Minato Namikaze is the Fourth Hokage of the Leaf Village. He was also known as the Yellow Flash of the Leaf. Minato was a very humble and collected man. He was very perceptive; he was noted for never doing something without reason.
He died during the Nine-Tailed Beast’s Attack, sacrificing his life to seal a part of the Nine-Tails into his newborn son, Naruto Uzumaki.
|Alias||Yellow Flash of the Leaf|
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #168 “The Fourth Hokage”|
|Voice Actors||Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese dub), Tony Oliver (English dub)|
|Village||Konohagakure (village hidden by the leaf)|
Minato Namikaze belonged to the Namikaze clan. Information about his birth parents is unknown. He joined the ninja academy to earn the villager’s respect and to become the Hokage. He was a natural prodigy as a ninja, the kind which appears only once in a generation. He was added to a genin team under the leadership of Jiraiya.
Jiraiya took a special interest in Minato and took him on as his apprentice, teaching him many of his signature techniques. Due to his exceptional skills, Jiraiya thought that Minato would be the child of prophecy and would save the world.
Kushina Uzumaki was transferred to his class. Minato was immediately drawn to her due to her bright red hair which he found to be very beautiful. Years later after they graduated, Kushina was kidnapped. Konoha did not send their forces to retrieve her and so Minato went alone. He notices Kushina’s red hair which was left behind by her to mark where they were taking her. Minato acted alone and went to rescue her from her kidnappers. Minato then confessed his admiration for her hair and strength, which caused Kushina to fall in love with him.
Minato and Kushina became a couple from the time he rescued her, and with his love Kushina was able to keep the Nine-Tails that were sealed within her at bay. They eventually got married. After observing the tailed beast ball, Minato began a three-year process of making the Rasengan and then spent the rest of his life trying to combine it with his nature.
After proving himself as an accomplished and responsible Ninja, Minato was placed in charge of his team which consists of Rin Nohara, Obito Uchiha, and Kakashi Hatake. He was also told by the Third Hokage to help Kakashi overcome the bitterness that was caused by his father's death. Minato gave his team the bell test to teach them the value of teamwork. Minato did not hold back from his students and they couldn't obtain the bells without teamwork.
Even though Kakashi realized this, he only used Rin and Obito as a means to obtain his end goal. Nonetheless, Minato passed them as they had accomplished the goal by working as a team. He did encourage them to work as a team which was taken more seriously by Rin and Obito than Kakashi.
During the Third Great Ninja War, Minato's priorities got split between training his students and helping in the war. During the mission to destroy the Kannabi bridge, Minato transferred leadership onto Kakashi, who had become a jonin recently, as he needed to head the front lines. He single-handedly wiped out the forces of Iwagakure.
As he emerged victorious in this battle, the Third Tsuchikage was convinced to accept a peace treaty. When he rendezvoused with his team later on he found out that Kakashi and Rin were surrounded by Iwagakure ninjas and Obito was no more. He rescued them and helped them complete the mission once they had recovered. They then returned back to Konoha and mourned for Obito.
Minato even contributed a lot during the Third Great Shinobi war and due to his lightning-fast speed while fighting the others, he was also known as the Yellow Flash of the Leaf. While he was on another mission, he got to know that Rin was kidnapped by Kirigakure ninjas and had died during Kakashi's attempt to save her.
Minato encountered A of Kumogakure a lot of times during the war. During their first encounter, Minato and A fought purely based on speed which proved that Minato was much faster. He had to retreat before their fight could get resolved but before leaving, he complimented A and his brother B (who was jinchuriki like Kushina). He told A to take care of B, and also threatened to kill B if A didn't let his team go. Minato was quite confident that both he and A would meet someday as Kage.
Minato was chosen to become the Fourth Hokage of the Leaf for his outstanding performance during the war. He also tried to help Kakashi (who was then a part of Anbu) to help him get out of his darkness and restore his value in life by telling him to look after his wife Kushina during her pregnancy.
As a jinchuriki, the seal keeping the Nine-Tails at bay tends to weaken due to the strain caused during childbirth for Kushina. For that reason, special precautions were being taken. The child would be birthed secretly in a remote location outside the villa. Many Anbu guards were stationed for extra protection too. Minato wasn't greatly worried about the birth and even gave Kakashi the day off as a reward for his exceptional work. Minato and Kushina had decided to name their son 'Naruto', a character from Jiraiya's book, as they wanted him to be as determined as the character and the author. Jiraiya told them to change that name as that meant he would be Naruto’s godfather, but they insisted that it was a good thing.
