Umino Iruka is the Headmaster of the Konoha Academy and before being promoted to the rank of Headmaster, he was an instructor in the Academy. Iruka is the first person who acknowledged Naruto Uzumaki as a shinobi of the Hidden Leaf rather than the Nine-Tails vessel, something which made Konoha civilians resent Naruto and also keep a safe distance from him.
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Episode 1|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Toshihiko Seki Taisuke Yamamoto Wataru Takagi|
|English Voice Actor||Quinton Flynn Kyle McCarley|
|Affiliation||Konohagakure Allied Shinobi Forces|
Iruka’s parents were killed while defending the village twelve years before the start of the series, during the Nine-Tailed Fox’s attack. Initially, a young Iruka was on the battlefield and wished to remain in order to protect his mother, where his father stated that it is the responsibility of parents to keep their children safe from harm. Soon, an unknown shinobi violently pulled him from the battlefield while he yelled for his parents in vain.
With his family gone, Iruka had no one to pay attention to him. He then became a prankster in order to distract himself from his loneliness and would spend his time at the monument with his parents’ names carved, and he was cheered up by the Third Hokage in his worst moments. Mizuki was Iruka’s childhood friend following the Nine-Tails Attack, and he was always comforted by him. It was later revealed that because other people pay more attention to Iruka than to Mizuki, his generosity towards Iruka was just an act to obtain the Hokage’s approval, all the while making Iruka unhappy quietly.
At some point, Iruka became an instructor in the Academy in order to pass on the Will of Fire to the next generation as he was inspired by the wisdom of the Third Hokage. When Naruto became his student, he found it uncomfortable dealing with the person who contained the monster that killed his parents. He tried to ask the Third Hokage if he couldn’t teach Naruto but Kakashi Hatake disabused him of the idea.
After some time, Naruto walked into the wood la to steal goods from deceased people. Iruka pursues him and shielded him from Takigakure spies who were targeting Naruto, and was eventually backed up by Kakashi. He chastised Naruto for his reckless behavior after saving him and returning the document tied to the artifact he had recovered.
This surprised Naruto because it was the first time anyone in the village showed concern for his well-being. He also expressed gratitude to the Third for assigning Naruto to him. He thus vowed to be direct and rigorously deal with Naruto in class from then on, in order to train him to be a fine shinobi. As a result, Iruka became the primary reason Naruto did not develop into a sociopath like Gaara did.
When Naruto managed to evade other ninja after desecrating the Hokage Rock with graffiti, Iruka apprehended him and chastised him for falling to focus on his forthcoming graduation examinations. While Naruto was intended to transform into Iruka, he instead transformed into a naked lady, causing Iruka to have a massive nosebleed before reprimanding Naruto. He then punished Naruto by making him clean the Hokage Rock, but later invited him to Ramen Ichiraku, where he discovered Naruto’s desire to be Hokage.
Iruka failed Nauro the next day when the latter failed to summon at least one shadow clone, despite Mizuki’s phony compassionate reconsideration. When Mizuki duped Naruto into stealing the Scroll of Seals, Iruka pursued him before being wounded by a barrage of kunai and realizing the youngster had been set up. After Naruto discovered that he is the Nine-Tails jinchūriki, Iruka shielded him from Mizuki’s fūma shuriken.
Despite Iruka’s pleading and apologies for unwittingly allowing Mizuki to set him up, Naruto fled. Iruka maintained that he never despised Naruto and considered him as merely a ninja from their village. After seeing Naruto generate a large number of advanced clones, Iruka permitted Naruto to graduate from the Academy and even gave him his own forehead protector.
Iruka expressed anxiety when Team 7 was entered in the Chūnin Exams, thus, he personally evaluated each member individually to see if they were ready by disguising himself as an Amegakure ninja. He acted as a messenger, granting them access to the preliminaries when they completed the second round of the exam.
During the Konoha invasion, Iruka led his students to safety in the Hokage Rock shelters, vowing that he and the other teachers would protect them “even at the cost of our lives”. When Hiruzen’s image crumbled, he traded ominous looks with Konohamaru, whom he comforted during the Third’s funeral.
Iruka met Naruto at their favorite Ramen Ichiraku to listen to Naruto tell about his journey, and afterwards stated to him that they needed to conduct a lot of missions to demonstrate other villages that they were still strong, despite having their strength cut in half.
Following the invasion, Iruka was compelled to suspend his teaching duties in order to go on missions and fill the personnel void. He was aided by Pakkun in locating Mizuki and pursuing Naruto and Tonton. They sent Tonton back to the village when Iruka catches up with them, and Pakkun leads Naruto and Iruka to Shizune. She led them in pursuit of Mizuki but they soon fell into a trap, where Iruka revealed that Shizune is actually Mizuki himself, not Shizune.
While Naruto was fighting Fūjin and Raijin, Iruka was fighting Mizuki. He tried to bring back the “old” Mizuki, but Mizuki admitted that he was only to Iruka because he is the favorite of the Third Hokage. Mizuki took Iruka into a facility where Academy instructors were tested and battled there. Naruto and Pakkun then caught up with Iruka and proceeded to Mizuki’s lover, Tsubaki, who assisted them in reaching Mizuki, but it was too late.
