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Minato Namikaze (source: manga chapter 367)Minato Namikaze (source: manga chapter 367)Minato Namikaze (Naruto)
Fourth HokageYondaime Hokage
· · ·
4th Hokage4th Hokage
(born January 25th)(born January 25th)
5'11"179.2 cm
145.7 lbs66.1 kg
Dead (died sealing the Kyuubi into Naruto)Dead (died sealing the Kyuubi into Naruto)
"You make the greatest sacrifices for the ones you love"

Last I checked, this character's cosplay outfit was available at Milanoo.

Character Description: Minato Namikaze

The Fourth Hokage was the one who used the Shinigami technique to seal the spirit of the Nine Tailed Fox inside of Naruto. He could not have sealed the Kyuubi into himself because the Kyuubi's soul could not be contained by that jutsu. The jutsu is designed to take both the caster and the target's soul and entwine them inside the shinigami, to battle for all eternity. Kyuubi was too strong and would have gained strength while in hell until it was strong enough to overpower the gatekeeper and escape.

And so The Fourth Hokage designed the seal on Naruto to transfer the soul he ripped from Kyuubi's body into Naruto. The seal on Naruto slowly drains Kyuubi's Chakra and infuses it with Naruto. And as Kyuubi mentions to Naruto, if Naruto is to die, the Kyuubi is destroyed, with no chance of escaping.

According to chapter 370 of the manga, The Fourth Hokage only sealed the good half within Naruto. Nobody yet knows where he sealed the evil half, though there are definitely theories floating around, the most popular being that he sealed the Ying (or 'bad') chakra inside himself. (It's revealed in chapters 488-450 or so that it's in the possession of the key toad on Myouboku mountain.) In sealing the demon he gave his life and the Third Hokage came out of retirement to take his place. His real name has yet to be mentioned in the anime, but it was mentioned in the manga and it is seen written in Japanese on the summoning contract that Naruto signs to call forth Gamabunta (though it's illegible).

The Fourth Hokage, before he became Hokage, was taught by Master Jiraiya, and the Fourth Hokage was also the one who trained Kakashi who is the sensei of Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto. It was previously unknown who the teammates of Kakashi were that also trained under the Fourth Hokage, but later it's revealed that they are Obito Uchiha, and Rin.

Minato Namikaze (Naruto) Minato Namikaze (Naruto)

By his appearance, there was a rumor among the show's fans that the Fourth Hokage could be Naruto's father. Well, not only was this rumor confirmed in chapter 367 of the manga (explained through dialogue by Tsunade and Jiraiya) and in chapter 370, but also his true name was finally revealed: Minato Namikaze (meaning "port wavewind"). Additionally, we learn that Naruto's mother was Kushina Uzumaki, and that she was a ninja of the Land Of the Whirlpool (Uzumaki is a Japanese word for vortex or whirlpool). Chapter 382 reveals what she looks like (and that Jiraiya came up with the name "Naruto").

There was also a theory that the Fourth Hokage was the Akatsuki founder and/or leader. Pein was eventually revealed to be the Akatsuki leader, and chapter 439 (page 14) revealed him to be the founder as well, unless he was lying just to make himself sound more impressive, which might be the case because I'm pretty sure another manga issue (340?) said that Madara created the Akatsuki and used Pein.

The Fourth supposedly died after sealing the fox spirit inside Naruto, though there is a rumor that he is still alive. A main source for this rumor apparently comes from a fake manga issue floating around out there which reveals all kinds of juicy information that fans would love to be real. And who knows, this may in fact be the case, though currently the evidence still points to him being deceased. Besides the fact that the jutsu used to seal Kyuubi inside Naruto supposedly kills its caster, during the battle between Orochimaru and the Third Hokage, Orochimaru tries to "resurrect" the three dead Hokages. Three coffins come up, but the Third Hokage forces the last one back... which probably would have been the 4th Hokage. And to note, Orochimaru's jutsu doesn't resurrect, it actually makes a person's soul go into another person's body. In other words, to bring back the Hokages, he transplanted part of his leftover soul into a different body, thus recreating the Hokages.

