Naruto Shippuden is a popular anime series that follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki and his friends as they face various enemies and challenges in the ninja world. One of the characters that joins Naruto’s team in this series is Yamato, a mysterious and powerful shinobi who has the ability to use Wood Release, a rare and versatile nature transformation.
But who is Yamato, and what is his role in the story? In this article, we will explore Yamato’s background, personality, abilities, and achievements in Naruto Shippuden. We will also discuss some of the interesting facts and trivia about him that you may not know.
All about Yamato
- Birthdate: August 10
- Sex: Male
- Age: Part II: 26–27
- Height: Part II: 178 cm
- Weight: Part II: 58.4 kg
- Blood type: A
- Kekkei Genkai: Wood Release
- Affiliation: Konohagakure/Root/Allied Shinobi Forces
- Team: Team Ro/Team Kakashi/Eight Man Squad/Team Two/Infiltration and Reconnaissance Party
Yamato graduated from the Academy at the age of six, and at that same age, was promoted to the rank of chūnin. As an infant (child in the anime), he was abducted by Orochimaru and became one of sixty children that were his test subjects.
They were injected with the First Hokage’s DNA in the hopes that they could replicate the First’s ability to use Wood Release. Before Orochimaru could finalise the results of the experiments, he was caught by Hiruzen for his other experiments and had to flee the village.
Because every child who had been subjected to the experiment had died after a certain amount of time, Orochimaru believed all remaining test subjects would perish as well.
In actuality, this boy was the lone survivor and found himself endowed with an unquantified Wood Release and likewise the First’s abilities to control tailed beasts.
In the anime, while contained in a test tube, he was fully conscious of his surroundings, watching in horror as other children died from failed experiments.
Not wanting to die all by himself, he used his Wood Release to escape. He was soon afterwards found by Danzō Shimura. Having lost all memory of who he was, the boy was taken in by Danzō, where he was recruited into the Anbu’s Root division under the codename Kinoe (甲, Kinoe).
Having high hopes for Kinoe, Danzō began to personally train him as a Root operative. He also gave Kinoe a scroll containing the secrets and various techniques of the Wood Release.
However, Kakashi, a recent recruit to Root, warned the Hokage and went in his place. Kakashi quickly defeated Kinoe, but chose to spare him in the belief that he would become a valuable ally in the future.
After the battle, Kinoe began following Kakashi from afar. Kinoe later informed Danzo of Orochimaru’s defection from Konoha and was instructed to meet up with Orochimaru at an underground cave that secretly housed the Iburi clan.
After delivering his message to the clan, who promised to help Orochimaru escape the country, he met a young girl named Yukimi who insisted that Kinoe was her brother, Tenzō. While Yukimi began to show Kinoe around, word soon reached them that an unknown individual had entered the cave.
When the intruder, Kakashi, was subdued by the Iburi clan, Kinoe convinced them to let him interrogate Kakashi. While seemingly alone, Kinoe revealed that his actual mission was the same as Kakashi’s, ensuring that Orochimaru did not escape the country.
Gotta, the clan’s leader, overheard this while spying and quickly ordered for both Konoha-nin to be killed, though Yukimi refused to let Kinoe die, saving them both.
Leaving Kakashi behind, Yukimi possessed Kinoe’s body and the two travelled to a carnival, where they took part in the festivities. Kakashi later caught up, planning to use Yukimi to capture Orochimaru, since she was of great importance to him. Refusing to let Yukimi be used as bait, Kinoe ran off with her, announcing that his name was “Tenzō”.
Quickly catching up to them, Kakashi explained that Yukimi’s blood could temporarily bestow Orochimaru with the Iburi clan’s smoke transformation, allowing him to slip across the border.
Overhearing that, Yukimi slipped away and returned to the cave. Recognising that Kinoe cared for Yukimi not unlike he had cared for Rin Nohara, Kakashi agreed to work together with Kinoe to save her.
