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Hidden Villages Lore Compilation

Bashkuga

Well-Known Member


I would like to start with a short summary on why I am writing this. Feel free to skip it and go straight to the main article if you don't want to read it!

Spoiler: Foreword
WORLD-BUILDING. This is a subject in Naruto that I have been fascinated about since, relatively speaking at least, not so long ago. I have been a die-hard Naruto fan since 2012, and at this moment probably watched the anime at least 20 times. In the beginning my main focus lay on the development of my favorite characters, which were just Team 7 in general, and the progression of the story itself. But as awesome as I found the other aspects of the series I rarely took an interest in them. It wasn't until after the manga ended in 2014 that I actually started to pay attention to side-characters, and with it I had a newfound appreciation for them and the story itself. This is when characters like Lee, Orochimaru, Zabuza and... well pretty much everyone got a spot in my favourite character list lol. And the reason for that is because I finally took the time to actually deepen myself into their story; I started paying proper attention to flashbacks in the anime and spend hours reading their articles on Naruto Wikia. All this background info gave me a new perspective on the series, and it made rewatching it very enjoyable.

Then, in 2020, I got another breakthrough in my interest of Naruto; the world itself. Now you might think that worldbuilding is probably one of the weakest aspects of Naruto, and as a matter of fact I agree with you, but it does not mean that we don't have anything. No in fact the problem is that the lore is very scattered, and if you gather all the pieces of the puzzle and put it all together you might be surprised at how much we actually know! All the information that I gathered from different sources, be it articles on the internet, the anime/manga itself (including a bit of Boruto) and the databooks, gave me yet again this new appreciation for the series that I love. Through this article I hope you will experience the same thing and enjoy the series even more than before!

In this post I will focus mainly on the Hidden Villages, and specifically the military aspect of them. This facet of the lore we got most information about, and to me is also the most fascinating of them all. Obviously we know more about some villages compared to others, but nonetheless they all contain unique bits of lore that make them stand out from the others and are definitely worth mentioning imo. I will dedicate a chapter to each Hidden Village, and they will contain mostly canon facts, but sometimes I will point out educated theories as well. Obviously if I missed something please let me know, I'm always open to information and discussion, as even with the limited information we have it's still a lot for me to remember. In any case, let's get started!



Hidden Leaf Village


Spoiler: Hidden Leaf Village

Background and history
The main village of the series, and the one that we have the most information about. Formed by Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha the village started out as the centre for a unified Senju and Uchiha clan, but as time progressed more Shinobi clans joined this organisation. According to the First Fanbook, Konoha is unique in it's tolerancy towards Shinobi with unique abilities; namely Kekkei Genkai clans. Whilst in other villages these Shinobi would be shunned or even persecuted, in Konoha this would be rarely seen. Their open-mindedness, alongside the loyalty and love of their Shinobi to Konoha, who stand by the Will of Fire, made the village prosper and actually earned them the position of strongest Hidden Village (up until Orochimaru's and Pain's invasions). In their history the following Shinobi clans are known to be or have been integrated into Konoha's forces:

- Senju clan*
- Uchiha clan**
- Hyuga clan
- Sarutobi clan
- Shimura clan***
- Nara clan
- Yamanaka clan
- Akimichi clan
- Aburame clan
- Inuzuka clan

*I won't go extensively into this, but whilst members of the Senju clan have not been mentioned by name anymore at the time the Naruto series started, I theorize that their clan's heritage lives on within other clans or non-Shinobi families through the Senju mingling with them. The most apparent example being Hashirama who married Mito Uzumaki instead of another Senju. Besides that Tsunade does not even use her Senju surname anymore, eventhough Madara evidently called her one, leaving the impression that the Senju just stopped utilizing their clan in name as a means to unify the village. In the end this is just a theory though so take it with a grain of salt.
**At the time of Naruto massacred into extinction, therefore no longer part of Konoha's military.
***Only mentioned in name during the foundation of Konoha. Not much else is known about the clan or it's abilities unfortunately, other than the fact that Danzo is a member of this clan.

Recruitment and education
According to the First Fanbook, the second Hokage, Tobirama Senju, introduced the system of the Ninja Academy into Konoha as a means to increase the military might of the village. It started out as a ninja training camp at the base of the cliff of Konoha, with its main focus being purely educational. However, it quickly merged with military and domestic facilities and began calling itself the Academy. In his reign the Third Hokage then perfected the educational systems, and education and training are now carried out under strict standards. The Acadamy is a free and open-minded institute that allows students to stengthen their bodies and minds, discovering their own ninja paths. When they have found their way, they are guided by the belief that fills them. The motto of Konoha Academy teachers has therefore remained the same since the institute’s founding:

Development as shinobi with respect to individuality.

The Fanbook also describes that aspiring students have to meet the following acceptance requirements before entering the academy:

- You must love the village and hope to help preserve peace and prosperity.
- You must have a mind that will not yield, able to endure hard training and work.
- Be healthy in mind and body.


The same source tells us that the Academy education follows a basic development pattern:

- Basics: Creating the foundations
Immediately after entrance, students are given basic training and education. Without sturdy bodies and this fundamental knowledge, they will never be shinobi.
- Maneuvers: Filling those foundations with skills
Practical classes quickly have the students using ninja tools, ninjutsu and physical attacks. Many classes practice team play and simulated battle.
- Application: Allowing those skills to ripen
When students are deemed to have mastered the basics and maneuvers they are moved to the application stage, where they are taught techniques designed for their personality and skills. Private lessons or special seminars help enhance their specials qualities. Then they graduate.

Through these three steps students acquire the knowledge and techniques every shinobi knows and the ideas behind them. Besides the basic pattern, a more in-depth description of the curriculum of the daily classes in the Academy is also provided.

Theory: Backed by a wealth of data, the theories behind jutsu and seals are taught in detail.
Training: Physical training, grasping basics.
Practice: Basic but fundamental jutsu*, as well as physical tests.
Philosophy: Academy students are part of Konoha – the shinobi code, in the form of the Will of Fire philosophy, is stamped into their hearts.
History: The wisdom of those that came before.

Finally, for Academy students to become genin, they need to pass two tests.

Academy Graduation Test: Occurs at the Academy – a random selection from the basic ninjutsu*. At the start of the series Naruto had to perform the Clone Jutsu to graduate the academy, but as we know he obviously failed.
Genin Certification Test: Performed by the Jounin in charge after formation of a three-man cell.

