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Namikaze Minato
Namikaze Minato
Name Minato Namikaze
Kanji 波風ミナト
Romaji Namikaze Minato
Personal
Birthdate Aquarius icon October 10, 1990
Gender Male icon Male
Age 24
Status Deceased
Height 179.2 cm
Weight 66.1 kg
Blood Type B
Classification Jinchūriki

Sage
Sensor Type

Relationships
Affiliation Konohagakure Konohagakure

Mount Myoboku Mount Myōboku
Allied Shinobi Forces Allied Shinobi Forces

Previous Occupation Hokage Hat Hokage
Previous Team Team Jiraiya

Team Minato

Family Uzumaki Kushina (wife)

Uzumaki Naruto (son)
Uzumaki Minato (grandson)
Uzumaki Kushina (granddaughter)
Uzumaki Menma (granddaughter)

Rank
Ninja Rank Kage
Academy Grad. Age 10
Skills
Tailed Beasts Kurama (Yin half)
Nature Type Fire Release Fire Release

Wind Release Wind Release
Lightning Release Lightning Release
Yin Release Yin Release
Yang Release Yang Release

Minato Namikaze (波風ミナト, Namikaze Minato) was the Fourth Hokage (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage; Literally meaning "Fourth Fire Shadow") of Konohagakure. He was famous in life for his speed, leading to the moniker of Konoha's Yellow Flash (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光, Konoha no Kiiroi SenkōEnglish TV "Yellow Flash of the Leaf"). He died during the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha, sacrificing his life to seal a part of the Nine-Tails into his newborn son, Uzumaki Naruto.

Background

Early Life

Minato saves Kushina

Minato rescuing Kushina.

Minato entered Konoha's Academy with dreams of earning the villagers' respect by becoming Hokage. When Uzumaki Kushina moved to Konoha she was placed in the same class as Minato. Minato was immediately drawn to her bright red hair, finding it beautiful. Years later, after they graduated and became ninja, Kushina was kidnapped by Kumogakure forces. Konoha mobilised its ninja to retrieve her, but only Minato noticed the strands of red hair Kushina left behind to mark their path. Minato, acting alone, rescued her from her captors. On their way back to Konoha, Minato confessed his admiration for her hair, causing Kushina - who had previously believed Minato "unreliable" and even "girly" - to fall in love with him.

Minato was a natural prodigy as a ninja, the likes of which appears only once in a generation. When he was added to a genin team under the leadership of Jiraiya, Jiraiya took a special interest in Minato and took him on as his apprentice, teaching him many of his own signature abilities. In time, Minato's exceptional skills led Jiraiya to believe he might be the Child of the Prophecy, someone who would someday save the world.

Konoha's Yellow Flash

Team Minato

Namikaze Minato

Minato and Kushina were a couple from the time that he rescued her, and with his love Kushina was able to control the Nine-Tails sealed into her. They eventually married. From observing a Tailed Beast Ball, Minato began a three year process of creating the Rasengan, the height of shape transformation. He would spend the rest of his life trying to combine it with his own nature.

After proving himself an accomplished and responsible ninja, Minato was placed in charge of his own team, consisting of Nohara RinUchiha Obito, and Hatake Kakashi.The Third Hokage gave Minato the special task of helping Kakashi overcome the bitterness caused by his father's death and remind him of the human element of being a ninja. Minato gave his team a bell test upon its formation in order to teach them the value of teamwork. Although they passed the test, Kakashi would remain a staunch advocate of prioritizing the mission over the team, causing conflict with Obito. Minato did his best to keep the two on good terms.

When Konoha became involved in the Third Shinobi World War, Minato's obligations became split between training his students and helping with the war effort. During a mission into Kusagakure to destroy the Kannabi Bridge, Minato transferred leadership of the mission to Kakashi - who had recently become a jōnin - while he headed to the front lines. He met up with the surviving and out-numbered Konoha ninja and single-handedly wiped out the opposing Iwagakure forces. His victory in this battle against a thousand ninja convinced the Third Tsuchikage to surrender. When he rendezvoused with his team afterwards he found Kakashi and Rin and surrounded by Iwa-nin, Obito having already been lost. He rescued them, helped them complete their original mission once they recovered, and returned to Konoha with them to mourn Obito. Minato's competing obligations would later repeat the tragedy of Obito's death: while he was away on another mission, Rin was kidnapped by Kirigakure and died during Kakashi's attempt to retrieve her.

A attacks Minato

A attacks Minato.

Minato encountered A of Kumogakure a number of times during the war. During their first meeting, Minato and A compared their speed, with Minato proving the faster. He received orders to retreat before their competition could resolve, but he lingered to compliment A and his brother, B, a jinchūriki like Kushina; he encouraged A to take care of B and remember he was a person. A pursued Minato, so Minato moved against B, threatening to kill him if A didn't let him and his team go. Minato was confident he and A would someday meet as Kage.

