Land of Fire

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This article is about the Naruto country. For the archipelago, see Tierra del Fuego. For the country sometimes nicknamed "The Land of Fire", see Azerbaijan.

The Land of Fire (火の国 Hi no Kuni?) is a geographical feature in the anime and manga series Naruto. It is one of the largest and most powerful countries in the series. Its hidden village, Konohagakure, is the home of the main cast. It is also the most important and well-known country in the story.

The Land of Fire is appropriately oriented towards the element of fire, typically having very bright and warm weather. While not the largest country, it has the largest hidden city.

Twelve years before the story begins, the Land of Fire was attacked by an exceedingly powerful demon, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. This monster destroyed anything in its path and killed countless people, including, among several others, Iruka Umino's parents. It was stopped by the then Hokage of Konohagakure, a very powerful ninja known as the Fourth Hokage. He sacrificed his own life to seal the monster inside his newborn child, Naruto Uzumaki, the titular character of the series.

In the quiet years that followed, the Land of Fire slowly recovered and became accustomed to peace. This was seen by other countries – who had been working to increase their military power – as a weakness, and is one of the factors that brought about the combined assault from conspiring Otogakure and Sunagakure.

Konohagakure[edit]

Konohagakure (木ノ葉隠れの里 Konohagakure no Sato?, literally "Village Hidden Among Tree Leaves"; also known as "Village Hidden in the Leaves" or "Hidden Leaf Village"), or Konoha for short, is one of the five great ninja villages. As such, it is one of five villages with a Kage as its leader, known as the Hokage. On a mountain overlooking the villages from the north, the faces of every Hokage are carved into the rock, which is an obvious homage of Mount Rushmore. Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, has her face added sometime during the time skip.

Konohagakure

Although Konoha, much like the country in which it resides, has been peaceful for the past twelve years and has grown accustomed to that peace, it remains one of the most powerful villages in existence, with an overall ninja population much greater than that of any other village, and therefore has great military power and influence. In the Chunin exam, out of all 153 Genin participants, Konoha had 87 Leaf Genin (72 in the anime) trying to become Chunin, whereas all other ninja villages had considerably fewer participating: 30 Sand Genin, 21 Rain Genin, 6 Grass Genin (15 in the anime), 6 Waterfall Genin (12 in the anime), and 3 Sound Genin (Kabuto Yakushi and his teammates were counted as Leaf Genin). However, Konoha is the village that hosted the event, which possibly contributed to the unbalanced number of participants. The hiragana あん (an) is painted on the entrance gates of the village (one hiragana on each door). This means hermitage or retreat (kanji: 庵).

Masashi Kishimoto stated: "Yes, there is [a model for Konoha], it's my hometown. Where I lived as a kid was near a military base so there were lots of training fields. And near that was the city. Because I grew up in a place like that, I was interested in things like Special Forces, military maps, three man teams, etc."[citation needed]

Notable Locations[edit]

Forest of Death[edit]

The Forest of Death (死の森 Shi no Mori?), also known as the 44th battle training zone, was the stage for the second part of the Konoha Chunin exams. Its primary function served as a testing grounds for the survival and fighting skills of Genin trying to become a Chunin. It is a very dangerous place, filled with hordes of flora and fauna; often gigantic, poisonous – or even more likely, both – hence its name.

There are four entrances into the forest. A metallic fence surrounds its perimeter with 44 gates equally spaced around it; this perimeter is where the ninja enter to initiate the test. Inside is a river, the forest, and a tower located in the center; the forest's radius is about ten kilometers.

The tower is the destination of the ninja after they have collected two scrolls. Each team starts with only one scroll; therefore, to pass the exam, a team must find a team with the opposite scroll and steal it by any means necessary. Inside the tower is the large arena in which the third test preliminaries are held, if too many teams manage to survive to that point. Relatively few teams complete this part of the test; in the Chunin exam arc, seven teams completed the test, prompting preliminary matches.

