acknowledged by the Konoha villagers by becoming Hokage, which Kushina considered to be an impossible dream for someone like him. Years later however, when Kushina was kidnapped by Kumogakure ninja, Minato was the only one to pick up on the fact that she was leaving behind strands of her red hair to mark their path. After rescuing her, Minato explained that he had always admired her hair. No longer seeing him as "flaky", she fell in love with him.
According to those who knew him, Minato was a very talented ninja, having been considered a rare genius that appeared only once a generation. He graduated from the Ninja Academy at the age of ten, and was added to a genin team under the tutelage of Jiraiya. Jiraiya took a special interest in Minato, and accepted him as an apprentice, amongst other things teaching him the Summoning Technique. Jiraiya even believed Minato might be the Child of the Prophecy, someone who would someday save the world.
Konoha's Yellow Flash
In time, Minato was put in charge of a genin team of his own, consisting of Rin, Obito Uchiha, and Kakashi Hatake. During the Third Shinobi World War, Minato led his team on a mission into Kusagakure to destroy the Kannabi Bridge. Because Kakashi had recently become a jōnin, Minato gave leadership of the mission to Kakashi while he went to help Konoha's forces on the front lines. After meeting up with the surviving and out-numbered Konoha ninja, Minato used his Flying Thunder God Technique to destroy the opposing Iwagakure ninja. He then returned to his team, just in time to save Kakashi and Rin from another group of Iwa forces; he was too late to save Obito. When Kakashi and Rin recovered from the ordeal, Minato helped them complete the mission.
At some point during the war, he clashed with A multiple times. At their first meeting he recognised A's brother Killer B as the jinchūriki of the Eight-Tails. Upon receiving the signal that Konoha was retreating, he declared that they would later face as the Kage of their villages. He also asked A to make sure Killer B learn about himself before becoming neither human nor jinchūriki.
When the war ended, Minato, not yet thirty years of age, was chosen to become the Fourth Hokage. At some point during his reign he read Jiraiya's first book. He liked the main character's determination, believing he was just like Jiraiya. Since Kushina was pregnant with their son, Minato informed Jiraiya that they planned to name their son "Naruto" in the hopes that he would be just like the main character and, in turn, Jiraiya. Jiraiya warned them that this would make him Naruto's godfather, but they insisted that this was a good thing.
Because Kushina was the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, special arrangements had to be made for Naruto's birth. Since the seal keeping the Nine-Tails within her would weaken during childbirth, Naruto would secretly be delivered in a remote location outside Konoha. ANBU would guard the area and Minato would maintain the seal while Kushina went into labour. Soon after Naruto was born they were found by Madara Uchiha. Madara killed all of the ANBU and took Naruto hostage, threatening to do the same to him. Minato was able to take Naruto back, but this gave Madara the chance to escape with Kushina. Minato found a safe place to put Naruto and then teleported to Kushina. He arrived in time to stop the Nine-Tails, having been removed from her body, from killing her, and teleported back to Naruto. Minato reunited mother and son and then went to help defend Konoha from the Nine-Tails.
Minato arrived in the early stages of the Nine-Tails' attack. After protecting the village from its Tailed Beast Ball, Minato tried to reach the Third Hokage to inform him of what had happened. He was stopped by Madara, who tried to send him away. Minato escaped but was followed by Madara. When the two began fighting, Minato struggled to hit Madara, Madara being intangible whenever he was not currently attacking. By carefully timing his Flying Thunder God Technique, Minato was able to strike him during one of these rare moments and apply a seal for the Flying Thunder God Technique to him, allowing him to teleport to Madara whenever he wanted. He placed a Contract Seal on Madara to remove the Nine-Tails from his control, forcing Madara to flee.
When Minato returned to the village he found it in ruin. He summoned Gamabunta to distract the Nine-Tails long enough to teleport it away from the village to Naruto and Kushina's location. Kushina restrained it and, dying from the trauma of its removal, volunteered to have it sealed back into her body so that it would die with her. Distraught, Minato suggested instead using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal on the Nine-Tails to weaken it and then seal the rest into Naruto. Kushina objected since this would mean Minato's death and give Naruto a horrible, lonely life. Minato insisted it was for the best since allowing the Nine-Tails to resurrect itself, without a Jinchūriki to contain it, would inevitably cause harm to Konoha and the Fire Country. Also, Minato was convinced that Naruto, the "Child of the Prophecy" Jiraiya had once told him about, would need the Nine-Tails' power to someday defeat Madara. After Minato used the Dead Demon Consuming Seal on it, the Nine-Tails realized their intentions and tried to kill Naruto, but Minato and Kushina used their bodies to shield him.