Mizuki drank a formula and grew stronger and monstrous. They fought again, with Mizuki having the upper hand. Iruka devised a strategy to capture Mizuki which gave Naruto a chance to employ Rasengan on Mizuki.
When Naruto returned two and a half years later, Iruka greeted him and cheered him up after learning that all of his friends had improved in rank during his absence.
Iruka consoled Naruto after Jiraiya was killed, telling him that Jiraiya would always be proud of him. He went on to tell Naruto how Jiraiya had always bragged about him and had expressed several times how he considered Naruto to be his grandchild. He also reminded him that he was now responsible for Jiraiya’s legacy.
Iruka was discovered by one of Pain’s bodies while attending to an injured ninja during Pain’s invasion of Konoha. He was almost slain because he refused to inform Pain where Naruto was. However, Kakashi interfered and gave Iruka the opportunity to bring the ninja to the hospital and eventually join a group of Konoha ninja to help repel the invasion.
Iruka was last seen apparently hurt but alive after Pain’s attack, having been sheltered by one of Katsuyu’s divisions. He was spotted standing with the rest of the villagers after Pain resurrected everyone he had killed. He reflected on Naruto’s time at the Academy and compared it to the present while watching Naruto being applauded by the entire town. After recalling these memories, he smiled proudly.
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto and Killer B were imprisoned on an island to keep them out of Akatsuki’s hands and the war. After Naruto became suspicious and attempted to flee, a group of shinobi attempted to stop him and persuade him to return. Iruka was one of them, and he convinced Shibi Aburame to allow him to speak with Naruto.
He tried to trick Naruto into thinking he had another mission on the island. However, Naruto decided to walk outside anyway and used Sage Mode to burst past the guards, losing his forehead protector in the process. He was tied to the Shadow Imitation Technique by a Nara clan member before he could flee, but not before he felt the fight raging outside.
With Naruto demanding the truth, Iruka disclosed that a war was raging to protect him and tried to convince him not to engage and risk detention. When Naruto proclaimed that he would end the battle on his own, Iruka states that Naruto was like a little brother to him and that if Naruto was taken, he would be unable to endure it. Naruto explained that Iruka was the one who first recognised him and gave him his forehead protector and he questioned him why he now doubted his strength.
Iruka decided to return Naruto’s fallen forehead protector to him, only to create a barrier to confine him. Naruto, on the other hand, enters his Nine-Tails Chakra Mode and effortlessly breaks through the barrier, defies all attempts to subdue him and makes his way to the battlefield.
On his trip, Naruto discovered a note from Iruka in his forehead protector, telling him to return alive. Iruka told Killer B to protect Naruto and they exchanged punches. The Eight-Tails warned him that he couldn’t keep an eye on Naruto, but B replied that no one could, and told Iruka that he was in Naruto’s heart and that all he taught was still inside, even today.
Naruto approached Iruka at the Academy shortly after he received his invitation to the wedding, asking if he would attend as his father. Iruka joyfully accepted at the time and was overcome with emotion as soon as Naruto left, an experience he now has every time he sees Naruto’s name in the menu at Ichiraku Ramen. He can’t help but feel grateful to Naruto, whose presence in his classroom and now in his life lifted him out of the self-pity he felt after his parents’ death.
Not only that, Naruto’s presence convinced him to devote his life to teaching; if it hadn’t been for Naruto, Iruka fears he might have ended up like Mizuki. Iruka buys a wedding gift before dropping by Ichiraku Ramen, where he smiles at the realization that he will no longer be able to eat supper with Naruto as frequently because Hinata will not be cooking for him. When he returns home, he sees the state of chaos and degradation in which he lives and vows to find a life mate like Naruto has.
Iruka attended Naruto and Hinata’s wedding, becoming overcome with emotion as soon as he entered. He congratulates them while crying about Naruto becoming a man. He was spotted putting a flower on Naruto’s outfit and serving as his best man at the ceremony.
In the years that followed, Iruka continued to serve as an instructor at the Academy and was eventually appointed headmaster. He also continued to watch Naruto grow with pride and went to observe his inauguration as the Seventh Hokage with the rest of the village on the day of the ceremony.
Iruka has been regarded as both big and soft hearted. This is most visible in his teaching practices, where he frequently keeps a close check on his students as they advance. This does mean that he is a pushover, as he can be tough when the situations call for it, most often seen when he yells at his students to get them to obey him.
Despite the tragedy of losing his parents when he was young, Iruka remained a dedicated and strong-willed shinobi with a gentle attitude. This is evidenced by his lack of enmity toward Naruto Uzumaki, who was frequently the victim of mistaken rage directed at the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox who was sealed within Naruto. As a result, Iruka became one of the only people Naruto respected in his youth, as well as the only person who could exert some control over Naruto’s behavior. Naruto disregarded all the chūnin and jōnin who chastised him for painting all over the Hokage’s faces, only showing terror when Iruka appeared.