Hokage Residence[edit]

The Hokage Residence is a large mansion occupied by the Hokage during their reign, and is located close to both the Ninja Academy and Hokage Rock. Built during the reign of the First Hokage, the Hokage mansion is currently occupied by Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage. It is filled with many forbidden scrolls, in which lies the secrets to many jutsu. Shortly before Tsunade becomes Hokage, Konohamaru, the Third Hokage's grandson, locks himself in the Hokage Mansion and sets it full of traps, although Tsunade easily managed to get past them all.

Ichiraku Ramen Bar[edit]

The Ichiraku Ramen Bar is Naruto Uzumaki's and Iruka Umino's favorite place to eat. The Ichiraku Ramen Bar is run by Teuchi and his daughter Ayame. The two seem to be some of the few civilian villagers of Konoha to not see Naruto in a hostile light, and consider him their favorite regular. Ayame, however, is currently on a trip to an unknown location, and is temporarily being replaced by two less-than-competent male cooks, Nishi and Matsu. Ichiraku Ramen is a common setting for various scenes throughout the series, particularly in the early story.

Ichiraku Ramen was modeled after a real-life ramen restaurant, also called Ichiraku Ramen, near the waterfront in the city of Fukuoka, Japan, where the author of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto, apparently went to university for a period of time according to local sources. It is next to a Yakiniku restaurant, a Chinese Food place, and a video game shop. Tonkotsu ramen (noodles in a pork broth) is served there. There are two Ichiraku Ramen locations in Fukuoka, one at JR's Kyu-dai Mae station, and another in the downtown Hakata area. As part of the merchandise for Naruto, handkerchiefs are sold emblazoned with various Naruto characters in instant noodle cups labeled Ichiraku Ramen.

Ninja Academy[edit]

The Ninja Academy is the training center for Academy Ninja before they become Genin. Known teachers at the academy include Iruka Umino and formerly Mizuki. Classrooms in the academy are large and have high-ceilings, based on a theory that larger classrooms lead to expansive education, expanding even into the blackboard itself. In front of the blackboard is a podium situated far from the students' desks and put in a position where the teacher can view everyone at once. The large windows in the classrooms can be used as exits in case of emergency. The Academy roof, which is directly below Hokage Rock, is often a lecture center, particularly on the village's history.

Valley of the End[edit]

The Valley of the End (終わりの谷?) is the location of the battle between the First Hokage and Madara Uchiha, where the former defeated the latter. The valley and the river that flows through it were created during their fight. To remember the battle, two large statues of the combatants were built on opposite sides of the valley, bordering a large waterfall. Many years later, Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha fought in this same location. Following Naruto's defeat, Kakashi Hatake notes Naruto and Sasuke to be ironically similar to the First and Madara, respectively.

Clans[edit]

Konoha is home to a number of powerful clans. A few of these clans have kekkei genkai abilities. Others that do not specialize in specific form of jutsu.

Aburame clan[edit]

The Aburame clan (油女一族 Aburame Ichizoku?, "Aburame family") is a clan characterized by their use of insects as weapons. The insects live in symbiosis within the body of the shinobi. At birth, members of this clan are offered to a special breed of insects as a nest, residing just under their host's skin. The insects can leave and enter through various pores, apparently by eating their way through the skin. The insects are called kikaichu or kikai mushi (destruction bugs) in Japanese or "parasitic beetles" in the English language dub. They feed on chakra as a food source, making them quite deadly. The relationship between the shinobi and the insects is mutually beneficial. The host grants the bugs shelter and allows them to feed off their chakra, their body becoming a living hive, and in return the bugs do the user's bidding, allowing the shinobi to perform ninjutsu-like techniques without the use of hand seals or chakra conversion. A female bug can be left on a target, which then can be tracked by smell by the male bug, or scout bugs can be sent out and return to tell the host information about the area. For this reason, Aburame clan members are experts in espionage; they can communicate with the bugs, and the bugs specialize in stealth because they make no noise or motion during combat. In addition to utilizing insects in battle, the Aburame clan also studies insects. A major defining trait of the Aburame clan is that all of its known members wear dark sunglasses that hide their eyes as well as jackets that cover part of their face.

"Aburame" means "oil woman," and it is similar to "aburamushi" (油虫), the word for cockroach.