Fourth Hokage

Minato as Hokage

Minato as the Fourth Hokage.

For his performance during the War, Minato was chosen over 
Orochimaru to become Fourth Hokage. He taught the Flying Thunder God Technique to the Hokage Guard Platoon to better aid them in their duties of serving the Hokage at any given time. He also tried to help Kakashi, now an Anbu, emerge from the darkness he'd fallen into after Obito and Rin's deaths. During the gradual transfer of responsibilities from the Third Hokage to him, the Third advised Minato to restore Kakashi's value of life by tasking him with protecting Kushina during her pregnancy.
Kushina and Minato

Minato and Kushina, expectant parents.

As a jinchūriki, the strain of childbirth would weaken the seal keeping the Nine-Tails sealed into Kushina. For that reason special precautions had to be taken: the child would secretly be delivered in a remote location outside of the village, with barriers around the area and several Anbu guards as extra protection. Minato was not greatly worried about the birth, and in fact gave Kakashi the day off in gratitude for his good work. He and Kushina had already decided on a name for their son, "Naruto
", after the main character of Jiraiya's first book, hoping that their Naruto would be just as determined as the character (and thus its author). Jiraiya tried to convince them to make a different choice since that would make him Naruto's godfather, but they insisted that this was a good thing.

Naruto was born on the night of October 10. Only moments after the birth Minato began making preparations to restore the Nine-Tails' weakened seal, but he was interrupted by the arrival of a masked man, otherwise known as Tobi. Tobi killed the Anbu guards and midwives and took Naruto hostage, threatening to kill him if Minato didn't back away from Kushina. Minato immediately took Naruto back from him, yet discovered explosive tags had been planted on Naruto. Minato was forced to teleport away to keep Naruto from harm, allowing Tobi to escape with Kushina. He found a safe place for Naruto and teleported to Kushina in time to save her from being killed by the Nine-Tails, extracted from her body by Tobi. He reunited mother and son before heading out to protect the village.

Minato vs Tobi

Minato clashing with the masked man.

Minato returned to the village in the early stages of the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha, arriving in time to teleport away a Tailed Beast Ball before it destroyed the Hokage Monument. He attempted to reach the Third Hokage so that he could inform him of what happened, but was interrupted by Tobi, who tried to warp him away. Minato reacted in time to escape, but Tobi pursued him. Because Tobi was controlling the Nine-Tails' actions, defeating him was of prime importance in order to save Konoha. Minato initially struggled to successfully strike him but, after several failed attacks, he finally hit him with a Rasengan and branded him with a Flying Thunder God seal, allowing him to teleport to Tobi whenever he wanted. He then used a Contract Seal on Tobi to release the Nine-Tails from his control, forcing him to flee.
Minato summons the Shinigami

Minato using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal.

No longer being controlled, the Nine-Tails began retreating from the village, though it continued to attack the Konoha ninja that pursued it. As it prepared another Tailed Beast Ball, Minato once again arrived in time to stop it, this time by dropping Gamabunta on top of it. He had Gamabunta keep it restrained while he gathered the chakra needed to transport the Nine-Tails to Naruto and Kushina's location, the farthest from the village he could get. Kushina restrained it and erected a barrier so that it couldn't escape while they decided what to do. Already dying from the Nine-Tails' removal, Kushina offered to have it sealed back into her so it would die with her. Minato rejected this, believing the Nine-Tails' power would be needed in the future if and when the Tobi struck again. Remembering Jiraiya's words about the "Child of the Prophecy", Minato decided that Naruto was that child and that he would someday save the world. To prepare Naruto for this, Minato would make Naruto the Nine-Tails' new jinchūriki so he could make use of its strength.
Minato and Kushina protect Naruto

Minato and Kushina protecting Naruto.

Because the Nine-Tails' chakra was too immense to seal into an infant, Minato used the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to cut its chakra in half, sealing the Yin half in himself. Realizing what they were planning, the Nine-Tails tried to kill Naruto, but Minato and Kushina used themselves as shields. Minato summoned Gerotora, gave him the key to the seal he would use on Naruto, and sent him to Jiraiya. Meanwhile, Kushina told Naruto how much his parents loved him, which Minato seconded. He sealed the Nine-Tails' Yang half into Naruto, weaving Kushina's chakra into the seal so that she could someday assist Naruto with learning to control the Nine-Tails. He mingled in some of his own chakra, too, programming it to activate if ever the seal was about to break so that he could restore it. Seeing the Third Hokage nearby, Minato communicated to him a final request for the villagers of Konoha: to think of Naruto as a hero and not the container of the monster that caused so much death and destruction. With that, his soul was consumed by the Shinigami.