Upon returning to the cave, the two discovered that Orochimaru had killed the Iburi clan and captured Yukimi. The spirits of the Iburi guided Kinoe and Kakashi to Yukimi, causing Orochimaru to flee.
Yukimi’s body then began to destabilise, but the spirits of the Iburi used their power along with Kinoe’s Wood Release to re-stabilise her ability. Kakashi decided to leave and not report anything about the Iburi or Root’s involvement. Yukimi, no longer needing to fear the wind, parted ways with Kinoe to see the world, while the latter was happy to know that he did have the power to save people.
Three years later, Danzō, fearing that his transplanted Sharingan would eventually go blind from its over-usage, assigned Kinoe and Kinoto to steal the Sharingan from Kakashi as a substitute.
Kinoe found Kakashi while on a mission to investigate one of Orochimaru’s abandoned labs. While initially working alongside Kakashi, he quickly attacked the older shinobi.
As Kakashi tried to reason with him that friends should not kill each other, Kinoe retorted that comment, knowing that Kakashi killed his friend Rin.
Enraged that Kinoe believed Kakashi killed her on purpose, Kakashi quickly overpowered him, telling Kinoe that she died because he couldn’t protect her, making Kinoe remember the other test subjects he wanted to save. Refusing to kill Kinoe as he still viewed him a friend and ally, Kakashi instead chose to take him to the Third Hokage.
Before he could, one of Orochimaru’s snake experiments escaped its test tube and attacked the duo. As Kinoe was taken captive, Kakashi managed to slay the creature.
While saving Kinoe, the creature’s corpse began emitting a poisonous vapour which quickly infected Kakashi. Kinoe got Kakashi out safely and, having accepting Kakashi’s words, Kinoe gave Kakashi an antidote and chose to abandon his mission, leaving Kakashi a message of it.
Upon returning to Danzō, the elder was furious at Kinoe’s blatant choice to defy his orders. While Kinoe insisted that Root should not target fellow Konoha members as they are allies, Danzō countered by stating that Root exists as a separate section of Konoha.
Remembering the feelings of friendship from Yukimi, Kinoe ultimately decided that Root’s philosophies were not for him. Disgusted at Kinoe’s new view, Danzo knocked him out with his Sharingan, ordering his men to have Kinoe’s cursed seal activated.
As Kinoe was prepped for the operation, Kakashi arrived and freed him. The two were quickly surrounded by Danzō and several Root members.
Before Danzō could act, the Third Hokage appeared, vouching for Kakashi’s unsanctioned arrival and convincing Danzō to give Kinoe over to him, though Danzō refused to remove the cursed seal on Kinoe’s tongue.
Later, Kinoe was re-assigned to Team Ro under Kakashi’s command. Joining his new squad, Kinoe was given a warm welcome to his new allies and insisted by Kakashi that he go by his chosen name of “Tenzō”, which he happily agreed to.
During this time in the Anbu, he served under the guidance of Kakashi and learned much from him, developing great respect for his captain. Two years after joining Team Ro, a new Anbu was added to their team, Itachi Uchiha, who was the youngest Anbu of all time.
While many on the team members questioned the wisdom of allowing someone so young to join Anbu, Tenzō and Kakashi took a great interest in the prodigy’s talents. Two years later, Tenzō was shocked to learn that Itachi was made an Anbu captain while being even younger than Kakashi was.
He and Kakashi were then approached by Yugao Uzuki, who would act as Itachi’s replacement for Team Ro. Later, Team Ro was mobilised to intercept the planned coup d’état, which was however already stopped by the slaughter of the clan.
As they began gathering the corpses, Danzo told them that the culprit was their former comrade Itachi. Some time after the genocide, Tenzō tried to comfort Kakashi, who was saddened by his inability to help or even understand his former friend.
