Naruto Shippuden is a popular anime series that follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village.
Along his journey, he encounters many friends and foes, as well as legends from the past who shaped the shinobi world. One of these legends is Hashirama Senju, the founder and first Hokage of Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village.
Hashirama was a man who sought peace and harmony among the warring clans and nations, and who possessed a unique and powerful ability: the Wood Release.
In this article, we will explore the life and legacy of Hashirama Senju, his role in the story of Naruto Shippuden, his personality and appearance, his abilities and techniques, and some trivia and quotes about him.
All about Hashirama Senju
- Birthdate: October 23
- Sex: Male
- Status: Deceased
- Height: Part II: 185.1 cm
- Weight: Part II: 74 kg
- Blood type: B
- Kekkei Genkai: Wood Release
- Classification: Sage
- Occupation: Head of the Senju clan/Hokage
- Affiliation: Konohagakure/Allied Shinobi Forces
- Clan: Senju Clan
Hashirama Senju’s Background
Hashirama was born during the Warring States Period, the eldest of Butsuma Senju’s four sons. Hashirama and his brothers grew up on the battlefield waging constant war with the Senju’s rivals: the Uchiha. During his infrequent downtime, Hashirama met a boy his own age named Madara.
The two quickly developed a friendly rivalry, be it skipping stones or urinating in rivers, with Hashirama typically winning their contests. Hashirama did not approve of this practice of sending children to fight and die, believing it would only increase the bitterness between the Senju and Uchiha, thus causing more deaths.
After the deaths of their brothers, Kawarama and later Itama, Hashirama and his remaining brother, Tobirama, decided a new shinobi system would need to be implemented to end the cycle of child deaths, a system that would require an alliance between the Senju and Uchiha.
Like Hashirama, Madara was also a shinobi who had lost brothers on the battlefield. Together they imagined a world where children like themselves wouldn’t need to fight and where their brothers would be safe from harm.
As a precaution, Hashirama and Madara did not divulge their family names, but nevertheless discovered each other’s identities: Hashirama was a Senju, Madara was an Uchiha; it was their duty to kill each other.
Hashirama set this duty aside, unwilling to take his friend’s life. Madara, however, decided their dreams of a peaceful world were impossible, and therefore ended their friendship so that they could kill each other without reservation.
Over the following years Hashirama and Madara continued to meet in combat. Hashirama could never bring himself to kill someone he still considered a friend, and Madara could never defeat Hashirama’s superior abilities.
In time, both Madara and Hashirama became leaders of their respective clans. Under Hashirama’s leadership and extraordinary ninja prowess, the Senju began to best the Uchiha Clan until at one point Hashirama had both Madara and Izuna at his mercy.
However, unable to find the resolve to kill his childhood friend, Hashirama tried to convince Madara to unite their two clans to make their childhood dreams a reality. A mortally wounded Izuna convinced Madara otherwise and they retreated, prompting Hashirama to send a cease-fire request.
Although some Uchiha found the offer increasingly tempting, Madara was unwilling to accept after Tobirama killed his last remaining brother, Izuna. This did not stop some Uchiha from defecting to the Senju out of self-preservation.
Wracked with grief, Madara made one final stand against Hashirama and the Senju and was summarily defeated. Tobirama attempted to kill Madara to finally end the fighting, but Hashirama stopped him, knowing that would only renew hostilities between the Senju and Uchiha.
At Madara’s suggestion, Hashirama offered to kill himself in order to achieve a peaceful resolution. As he was about to end his own life, Madara stopped him, moved by the gesture, and assented to peace.
The Senju, the Uchiha, and all their affiliated clans came together to found a village of peace, where children would never need to die in battle. Hashirama and Madara, rekindling their childhood friendship, called that village Konohagakure.
The other countries would soon follow Konohagakure’s example and build their own hidden villages. It was his wish that Madara become Hokage, the village’s leader and protector. At Tobirama’s insistence, the Hokage position was democratically elected, and in the end it was Hashirama that was chosen for the office.