*The First Databook gives us some examples of E-rank jutsu's, which we have also seen in the series. These being the following:

- Clone Jutsu (the requirement for Naruto to graduate from the Academy)
- Transformation Jutsu (e.g. Naruto's Sexy Jutsu)
- Body Replacement Jutsu (introduced first by Kakashi during the survival test)
- Rope Escape Jutsu (performed by Sasuke when he was ambushed by Naruto in early Part 1)
- Cloak of Invisibility Jutsu (performed by Naruto and Konohamaru in early Part 1)

We can safely assume that any of these Jutsu could have been used for the Academy Graduation Test, which is why Naruto was mortified after hearing that the Clone Jutsu became the test for that year's students.

Development and training
Generally after becoming Genin the Shinobi of Konoha train under the supervision of their Jounin squad leaders. In the case of the Shinobi clans, however, the children also train with their family members in the arts of their Hiden Jutsu or Kekkei Genkai. Suffice to say there is no better training than actual battle, and it is during dangerous missions that Shinobi really develop their skills.

A general custom in Konoha appears to be a tradition between the Nara, Akimichi and Yamanaka clan, who usually have their children form a three-man cell after graduating from the Academy. In addition these teams are supervised by a Jounin from the Sarutobi clan, as we can see in the case of Asuma leading Ino, Shikamaru and Choji. This is a testimony towards the coöperation and friendship between these clans.

Art of War
The strength of Konoha lies in the diversity of their Shinobi's abilities, ranging from various Kekkei Genkai and Hiden Jutsu, as well as the possibility to form specialized units and formations. After graduating from the academy, a three-man cell is being formed to perfectly balance the abilities of the members, but in some cases also create groups whom specialize in a certain field. Think of reconaissance and detection in the case of Team 8, Team Guy being more specialized in close combat, and of course formation Ino-Shika-Cho. Teams can obviously shift and change depending on the mission and the rank of the members, but generally they remain the same throughout their career. Furthermore, through Tsunade's efforts the village also established a training program for Shinobi to develop themselves in the arts of Medical Ninjutsu, which in the end saved countless Shinobi lifes.

In addition to the above Konoha also seems to put a lot of effort in prevention, sabotage and espionage; this being a notable expertise of Danzo's Root Anbu division, who took many measures to ensure that Konoha is safe while the rest of the world is weakened and in chaos. Examples of these tactics are the Uchiha Clan Massacre, Sai's mission to kill Sasuke, the coöperation between Danzo and Hanzo in destroying Yahiko's Akatsuki, and having Konoha spies who know too much kill each other through various means. Outside of Root's actions there are also examples of the Hokage using prevention tactics, namely the relocating and monitoring of the Uchiha clan by the Second and the Third Hokage, the mission to destroy the Kannabi Bridge during the Third Shinobi war and their solution to the Hyuga incident with Kumo. Lastly, Konoha is also shown to be the only village using a invisble barrier around the village to sense incoming threats. This can be attributed to the lack of natural defenses that the village suffers compared to other Hidden Villages.

In conclusion the Hidden Leaf's strength lies in the diversity of their Shinobi's abilities, as well as their love and loyalty to the village, which is attributed to the general open-mindedness of the village and the core basics of their education system. Aside from that the focus of their power is mostly aimed towards prevention and defense, as they value peace and prosperity over war. Before Pain's invasion, Konoha was confirmed by both the First and Second Fanbook to be the strongest Hidden Village, as they were by far the largest village and had the greatest economy. After Pain's Invasion, however, their power was significantly reduced, and the Second Databook gives us an overview of Konoha's strength after the invasion:
  • Population: 5/5
  • Military: 3/5
  • Economy: 2/5


Hidden Sand Village


Spoiler: Hidden Sand Village

Background and history
According to the Fourth Databook, the Hidden Sand Village was formed by the First Kazekage, Reto, using the overwhelming power he gathered in a time when numerous clans battled each other over the scarce resources in the deserts of the Land of Wind. Not much else is known other than the fact that Suna was the only village aside from Konoha, before the distribution of Bijuu by the First Hokage, who had a Bijuu, which Reto used as leverage to negotiate for more fertile lands to develop his country. During the time of the Naruto series Suna was regarded as the weakest Hidden Village among the Five Great Nations. The Daimyo of the Land of Wind, which became impoverished by the previous great wars, was forced to sign a peace treaty with the other countries, and in an effort to cut down on costs of missions he reduced the funding of his own Sand Village and outsourced missions to the cheaper Konoha. as well as forcing a reduction of arms in Suna. This made him highly unpopular among the Sand Shinobi, and prompted them to ally themselves to the Hidden Sound in an attempt to destroy Konoha during the Chunin Exams. In addition, the Fourth Kazekage, Rasa, ordered Chiyo to seal Shukaku into his youngest son, Gaara, as to still increase the power of the village despite the cuts into their fundings and disarmament.

Suna was not always in this dire state, however, as during the reign of the Second Kazekage, Shamon, the village achieved groundbreaking advancements. He aimed his efforts towards military expansion, researching new ninjutsu and expanding upon the knowledge of Puppet Techniques (and even trying to replace Shinobi with puppets). Furthermore, he took advantage of the deserts surrounding the village [I assume by bolstering its defenses], and dedicated a lot of time into researching the Bijuu, with the intent to control Shukaku. This research, either during or after the reign of Shamon, eventually led to the creation of the first Jinchuriki of Shukaku; Bunpuku.

Unfortunately both the First and Second Kazekage were assassinated during their rule, and the Third Kazege went missing until it was discovered that the Akatsuki member Sasori, a former Suna Shinobi, killed him and used his corpse for his Puppet Jutsu. The Fourth Kazekage, Rasa, was murdered by Orochimaru before the Chunin Exams. The title of Kazekage was therefore considered to be cursed, as all members were killed one way or another.

Recruitment and education
We barely have information on Suna's Academy (the Second Databook confirms that Suna also has an Academy), but according to the Third Databook Suna started to adopt Konoha's program during Gaara's reign as Kazekage, and achieved great results through it. The First Fanbook also states that, with the recent disarmament, the focus of the village is now aimed at raising a smaller number of elite Shinobi.