Akimichi clan[edit]

The Akimichi clan (秋道一族 Akimichi Ichizoku?, "Akimichi family") is a clan that is able to convert calories into chakra, which they then use in their hidden technique, Multi-Size Technique and its various related jutsu. If standard calories aren't enough for a battle, Akimichi can use the clan's Three Colored Pills (三色の丸薬 Sanshoku no Ganyaku?) to convert excess fat into chakra. The pills, colored green (spinach), yellow (curry), and red (pepper), make them increasingly stronger, with the red pill giving the consumer 100 times their usual strength. As a result of the pills' burning of the body's reserves, the user's health sees a drastic decline with each pill they take, the red pill itself said to be fatal to the user.

The Akimichi clan seems to have a special relationship with the Nara clan and Yamanaka clan. For at least two generations, members of these three families have formed an "Ino-Shika-Cho trio," named after the first part of the names of the members. The Akimichi members are the Cho in the trio. "Ino," "Shika" and "Cho" are the names of three cards needed for a highly prized trick of "Inoshikacho" in the Hanafuda.

The name "Akimichi" means "the road in the season of autumn." "Aki" means "autumn," which is a time of harvest. "Michi" means street, which is where vendors sell food.

Hyuga clan[edit]

The Hyuga clan (日向一族 Hyūga Ichizoku?, "Hyūga family") is considered to be one of the oldest and most powerful clans in Konohagakure. Hyuga (日向) means "Towards the Sun" and is the name of a city in the Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan. It is suggested in the series that the Uchiha clan descended from the Hyuga clan, and that the kekkei genkai of the former is descended from the latter's.

All Hyuga clan members are born with the Byakugan, the inherited kekkei genkai of the clan. The clan revolves around the Byakugan and is separated into two parts, the main house (宗家 Sōke?) and the branch house (分家 Bunke?), a creation that protects the secrets of the Byakugan from outsiders. The main house runs the family while the branch house protects it. The members of the branch house are branded with a cursed seal. This seal gives the main house members absolute control over the branch members, because they can destroy the branch members' brains with a simple hand gesture, or cause them great pain to punish them. This seal also makes sure the secret of the Hyuga's Byakugan is safe, because it seals the Byakugan after the wearer of the seal dies. There seems to be a great deal of bad blood between members of the main and branch houses, most likely due to the fact that no matter how powerful branch members become, they exist solely to protect the Hyuga secrets. This can be seen in the attitudes of Hizashi, who is angry about this restriction on his son, and Neji, who believed for years that his father was forced to die to protect the main house.

Members of the clan are instructed in the use of the Gentle Fist style, which uses the Byakugan to view the opponent's chakra circulatory system and deal precise blows to disable and impede the flow of chakra. Due to training in this style, Hyuga clan members tend to have excellent chakra control. This is emphasized in jutsu that utilize this chakra control, as well as the nuances of the Gentle Fist style. The clan's strongest techniques, Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms and Eight Trigrams Palms Heavenly Spin, are only allowed to be taught to members of the main house. Neji Hyuga, however, has bypassed this restriction by learning them on his own, earning a reputation as a "genius" in the clan.

Inuzuka clan[edit]

The Inuzuka clan (犬塚家 Inuzuka ke?, "Inuzuka family") is known for their use of dogs as fighting companions. Clan members are apparently given their own canine partner or partners when they reach a certain age. Thereafter, the shinobi and his/her dog(s) are practically inseparable and the two join one another in combat, combining tactics to draw off of each other's strengths. Clan members have distinctive red fang markings on their cheeks, animalistic eyes, and enlarged canine teeth.

The name "Inuzuka," meaning "house of dogs," belongs to a clan which was one of the most powerful in the Chiba Prefecture in Japan during the Edo period. They were known as "dog warriors" and worshipped Inu, meaning "dog," a deity representing the zodiac sign of the dog. The name "Inuzuka" also originates from Hakkenden, a novel about a dog samurai.

The known Inuzuka members are all named after a part of the body of a dog (nose, claw, fang), while their dogs are named after colors (red, gray, black).