Hashirama wanted Madara to work with him as a brother and as his right hand so that he could improve his standing among the villagers and someday succeed him as Second Hokage. Madara felt that position would inevitably go to Tobirama, which would in turn end badly for the Uchiha.
With his position in Konoha rapidly diminishing and after being manipulated by the stone tablet Zetsu altered, Madara decided the village was a failed experiment and abandoned it, intent on someday returning to face Hashirama in battle yet again.
True to his promise, Madara eventually attacked Konohagakure on multiple occasions. After countless fights and with the Nine-Tails under his control, Madara challenged Hashirama to one final contest.
The Nine-Tails’ power, as well as Hashirama’s efforts to capture and contain it, devastated the landscape, carving out what would later be called the Valley of the End.
Hashirama spent the duration of their battle trying to reason with Madara, but Madara continued fighting until he was too tired to keep even his Sharingan active.
This enabled Hashirama to distract him with a wood clone while the real Hashirama stabbed him in the back. Madara collapsed and, before dying, noted how much Hashirama had changed from when they were children.
In the aftermath of the battle, Tobirama hid away Madara’s body and Hashirama’s wife, Mito, sealed the Nine-Tails within herself in order to contain its great power to Konoha’s benefit.
For a time, things were peaceful: Hashirama helped train one of Tobirama’s students, Hiruzen Sarutobi; he got to spoil his first grandchild, Tsunade he locked away the Scroll of Seals, the kinjutsu it contained no longer necessary in the world he’d made.
But the peace Hashirama had worked so hard for was starting to unravel; at some point Takigakure sent Kakuzu to assassinate him. Although he defeated Kakuzu, other wars began to break out.
In an unknown time, Hashirama convened a Kage Summit so that he could share the tailed beasts Konoha had acquired with them, thus balancing power amongst them.
But cooperation would not be so simple as Hashirama intended it to be, first by Tobirama’s demand that the other villages pay for the tailed beasts they received, then by the First Kazekage’s counter-request of money and territory in lieu of a tailed beast.
As unrest began to grow, Hashirama shared his fear that any agreement they made would only be temporary, but also that future generations could forge a lasting unity.
Ultimately, Hashirama’s wish for peace would not come to fruition during his lifetime and he died while Konohagakure began to flourish. Before his death he passed the title of Hokage to Tobirama, and instructed him not to mistreat the Uchiha.
Hashirama Senju’s Personality
Hashirama was an excitable man with a boisterous personality. He loved meeting new people, having friendly competitions, and gambling. Headstrong and often impulsive, it fell to others – such as his brother, Tobirama – to be more responsible or realistic about things that Hashirama had gotten carried away with.
When taken down in this way, or even when simply presented with information that troubled him, Hashirama could do a near-immediate about-face, going from laughing to sulking.
These moping periods were typically brief though, and he’d quickly go back to his usual high-spirited nature. Later generations upon meeting him, tended to remark that neither extremes of his personality were very fitting for a man called the “God of Shinobi”.
Despite the first impression he may give, Hashirama was capable of being serious when it came to matters that were important to him. He spent years opposing the practice of sending children to war and dreamed of a shinobi system where a child could be around others their age, never needing to “grow up” prematurely on the battlefield.
To that end he became very devoted to Konoha upon its foundation, as it was the realisation of his dream for peaceful childhoods. He wanted the rest of the village to cherish what Konoha represented just as much as he did, encouraging them to regard every villager as part of one large family that should always look out for each other.
As Hokage, his job was to protect that family at all costs, even if that cost was his life. This philosophy, known as the “Will of Fire”, would become a cornerstone of Konoha teachings for decades after his death.
The Will of Fire is demonstrative of Hashirama’s general optimism when it came to other people; he believed a village-first loyalty would naturally break down the mentality that shinobi had to look out for their clans.
Hashirama lived by this philosophy long before Konoha’s founding, having no qualms about killing himself if it meant peace between the Uchiha and Senju clans. In fact, his entire goal of gaining more power was to have enough just to stop violence.