Art of War
The Hidden Sand's Shinobi are specialized in the Wind Release. Not much is known about the clans of Suna however, but we do have some clues. There are two Kekkei Genkai attributed to the Hidden Sand, these being Magnet Release and Scorch release:

Magnet release is attributed to the clan whose members have become the Third, Fourth and Fifth Kazekage (in the Gaara Hiden they are just called the "Kazekage Clan"), who dedicated their time to study the power and Jutsu of Shukakku. Through him they were able to use their Kekkei Genkai to manipulate iron sand and gold dust. As a side-note: Rasa used the gold dust to keep the economy of Suna afloat, which I thought was a pretty cool detail!
Scorch release, Suna's second Kekkei Genkai, has only one known user; Pakura. Because of the rarity I think it's safe to say that Suna does not have a bunch of Shinobi with this ability, and is probably a result of a genetic anomaly rather than an ability that is passed within Pakura's family/clan (similar to Hashi's Wood Release).

Now here comes the interesting part; whilst Suna might be lacking in the Kekkei Genkai department, during the Fourth Shinobi War we can see that they do have specialized military companies unique to their village:

Puppeteer Corps


The Puppet Jutsu is created by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, the first Puppeteer of Suna, and creator of the Chikamatsu Collection of Ten Puppets which were used by Chiyo in her battle against Sasori. The Second Kazekage eventually expanded upon this Jutsu, and from the previous information it's safe to say that he caused the technique to spread amongst other Shinobi of the Hidden Sand. This became apparent during the Third Shinobi War, where Sasori, one of the greatest puppeteers in Shinobi history, earned the nickname Sasori of the Red Sands, as his expertise in the Puppet Jutsu killed many Shinobi and covered the sands with blood. Both Chiyo and Sasori have also shown us that they could attach their Chakra strings to living people, and with it being able to control that person's movements at will. Besides the above mentioned Shinobi the best Puppeteer of Suna would be Kankuro, son of the Fourth Kazekage and brother of Gaara.

Giant Fan Corps


This corps manipulates Wind Release through Giant Iron Fans. The more users there are, the greater and more powerfull the Wind Release becomes. The most famous user in the series is Temari, daughter of the Fourth Kazekage and sister of Gaara.

Cloth Binder Corps


The purpose of these Shinobi is to restrain the target's movements by wrapping them with special rolls of cloth. In combination with a sealing tag they can prevent anybody from summoning the target out of the binding, which was of utter necessity during the Fourth Shinobi War. The only known named user in the series is Maki, a student of Pakura.

In conclusion the Hidden Sand during the Naruto series was a shell of its former self. Yet despite their hardships they have managed to create a very unique and interesting style of warfare on top of the standard Shinobi practices that we see in other villages. It also helps that their geographical location, being deep in the deserts of the Land of Wind, acts as a natural defense against any incoming invaders. After the Pain Arc the stats of the village, according to the Second Fanbook, are as follows:
  • Population: 2/5
  • Military: 2/5
  • Economy: 2/5


Hidden Mist Village


Spoiler: Hidden Mist Village

Background and history
My personal favorite of them all. The Hidden Mist Village's history, or rather the history of the Land of Water, is filled with tragedy and war. It was probably the most unstable village among the Five Great Nations, and given its history that should not come as a surprise. According to the First Fanbook, the Land of Water consists of an island country floating on the ocean, with a very unique culture. Completely surrounded by water, with most of the land occupied by steep mountains. The smaller islands around the main island each have their own traditions, and many citizens stubbornly insist on preserving these. The Hidden Mist Village itself was formed by the First Mizukage, Byakuren, during the Warring States Era. Yet even after Kiri was formed, the village and the Land of Water itself were ravaged by strife and civil wars. This caused the country to shun Shinobi with special abilities, and in particular people with Kekkei Genkai. This caused the Kekkei Genkai Shinobi to go into hiding, but as was the case with Haku, if anyone found out their true identity, they could be persecuted or even killed.

Unfortunately not much is known about the reign of the Second and the Third Mizukage. What we do know, however, is that the Second Mizukage and Second Tsuchikage mutually killed each other during either the First or Second Shinobi War. Presumably during the rule of the Third Mizukage, Madara manipulated Kiri into kidnapping Rin and tried using her as a weapon to destroy Konoha from the inside by letting the Three-Tails run loose. When Rin died during this mission, Kiri started to look again for the Three-Tails and ultimately captured him and sealed him inside Yagura, who became the Fourth Mizukage.

Yagura ruled over the village with an iron fist, but was secretly controlled by Obito at the time of this reign. If I recall correctly it was during this time that many Shinobi defected from the Village, which in turn prompted Yagura to create the Hunter-nin Corps. The Second Fanbook confirms that Zabuza and his followers staged a failed coup during the reign of Yagura; one year before the events of Naruto according to the First Fanbook. We don't know what happened to him after it was discovered by Ao that he was under influence from Obito's genjutsu, but later on he was succeeded by Mei Terumi, the Fifth Mizukage, who aspired a far more open-minded policy in the Hidden Mist, and ultimately ended the reign of terror.

A little fun-fact that I learned from reading about the Hidden Mist is that the village is not only ruled by the Mizukage, but rather together with the Village Chief Elder. According to the Fourth Databook the Elder, being the law of Kiri, is seeked for advice when it comes to the village's most important matters, whilst the Mizukage is chosen for the ability to protect the village. Thats why also young people like Yagura could become Mizukage.

Recruitment and education
Boruto's anime arc about the Hidden Mist reveals us that Kiri also has an Academy*. What's unique to Kiri, however, is their focus on swordsmanship, and the ability to walk on water early on in their education. This makes sense considering the fact that they are surrounded by the sea, and the fact that their strongest Shinobi are a specialized swordsmen unit.


From early on in the history of Kiri the village was also known as the Bloody Mist Village, due to their horrific graduation exam where students were pitted against each other and only the survivors of those death matches would become Shinobi. This practice ended when Zabuza Momochi, a child who wasn't even in the Academy yet, killed 100 students on his own.

*Of course since this is Boruto, and not written by Kishi, some people might doubt if the Hidden Mist arc is canon or not. I personally treat Boruto as soft-canon and cherry pick the things I like, while ignoring the things I don't. In the case of the Hidden Mist arc I honestly think the world-building was great and fit the story pretty well, but I can totally understand if you disagree with me!