Later, after Kakashi was honourably discharged from Anbu and reassigned as a jōnin sensei, Tenzō went to meet with his former captain, noting a positive change in Kakashi’s demeanour from his new position. As Tenzō continued his career in Anbu, he would come to have the best performance record of any Anbu serving under the Third Hokage.
In the anime, when Team 10 and Naruto Uzumaki were given a B-rank, potentially A-rank, mission of rescuing the son of a daimyō, Shu, who was an ally to the Land of Fire, Tsunade called for Yamato.
Because of rumours about there being suspicious activity going on in the Land of This where Team 10 was heading, she had Yamato secretly tail the younger Konoha-nin in the event things became S-rank danger and also gather any information possible.
Later, after Team 10 completed the initial phase of their plan, capturing Shū, the nation was suddenly attacked by Akatsuki. Yamato took action and destroyed several of Sasori’s puppets.
Despite his help, the nation ultimately fell to the Akatsuki’s attack. With Team 10’s mission still going to return Shū home, Yamato tailed them until they crossed the country borders. Afterwards, Yamato returned to Konohagakure to report to Tsunade, who became troubled by the news.
Yamato is a very discreet, cautious and generally well-prepared person. He projects a calm, stoic demeanour even in very stressful situations. He takes his missions very seriously, even insisting on being referred to by whatever his current codename is.
In the anime, having no family nor memories of them, Yamato’s greatest desire has become to work hard for the village to make others happy and to be acknowledged by all for his efforts, particularly as leader of Team 7, as revealed by Infinite Tsukuyomi.
Yamato also takes great interest in architecture which can be seen when he goes out on missions and creates a house to “camp out” in. This skill to incorporate his hobby with his kekkei genkai was also seen after Pain’s assault on Konoha where he was key in recreating the village. While he has been good-natured so far, Yamato claims to be a different sort of leader than Kakashi, one who is not above “ruling by the use of terror” when his team misbehaves.
Aside from his obviously intimidating skills as a ninja, however, this “terror” has so far primarily consisted of casting a creepy “ghoul-eyes” expression at his charges.
Naruto, especially, is easily terrified by it, and stated that it felt like Yamato was controlling him with fear – something Yamato himself has noted that he has no qualms with.
He has also less tolerate of Naruto’s antics and lack of respect for rules than Kakashi. He is, however, also prone to being a victim of a cruel joke when given misleading information, as witness his visible fear and subsequent annoyance when Killer B maliciously joked about the dangers of a jinchūriki trying to control their tailed beast.
In the anime, he’s shown to use his fear face in a more comical manner when he created a bridge for Naruto and the others and asked if Naruto was happy he came along.
Despite his serious and sometimes overworked demeanour, Yamato is known for being somewhat playful, such as his tendency play pranks on Naruto during their downtime on missions.
He usually does this by using his ghoul-eyes’ frightening appearance or a wood clone to scare Naruto during ghost stories, showing that he does have a sense of humour underneath all of that responsibility and seriousness.
He is also aware of his tendency to be overworked by his peers and gets frustrated by their lack of appreciation of how exhausting his Wood Release techniques are despite their obvious usefulness and versatility.
Yamato is known to respect ranking, as he told Naruto, who was now the Seventh Hokage, to not call him “Captain Yamato” anymore as he doesn’t feel comfortable for the Hokage calling him captain.
Yamato has short brown hair and black, almond-shaped eyes. While still a child and test subject of Orochimaru, he had long, unkempt hair going past his shoulders.
When he débuted, Yamato wore the standard attire of the Anbu: a black, sleeveless jumper under a grey flack jacket with strapped-up shinobi sandals, arm-length gloves with guards over them.
He carried a sword strapped to his back, and wore a mask that resembles a cat’s face covered in green, and red intricate markings, and the Anbu tattoo on his left shoulder.
When he meets up with Naruto, Sakura, and Sai for the first time, however, he has changed into a variation of the standard attire of a Konoha-nin, with a flak jacket.