One example of this was he believed if the two most powerful clans during the Warring States Period were to join forces, there would be no other shinobi clan to stand against them and would stop selling their services, effectively ending the Warring States Period.
He always saw the best in others, either trusting that they acted in good faith or that they could, through non-violent means, be reasoned with. He was humble, not above lowering his head to his fellow village heads or claiming inferiority to those he’d never met but whose actions he approved of.
If nothing else, Hashirama was kind, placing the needs of others before his own: he was even willing to take his own life if it would help create a world where his friends and family wouldn’t need to die unnecessarily.
It was on these points that Tobirama disagreed with Hashirama most ardently, as Tobirama felt that Hashirama should have a greater value of himself and a greater suspicion of others.
It was, similarly, on these points that Hashirama was at his most forceful, asserting his views over Tobirama’s; though Tobirama did not often agree, he knew better than to oppose his brother.
Hashirama is also well-balanced on this regard as he didn’t exert his force over Tobirama over past actions that cannot be changed such as when finding out Tobirama seemingly mistreated the Uchiha, he expressed anger, but didn’t exert his force as it didn’t do any good.
Hashirama had a lifelong friendship and rivalry with Madara Uchiha, eventually considering him a brother. As children, they would spend much of their free time together, talking, playing, and planning for a future that they weren’t sure would ever come.
Both were willing to oppose their own fathers by refusing to kill each other, but only Hashirama kept up this refusal into adulthood even as enemies, Hashirama would go out of his way for Madara, restraining himself (and Tobirama) so as not to hurt him and indulging Madara’s desires at his own consequence.
When they were able to rekindle their friendship by making Konoha, Hashirama placed a great deal of trust in Madara by desiring him to be Hokage, believing it was the best way for Madara to recover from the loss of his brothers.
When this ultimately failed, Hashirama respected Madara’s opinions and dissatisfaction with the village, but would not permit him to move against Konoha, killing him in the end with sadness and reluctance in order to protect what they’d made together. Despite everything, Hashirama considered Madara his friend to the very end.
Hashirama Senju’s Appearance
Hashirama was a tall man with tanned skin and dark eyes. He had waist-length black hair typically styled in a centre-parted fringe that framed his face. He often wore the standard shinobi dress of his era, consisting of dark red armour worn over a simple black suit with sandals.
This armour was constructed from numerous metal plates, formed into multiple protective guards along his body; each collar of his shoulder guards bore the Senju symbol. Prior to Konoha’s formation he wore a white-coloured cloth bearing his clan’s symbol on his forehead, which he later replaced with the village’s forehead protector.
Upon becoming Hokage, Hashirama tended to wear the traditional Kage attire consisting of the customary maroon and white hat and haori over a full-length maroon and white gown, along with a simple red headband.
Otherwise, he wore a light-brown, short-sleeved, kimono shirt with mesh armour underneath, held closed by a red sash, and navy blue pants. In his Hokage portrait, he is seen wearing a kerchief.
As a child, Hashirama’s hair was more bowl-cut in style, hanging around his face. His usual attire consisted of a dark kimono shirt, a short light green jacket with darker green linings, a white scarf around his neck, traditional pinstriped kimono pants of his clan, and a dark green sash around his waist.
How Did Hashirama Create Konohagakure?
Hashirama’s dream of peace came true when he met with the leaders of other clans and proposed to create a new village where they could live together as one.
He offered to share his Wood Release with anyone who joined him, as a sign of trust and cooperation. Many clans agreed to his proposal, including the Sarutobi clan, the Shimura clan, the Akimichi clan, the Nara clan, the Yamanaka clan, the Hyuga clan, and others.
The only clan that opposed Hashirama’s plan was the Uchiha clan. Madara feared that his clan would be oppressed by the Senju clan and their allies. He tried to rally his clan to resist Hashirama’s offer, but he was outnumbered by those who wanted peace. He reluctantly agreed to join Hashirama’s village, but he remained suspicious and bitter.