Development and training
Kiri Shinobi who are exceptionally skilled get the chance to become part of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen; an elite organisation of swordsmen who are regarded the strongest Shinobi in the Hidden Mist besides the Mizukage. In the case of Zabuza and Kisame they first were elite Anbu members before becoming members of the organisation.

The Seven Shinobi Swordsmen all seemed to have their teeth sharpened. We don't know for sure if this is a custom that is unique to this organisation, or that it's a general trait amongst Kiri Shinobi, but we might have a clue. Both Suigetsu and Mangetsu, who are both members of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen, have sharpened teeth. Yet, the Second Mizukage, Gengetsu, who is from the same Hozuki clan as the two brothers, does not fashion this trait. To me this implies that sharpened teeth are a characteristic that is at least present with Kiri Shinobi who aspire to become part of the Seven Shinobi Swordsmen. Furthermore, the First Mizukage seemed to also have supported this trait, and to me this either means that he started the Seven Shinobi Swordsmen organisation and was the first master of all seven swords, or that the Seven Swordsmen sharpen their teeth to his image as a way to display their loyalty towards him. Either way, he definitely had a role in their creation.

Art of War
The most notable aspect of the Hidden Mist Shinobi's style of warfare is their preference of the sword, as every student is required to learn to use it from a very early age. Besides that they also utilize Jutsu that are unique to their village, examples being the Hiding in Mist Jutsu, Water Clone Jutsu and most likely the Water Prison Jutsu as well. To me it seems that Kiri Shinobi are very adept in containing and assassination techniques, as the above mentioned jutsu are perfectly suited for disorienting the enemy and strike from blind spots.

Another important aspect of the Hidden Mist's military are their Hunter-nin (code-named "The Undertaker Squad") corps. This a division of the Kiri Anbu who are particularly skilled in tracing and assassinating rogue Shinobi, after which they quickly dispose of their bodies, so that none of their secrets may fall into the wrong hands, only bringing the head of the victim as proof with them. For this reason, the Hunter-nin are especially well trained in the anatomy of the human body. The best known member in the series being Ao himself.

Whilst less known compared to Konoha, the Hidden Mist, and by extension the Land of Water itself, seem to have contained their own Shinobi clans, of which we know a few. It should be noted that the Kekkei Genkai clans are obviously not very well represented in the Hidden Mist's military itself, but for knowledge's sake I want to include them anyway:

- Hozuki clan
- Hoshigaki clan*
- Karatachi clan*
- Yuki clan
- Kaguya clan**
- Terumi clan?***

*Introduced in Boruto's Hidden Mist Arc. See my point about Boruto canon in the "Recruitment and training" paragraph of this chapter.
**Yes, all the evidence points towards the Kaguya clan being situated in the Land of Water. It's hard to believe that they went all their way to cross the sea from the mainland just to attack the Hidden Mist, which ultimately doomed them into extinction. Additionally, the fact that Kekkei Genkai users were being persecuted in the country because of the gruesome civil wars they were utilized in, gives me the idea that the violent Kaguya clan also had a hand in these affairs.
***I personally find it hard to believe that Mei did not come from a notable Shinobi clan, as I don't think a regular Shinobi could possess two Kekkei Genkais without one being a part of a clan's heritage. My personal guess would go to the Boil Release being the Kekkei Genkai of the Terumi clan, and the Lava Release a genetic anomaly of Mei.

In conclusion, after a harsh and violent history, and the seclussion policies of the former Mizukage, the Hidden Mist finally started to develop towards a more open-minded policy with the Fifth Mizukage. Yet after the Pain arc the suffering of the village can still be seen in their statistics:
  • Population: 2/5
  • Military: 3/5
  • Economy: 2/5


Hidden Cloud Village


Spoiler: Hidden Cloud Village

Background and history
Formed by the First Raikage, the Fourth Databook explains that the village is governed under the totalitarian leadership of the Raikage, who always inherits the title of "A" upon receiving the position and is the strongest Shinobi of Kumo. The Raikage acts like a "Don" who protects the village as if they are his own family, and imposes complete control over the village's affairs. The village itself is situated high upon the mountain tops, which also act as its natural defense.

During the events of Naruto, the Fourth Raikage has devoted himself to strengthening the armaments of the village, as his experiences taught him that power is the key to defending his village, even if it means deteriorating the relationship with the other Hidden Villages. It should therefore be no surprise that the Hyuga incident happened under his rule. Yet this desire for power was not always the case with the other Raikage's, as the Second Raikage specifically was more aimed towards political prowess and peace. Evidently, he tried to establish an alliance with Konoha, but during the peace treaty ceremony he was ambushed by the Kinkaku/Ginkaku brothers, who staged a coup in an attempt to overthrow his leadership. The ultimate fate of the Second Raikage, however, is not known, but it left both him and the Second Hokage on the brink of death.

The Third Raikage is known to be the strongest Raikage of them all, and legend tells us that he fought an army of ten thousand Shinobi for three days straight before being killed, in an effort to safe his comrades. He also fought the Eight-Tails all by himself into a draw, which proves the immense strength the Third Raikage possessed.

Lastly, according to the First Databook the Hidden Cloud also contains a seperate position within the hierarchical structure, that being of the Head Ninja. As the highest-ranking shinobi, they are sent on important political missions, such as ambassadors for peace treaties with other villages.

Recruitment and education
We have no information about the education system of Kumo, except for the process in which the Raikage "A" tries to find a partner that can match their skill and strength. These partners get the title of "B", and are responsible for defending the Raikage and bringing out their full power as a tag-team. The ultimate skill they use together is called the "Double Lariat", a jutsu where A and B dash at high speed towards each other and lock their arms with the head of the opponent inbetween when they make contact, decapitating the victim in the process. This recruitment program, however, is only necessary when the next Raikage doesn't have a sibling that can match their strength.

Art of War
Kumo's power lies in their offensive strategy, which according to the Fourth Databook can be attested to the sleeveless design of their outfits. Besides that Kumo Shinobi are very skilled in the use of swords like the Hidden Mist, yet the most unique attributes to the military prowess of Kumo is their focus on Nintaijutsu; in which Shinobi of Kumo incorporate Ninjutsu to strengthen their Taijutsu prowess. The most evident example would be the Third and Fourth Raikage's Lightning Chakra Cloak, with which they can severely increase the power and speed of their physical attacks. Kumo also specializes in Lighting Release, and the strongest form they possess is the unique Black Lighting. This type of Lighting Release is very rare, and currently in Kumo only passed onto Darui by the Third Raikage, after which Darui received the tattoo with the letters forming Lighting on both his shoulders.