Personality

Despite his physical resemblance to Naruto, Minato was more perceptive and collected than his son; Jiraiya said that Minato was a shrewd person, not one to do something without a reason. He was well aware of the terror his reputation inspired in rival villages and would take advantage of it at times, but even then he would remain respectful to opponents and wouldn't pry in their personal affairs if he could help it. He was not the type to hold grudges, only feeling sorry for the Tobi  despite his role in his own and Kushina's deaths. If anything, Minato blames himself for his death, both because he couldn't save Obito from the fate that corrupted him or Konoha from the difficulties that arose after he was gone.

Naruto is not without any of his father's personality traits: both have indomitable spirits and fierce ambitions that drive them through all their choices in life. Both are of unwavering loyalty to Konoha and their loved ones - friends and family - and that devotion inspires all those around them. Like Naruto, Minato had the tendency to create long, complicated names for jutsu, such as "Scorch Release: Halo Gale Jet Black Arrow Style Zero", though he at least knew it didn't sound very good.

After becoming Hokage, Minato started to take more pride in himself, referring to himself as "ore", which is a prideful way of saying "I" or "me", instead of using "watashi", a more formal way of referring to one's self. Still, this did not make him haughty as he still addressed others with the appropriate honourifics.

Appearance

Minato has frequently been compared with Naruto in terms of physical appearance; both have bright, blue eyes and spiky, blond hair. Minato also had jaw-length bangs framing either side of his face. According to Jiraiya, Minato was considered to be very handsome. His normal attire consisted of a standard Konoha uniform with two bands on both of his sleeves, a green flak jacket, blue forehead protector, and blue sandals. After becoming Hokage, he started wearing a short-sleeved long white haori over his normal attire, closed in the front by a thin, orange rope. The haori was decorated by red flame-like motifs on the edges, with the kanji for "Fourth Hokage" (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage) written vertically down the back.

During his time in the Academy, he wore a simple white suit of clothing with green trimmings and a hood. After becoming a full-fledged shinobi, he wore a tracksuit with three stripes on the sleeves, mesh under-armour, a pair of black pants, and sandals.

Abilities

Minato defeats Tobi

Minato defeating Tobi.

According to Jiraiya, Minato was one of the most talented shinobi who ever lived, a calibre that has yet to be met by anyone else. During the Third Shinobi World War, flee-on-sight orders were given to enemy shinobi should they ever see him appear on the battlefield. During the Nine-Tails' attack on KonohaTobi believed Minato to be the only one capable of interfering with his plans and, indeed, it was only though Minato's actions that the attack was ended and the village saved from complete destruction. When, years later, the invasion of Konoha loomed, Minato was believed to be the only one who could have stopped the threat Orochimaru posed to Konoha, and for that reason his death was deeply regretted.

Minato had sensory abilities, able to sense chakra signatures from great distances. For closer targets, he could detect everyone within an area by simply placing his finger on the ground.

Chakra and Physical Prowess

Minato had large chakra reserves, enough to summon Gamabunta and telport the Nine-Tails. His chakra control was very refined, evidenced by his creation of the Rasengan. Although he was able to weave seals with only one hand, Minato's jutsu revolved around using no hand seals whatsoever so that he would not waste time in a fight.

Minato Saving Kakashi

Minato saving Kakashi.

Minato was hailed as the fastest shinobi in history.
 While this recognition was due in large part to his space–time ninjutsu, his natural speed and reflexes were practically instantaneous: he could react to and avoid such techniques as Lightning Release Chakra Mode and Kamui, and with only the Body Flicker Technique he could engage an enemy or retrieve an ally before anyone realized what he was doing. He could arrive at a destination before sensors even had a chance to detect his approach.

Ninjutsu

Minato was taught by Jiraiya how to summon toads, and was one of the few people to earn the respect and cooperation of Gamabunta. He demonstrated skill and knowledge with barrier ninjutsu and could use the Shadow Clone Technique. Minato's nature transformations included firewindlightning, plus yin and yang, though he is never seen using any in the series.

Rasengan

Minato Rasengan and Kunai

Minato forming the Rasengan.

After observing the nature of the Tailed Beast Ball, Minato spent three years developing the Rasengan, the highest level of shape transformation. It requires no hand seals to create and, once formed, is self-sustaining, giving him an edge in combat. Although it requires very precise chakra control to use, Minato, as the Rasengan's creator, has mastered it; he can form it with either of his hands in almost no time.He had intended to combine the Rasengan with his own chakra nature, but the task was too difficult to complete before his untimely death.

Shurikenjutsu

Minato's Kunai

Minato's special kunai.