Hashirama named his new village Konohagakure, meaning “Village Hidden by Tree Leaves”. He also chose a location near the river where he first met Madara as a symbol of their friendship. He carved two giant statues of himself and Madara on opposite sides of a waterfall, creating a landmark known as the Valley of the End.
Hashirama was unanimously elected as the first Hokage of Konohagakure by his fellow villagers. He established a system where ninja would be assigned missions based on their skills and ranks.
He also created a ninja academy where children would be trained to become shinobi. He divided his village into four sections: north, south, east, and west.
He assigned each section to one of his allies: Tobirama for north (water), Hiruzen Sarutobi for south (earth), Danzo Shimura for east (wind), and Homura Mitokado for west (fire).
Hashirama also made peace treaties with other villages and countries. He donated some of his land to create Sunagakure, the Hidden Sand Village, and gave them his brother’s sword as a gift.
He also befriended the First Raikage of Kumogakure, the Hidden Cloud Village, and the First Tsuchikage of Iwagakure, the Hidden Stone Village. He also met with the First Mizukage of Kirigakure, the Hidden Mist Village, and the First Kazekage of Sunagakure, but they did not get along well.
How Did Hashirama Die?
Hashirama’s reign as Hokage was not without challenges. He had to deal with internal conflicts, external threats, and natural disasters. He also had to face Madara again, who betrayed Konohagakure and declared war on it.
Madara had obtained the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, a more powerful version of the Sharingan, by taking his brother’s eyes. He also summoned Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Fox, a giant beast with immense chakra, to attack Konohagakure.
Hashirama confronted Madara at the Valley of the End and engaged in a fierce battle that lasted for a day and a night. Hashirama used his Wood Release to restrain Kurama and his Sage Mode to match Madara’s power.
He also used his wife’s sealing technique to extract Kurama from Madara and seal it inside himself. He then defeated Madara with his strongest technique: Sage Art Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands, a giant wooden statue that could crush anything in its path.
Hashirama believed that he had killed Madara, but he was wrong. Madara had survived by using Izanagi, a forbidden technique that allowed him to alter reality at the cost of his eye.
Madara then used Hashirama’s blood to implant some of his cells into himself, hoping to awaken the Rinnegan, the ultimate eye technique that belonged to the Sage of Six Paths, the ancestor of all shinobi.
Hashirama returned to Konohagakure as a hero and celebrated his victory with his people. He then decided to divide Kurama’s chakra into nine parts and create nine tailed beasts out of them.
He gave each tailed beast a name and a personality, and entrusted them to other villages as a gesture of goodwill. He hoped that by sharing the power of Kurama, he could create a balance among the nations and prevent future wars.
However, Hashirama’s life was cut short by an unknown cause. Some say that he died from overexertion after fighting Madara and creating the tailed beasts. Others say that he was assassinated by someone who envied his power or hated his ideals. The truth remains a mystery.
Hashirama’s death was a great loss for Konohagakure and the shinobi world. He was mourned by his family, friends, and allies. He was succeeded by his brother Tobirama as the second Hokage. His legacy and vision for peace would continue to inspire generations of shinobi.
Hashirama Senju’s Abilities
Hashirama was famed as the strongest shinobi of his era and one of the strongest in history, reputed as a God of Shinobi. Madara, another legendary shinobi, openly admitted inferiority to Hashirama throughout their entire lifetime together, even with the Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan and the Nine-Tails at his disposal.
Through his unique powers, Hashirama had been able to subdue and capture eight of the nine free-roaming tailed beasts on his own. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kabuto proclaimed that the man’s might as a ninja was so vast that it was held in a fantasy light similar to the Sage of Six Paths, stating that no one, aside from Madara, had come close to matching him ever since his passing.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
As a Senju and Asura Ōtsutsuki’s reincarnation, Hashirama possessed a powerful life-force and physical energy. This made his chakra remarkably strong, shown by his ability to release powerful shockwaves that damage his surroundings simply by flaring up his chakra.