According to the Second Fanbook, Kumo is also notorious for their research into the Jutsu and equipment of the other villages. This is evident from the fact that they tried to kidnap Hinata Hyuga for her Byakugan, and Kushina Uzumaki for her special Chakra in order to control the Nine-Tails. Kumo of course also dedicated their research towards the Bijuu, and in the end found the perfect Jinchuriki in Killer Bee.

Since ancient times Kumogakure possesses the five legendary Sage of the Six Path’s Tools; items that are said that, if wielded by those who exceptionally demonstrate their power, could even surpass the Five Kage. However, their usage expends enormous amounts of chakra, hence ordinary people will not be able to use them. Kumo’s Kinkaku and Ginkaku, using the power of the tools through the Nine-Tails’ chakra, inflicted heavy injuries unto the Second Raikage and Second Hokage that brought them close to the brink of death. The tools are listed as follows:

Golden Canopy Rope: A rope that expels the word-soul of whomever it touches. The person’s most frequently said phrase represents the word-soul and is tugged out.
Seven Star Sword: A cursed treasured-sword used to cut the opponent’s word-soul. Its chakra expenditure exceeds other Treasured Tools.
Crimson Gourd: With the word-soul stolen from their mouths, the persons who remain silent are sucked into the gourd, and sealed.
Amber Purifying Pot: A pot that seals those who respond to being called. This was used to seal Kumo’s Eight-Tails.
Banana Fan: A fan that creates all of the five-natured techniques. With a single sweep, it envelops the enemy in a violent wind akin to a natural disaster.

Lastly, we know about a couple of clans and Kekkei Genkai* within the Hidden Cloud:

- Yotsuki clan**
- Storm Release clan***

*Dodai (Lava Release) and Toroi (Magnet Release) are both Shinobi whom contain unique Kekkei Genkai within Kumo and with no affiliation to any named clans. It's very well possible that both of them were victims of the kidnappings that Kumo is infamous for, as Lava Release and Magnet Release are seen in other villages as well. This might obviously not be the case but it's fun to theorize.
**We don't know anything about this clan's abilities, but according to the Fourth Databook this clan lived in the Valley of Clouds and Lightning for generations, and when they showed their support to the First Raikage, they were dedicated land to in return for that.
***The Storm Release is a Kekkei Genkai unique to Kumo, and we have seen several users during the Fourth Shinobi War. Unfortunately we don't know the name of the clan to which this Kekkei Genkai is attributed to.

In conclusion, Kumogakure may very well be the strongest Village after the Pain Arc, as can be seen from their stats:
  • Population: 3/5
  • Military: 4/5
  • Economics: 5/5


Hidden Rock Village


Spoiler: Hidden Rock Village

Background and history
A village formed by the First Tsuchikage, it is probably the village we have the least information about among the Five Great Nations. What we do know is that the policy of the Second Tsuchikage, Muu, is that of reaping every opportunity for the prosperity of the Village. We know this because Muu reminded Ohnoki to take advantage of the post-war situation in favor of Iwagakure, after the Fourth Ninja War is over. In the end Mu died together with his rival, the Second Mizukage, in their great battle.

The advantage policy was eventually applied by his apprentice, the Third Tsuchikage Ohnoki, as well. This is evident from the fact that Ohnoki utilized the Akatsuki many times as mercenaries for the benefit of his village, as he felt threatened by the increasing militarisation of Kumo. According to the Second Fanbook, Ohnoki's leadership is completely militaristic, and until the Fourth Shinobi War was trying to gain complete hegemony over the Shinobi World.

Recruitment and education
We don't know much about the education system of Iwagakure, except for the fact that their Shinobi abide to the philoshopy of the Will of Stone.

Development and training
In the Boruto Anime* we find out that the Hidden Rock Village contains an area that is sealed by a powerful barrier called the Sanzu Plains. The barrier prevents anyone from leaving the area, as it is meant to be a training area for Iwagakure Shinobi who have to find their Heart Stone in order to overcome the barrier. The Heart Stone can only be found when the Shinobi becomes self-reliant.

*See my notes in the Hidden Mist Village chapter for my stance on Boruto canon.

Art of War
Interestingly enough many anime-only episodes show us that whenever Iwagakure is involved in a conflict, they either betray their allies or invade a nation when they're in their weakest state. Whilst usually overly exaggerated as expected from filler, the overal strategy is pretty canon, as "reap the benefits" is basically the policy of Iwagakure since the reign of the Second Tsuchikage. That's not all though; we have several snippets of information about the military of the Hidden Rock.

Firstly, It seems that Iwagakure has a specialized corps of Shinobi that utilize the Explosive Release Kekkei Genkai. The known members of this corps are Gari and Deidara, although both are not a part of it anymore.

According to the Third Databook, Iwagakure has developed a Forbidden Jutsu that allows users to transfer chakra into materials, with which they can remotely shape, animate, and control the object. On command, the objects size can also be manipulated — from nano-sized to gigantic heights. Deidara stole this Forbidden Jutsu in order to enhance his Explosive Release and create the artistic sculptures whilst also bringing them to life. As a result of learning this Jutsu, Deidara developed functional mouths on his hands and chest.

Furthermore, Iwagakure Shinobi are specialized in Earth Release Jutsu, ranging from Stone Golems, Rock Fists and Rock Clones. Experienced users can change the shape of the earth to their benefit, as they could lower the ground beneath the feet of their victims in order to trap them, or create stone walls to protect themselves from enemy attacks.

Lastly, whilst we don't have specific clan names, we do know that the Hidden Rock Village contains a handfull of Kekkei Genkai clans:

- Explosive Release clan*
- Lava Release clan**
- Tsuchikage clan***

*As described above, this clan specializes in Explosive Release and its members are most likely in the Explosion Corps.
**Lava Release in the form of quicklime, it was first introduced through Kurotsuchi, but later in the Fourth Shinobi War we we see that there are multiple Iwagakure Shinobi who can utilize this form of Lava Release. It's therefore possible that one of Kurotsuchi's parents are part of this clan.
***The first three Tsuchikages have shown us that they were all able to fly by using the Light-Weight Rock Technique. In addition to that, the Second and Third Tsuchikage were both able to utilize their Kekkei Touta in the form of Dust Release, which leaves the impression that the Tsuchikage are all part of a single bloodline.