After the birth of Naruto on October 10th, moments after the birth Minato started to make preparations to restore the Nine-Tails’ weakened seal but he was interrupted as he was attacked by a masked man, Tobi. Tobi managed to kill all the Anbu and the midwives, and took Naruto hostage, threatening to kill him if he tried to redo the seal of the Nine-Tails on Kushina again.
Minato managed to take Naruto from Tobi only to discover that he had explosive tags on him. Due to this, Minato was forced to teleport away leaving Tobi to take away Kushina. Once he found a safe place for Naruto, he went back for Kushina to save her from being killed by Tobi by allowing him to extract the Nine-Tails from her. He then reunited the mother and son and then headed out to protect the village.
Minato returned to the village in the early stages of the Nine-Tails attack. He arrived right on time to teleport the Tailed Beast Ball before it could destroy the village. As he was on his way to inform the Third Hokage of what happened, Tobi stopped him and tried to warp him. Minato managed to escape it in time but Tobi did not stop going after him.
As Tobi was responsible for controlling the Nine-Tails, defeating him was the main priority to save the village. Minato couldn't strike him at first but then managed to land a hit on him with the help of the Rasengan and branded him with the Flying Thunder God Seal which allowed him to teleport Tobi wherever he wanted. He then used the contract seal on him to release the Nine-Tails from his control which forced him to escape.
Once the Nine-Tails were no longer under control, it retreated but it continued attacking the Konoha ninjas who pursued it. Just as another Tailed Beast Ball was going to be shot, Minato was able to stop it once again on time. He made Gamabunta keep it restrained while he gathered the chakra to transport the Nine-Tails to Naruto and Kushina’s location.
Once there, Kushina erected a barrier so that it couldn't escape as they decided what to do. Already dying from the Nine-Tails extraction, Kushina suggested that the beast should be sealed inside her so that it dies with her. Minato did not agree to this because they needed its power if Tobi struck again. When he remembered Jiraiya talking about the 'Child of Prophecy' he decided that Naruto was that child who would save the world one day. To make sure that this happens, Minato decided to make Naruto the new Nine-Tails jinchuriki so that he could make use of that strength.
Because the Nine-Tails chakra was so immense to be sealed inside an infant, Minato used the Reaper Death Seal Jutsu to cut the chakra in half and sealed one half within himself. When the Nine-Tails realized what they were planning to do, he tried to kill Naruto but Minato and Kushina used themselves as shields. With his last ounce of strength, Minato summoned Gerotora and gave him the key to the seal he would use on Naruto to seal the Nine-Tails and sent him to Jiraiya, while Kushina told baby Naruto how much his parents loved him, to which Minato agreed.
He sealed half of Nine-Tails chakra into himself and the other half into Naruto. He even weaved Kushina’s chakra into it so that she could teach him how to control it someday. He also mixed his own chakra so that it activated anytime the seal was about to break, ensuring he could restore it.
Seeing the Third Hokage, Minato asked him for a final request for the villagers of Konoha to think of Naruto as a hero and not as a vessel of a deadly monster who caused so much death and destruction. With his last words, his soul was consumed by the Shinigami, thus ending Minato's life.
Minato’s physical resemblance is quite similar to Naruto. Minato was a very humble and collected man. He was also very perceptive and shrewd. He was also well aware of the terror his reputation had on the other villages and he did take advantage of it sometimes, but he was very respectful to his opponents. He also didn't poke his nose in other people's business unless and until it was necessary, and he was never the type to hold grudges.
He always blamed himself for the death of Kushina as he couldn't save Obito from straying away to the path of corruption, the difficulties Konoha faced once he was gone, and also how he was unable to save his son from the painful and difficult life of being a jinchūriki orphan.
He had an indomitable spirit and ambitions that gave him the drive to see through all their decisions. He had unwavering loyalty towards Konoha and to his family and friends and he also inspires all the people around him. He also tends to make very questionable techniques and give them complicated names too. He was also very polite and addressed people with their designated honorifics.
Minato had blue eyes and spiky blonde hair. His bangs reach till his jaw which frames the side of his face and he was quite good-looking too. He used to wear the standard Konoha uniform with the green flak jacket, a blue forehead protector and blue sandals. After becoming the Hokage he started wearing a short-sleeved white haori over his usual clothes. The haori had a red flame motif on the edges and the Fourth Hokage was written on it vertically.
During his childhood, while being in the academy, he wore a simple white suit of clothing with green trimmings and a hood. After becoming a full-fledged shinobi he wore a tracksuit with three stripes on the sleeve with mesh under armor with a pair of black pants and sandals.
Minato was one of the most powerful shinobi in history, considered by many as unmatched by anyone else. Minato was able to detect his enemy’s chakra from a distance and was also trained by Jiraiya to summon toads. He was also proficient in nature transformations of fire, wind, and lightning.