The Fourth Hokage was also know as the Yellow Flash. He was called this because of his technique "The Flying Thunder God", which was more or less a teleportation jutsu like the Body Flicker jutsu.

Apparently "arashi" means "storm".

Sealing the Kyuubi

One fan sent an in-depth look at Minato's sealing of the Kyuubi, so I thought I'd share this with you all.

It is long known that the 4th was a master of the sealing techniques however the Nine Tale Fox, along with the other 8 monsters, could only be sealed using a technique that seals them into humans. This was pointed out in the saga with Gaara and reiterated in the recent Shippuden episodes.

As a father, the 4th would not seal the evil in his own son and would rather take on the burden of saving the village himself, at whatever risk to himself. Thus it only makes sense that he would seal as much of the good into the one person who he would have absolute faith in (his only child) while taking on the roll of gate keeper for the evil half of the Nine Tail Fox himself (as is reported to have happened with his premature demise). If he did survive, it would be no problem for him to use "The Flying Thunder God" technique to fake his own death, and would be horribly influenced by the evil half of Kyuubi in order to form Akatsuki later (just a thought). Kyuubi should have more than enough energy to save them both from death considering that it would mean his death if his vessel died.

I must defer to the statement about the three coffins from Orochimaru's take over attempt. The problem is that The Third should have worked hard to suppress the first two (his teachers, mentors and childhood friends) rather than the third unless he really had something that needed to be hidden about the body itself. Perhaps what is in the coffin is not really the body of the 4th. Check out the various replacement techniques as well as the method used in Shippuden movie 1 to alter appearances. Merely speculation.

If he only sealed the good in Naruto, it would stand to reason that the bad had to be stored in someone as well. I really do not see the "HERO" sealing pure evil in someone else. He must have taken on the evil himself and thus can no longer be considered to be the same person, even if it were known by the select few that he was alive. For the memory of what he did, who he was and for the benefit of the entire Leaf Village... he would still be considered dead. In fact, at that point the others would work hard to distance the true outcome from the golden memory of their beloved savior who sacrificed so much to save them.

The Fourth Hokage's Name

Chapter 367, page 11   Chapter 367, page 12

There was some controversy over the 4th Hokage's true name (and it is not Yondaime, as that is simply the Japanese word for "fourth"), but as of manga chapter 367, it is now known to be Minato Namikaze. And in the same conversation that revealed his name we also learn that he is Naruto's father, which puts to rest that controversy. However, for posterity's sake, I will leave the following information about the controversies, as it is an interesting read.

The two leading contenders for the 4th Hokage's names were Arashi Kazama and Arashi Uzumaki. Supposedly both of these names were seen to be written, Arashi Kazama on the summoning contract that Naruto signs to call forth Gamabunta, and Arashi Uzumaki in the Japanese episode were Jiraiya was talking to Naruto about what happened with the Kyuubi. Strange part is, if you actually look at the writing (and know how to read Japanese), the part where the 4th Hokage signed his name is gibberish.

Volume 11, Chapter 92, page 18   Summoning Contract

The two images over at the right show the toad summoning contract. The first one is from the Volume 11, Chapter 92, Page 18 of the manga, and the second displays the contract from both from the manga and the anime, with the names outlined, color-coded, and translated. The translations you see were not done by me, and I'm not sure how they got the name "Arashi Uzumaki" from what is written, as several Japanese translators have said that the writing there is illegible. And this would make sense, written to look like extremely poor handwriting so nobody would be able to read it, and thus keep the secret of the 4th Hokage's real name and relation to Naruto. Plus, if you just compare it to Naruto's signature, it's easy to see there is no similarity.

Additionally, I'm told that Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, said in an interview that the 4th Hokage's name is Arashi Kazama, though this turned out to be untrue.