In conclusion, the Hidden Rock Village's military power is very formidable, due to the power and experience of their Tsuchikage and natural defenses. Their stats are as follows:
  • Population: 4/5
  • Military: 4/5
  • Economy: 2/5


BONUS

I wanted to dedicate a chapter to the minor Hidden Villages of the Narutoverse. Since we don't have that much information about them (with maybe the Hidden Rain Village as the exception), I will dedicate a paragraph to each village instead of whole chapters.

Spoiler: Hidden Rain Village

Hidden Rain Village


Background and history
The Hidden Rain Village is a minor Shinobi Village in an unnamed country that was used as a battleground for many wars. The earliest leader that we know of, Hanzo of the Salamander, was a legendary Shinobi who utilized deadly poison from the poisonous black salamander species to kill his enemies, as well as his Giant Salamander summon Ibuse. During his reign he led his village in the Second Shinobi War against the forces of Konoha, Iwagakure and Sunagakure, who at the same time were also waging war against each other, and managed to hold his own. At some point he also fought against the Samurai of the Land of Iron, whom he overpowered with his strength. Somewhere during the Third Shinobi World War, he coöperated with Danzo to overthrow the newly formed Akatsuki organisation, which ultimately doomed his fate. Nagato started a civil war against Hanzo, and in the end overthrew him using the Six Paths of Pain. He then proceeded to kill everyone who was tied to Hanzo, be it family, friends and even children, as to prevent anyone from exacting revenge upon Pain and keep the village united. Russian Revolution style.

During Nagato's reign, the name of Hanzo became a taboo, and Pain was referred as a god. Through his Rinnegan he manipulated the rain as a barrier to sense incoming intruders (mostly former Hanzo loyalists), killing them whenever they appear. He began a policy of seclusion and didn't permit anyone from outside to enter the village. From there on he began leading the Akatsuki.

Art of War
During the civil war period, Hanzo sent several teams of Genin to participate in the Konoha Chunin Exams. Within that arc we find out that Hidden Rain Shinobi have the ability to utilize umbrella's that shoot out needles at the command of the user. Furthermore, gasmasks and gastanks seem to have been worn by Shinobi who are loyal to Hanzo, probably to protect themselves against the poison but also to symbolize their loyalty to him. The Fourth Databook at least confirms that they wear these masks because their main tactic is to use surprise attacks from underwater. Shinobi loyal to Pain are not shown wearing this gear, but instead drove a cut across the Hidden Rain symbol on their forehead protectors, as to symbolize their rejection of Hanzo's rule.

According to the First Fanbook, Amegakure pushes their Shinobi to the limits of their abilities, creating many unique jutsu. Their assassination jutsu are in great demand by other countries. The village also contains many Shinobi skilled in Genjutsu.


Spoiler: Hidden Waterfall Village

Hidden Waterfall Village


Background and history
According to the First Fanbook, Takigakure has never been succesfully invaded due to the giant waterfall that protects them, and their Shinobi take a lot of pride in that. Kakuzu orginally came from this village, and according to the Third Databook, around the time of its formation he was tasked in killing the First Hokage. Despite losing but surviving the encounter, Kakuzu was punished for his defeat, which led him to hate the village. After escaping from Takigakure's prison, he stole the Forbidden Jutsu of the village, alongside the hearts of the elders, and eventually joined Akatsuki.

The appearance of the village (which you can see in the image above), and the leadership role of the ruler who is called the Village Headmaster, was first introduced in the Protect the Waterfall Village Novel and OVA. The village is situated within the caves of a giant waterfall, and in the centre lies a giant tree that supplies the village's "Hero Water" (more on that later).

At some point the village got a hold of the Seven-Tails, after which they became the only minor Hidden Village to contain a Bijuu and later a Jinchuriki in the form of Fuu.

Art of War
Now we don't have anything else besides Kakuzu's backstory on the abilities of Takigakure. It's safe to say though that the Forbidden Jutsu which Kakuzu stole are the tentacles that have formed inside his body, as well as the ability to replace his heart with those of other Shinobi and extending his life unnaturally. It appears that these Forbidden Jutsu were developed by Takigakure.

Besides this I personally take the concept of "Hero Water" as canon. For people who don't know; the idea behind Hero Water is that it increases the Chakra of the drinker by tenfold, with the added side-effect that it shortens the life span of the person who drinks it. Seeing as Takigakure was never succesfully invaded, a concept like this could make sense, as in the OVA it was stated that the person who drinks this water could rival the power of a Kage, thus being able to properly defend the village from invasions. This is of course not written by Kishi, but honestly I like this idea so I will just take it as canon :p.


Spoiler: Hidden Grass Village

Hidden Grass Village


Background and history
Not much is known about this village. The First Fanbook states that the village excels in the usage of their diplomatic techniques, with which they read the movements of larger countries to stay one step ahead of events. They also seem to love to analyze the jutsu of other countries. The village was once the battleground for the Third Shinobi War, wherein Iwagakure who invaded the village with a thousand Shinobi and was ultimately stopped by Konoha. Karin came originally from this village.

We also know that both Boruto and the Kakashi Hiden Novel have stated that the village also contains the Hozuki Castle Prison, which first debuted in the Naruto Movie "Blood Prison". Whilst the events of this movie are definitely filler, I would say the concept of them fullfilling the role as the neutral ground to contain the greatest criminals of the Shinobi world is very fitting to their canon description. Their power lies in diplomacy, and by showing their willingness to aid other countries in containing their most dangerous prisoners they would only gain the favour of other villages.


Spoiler: Hidden Steam Village

Hidden Steam Village


Background and history
According to the Third Databook, this village once used to be a minor Shinobi Village, but when the major wars ended the number of their Shinobi dwindled, and in the end they stopped taking missions and, by utilizing their nature and rescources (mostly their hotsprings), they became a tourist location. Hidan originated from this village, but turned against them because of his bloodlust that the recently peaceful village can't satisfy. The village eventually earned the nickname the "Village That Forgot War".