While Kushina gave a few finals words to Naruto, Minato summoned Gerotora, gave him the key to the seal he would use on Naruto, and sent him to Jiraiya. After Kushina told Naruto how much his parents loved him, Minato sealed the rest of her chakra into Naruto so that she would be able to see him again when he was older, ending her life. He then sealed the Nine-Tails into Naruto. Since the Third Hokage had come to help, Minato used his last moments to request that Konoha think of Naruto as a hero, and not the container of the monster that caused so much death and destruction. Before he died he sealed his own chakra into Naruto so that he could someday see Naruto again too, specifically if ever the seal was about to break so that he could restore it.
The Third Hokage did his best to look out for Naruto but very few were willing to regard Naruto as anything but the Nine-Tails' jinchūriki. The Third Hokage forbade anyone from speaking of the Nine-Tails, hoping that those too young to remember the Nine-Tails' attack would not hate Naruto as the rest of the village had. He gave Naruto his mother's surname so that his relation to Minato would be kept a secret from Minato's enemies. He otherwise did his best to give Naruto a comfortable life despite Naruto having no parents and being made into an outcast by the rest of the village. Naruto would never be told his parents' identities, and neither would most of Konoha.
With Minato's death, the Third was forced to resume his position as Hokage, a role he filled until his death, never being able to find a replacement of Minato's calibre. Minato himself became regarded as the village's hero and, indeed, one of the greatest ninja Konoha had ever produced, so much so that villagers would regret his death whenever tragedy struck the village. Because Minato was never able to tell anyone what happened during the Nine-Tails' attack, villagers were forced to make their own explanations. Jiraiya recognized that Minato would not have sealed the Nine-Tails into his own son unless he had a good reason and that Minato intended Naruto to gain control of the Nine-Tails, but could never satisfactorily explain why.
Although Naruto had no idea about his relation with Minato most of his life, he appeared to greatly admire the Fourth Hokage, considering him a hero who gave his life for the village, showing anger when Tsunade spoke ill of him and becoming overjoyed whenever Jiraiya or Kakashi mentioned his resemblance with Minato. Before Naruto left Konoha to begin his training with Jiraiya, he looked at the Fourth Hokage's carved head and asked him to look after him. After learning the truth about his relation to Minato and despite the shock that his own father made him a jinchūriki, Naruto was proud to be the Fourth Hokage's son.
Years after his death, Killer B was surprised when he learned Minato created a technique similar to the Tailed Beast Ball, the Rasengan.
Minato was a fairly tall fair-skinned man who on more than one occasion has been compared with Naruto in terms of physical appearance; both have bright blue-eyes and spiky blond hair. Unlike Naruto, Minato had jaw-length bangs framing either side of his face. According to Jiraiya, Minato was considered to be very handsome, as many women were infatuated with him. His normal attire consisted of a standard Konoha-nin uniform with two bands each on both of his sleeves, a flak jacket and a forehead protector; after becoming Hokage, he started wearing a short-sleeved long white coat over his normal attire, decorated by flames-like motifs on the edges, with the kanji for "Fourth Hokage" (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage) written vertically down the back, and closed on the front by a thin orange rope. In his youth, he wore a tracksuit with three stripes on the sleeves, mesh undershirt, dark trousers and dark calf-length sandals.
Jiraiya and Tsunade pointed out that, while Naruto physically bears great resemblance to Minato, his personality is almost identical to his mother. While Naruto is boisterous and relatively thick, Minato was calm, collected, and highly perceptive. He also seemed well aware of the terror his reputation inspired in his foes. He appeared to be respectful of those around him; he didn't like freely speaking about others' pasts, and was said to be a very nice person. He deeply cared for and loved his wife and child, becoming very nervous because of Kushina's pain during labour and even shedding tears of joy at his son's birth. He also enjoyed reading, and took a special liking to reading Jiraiya's work in particular.