As a boy growing up without his parents, Iruka turned to performing pranks in the Academy to seek respect from those who would otherwise overlook him or look down on him since he was an orphan. This enabled him to see some of these indications and comprehend what they meant when Naruto presented them. Naruto considers Iruka to be a mentor because of his loving, protective and sympathetic character, and Iruka considers Naruto to be his younger brother. Iruka’s initial refusal to allow Naruto to graduate was motivated by caring strictness and a desire for Naruto to work harder and realize his full potential.
He also possesses a strong sense of responsibility, honor and selflessness, as demonstrated when he defended Naruto from Mizuki’s attack, sustaining a shuriken wound in his back in the process. He greatly admires both the Third Hokage, who was there to support him during his childhood and the village’s Will of Fire. As a result, he considers the village children as the backbone of Konoha, and is willing to give his own life to protect their safety.
Iruka is a tall and well-built man with dark eyes, black hair and a scar that runs across the bridge of his nose that he has had since childhood. He’s dressed in the traditional Konoha shinobi outfit, complete with forehead protector, sandals and flak jacket. His sleeves are likewise rolled up about a quarter of the way. He wore a simple costume with mesh armor underneath as a toddler.
Iruka has aged further over the years with minor creases around his mouth. He also removed his forehead protector and shinobi attire, and dons a grey zippered shirt.
Iruka is adept in all types of fundamental ninja skills as the Academy’s head instructor. He is proficient in Barrier Ninjutsu, which he mostly uses for binding purposes, such as with the String Light Formation and the Sealed Binding Formation. He may also use natural transformation, as he possesses Fire, Water and Yin Release.
He has demonstrated both talent and expertise in genjutsu, as seen by his use of the Demonic Deception: Hell Viewing Technique to test Sakura and see through Mizuki’s illusion.
He also demonstrated what appears to be an echolocation ability, in which he could obtain a sonar image of his surroundings. He could use shurikenjutsu to calculate the deflection points among a thicket of bamboo, causing a kunai to bounce at his victim at unexpected angles.
Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie
Iruka is a playable character in the following video games:
|Naruto Shippūden : Ninja Destiny 2|
|Naruto Shippūden : Ninja Destiny 3|
|Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Blazing|
|Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm 4|
|Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution|
|Naruto : Clash of Ninja|
|Naruto : Clash of Ninja 2|
|Naruto : Getikō Ninja Taisen! 3|
|Naruto : Getikō Ninja Taisen! 4|
|Naruto : Path of the Ninja 2|
|Naruto : Shinobi Collection|
|Naruto : Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu|
|Naruto : Shinobi no Sato no Jintori Kassen|
|Naruto : Ultimate Ninja 2|
|Naruto : Ultimate Ninja Online|
(To Mizuki) “Yeah.. the monster fox would do that.. but Naruto is different… I’ve acknowledged him as.. one of my excellent students. He may not be the hardest worker.. and he is clumsy and no one accepts him.. but he already knows what it is to feel pain inside your heart. He isn’t the monster fox. He is a member of the Konohagakure. He’s Naruto Uzumaki!”
(To Naruto) “When one person dies.. he disappears.. Along with his past, current lifestyle and his future. Many people die in missions and wars. They die easily and in surprisingly simple ways. Hayate was one of them. Those who die have goals and dreams. But everyone has something as important as those. Parents, siblings, friends, lovers.. People who are important to you. They trust and help each other. The bond between the people important to you ever since birth… and the string that binds them becomes thicker and stronger as time goes by. It’s beyond reason. Those bound to you by that string will do that. Because it’s important..”
(To Naruto) “Master Jiraiya only had praise for you. He was always boasting about you, saying you were like his own grandchild. He had faith that you were the one who would inherit his will and truly believed that you would one day be a great Hokage. Master Jiraiya will always watch over you. Even this very minute, he’s watching from somewhere. He wouldn’t be happy seeing you sad like this. So… Be your usual self, the one he praised so much. Don’t stay depressed forever. For Master Jiraiya himself, one of the Legendary Sannin.. acknowledged you as his promising student!”
(To Naruto) “Stop acting like a baby! You want to know what I really think of you?! I think you’re one of my most precious students.. and.. you’re like a little brother to me.”
(Letter to Naruto) “I expected you’d try to rush out to the battlefield right away. I know you’re ready to fight. If you’re reading this letter it means I couldn’t stop you. Lady Tsunade ordered us to Kumogakure’s secret island to guard you and delay you from leaving as long as possible. I’m writing this letter just in case things don’t work out like I want them to.. which is pretty pathetic considering I’ll be on an official mission. But if that’s how it goes.. I don’t know if I’ll manage to give this to you or not, but there’s something I need to tell you, now that you’ve left, it’s the only thing left to say. Come back alive, Naruto!”
A. Despite becoming a headmaster at the Konoha Academy, Iruka never made it to the rank of a jōnin. After chūnin, he became an instructor and eventually the headmaster.
A. Iruka is moderately proficient as a chūnin but lacks any other growth. He got weaker by the way his fellow shinobi outgrew him.
A. No, in fact Iruka has grown a bit weaker compared to even his fellow shinobi over the years.