Spoiler: Hidden Sound Village

Hidden Sound Village



Background and history
Founded by Orochimaru after he deserted Konoha, the village itself has never actually been shown. Contrary to what we see in the filler episodes of the series, the Second Databook confirmed that it is actually a Hidden Village, because it describes Orochimaru's hideout in Part 1 to be "somewhere in the village". What we also know is that the founder, Orochimaru, has a collection of numerous hide-outs spread throughout the continent that are tied to him, where he conducts experiments on numerous captured subjects. According to Orochimaru, it's a village that is not bound to any country, as it promotes individuality rather than being tied to the ideals of a nation that erases the self.

The manga itself gives us an interesting hint that the country where the Hidden Sound is located may be called the Land of Sound. This is because in chapter 289, where Kabuto and Yamato (disguised as Sasori) were conversing on the Tenchi Bridge, Kabuto said that there are "other countries besides the Sound" where Orochimaru's bases were located. The fact that he said "other countries besides" implies to me that the Sound is also a country. I actually took the effort to download the chapter in the original Japanese language and use Google Translate to see if this may not have been a translator's mistake, and the website confirmed these words to be true. It seems that the anime fillers also ran with the idea that land is called the Land of Sound. Lastly, while not a common occurence, a nation with the same name as their village is not unheard of. The best example being the Hidden Frost Village that resides in the Land of Frost. But in the end this is just a theory and not a hard confirmation.

Not long after its formation, the Hidden Sound plotted a plan with Suna to overthrow Konoha, but ultimately this plan failed. After the Fourth Shinobi War, Orochimaru transformed Otogakure into a legitimate village, allying itself with Konoha. Orochimaru himself, however, was kept under strict surveillance, in case he became a threat to Konoha again.

Recruitment and education
Generally the military forces of Otogakure consist of Shinobi from various nations who joined Orochimaru in search for power. The First Fanbook tells us that their numbers are relatively small, but every one of them is powerful, as their efforts are put into creating an elite force. The strongest Sound Shinobi should therefore not be underestimated. Through his "evil charisma", Orochimaru became a person of worship to his followers, who were gladly willing to give their lifes for his ambitions. Orochimaru seems to also target outcasted children without a future, and he used his charisma to brainwash the children into seeing him as a parent figure, turning them into some of his most loyal subjects.

Sound Shinobi with the most potential and extraordinary abilities receive Orochimaru's Curse Mark, the most prominent examples being the Sound Five. This group acts as the bodyguard of Orochimaru, and are especially proficient in Sealing Jutsu and Barrier Jutsu. The Curse Marks themselves are a product of research into Jugo's Clan, a mysterious clan which harnesses a unique Kekkei that allows the members to receive a constant flow of Senjutsu Chakra in their bodies, amplifying their power considerably, but unintentionally get sudden uncontrollable urges to kill everyone around them. They also secrete a special fluid that allows them to transform parts of their bodies.


Spoiler: Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Hidden Frost Village: Situated in the Land of Frost, next to the Land of Lightning, the only aspect of it that we see in the series is the Daimyo of the Land of Frost being escorted by the Fifth Mizukage's entourage during the Fourth Ninja War.
Hidden Moon Village: Probably a village that is completely forgotten by Kishi, its only reference in the manga was a couple of panels during the written exam of the Chunin Exam arc, where you can see a couple of Genin wearing a forehead protector that shows a crescent shaped moon. It was apparently also featured in the game Naruto Ninja Heroes 3, but I haven't seen anything of it yet.
 
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well aight then.
you want headbands for the villages too or what?
perhaps my digital headbands collection will actually be useful somewhere.
 

xingi

Well-Known Member
I'm surprised at how konoha's military ranked compared to the rest of the other villages only beating to suna, I wonder how they rank now in boruto era excluding naruto and Sasuke.

Also kumo was really the best village, top military + highest economy.
 

Bashkuga

Well-Known Member
I'm surprised at how konoha's military ranked compared to the rest of the other villages only beating to suna, I wonder how they rank now in boruto era excluding naruto and Sasuke.

Also kumo was really the best village, top military + highest economy.
Konoha before the Pain Arc had the largest military due to the sheer size of their population and village itself, in part because of the friendly environment they lived in. This was the case even after the Uchiha massacre.

After the Pain Arc it is very likely that Kumo surpassed them, yes. But during the Boruto era I can see Konoha being the strongest again.
 

blk

Well-Known Member
Imo Kumo has been the strongest village since Minato's death up until Naruto's BM.

BM Bee alone would steamroll them. Few TBBs and that's it for Konoha.

Not counting the Uchiha clan cause they weren't really at Konoha's side post Minato's death. Otherwise yeah you can argue that Konoha was still stronger (with three MS users & hundreds of high level Jonins with Sharingan).


Kumo is probably stronger than Konoha yet again now that Naruto&Sasuke have lost their powers, since they have the moon busting cannon.
 

Bashkuga

Well-Known Member
Imo Kumo has been the strongest village since Minato's death up until Naruto's BM.

BM Bee alone would steamroll them. Few TBBs and that's it for Konoha.

Not counting the Uchiha clan cause they weren't really at Konoha's side post Minato's death. Otherwise yeah you can argue that Konoha was still stronger (with three MS users & hundreds of high level Jonins with Sharingan).


Kumo is probably stronger than Konoha yet again now that Naruto&Sasuke have lost their powers, since they have the moon busting cannon.
The thing is my statement above is not an opinion, but one that Kishi himself described. The First Fanbook, which was released somewhere during the development of Part 1, states that Konoha was "by far the largest shinobi village". Next to that, both the First and Second Fanbook confirm that Konoha was also the strongest. These are the quotes:

Fanbook 1: "The strongest hidden village with an elite shinobi squad!"
Fanbook 2: "Even the hidden village that prides itself on being the most powerful suffered devastating damage after the Akatsuki invasion."

You're not looking at the big picture here, Bee would not be able to survive the massive military of Konoha together with its Hokage in their prime, even after the Uchiha were slain. Neither would any other Hidden Village unless they combined their strength against Konoha. That is of course up until the Pain Arc, where the balance was tipped in favour of Kumo or possibly even Iwa.
 