Jiraiya said that Minato was a shrewd person, and was not a man who would do something without reason. He was very knowledgeable of the ninja world, concluding that only Madara Uchiha would have the power or the reason to have the Nine-Tails attack Konoha during their fight. Minato was known for his unbeatable determination and unbelievable drive, which he passed on to his son. In his youth, Minato also had a desire to be acknowledged by everyone in the village and to become a great Hokage, again, a trait passed onto his son. His devotion to the village and his love for his friends inspired all those around him, and, as a result, he became well-liked by the villagers. Minato was nevertheless understanding that Naruto must feel hurt by the fact that his own father had sealed a monster inside him.
According to Jiraiya, Minato was one of the most gifted shinobi who ever lived. Anko Mitarashi, in discussion with the Third Hokage about Orochimaru's immense strength and his threat to the village, stated that she wished the Fourth had been alive to face him. During the Third Great Shinobi War, flee-on-sight orders were given to enemy ninjas should they ever see him appear on the battlefield. Minato was also capable of countering the Nine-Tails' attacks to the point Madara himself needed to step in to face him directly. After their battle, Madara commended Minato and stated he was worthy of the title of the Fourth Hokage. His abilities were so far advanced that even the Fourth Raikage, thought no one would be able to surpass him.
One of Minato's trademark attributes was his immense speed and seemingly instantaneous reflexes. As a testament to his speed, C compared Minato's reflexes to the Fourth Raikage's when he was using his Lightning Release Armour, though the Raikage admitted that Minato was faster than he was. Even without using his Flying Thunder God Technique, Minato was fast enough to catch an infant Naruto mid-fall to prevent him from being stabbed by Madara. He could also respond to Madara's Space–Time Migration quickly enough to escape it. When fighting, he often employed his unique kunai, wielding them proficiently and taking advantage of their particular form, which made them even more suitable for close range combat than standard kunai. Using this type of kunai, he was able to nearly sever one of the Eight-Tails' tentacles when B moved to save his brother from Minato's counter attack despite having nearly no leverage, showing a high amount of strength.
Minato spent three years creating the Rasengan by observing the Tailed Beast Ball. It is the highest level of shape transformation. The technique does not need hand signs, instead using a concentration of spinning chakra in the form of a sphere in the user's palm, which inflicts immense damage to its target on contact. As its creator, Minato had great mastery over the Rasengan, able to form it with one hand and his standard version being slightly larger than the Rasengan used by other characters. The lack of elaborate preparations needed for the Rasengan gave Minato an advantage over other jutsu users in battle; in his fight with Madara, he is able to form a Rasengan right after throwing a marked kunai at his opponent, allowing him to land a devastating blow at Madara immediately after performing the Flying Thunder God Technique. He had intended to combine the Rasengan with his own nature transformation, but the task was too difficult to complete before his untimely death.
Minato was famous for his unique space–time technique, the Flying Thunder God Technique, which essentially allowed him to teleport to any location with the use of special seals. The jutsu earned him the moniker of Konoha's "Yellow Flash", due to the untraceable speed at which Minato moved when using this technique. By throwing kunai that had the seal attached to them behind enemy lines, Minato could wipe out an entire platoon in the blink of an eye. Minato could teleport to his special kunai even as it travelled through the air. He was also capable of applying the seal to solid surfaces with his bare hand, allowing him to tag opponents and give himself an easy way to track and reach them. He also incorporated this seal formula into Kushina's seal so he could always come to her aid.
For defensive use, Minato was capable of implementing space–time barriers to counter large attacks such as a Tailed Beast Ball, sending the blast to a distant area away from the village. He was also able to teleport the Nine-Tails, which required a large amount of his chakra due to the fox's immense size.
Minato was very knowledgeable in fūinjutsu, partially due to Kushina teaching him some of the Uzumaki clan's unique sealing techniques. He knew the full capabilities of the Dead Demon Consuming Seal and was aware that he could not completely seal all of the Nine-Tails' chakra within himself. Minato could also remove an opponent's ability to use the Summoning Technique.
The greatest example of his prowess with fūinjutsu is the seal used on Naruto, placing two Four Symbols Seal to create the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style, which would allow small amounts of the Nine-Tails' chakra to leak out and naturally mix with Naruto's own. Minato also sealed some of Kushina's and his own chakra within Naruto so that they could see him when he was older and assist him in dealing with the beast.