The Fourth Hokage's Son

There was also controversy over whether or not the 4th Hokage is Naruto's father. Manga chapter 367 put that to rest, revealing that he is indeed Naruto's father. But for posterity, I will leave the following information about this one-time controversy.

One dedicated fan was able to track down some images to help me display some of this evidence. The two images below come from Chapter 143, pages 1 and 2 of the manga. In them, you can see that when Kakashi first confronts Itachi, he asks if he's there for Sasuke, and Itachi says he's there for the 4th's legacy. Everyone automatically knows who he means, but of course, he could be calling Naruto this because the 4th placed the Fox Demon in him.

Chapter 143, page 1   Chapter 143, page 2

Another fan also has put a lot of thought into this situation, so let me share his thoughts with you:

It is common knowledge by any avid reader/watcher of the Naruto series that the Fourth Hokage sealed the Kyuubi into Naruto when he was born. Also, it is widely known (but not noticed) that before he died Yondaime stated about Naruto "This boy should be remembered not as the monster he holds, but as the hero that saved the village" (or something along those lines). I would think that most parents would not let even the Hokage implant the monster that had killed many in their village inside their newborn child... except the one doing the sealing. Also, I would not think that Yondaime would fret so much about Naruto being an outcast with the Kyuubi within him if he was someone else's kid. This on it's own is revealing information, but combined with what I know about the Akatsuki leader and what Akatsuki wants, it makes a terrifying argument.
First off, I've been told that the Akatsuki wants all the Bijyuu's, the Kyuubi being one of them. I also believe these are referred to as jinchuuriki (I have not read much if any of the manga, I normally watch the Japanese episodes of the T.V. show all this information is from reliable friends who read the manga) of which a few of the Akatsuki have one. My theory is that when the Kyuubi was sealed it was put inside Arashi not Naruto. I also believe that the Kyuubi was too strong to seal in one body so either it was sealed in Naruto first and Arashi took the overflow, or Arashi sealed it in himself and overflowed it into Naruto. I an avid believer that it is the second option.
After his death you believe that the Kyuubi was able to break the seal with its tremendous power (much like the Kyuubi can release some chakra for Naruto's use because the seal is weakened) and took over Arashi's body. This would perfectly explain why the Akatsuki leader looks exactly like Arashi does with a big ass neckband and only silhouetted but with red eyes. People use the red eyes as evidence that he is not the leader, but if Naruto's eyes turn red after using the Kyuubi's chakra it would make sense that if the Kyuubi took over Arashi's body his eyes would be red.
To further prove my theory that part of the Kyuubi was split between the bodies, I would like to use how the Third Hokage died. He died by using the fujin (I believe that's how it is spelled) jutsu, the same one used to seal the Kyuubi, to seal Orochimaru's arms in his body. He sealed them in his own body though. If Arashi was Naruto's father or good-hearted enough to want the Kyuubi-sealed child to be considered as a hero then why would he not seal the Kyuubi in his own body like the third did with Orochimaru's arms and save him the trouble in the first place? I believe that this further proves the hidden agenda of Yondaime because he wanted a body from which he could take the Kyuubi out of and make it whole again. As i said before, all of this is just a theory based strongly on facts that I and many trustworthy friends have found and compiled.

Recently, the manga page you see below and to the left has begun circulating around the 'net. This manga page is a fake, created from scenes of other, real manga pages which someone has been kind enough to seek out and provide to me. The first image below is from the Kakashi Gaiden part of the manga, Volume 27, Chapter 239, Page 4. The image of the Yondaime was taken from there and was flipped. The second file is from Volume 28, Chapter 247, Page 19 and you can see the area that was taken from Deidara's body. The third file is from Volume 28, Chapter 246, Page 17, and has the image of Kakashi. And finally, the part with Naruto comes from Volume 28, Chapter 245, Page 12 (when he first sees Sakura again after 2 1/2 years).

Fake Page
Fake page
Real Pages
Volume 27, Chapter 239, page 4 Volume 28, Chapter 247, page 19 Volume 28, Chapter 246, page 17 Volume 28, Chapter 245, page 14

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