Ruthless Tsuchikage

Well-Known Member
One problem with the lore is that Konoha has always been overwhelmingly important and powerful to the extent they stifle all other villages. Whenever something historical happened in the ninja world its always been Konoha doing it with all other villagers at best being a bunch of bystanders and copycats. Its Konoha that founded the modern ninja world and which is directly descended from the founder of ninjutsu itself. Even the rare times we are told of interesting developments in other villages such as Yagura's tyranny, the more ruthless philosophy of the Stone or the Sand's attempt to topple Konoha these events are always caused by renegade Konoha ninjas goofing off abroad. Madara caused the hidden Stone to harden, Obito caused Yagura's tyranny and Orochimaru caused the Sand's invasion.

As far as the worldbuilding goes the ninja world really is Konoha's world while the other villages just happen to exist within it, without ever contributing to that world themselves.

And in terms of power Konoha has always seemed to dwarf the others.
The first Kages of the other villages are never said to be the strongest one in their history while its also shown that the ones who are the strongest in their history are mere ants compared to Hashirama. This means that every single other village was a non entity in Hashirama's time. Tobirama and Hiruzen in term also seem or are stated to be significantly above their peers and by Naruto's time the Leaf is back to Hashirama's situation where their Hokage is so much more powerful that no one else matters.
 

Bashkuga

Well-Known Member
One problem with the lore is that Konoha has always been overwhelmingly important and powerful to the extent they stifle all other villages. Whenever something historical happened in the ninja world its always been Konoha doing it with all other villagers at best being a bunch of bystanders and copycats. Its Konoha that founded the modern ninja world and which is directly descended from the founder of ninjutsu itself. Even the rare times we are told of interesting developments in other villages such as Yagura's tyranny, the more ruthless philosophy of the Stone or the Sand's attempt to topple Konoha these events are always caused by renegade Konoha ninjas goofing off abroad. Madara caused the hidden Stone to harden, Obito caused Yagura's tyranny and Orochimaru caused the Sand's invasion.

As far as the worldbuilding goes the ninja world really is Konoha's world while the other villages just happen to exist within it, without ever contributing to that world themselves.

And in terms of power Konoha has always seemed to dwarf the others.
The first Kages of the other villages are never said to be the strongest one in their history while its also shown that the ones who are the strongest in their history are mere ants compared to Hashirama. This means that every single other village was a non entity in Hashirama's time. Tobirama and Hiruzen in term also seem or are stated to be significantly above their peers and by Naruto's time the Leaf is back to Hashirama's situation where their Hokage is so much more powerful that no one else matters.
It's true, the story of the Naruto series is Konoha-centric as one may call it, but that's because our protagonists all come from this village. The role of Konoha in the world is therefore far more fleshed out compared to the other villages, and we are only left with limited information about them. That's not to say that you're wrong about Konoha's major influence in the Shinobi world of course, because you're right that especially during the First Hokage's time it was Hashirama who held the most power compared to the others, but he tried to balance it out by giving each major Village their own Bijuu. However, I don't think the importance of Konoha's actions in the Shinobi world should be overestimated, because the examples you gave are only instances in the known history of the villages.

Sure, Yagura's tyrannical rule can be attributed to Obito, but the rest of the Hidden Mist's history, like the killing exam, the civil wars or the discrimination of Kekkei Genkai clans have no influence from Konoha whatsoever.

Suna's invasion of Konoha is a scheme originally deviced by Orochimaru, a rogue Shinobi from Konoha, but the reason why Suna joined him in the first place is because they were dissatisfied with the current weak state of their village, which was caused by their Daimyo. It's not something that Konoha itself necessarily caused. Other major events in their history, in particular the assassinations of their First and Second Kazekage, was done by their own Shinobi, and in addition to that the murder of the Third Kazekage was performed by a rogue Shinobi from his own village, who also happened to be the master mind behind the kidnapping of Gaara, the Fifth Kazekage. Another example is the fact that they used Pakura's life as a bargaining chip to gain diplomatic ties with the Mist, which showed how little the village valued human lifes. The invasion of Konoha is just a chapter in the dark history of Suna.

I don't think there is any mention in the data that Iwagakure's opportunistic policy was a result of Madara's actions, as this policy originated from the First Shinobi War, a war where nations and villages tried to take as much land and rescources as they could. It just so happens that Ohnoki is the only Kage alive who witnessed this war and took many lessons from it, and as is evident from their conversation during the Fourth Shinobi War, the Second Tsuchikage taught him this as well. Aside from that Konoha had no other influence in their affairs, except of course in fighting wars against them.

On the other hand, we also have examples of the villages asserting influence over Konoha's affairs, especially Kumo: it was because of Kumo's rogue Kinkaku Force that the Second Hokage was killed and that the Third Hokage came into power. Afterwards Kumo also caused the Hyuga incident which had a major impact on Neji and the Hyuga clan of Konoha.

Iwagakure caused the war between them and Konoha by invading Kusagakure and trying to besiege the Land of Fire.

Then there is Takigakure who ordered Kakuzu to kill Hashirama for reasons unknown.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that whilst Konoha did a lot of good or bad to the other villages, we do have examples of events where the other villages did the same to Konoha or the Shinobi world and where Konoha was not the instigator. It just so happens that we got a lot more data about the first part, as the story is centered around Konoha and we mostly see their point of view. And yeah, it doesn't help that canonically Konoha is the strongest village up until the Pain Arc, and later on in Boruto as well lol. You could call it an unfair world I guess, although I wouldn't say that the Hokages after Hashirama and before Naruto were necessarily the strongest Kages of their generation, I think the Third Raikage is a good example of a Kage that could have been the strongest of his generation and did not hail from Konoha.

Needless to say I would love it if we got more information about the other villages, maybe through Boruto now that Kishi has returned to the board, or maybe through possible future Databooks. But regardless as of now we have a lot of stuff to work with already, as you can see from the essay I wrote in the OP lol. People generally think that the War Arc was where Naruto as a series declined, but to me this arc became a treasure trove of information about the other villages.
 
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This means that every single other village was a non entity in Hashirama's time. Tobirama and Hiruzen in term also seem or are stated to be significantly above their peers and by Naruto's time the Leaf is back to Hashirama's situation where their Hokage is so much more powerful that no one else matters.

That might not be really the case currently in Boruto.
 

Bashkuga

Well-Known Member
For those curious, I added a paragraph about the Hidden Sound Village to the Bonus section. I completely forgot about them!
 
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