In his youth, Jiraiya taught Minato how to use the Summoning Technique to summon toads. He had large chakra reserves as he was able to summon Gamabunta and was one of the few people that Gamabunta would willingly cooperate with. He could use the Summoning: Food Cart Destroyer Technique for a devastating surprise attack that could even pin powerful large targets like the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.
Minato was shown to be very intuitive and clever from a young age. Of the many ninja sent out to save Kushina from her Kumogakure kidnappers, Minato was the only one to notice the trail of hair she was leaving. After seeing a technique once, he could correctly deduce the basic mechanics behind it, such as the strengths and weaknesses of Kakashi's Chidori. During difficult events, he was still capable of maintaining his composure, assessing the situation, and devising appropriate plans of action.
For most of the series, Minato was only referred to in passing. Later, in Part II, he began appearing in flashbacks.
Invasion of Pain Arc
It was not until the Invasion of Pain that he made an actual appearance in the story. When Naruto started to give into the temptation of power from the Nine-Tails and was about to release the beast, the imprint of Minato stopped him. Minato voiced his dislike of seeing the Nine-Tails again, but pointed out that its actions had allowed him to see his son once more. Naruto eventually picked up on what Minato was saying, and was overjoyed to finally find out who his father was. Minato tried to talk with Naruto, but the Nine-Tails kept interrupting the conversation, so Minato transported them to another space that was quieter. Naruto was outraged at the idea that Minato would seal the Nine-Tails into his own son, which Minato apologized for. Naruto punched him in anger but quickly got over it, claiming that as the Fourth's son, he could handle it.
Because he had a limited amount of time to talk to Naruto, Minato briefly caught up with him, at the same time indicating that he knew that Pain had killed Jiraiya and was aware of Konoha's destruction as he saw it through Naruto. He expressed his suspicions that Pain was actually being manipulated by someone else due to his childhood psychological traumas, and that it was "the masked man of Akatsuki" who really wished Konoha's destruction. He went onto suggest that, as long as the current ninja system exists, people like Pain, who were ruined by war, will continue to exist. He restored the seal on Naruto's stomach and voiced his confidence in him that he would find a way to stop the vicious cycle of death and destruction before disappearing to the afterlife.
Naruto Shippūden 4: The Lost Tower
Twenty years in the past, Minato was assigned a secret mission alongside Shibi Aburame and Chōza Akimichi to intervene in the crisis in Rōran, where a Konoha missing-nin from the future called Mukade is building a Puppet Army using the power of the Ryūmyaku, an ancient chakra flow deep underground the city, and plans to change the future to his favor, conquering the Five Great Shinobi Countries. Minato asks the Third Hokage's permission to bring his student, Kakashi Hatake, and the Hokage agrees.
When they arrive in Rōran, Minato and his Team save Naruto from Mukade's puppets. Realizing that the boy is also from the future, Minato tells Naruto to leave the city until they finish their mission, trying to keep him in the dark so the future won't be changed. However, Naruto ends up saving the Queen of Rōran, Sāra and attacks Minato, thinking they are the ones after her life. As a result, Minato decides to tell Naruto the truth about their mission and that Mukade arrived six years before Naruto, changed his name into Anrokuzan and has become the Minister of Rōran. Naruto recognizes Minato's face and tells him he looks just like the Fourth Hokage. While Shibi claims that it is impossible, because their Hokage is still the Third, Minato asks Naruto to stop talking about the future. Sāra doesn't believe in them and runs off to prove Anrokuzan's innocence. Minato tells Naruto to protect Sāra while they look for Mukade and gives Naruto one of his Flying Thunder God Kunai.
When Naruto and Sāra try to fight Anrokuzan on the city's underground, Minato and his Team reappear and help Naruto while Sāra saves the men Mukade kidnapped to build his Puppet Army and takes them and their families to the Garden of Ryūmyaku, where they'll be safe.
