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Naruto is one of the most popular anime and manga franchises of all time. It tells the story of a young ninja who aspires to become the Hokage of his village. The series features a wide variety of characters, shinobi clans, twists, stories, tragedies, and more. Konoha is home to several clans of shinobi, some of which are among the most powerful in the entire world. One of them, the legendary Uchiha clanwas once at the top of the hierarchy. After the Third Great Shinobi War, the majority of powerful clans were destroyed, including the Senju and Uzumaki clans. This made the Uchihas the strongest clan among the five great nations. Members of the Uchiha clan were direct descendants of Indra Otsutsuki, the eldest son of Sage Rikudo.
Naruto fans are not unaware of how the Uchihas were slaughtered in one night, as it was considered Konoha’s greatest tragedy. For those uninvolved, it was the work of a mindless killer who had abandoned his family and his village in the name of power. However, those who knew the secrets knew how overwhelming this tragedy was. It was the result of a resentment accumulated over decades. Many schemes and mistakes were made over several generations during this time, which has fans wondering about the decisions of those involved and how the tragedy could have been avoided.
What happened to the Uchiha clan?
The Uchihas were very proud of their lineage and their strength. However, the Second Hokage assigned them to the police force and moved them to the outskirts of the village. As a proud clan, they felt insulted to be ostracized like this, especially after contributing so much to the village during the wars.. Their pride led the Uchihas to believe that Tobirama was threatened by their power and wanted to keep them under control. However, in reality, Tobirama believed that being in the police force was the best role for the most powerful clan in the village.
The misunderstanding continued for decades, sprouting hatred between the Uchihas. They ended up planning a rebellion with the goal of controlling the entire village. However, news of the rebellion reached the ears of the village elders and Hiruzen. Seeing Hiruzen’s neutral stance on the matter, Danzo took matters into his own hands. He secretly ordered Itachi, a member of Anbu’s Black Ops, to kill his entire clan. Although Itachi does not want to accomplish this mission, he accepts it in order to save the life of his younger brother, Sasuke. Soon after the tragedy, Itachi joined the Akatsuki and worked as a spy for the village.
Scenarios where the tragedy could have been easily avoided
Plans for the coup had been circulating for several years, giving the Hokage and village elders enough time to make a better decision that would result in the fewest possible casualties. Hiruzen, as the Hokage at the time, should have been able to give his words the necessary weight. However, he gave too much power to the village elders, who had a rather conventional mentality. They did all the dirty work while Hiruzen lived in glory. This was especially the case with Danzo, who was the leader of Anbu’s Black Ops at the time. Hiruzen has always turned a blind eye to Danzo’s misdeeds, knowing that the latter was obsessed with the idea of becoming Hokage.
Hiruzen’s lack of qualities as a Hokage allowed Danzo to secretly carry out the whole plan on his own. He brazenly stole Shusui’s eye and forced him to commit suicide, while using an older brother’s feelings against him and forcing him to kill his entire clan and then continue serving the village by becoming a world-class criminal. Not only Danzo but also the other village elders knew about the situation and played with the fate of the village. As the person at the top, Hiruzen chose to play the role of spectator instead of finding a real solution to the problem. The tragedy of the Uchiha clan was Hiruzen’s greatest regret in life. Even after his death, he never stopped blaming himself for the tragedy that took place because of his cowardice.
The seed of hatred between the Uchihas was still present, even after they joined Konoha. However, with the endless war and the need to protect their people, they put aside their hatred and chose to protect the village. The Uchihas were loyal to the village until Tobirama ousted them and turned them into a police force. Tobirama was an exceptionally intelligent shinobi with great leadership and strategic skills.
He knew that as the strongest clan, it would be best to place them as the first line of defense in the village. Although his intentions were pure, he never explained to the Uchiha clan why he was doing this. However, Tobirama always gave the impression that he resented the Uchiha clan. The Uchiha hated being forced to live so far from the rest of the village. They were certain that Tobirama felt threatened and that the position of Hokage would be taken away from him if he did not put the Uchihas aside.
The death of Minato is a major tragedy that happened a few years before the massacre of the Uchiha clan. Minato surpassed Hiruzen in terms of ninjutsu and leadership qualities. As a young Hokage, he had a flexible mindset and was not bound by the values that the village elders followed. Minato never compromised the lives of others for the good of the village. During the Fourth Great Shinobi War, Orochimaru resurrected all former Hokage.
They learned the fate of the Uchiha clan and the reason why it happened. Minato had a hard time understanding that all of this happened after his death. After all, minutes before his death, he had left the welfare of the village in the hands of Hiruzen. Ila tells Hiruzen that if he had been in Hiruzen’s shoes, the Uchihas would not have died. This outcome would not have been impossible, as a brilliant leader like Minato would not have succumbed to pressure from the village elders.