Naruto: Why does Kakashi always wear a mask?

It’s not a secret in Naruto that Kakashi Hatake does not take off his mask even to eat, and over time this peculiar cloth that the shinobi wears over his face has become one of the most emblematic elements of both the character and the series. Is there a reason why Kakashi always wears his mask? Is he hiding a terrible secret under his facial protection? This is all we know about the matter.

From mystery to parody

Surely all the fans of Naruto have wondered what lies behind Kakashi’s mask, well even the series itself was quick to ask this important question in its filler episodes (both in Naruto like in Naruto: Shippūden). How to forget that episode in which Team 7 tried to unmask the ninja at all costs, although without much results. Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke speculated that his sensei’s mask might hide some facial deformity, or perhaps a resemblance to some villain.

The same thing happened in the manga and anime. Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden in which Rock Lee speculates that Kakashi wears a mask because he uses it to hide his nose bleeds caused by constantly reading adult magazines.. However, the series is a mere parody of some moments of Narutoso this cannot be considered an official explanation.

Image: Pierrot

the official explanation

In an interview, Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of the series, explained that he put a mask on Kakashi because he felt it communicated well the secrecy and mystery that surrounds a shinobi. However, this came with an inevitable difficulty for the mangaka, as expressing emotions in the character was more difficult than it seemed because he could not use his full face. This caused Kishimoto to dispense with masks on the other main characters in the series.

It would be interesting to know how Kishimoto would have resolved this conflict in other characters with masks within Naruto. After all, the series is characterized by the emotional depth of its protagonists and antagonists, so perhaps the mangaka made the right decision.

Image: Pierrot

The mask is not the only characteristic feature of Kakashi, because the shinobi also usually very late to all their meetings.


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