Minato had his special brand of Kunai which he used as a normal weapon while fighting, or he would throw them at opponents and transport himself to them. Minato learned several fūinjutsu from Jiraiya and Kushina. The most notable of these was the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style he used to seal the Nine-Tails' chakra half into Naruto. Knowing the seal would slowly weaken over time, Minato created a key that could accelerate or reverse this process.
Minato's large chakra reserves enabled him to learn the senjutsu of Mount Myōboku, enhancing his techniques and physical parameters by entering Sage Mode. He could perfectly balance the natural energy with his chakra.
Minato had large chakra reserves, able to summon the massive Toad Boss Gamabunta, as well as teleport multiple massive targets like a tailed beast and their attacks. His chakra control was very refined, which is seen by his creation of the Rasengan and his ability to weave hand seals with only one hand.
Minato spent three years developing his special ability known as Rasengan which was a ball of chakra. This technique has very precise chakra control and Minato had mastered it quite well. Some of his special abilities are:
Flying Thunder God Technique: His exploits with this technique gained him the title "Konoha's Yellow Flash". With this technique, he could instantly move the location of anything marked with a special seal.
The Eight Trigrams seal is a technique Minato learned which he used to seal the Nine Tails inside Naruto during the attack on the Leaf Village.
Reaper Death Seal Jutsu is a sealing technique developed by the Uzumaki clan to call upon the power of a shinigami.
Rasengan: This move was created by Minato. It is a spinning ball of chakra which is formed and held in the user’s hand.
Other than the series, Minato has also made an appearance in movies and video games.
The setting of the movie is twenty years in the past where Minato and Kakashi are a part of a team that is sent to Ronan to stop Mukade, a missing-nin from the future. They need to stop him from using the Source of the Ryumyaku to make a Puppet Army that will help to conquer the Five Great Shinobi Countries. When they arrive in Ronan they meet Naruto, who Minato knows is from the future. Minato tried to make Naruto leave so that he doesn't reveal anything that might hinder the future. Naruto on the other hand thinks that Minato and his team have come to kill Ronan's Queen, Sara and attacks them but then recognizes Minato as the Fourth Hokage.
Minato warns Naruto to not say anything that might hinder the future and instructs him to continue protecting Sora and gives him a Flying Thunder God Kunai just in case. Later on, when Naruto and Sara are fighting Mukade, Minato and his team arrive to aid them. Mukade then fuses with his puppets and becomes a giant puppet monster using Ryūmyaku's power. Sara tries to attack its Source and Naruto uses the Rasengan, which comes as a surprise to Minato. After using the Rasengan, Naruto becomes weakened and Minato lends him some of his chakra and tells him where Mukade's weak spots are located. He then realizes that Naruto is his son and that's why they have similar chakra and are able to create a Supreme Ultimate Rasengan, and they defeat Mukade.
After Minato seals away Ryūmyaku completely, Naruto starts glowing as he returns to his original time. He tries to fight it in order to warn Minato of the future and tell him what was going to happen, but Minato refuses. When Naruto asks him if he was Minato’s son, Minato replies by saying that if he ever had a son he would want him to be just like Naruto. Once Naruto returns to the future, Minato wipes off everyone's memory so that their meeting with Naruto doesn't change the future.
In an alternate world, Minato never becomes the Hokage due to which he and Kushina never died during the birth of their son Menma. He is still the same Minato as in the original world, kind, courageous and dutiful. He also puts his family's safety above anyone else.
Minato Namikaze is a playable character in the following video games:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! Special||2 December 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 2||24 April 2008||15 September 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3||28 April 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 4||5 April 2007||24 March 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 5||20 December 2007||27 November 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing||14 July 2016||24 August 2016|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3||10 December 2009||11 May 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact||20 October 2011||18 October 2011|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2||21 October 2010||19 October 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3||18 April 2013||5 March 2013|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4||4 February 2016||9 February 2016|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations||23 February 2012||13 March 2012|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution||11 September 2014||16 September 2014|
|Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker||30 August 2018||31 August 2018|
|Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Tribes||June 2019||June 2019|
|Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Voltage||22 November 2017||22 November 2017|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection||2014|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu||27 July 2015|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3||22 December 2005||25 March 2008|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Online||14 April 2013||20 July 2016|
A. At his base form, Minato is faster than the 4th Raikage. When he enters Sage mode, he becomes 5-10 times faster.
A. The inscription on Minato’s kunai translates to ‘Sword of shinobi’s love.’
A. He was feared mostly because of his ability to use the Flying Thunder and Body Flicker technique.