Naruto: The Divine Origins of the Sharingan

The Sharingan is one of the most powerful abilities in the world of Naruto. The eyes of the Sharingan have made the Uchiha one of the most feared clans in the ninja world. Many of the strongest ninjas in history possessed some form of Sharingan, such as Madara, Itachi, and Obito. These special eyes allow whoever possesses them to copy other Jutsu, predict when others will occur, and place their enemies under powerful illusions. But the Sharingan has many other powers that hint at its divine origin.

As the Sharingan grows in power, it changes shape and grants its holder new abilities. Many of these abilities are named after Shinto gods. Shinto is an indigenous religion of Japan with a long and rich history. These names do not simply refer to powerful gods, but also represent the powers of those gods, which helps to strengthen his bond with the deities. A link all the stronger since the origin of the Sharingan comes from Kaguya Otsutsuki, a being from another world who was considered a god on Earth.

Tsukuyomi

Tsukuyomi is the moon god in the Shinto religion and the child of the god Izanagi. This god was born when Izanagi washed his right eye after escaping from the underworld. As the moon god, Tsukuyomi is also associated with the passing of time. Many of these aspects come into play when understanding the power of Tsukuyomi in Naruto.

The Mangekyo Sharingan allows a person to cast Tsukuyomi, an extremely powerful genjutsu. This genjutsu can alter the target’s perception of time, making seconds seem like days. Illusions also cannot be shattered by the usual means. The only time the Tsukuyomi’s illusions were shattered was when Sasuke broke free with his own Sharingan.

Itachi Uchiha is the only person known to use Tsukuyomi regularly. The worlds Itachi created with the Tsukuyomi often had a large red moon in the sky, referring to the god’s association with the moon. The most impressive feat Itachi achieved with the Tsukuyomi was to place a woman named Izumi Uchiha into an illusion where she lived a lifetime in a matter of moments.

Amaterasu

Sasuke

Amaterasu is Tsukuyomi’s sister and is also Izanagi’s child. Like Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu was created when Izanagi washed her eye, this time the left eye. She is the sun goddess in Shintoism. As her sister, Tsukuyomi, represents the moon, the two gods are seen as opposites. This is also true of the abilities that are named after them in Naruto. Amaterasu represents “material world and light” while Tsukuyomi represents “spiritual world and darkness”.

Itachi and Sasuke both use their Mangekyo Sharingan to produce Amaterasu’s black flames. Amaterasu’s fire is incredibly powerful and is said to burn as hot as the sun, in reference to the goddess they are named after. The flames produced by Amaterasu cannot be extinguished until their target has been incinerated.

After gaining this ability, Amaterasu became one of Sasuke’s main attacks. Sasuke can control and shape the black flames for better effect in combat with the help of his right eye. He applied Amaterasu to his weapons to increase his damage and used it as a barrier to deter physical attacks from his opponents. Thanks to the power of Amaterasu, Sasuke himself became a god of fire.

Susanoo

Susanoo

Izanagi’s third child is Susanoo, god of sea and storms. It was created when Izanagi washed his nose. Susanoo is often considered a heroic figure for defeating the serpent monster, Yamata no Orochi. This draws a direct parallel to Itachi’s fight against Orochimaru. Itachi sealed Orochimaru in his massive serpent form as he used Susanoo.

According to Itachi, once a Sharingan user has mastered both Tsukuyomi and Amaterasu, they unlock Susanoo. This technique allows the user to manifest a massive humanoid avatar who will attack and defend on their behalf. Once it has reached its full form, the Susanoo is capable of inflicting catastrophic levels of damage. Madara was able to raze several mountains with a single blow from Susanoo’s sword.

The Susanoo was also considered the most powerful of the Mangekyo Sharingan abilities. Few of the ninjas in the series have been able to match the power that the Susanoo bestows upon its holder. Much like the Susanoo in the Shinto religion, the technique transforms the user into a god of destruction who is second to none.

Izanagi and Izanami

Naru

Izanagi and Izanami are two primordial deities who created many other deities and the Japanese archipelago. The two gods are brother and sister and husband and wife at the same time. When Izanami died giving birth to the god of fire, Kagutsuchi, Izanagi went to the underworld to retrieve her. Izanagi finally saw the decomposed form of his wife and abandoned her in the underworld. He then washed away the dirt from the underworld, which created Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, and Susanoo.

Like the gods they are named after, the Izanagi and Izanami techniques are related to each other. Izanagi allows the user to temporarily control reality in exchange for losing sight of one of their eyes. Izanami can place a target in an infinite time loop inside his mind. The only way to escape this loop is to accept your fate. This technique also causes the user to lose sight of one of their eyes.

Izanagi allows the user to challenge the damage they take and even their own death by rewriting reality. It sounds like the way the god Izanagi tried to undo his wife’s death by going to the Underworld. Izanami traps a target in an infinite time loop where no matter what she does, she will always achieve the same result. This reflects how the goddess Izanami was trapped in the underworld after being abandoned by her husband. The Sharingan has given the Uchiha clan the powers of several Shinto gods, which strengthens their bond with otherworldly and god-like creatures.