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, after seeing Naruto Uzumaki distribute his and the Nine-Tails’ chakra to the entire Allied Shinobi Forces, Hashirama claimed that the distributed chakra amount almost rivalled his own reserves.
His chakra control is advanced enough to perform various complex and large-scale jutsu with only a few to no hand seals at all. Hashirama was also able to produce ten wood clones while maintaining a Kage-level barrier.
Hashirama’s life-force also grants him enough stamina to fight nonstop for a twenty-four hour period while still left prime to battle, and a will strong enough to resist the control of the perfected Impure World Reincarnation with ease, even after his cells were used to strengthen the technique’s binding.
His body was brimming with vitality, granting him considerable regenerative powers that could mend most injuries with no residual effects, an ability that only Tsunade’s technique or Naruto’s own healing when he accesses Kurama’s chakra have both came close to emulating.
As a Senju, Hashirama is trained in a variety of shinobi skills. He could summon multiple Rashōmon gates to protect himself from nearly any attack.
He could use barrier ninjutsu advanced enough to subdue the Ten-Tails. He had unprecedented skill in medical ninjutsu, able to heal wounds without forming hand seals.
His skill in fūinjutsu could store several different types of weapons for battle, with which he showed versatile skill in bukijutsu, able to fight on par with Madara.
In fact, such was Hashirama’s proficiency in fūinjutsu that he could reinforce sealing techniques that were not his own creation with his own techniques. In the anime, he could also break Madara’s control over the Nine-Tails.
Hashirama was proficient in all five basic nature transformations, along with Yin and Yang Release. He was most famous for his use of Wood Release, a combination of earth and water-natured chakra, creating wood and plants from the ground or his very being of various sizes and shapes that he manipulated to his purposes.
This ability was apparently exclusive to him as no one else has naturally acquired this power; any replications are noticeably pale in comparison to Hashirama’s capabilities.
Hashirama could completely change the landscape with his constructs. He also had more ingenious usages such as making wood clones that are nearly indistinguishable from himself.
He could make flowering trees whose pollen rendered opponents unconscious, protective structures able to withstand Tailed Beast Balls, giant hands to apprehend large targets, as well as a giant humanoid creature able to clash with Madara’s Complete Body – Susanoo.
In the anime, his precision and dexterity with his Wood Release could wield and launch his various weapons from afar, allowing him to attack from multiple angles.
Hashirama’s Wood Release also granted him a method of subduing and controlling the tailed beasts. By making direct hand contact or channelling it through his Wood Release, Hashirama could use the Hokage Style Sixty-Year-Old Technique – Kakuan Entering Society with Bliss-Bringing Hands to put the beast to sleep.
He acquired several tailed beasts in this way and was able to maintain control over all of them at the same time. Likewise, he could create wood dragons to wrap around any targets and absorb their chakra. It was by this power that he earned fame as one of few people who could completely control a tailed beast.
Because of his large chakra reserves, Hashirama could use senjutsu and enter Sage Mode — a feat he could perform instantaneously. In this mode, he gains red (black in the anime, and dark green in the video games) markings around and under his eyes as well in the middle of his forehead.
While it is not known where he learned it, Hashirama proved formidable in its usage, riding about on his wood techniques as a means to be mobile in battle while maintaining the stillness of one’s self needed to continue building up natural energy to keep this mode activated. Hashirama could perform powerful seals to bind targets, even those as large as the Ten-Tails.
The power of Sage Mode would also greatly augment his Wood Release, causing his constructs to become considerably larger and more dangerous, as seen with his largest creation, the Sage Art Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands: by using it to deliver an enormous barrage of punches, it could strip Susanoo from the Nine-Tails plus was chiefly responsible for the formation of the Valley of the End.
Hashirama was skilled enough in taijutsu to match experts like Madara and Hiruzen, and could cast genjutsu to lock a target in perpetual darkness for the technique’s duration. Hashirama was shown to be fast enough to outrun the Nine-Tails during his battle with Madara, allowing him to lead the battle to the shoreline.