Minato had his own special 
brand of kunai that he used in combat. As standard weapons, Minato would throw them at opponents or wield them as melee tools; the kunai's triple-prong enhanced their offensive potential. He was skilled enough to effectively wield a kunai in his mouth. Their main use came from the Flying Thunder God seals they were marked with, allowing him to teleport to wherever one of the kunai was thrown. He carried a large number of the kunai in the field that he would scatter across a wide area so that he could move around quickly. He even strategically placed a network of kunai around Konoha's outskirts, including at least two safe houses, so that he could respond to threats to the village wherever they occurred. Although his normal tactics with the kunai did not require precision, Minato nevertheless had excellent aim and could coordinate his throws' timing and placement to allow him to perform complex maneuvers.

Space–Time Ninjutsu

Minato's signature ability was the Flying Thunder God Technique, which he'd gained a mastery of superior to its creator, the Second Hokage. Using the technique he could instantly move to the location of anything marked with his special seal, whether it's one of his kunai or a place or person he has personally branded. Minato was not limited to teleporting himself, as he could bring others with him, though he needed to provide the chakra for their transport. He did not even need to accompany who or whatever he was teleporting, giving him a defensive option to teleport incoming projectiles away from himself.

Fūinjutsu

Fox Key

The key to the Nine-Tails' seal.

Minato learned several of the Uzumaki clan's fūinjutsu from Kushina.The most notable of these was the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style he used to seal the Nine-Tails into Naruto, which would allow small amounts of the Nine-Tails' chakra to leak out and naturally mix with Naruto's own. The seal would slowly weaken over time to give Naruto increasing access to its chakra and Minato created a key that could be used to either accelerate or reverse this process. As an extra precaution he mixed his own and Kushina's chakra into the seal so that, when certain conditions were met, they could help Naruto with his control of the Nine-Tails, as well as to enable them to see their son after they were dead.

Other fūinjutsu he could perform included the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, which he had enough familiarity with to know it couldn't be used to seal all of the Nine-Tails' chakra. With the Contract Seal he could remove an opponent's control over any creatures they summoned. He also knew how transfer a tailed beast from one jinchūriki to another

Jinchūriki Transformations

Minato NTCM

Minato's Nine-Tailed Chakra Mode.

Minato became a jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails' yin chakra shortly before his death, though he has no chance to make use of it until after he is reincarnated. Unlike most tailed beasts, the Nine-Tails offers no resistance to cooperating with Minato, granting him immediate access to Nine-Tails Chakra Mode, which Naruto is impressed by. Minato's is slightly darker than Naruto's but is otherwise identical in appearance and abilities; he can use chakra arms, enter a Tailed Beast Mode, and create Tailed Beast Balls.

Minato later transfers his half of the Nine-Tails to Naruto, thus losing access to its power.

Senjutsu

Like Jiraiya, Minato was taught to use senjutsu at Mount Myōboku, enabling him to enhance his physical parameters and techniques by entering Sage Mode. By his own admission, Minato had little experience with it in the field because the amount preparation time necessary deviated from his normal fighting style of rapid responses. Nevertheless, he was able to perfectly balance the natural energy with his chakra, only displaying the pigmentation around his eyes — the true marking of a Sage.

Intelligence

Minato was very observant. Even at a young age only he, out of all the ninja sent to rescue Kushina, noticed the trail she left behind to mark her kidnappers' path. In combat he could correctly deduce the basic mechanics behind an ability after seeing it only once, and from there plan around its strengths and weaknesses to his or his allies' advantage. His observational skills extended beyond jutsu, as he could determine an opponent's plans and motivations based on only limited evidence. After he had finished analyzing, Minato would strike quickly and with precision, attacking vulnerabilities at the most opportune moments.

Legacy

After Minato died, the Third Hokage reported to the villagers Minato's last request that Naruto be regarded as a hero. Very few were able to separate their hatred of the Nine-Tails from Naruto, prompting the Third to forbid anyone from speaking of the Nine-Tails, hoping that the younger generation would not blindly hate Naruto as the rest of the villagers did. He also concealed Naruto's relation to Minato in order to keep him safe from his father's enemies, and otherwise did his best to give Naruto a comfortable life. For years Naruto did not know his parents' identities, and neither did most of Konoha.

Even when he was not aware of his relation to Minato, Naruto still greatly admired the Fourth Hokage, considering him a hero who gave his life for the village and becoming overjoyed whenever their similarities were remarked upon. Before Naruto left Konoha to begin his training with Jiraiya, he looked at the Fourth Hokage's face on the Hokage Monument and asked him to look after him. After learning that Minato was his father, Naruto took pride in it and felt it was his responsibility to makes his parents' sacrifices worth it.

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 came to their own conclusions and the Uchiha were suspected of the act, creating ill-will that would culminate in the Uchiha Clan Massacre. Jiraiya recognised 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 he could never conclude why.

Trivia

  • "Minato" means "harbour" (港) and "Namikaze" means "waves and wind" (波風).
  • According to the databook(s):
    • 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).

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