Kurama clan[edit]

  • Known members: Yakumo Kurama, Unkai Kurama

The Kurama clan is a clan of extremely skilled genjutsu users, introduced in the anime. This talent in genjutsu is due to the unnamed kekkei genkai that the clan possesses. However, once every few generations, a member of the clan will be born with such enormous skill in genjutsu that their illusions can actually produce tangible effects that occur in reality. The clan member's talent in the field is such that their genjutsu is completely irresistible, so much so that only knocking a person unconscious has any chance of awakening them from it. Furthermore, the genjutsu is so powerful that it causes the brain to make anything that happens to the victim within the genjutsu physically real, allowing the clan member to potentially kill their opponents with genjutsu. Such frightening power is not without its drawbacks, however. The user can rarely control the full extent of their abilities, and as such their subconscious will often regulate that power, leading to the creation of a second personality in control of that power. This personality then overwhelms the original, turning the individual into a monster that is a danger to everyone around them. They were originally one of the more prominent clans in Konohagakure, but the number of ninjas in the clan has severely dwindled.

Nara clan[edit]

The Nara clan (奈良一族 Nara Ichizoku?, "Nara clan") is known for their manipulation of shadows and tending of deer, which graze in a large area of Nara clan forest. Members of this clan also tend to have a high intellect. They have kept a book with medicine preparations and effects for generations which imply they are skilled in the area of medicine. Among the medicine described in this book are the secret pills used by the Akimichi clan. The men from this family are known to be very lazy and tend to be attracted to overbearing women. The Nara members are the Shika in the "Ino-Shika-Cho" trio.

The name "Nara" is from the real city of Nara, Japan, and is a famous place for the number of deer ("Shika") that live there. The deer there are said to bow whenever they are given treats yet also said to be very aggressive.

Uchiha clan[edit]

Once considered to be one of the most powerful clans in Konohagakure, the Uchiha clan (うちは一族 Uchiha Ichizoku?, "Uchiha family") is now virtually gone, with only three known living members remaining. Uchiha is another way of pronouncing "uchiwa," a paper fan, which is incidentally the Uchiha clan symbol. Uchiwa can be used to fan flames, making the flame hotter — referring to the fact that the Uchiha is a clan of fire-jutsu users.

The Uchiha specialize in fire jutsu like Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique. Clan members are properly recognized as adults by the rest of the clan when they become proficient with this jutsu. Uchiha clan members also possess the Sharingan, a kekkei genkai which gives them the ability to copy their opponent's jutsu, among other benefits.

A group of people believe that the Uchiha Clan are actually the living descandants of the Sage of Six paths, like Pein. But Madara Uchiha genetically modified himself so he would have the Rinnegan, as opposed to the Sharingan. It is said that one of the ancestors of the Uchiha clan, founded the Konoha Military Police, and the organization itself largely consisted of members of the Uchiha clan until recently. Currently, there are only three known surviving members of the clan: Sasuke Uchiha, his brother Itachi Uchiha, and Akatsuki mastermind Tobi, who is said to be the clan founder himself, Madara Uchiha. After obtaining the Mangekyo Sharingan by killing his best friend Shisui Uchiha, Itachi proceeded to slaughter the rest of the clan. Of his family, Itachi only spared Sasuke, feeling that he was not worth killing. Itachi has told Sasuke that the Uchiha clan's Sharingan has some special and seemingly dark ultimate purpose.

Yamanaka clan[edit]

The Yamanaka clan (山中家 Yamanaka ke?, "Yamanaka family") runs a flower shop and specializes in manipulating the minds of their opponents. The Yamanaka members are the Ino in the "Ino-Shika-Cho" trio. The name "Yamanaka" means "in the middle of the mountain".

Sources[edit]

  1. First Official Data Book (秘伝・臨の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK Hiden: Rin no Sho Character Official Data Book?)
  2. Second Official Data Book (秘伝・闘の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK Hiden: Tō no Sho Character Official Data Book?)
  3. Jump's 2nd Great Hero Book's Mini Data Book (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini?)
  4. Naruto manga chapters and anime episodes
  5. Based on character's ability and status

Notes and references[edit]