Mukade fuses with his puppets, becoming a giant Puppet monster using the Ryūmyaku's power. To stop Mukade from regenerating, Sāra must stop the flow of the Ryūmyaku in the Source of the Ryūmyaku while Naruto and Minato fight off Mukade. Naruto attacks Mukade with the Rasengan, shocking Minato, but is unable to defeat Mukade. Out of chakra and exhausted, Naruto is saved by Minato who tells him to attack Mukade's weak point with the Rasengan once Sāra stops the Ryūmyaku's flow. Naruto answers that he's out of chakra but Minato tells him he'll lend him his. Naruto tells him that it is impossible, because the Rasengan is a technique that the Fourth Hokage completed and that only he and Jiraiya can use, to which Minato replies that is why he can do it, having not only realized that he would be the Fourth Hokage but also that Naruto was his child. Since they have similar chakras, their Rasengans resonate and fuse together, creating the Supreme Ultimate Rasengan and defeating Mukade.
After Minato seals off the Ryūmyaku completely, Naruto and Yamato begin to glow because the time flow has come back to normal and they must return to their own time. So the future won't be changed, Minato decides to erase everybody's memories. However, Naruto tells Minato that he has to talk to him, but Minato refuses, telling Naruto that they'll meet again. Naruto persists and tells Minato that if they don't talk now, he'll never have the chance. As Minato prepares to send them back to the future, Naruto begins to ask if he could possibly be his father. Minato interrupts him and tells him that if he ever had a son, he wished he would be brought up as ninja like Naruto, to which Naruto smiles and sheds tears of joy, before being sent back to the future, with no memory of what happened.
Minato Namikaze is a playable character in the following video games:
Even in the Ultimate Ninja games he is not playable in (with the exception of the first game), Minato appears as an ultimate jutsu of Naruto's called "Mysterious Aid Arrives".
- "Minato" means "harbour" (港) and "Namikaze" means "waves and wind" (波風).
- Minato's silhouette can be faintly seen in the background of the Naruto Shippūden third opening standing behind Naruto and Sora and under the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, in reference to its attack on Konoha that binds all four characters.
- According to the Third Databook:
- Minato's hobby was reading. Jiraiya's novels were his favourite.
- Minato wished to fight Jiraiya.
- Minato's favourite food was Kushina's homemade cooking.
- Minato completed 847 official missions in total: 122 D-rank, 147 C-rank, 216 B-rank, 323 A-rank, 39 S-rank.
- Minato's favourite phrase was "The fire's shadow illuminates the village" (火の影は里を照らす, Hi no kage wa sato o terasu).
- Minato ranked ninth in the sixth Naruto character popularity poll and seventh in the seventh poll.
- In Naruto Shippūden 4: The Lost Tower, Minato's chakra appears to be a light green colour, as opposed to the normal blue.
- In the OVA Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!, Minato suddenly appears in the hallway of the stadium when Naruto is running to the toilets. All of these appearances in this special were only for the comical effect.
- (As a child, when asked what his dream for the future was) "I want everyone in the village to acknowledge me and become a great Hokage!"
- (To Kushina, when he rescued her from her kidnappers) "I noticed your beautiful hair right away."
- (To his team) "The most important thing for a shinobi is teamwork!"
- (To Jiraiya) "You're a man with a true skill... an example we should all follow. I can't think of a finer shinobi than you!"
- (To Kushina about sealing the Nine-Tails inside Naruto) "Have a little faith! He is our son after all!"
- (Last words) "Naruto... This is your dad. Listen... To your motor-mouth mother."
- (To Naruto) "Pain was the one who killed Jiraiya-sensei, but the more I think about it, the more I believe he was killed by that disorder that gave birth to Pain."
- (To Naruto) "You will find the answer... I believe in you."
- ↑ First Databook, page 120
- ↑ Second Databook, pages 146-149
- ↑ Third Databook, page 163
- ↑ Fourth Databook, pages 172-175
- ↑ Naruto chapter 240, page 11
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Naruto chapter 503, page 17
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Naruto chapter 541, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 450, page 15; Council mentioned that Minato was younger than what Kakashi is now (thirty years old) when he became the Hokage
- ↑ Naruto chapter 382, pages 08-11
- ↑ Naruto chapter 503, page 08
- ↑ Naruto chapter 239, pages 16-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 462, page 04
- ↑ Naruto chapter 541, page 07
- ↑ Naruto chapter 501, pages 03-04
- ↑ Naruto chapter 502, pages 16-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 542, page 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 242, pages 04-05
- ↑ Naruto chapter 502, pages 15-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 503, page 03
- ↑ Naruto chapter 502, pages 07-08
- ↑ Naruto chapter 503, pages 11-12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 503, page 05