Hokage is the Kage of Konohagakure. The word Hokage is formed by joining two words that are “Ho” which means Fire and “Kage” which means Shadow. Therefore Hokage serves as the shadow of the leader of the village. The position of Hokage is the topmost position as the head of the village which is conferred to the strongest shinobi in Konohagakure. He is considered to be the most respected shinobi by the villagers. So far, there have been seven Hokage, Naruto Uzumaki being the last.
The position of Hokage was created after the establishment of the Hidden Leaf Village. It was created by one of the founders of the village, Hashirama Senju who is also known as the God of Shinobi. Hashirama felt the need for a leader to properly organize the village. He initially wanted his friend Madara Uchiha, the co-founder of the village, to be a Hokage. But the villagers wished and elected Hashirama as their leader to head the village. This incident raised doubts in Madara’s mind as he thought that this might be the first step of Senju’s domination and Hokage office authority over the Uchiha clan. However, Hashirama denied Madara’s fear which resulted in the latter going rogue and leaving the village. After this, Hashirama earned the title of the First Hokage. As a fact, somehow all the later Hokages have a direct or indirect connection with the first in some or another way.
Normally, the current Hokage has the responsibility of appointing the next Hokage. But in cases of uncertainties like sudden death or immobilization of the Hokage, where the successor is not decided there are two ways. First, the final decision of selecting a Hokage goes to the Feudal Lord of the country. Feudal Lords set up a meeting and summons his committee to discuss the selection of Hokage. They are assisted with the advice of the Konoha council and an Anbu representative. Even though the final decision is of the Feudal Lord, still the choice must be approved by the jonin of Konoha at last. And the second is, if any predecessor is still alive, they can retake their position and resume the office as the Hokage until the next one is selected.
The Hokage is appointed at its inauguration ceremony which is considered the most significant event in the village. He is bestowed with the Hokage title by giving a Hokage’s hat and haori to the candidate. After they are assigned to the Hokage office, their face is carved on the Hokage rock that is situated at the center of the village.
The responsibilities of the Hokage are of great length as he is responsible for the peace and maintenance of the whole village. The Hokage works on the principles of the Will of Fire. They believe that the whole village is their family and they have to live for the welfare of this family. Hokage is kept busy with the day-to-day affairs, security, forming alliances, maintaining friendly relations with the neighboring villages, and acquiring funds for the development projects. They also look after the personnel training and assigning missions to the ninja.
Due to the immense workload, the Hokage is allowed to seek help from the previous Hokage to share work and also request their presence and advice on crucial matters. Since they are occupied with a lot of paperwork for most of the time, being Hokage becomes exhausting and tiring. They can’t get proper and also sometimes cause to spend rare time with the family as in the case of the Seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki.
List of Hokage
Hashirama Senju was the First Hokage as he was the one who created the position and established the village. He was the member and leader of the Senju clan who envisioned bringing peace to the shinobi world. His vision and philosophy is passed down as the Will of Fire in the Konohagakure.
Tobirama Senju is a member of the senju clan, the younger brother of Hashirama senju. Tobirama took over the title of Second Hokage after his elder brother’s death. He used to work alongside his brother to organize the systematic working of the village with political stability during the initial years of the village after being established.
Hiruzen Sarutobi is a member of the Sarutobi clan which was one of the first clans to settle in the village. Being a student of the First and the Second Hokage, he became the Third Hokage of the Konohagakure.
Minato Namikaze, popularly known as the Yellow Flash of Konoha for his impressive speed. Minato had a childhood dream of becoming the Hokage and he achieved it by grabbing the honor of the Fourth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village.
Tsunade Senju is the granddaughter of the First Hokage, Hashirama Senju and she is also a member of one of the three legendary Sannin. She is impressively skilled in medical ninjutsu and is known as the world’s strongest female shinobi for her destructive strength. She held the title of The Fifth Hokage after Naruto and Jiraiya persuaded her to return to the village.
Kakashi Hatake, also known as the Copy Ninja or the Kakashi of the Sharingan. He is one of the most prominent and talented shinobi of the Hidden Leaf Village. He became the Sixth Hokage after the end of the Fourth Shinobi war. Kakashi was a student of Minato and served as the Anbu member as well.
Naruto Uzumaki is a member of the Uzumaki clan and the Jinchūriki of the nine tails fox Kurama. He is the student of Kakashi Hatake and Jiraiya, one of the legendary sannin. He is also a child of the Fourth Hokage and the second jinchuriki of Kurama. Naruto was ostracised by the village because of the fear of nine tails inside him but he chased his dream of becoming a Hokage through hard work and earned the respect of villagers. In the end, he was bestowed with the mantle of the Seventh Hokage.