The differences between his attire and that of the standard one is that his does not have the Uzushiogakure crest on the shoulders of the sleeves, and the neck of his navy-blue shirt is form fitting and goes up to his chin.
He also still retains two hip pouches strapped to his lower back instead of just one. In addition to that, he has a happuri-style forehead protector that frames his face, similar to that of Tobirama Senju.
Years later during the reign of the Seventh Hokage, Yamato’s appearance remained largely the same except with minor noticeable changes: he developed small wrinkles under his eyes and at the corners of his mouth, his hair was shorter, spiky and his happuri-style forehead protector is devoid of any emblem and slightly cracked.
Yamato has participated in many important events and missions in Naruto Shippuden. Some of his most notable achievements are:
- He helped Naruto master his wind chakra and learn the Rasenshuriken, a powerful technique that combines wind and Rasengan.
- He led Team Kakashi in their mission to rescue Gaara from the Akatsuki, where he fought against Deidara and Sasori.
- He assisted Kakashi in their mission to capture Itachi Uchiha, where he fought against Tobi and Kisame Hoshigaki.
- He joined the Eight Man Squad in their mission to find Sasuke Uchiha, where he fought against Kabuto Yakushi.
- He accompanied Naruto to meet the Fire Daimyo and protect him from the Akatsuki’s attack.
- He helped Naruto control his Nine-Tails chakra with the help of Killer B and the Eight-Tails.
- He joined the Allied Shinobi Forces in the Fourth Shinobi World War, where he fought against Madara Uchiha and Obito Uchiha.
- He was captured by Kabuto and used as a power source for the White Zetsu Army, until he was freed by Sasuke and Itachi.
- He helped Kakashi become the Sixth Hokage by using his Wood Release to create a replica of Hashirama’s face on the Hokage Monument.
- He continued to serve as Naruto’s bodyguard and adviser after he became the Seventh Hokage.
In the anime, his talents were shown to be enough to join the Anbu while still a child. Due to his abilities and potential, Danzō took him on as his personal apprentice and trained Yamato himself.
As a member of the Anbu, Yamato was a highly capable ninja, having one of – if not the finest service record of anyone working under the Third Hokage – leading the Fifth Hokage to have the utmost confidence in him.
Upon leaving the organisation, he was promoted to jōnin, with his skills being both utilised to monitor Orochimaru, as well as being recognised to the point a X Card was made of him.
Sharing the same DNA as Hashirama Senju, Yamato possesses the First’s signature Wood Release kekkei genkai. This kekkei genkai allows him to combine earth-natured chakra in one hand, and water in the other, to create vegetation such as trees and even grass which can be grown from any surface.
These trees can be grown not only from the earth and pre-existing flora, but from his own body as well by using his own cells as a source of life. As this ability is not inherently his, however, Yamato has realised that he cannot use the Wood Release techniques to their full potential, which by his own admission results in the scale of his techniques paling in comparison to that of the First Hokage.
Nonetheless, he has enough skill and experience with Wood Release to make it the main element of his fighting style, showing considerable control and gaining fame as a capable user of it.
In the anime, he was shown able to effectively use this ability while still a young child. Much of his techniques come from studying a scroll containing the Wood Release techniques of the First Hokage.
Yamato can use Wood Release for both offensive and defensive purposes: he can surround himself with extremely durable wooden domes, which he can also use to trap foes within, and in the anime, create a wooden shield that can rebuild itself, and a wall of tangled branches.
He can also cause trees to grow from his arm, which can be used to trap or impale an enemy, and create a binding tree around an enemy and subsequently crush them.
Yamato can also use Wood Release for other purposes, such as to transform into someone, with the wood acting as an outer layer, allowing him to leave out the suit when needed.
He is able to create a wood-based clone that can be generated from his body or from the ground. As they share the same cells, he is able to track its location, communicate with it over long distances, and absorb any information it has gathered by laying his hand on it.
Yamato can even turn a wood clone into a seed in order to track anyone he plants it on. He can generate wooden structures almost instantly, which he can use to create a large cage used to hold prisoners and intimidate unruly subordinates, and a large house that can be erected at a moment’s notice instead of setting up a camp.
Yamato is skilled in the use of Water and Earth Release as well, as seen when he raised the ground and created a waterfall. He is also capable of utilising Yang Release.
Tailed Beast Suppression
Using the First Hokage’s Necklace to amplify his powers, Yamato can suppress the power of a tailed beast. This legendary ability was one of the reasons that Hashirama Senju was made Hokage in the first place, and it was greatly coveted by Orochimaru.
Although the First Hokage could suppress entire tailed beasts, Yamato has admitted to his skill not being as strong as the original’s so it is unknown what the limits of his suppression ability are.
He was able to suppress Naruto’s four-tailed form in mere seconds. It was for this reason why Yamato was assigned to Team Kakashi in their leader’s absence.
He also added a seal to the Hokage’s necklace that would activate and reveal a number on his palm corresponding to the tails that Naruto has gained, when he called upon too much of the Nine-Tails’ chakra, attempting to restrain him and alerting Yamato to what was happening.
With the destruction of the necklace, however, Yamato implied that he could no longer help suppress tailed beasts. Despite this, during Naruto’s tailed-beast control training, when Naruto started losing control, Yamato tried to suppress the beast once again.
Yamato can also use his Wood Release to suppress the chakra of regular people, as seen when he suppressed Kisame’s chakra in order to subdue him after his capture.
Yamato is highly proficient in multiple areas of combat, including tracking, trapping, stealth, and diversionary tactics. He has keen instincts in battle, allowing him to quickly react to threats.
He can also merge with the environment to spy undetected or evade most attacks. During his test of his new team’s skills, he demonstrated considerable ability in taijutsu, as shown when he simultaneously fended off Naruto and Sai.
Thanks to his training as an Anbu, Yamato is proficient in kenjutsu, able to clash against his senior Kakashi. He also has some skill in fūinjutsu, as he was able to place a seal and rig it to activate under certain conditions.
Having been genetically altered to match Hashirama’s DNA, Yamato was also granted the legendary shinobi’s ability to heal nearly any wound, without the need for hand seals.
Yamato’s Facts and Trivia
Here are some interesting facts and trivia about Yamato that you may not know:
- Yamato’s codenames are all related to wood or trees. Yamato is a type of Japanese cedar tree, Tenzo is a term for carpenters who build temples or shrines, and Kinoe is one of the ten celestial stems that represents wood.
- Yamato’s birthday is August 10, which makes him a Leo. His blood type is A, which means he is earnest, creative, sensible, and responsible.
- Yamato’s favorite food is mitarashi dango, a type of Japanese dumpling skewered on a stick and covered with sweet soy sauce. His least favorite food is anything oily or fried.
- Yamato’s hobbies are wood carving and gardening. He likes to create sculptures or furniture with his Wood Release or grow plants or flowers in his spare time.
- Yamato’s voice actors are Rikiya Koyama in Japanese and Troy Baker (episodes 34-229) and Matthew Mercer (episodes 230+) in English. They also voice other characters in Naruto Shippuden, such as Asuma Sarutobi and Pain (Koyama), and Pain and Obito Uchiha (Baker/Mercer).
- Yamato has appeared in several Naruto movies, games, novels, and spin-offs. Some of them are Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding, and Rock Lee’s Springtime of Youth Full Power Ninja Chronicles.
Yamato is a fascinating character who has a lot of depth and development in Naruto Shippuden. He is a loyal and powerful shinobi who supports Naruto and his team with his Wood Release and other abilities. He is also a kind and humorous person who cares for his friends and comrades. He has overcome his tragic past and become a valuable member of Konoha.