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Sai in Naruto

Sai is the Anbu Chief of Konohagakure’s Yamanaka clan. He started of as a member of the Root and also served as a member of Team Kakashi. Root's training conditioned Sai to eliminate all his emotions and he faced difficulty forming a personality or understanding people in the beginning, which later changed when he spent ample time with Team Kakashi. With time, he came to understand people and emotions genuinely.

All about Sai

NameSai Yamanaka
Alias Honey (by Ino Yamanaka)
First Appearance in AnimeNaruto Shippuden Episode 32: Return of the Kazekage
Japanese Voice Actor Satoshi Hino
English Voice Actor Benjamin Diskin
Birthdate November 25
AffiliationHidden Leaf Village

Allied Shinobi Forces

The Foundation (Root)

TeamTeam Kakashi

Eight Man Squad

Team One

Infiltration and Reconnaissance Party

Surprise Attack Division

Konoha 11
ClanYamanaka Clan


Sai was orphaned as a child and got recruited very young into The Foundation (Root) under the leadership of Danzo Shimura. The training in the Root was extensive and required total abandonment of feelings or emotions. Sai’s expressions were initially incomprehensible as a result of the training, thus he had no personality or personal connections.

Sai retained interest in art during his childhood and this interest was discovered by Shin, another member of the Anbu, who encouraged this ability and they became close allies.

Life in Anbu

Sai trained alongside Shin during his Root training and over time, Sai looked up to Shin as an older brother. Regrettably, the final course of the root training was to fight up against each other to the death to completely suppress all emotions. Shin and Sai were forced to fight a battle against each other but Shin, knowing he was dying either way, asked Sai to report to Danzō that he had killed him in the battle.

During his final moments, Shin asked his brother to live for both of them. Sai drew his own picture book with Shin on one end of the cover of the book and himself on the other, inside of which were pictures of him and his brother fighting different opponents. The picture book was organized in such a way that Shin and Sai’s portrait will fall in the middle pages holding each other's hands.

After Shin’s passing, Sai couldn't memorize how he was going to finish the book. Though most of his feelings were exterminated, he couldn’t bring himself to discard the picture book. During his time in Foundation, Sai eliminated multiple enemies. After Orochimaru’s invasion of Konoha, Danzō supervised and made sure Sai learnt the use of Sealing Technique: Tiger Vision Staring Bullet, the jutsu required the use of emotional energy in order to make it stronger.

Sai struggled with it as he was getting consumed by negative emotions and the training was left incomplete.

Team Kakashi

Sai was assigned to Team Kakashi by his superior Danzō to assist in meeting Orochimaru’s spy to find out about Sasuke Uchiha and discreetly eliminate him. The original motive of the Team was to locate this spy and capture him to find out the whereabouts of Sasuke Uchiha and finally retrieve him back to the village. On their way to the Tenchi Bridge, Sai questions Naruto Uzumaki about his loyalty towards a traitor like Sasuke and they enter into a brawl on their way.

Arriving at the designated place, Yamato went ahead disguised as Sasori to meet the spy. They find out that the spy was in fact Kabuto Yakushi, Yamato signals Naruto, Sakura Haruno and Sai for help.

Team Kakashi and Orochimaru get into a battle confrontation. Using the opportunity, Sai begins his real mission and manages to approach Orochimaru after the long fight between the two sides. Sai manages to successfully compromise with Orochimaru and Kabuto and reach their hideout, meanwhile, Naruto, Sakura and Yamato follow his trails up to the hideout.

Sai gets introduced to Sasuke and upon exchanging a few words with each other, Sasuke temporarily puts Sai under his genjutsu and he is escorted to his room by Kabuto where he prepares himself for his secret mission. Meanwhile, Yamato, Naruto and Sakura find and restrain Sai outdoors.

Sai shares his overview about Sasuke’s behavior and doubts the success of their mission, Naruto shares his heartfelt thoughts about their bond with Sai and how he cannot just walk away from it or abandon it, Sai has a change of heart and he chose to rescue Sasuke to witness the bond that Naruto spoke so highly of. They split into teams of two and went on their separate ways to find out Sasuke.

Later, Yamato learns about Sai’s secret mission through his belongings. Team Kakashi raced towards Sai to stop him only to find out that he had already found Sasuke but abandoned his mission of killing him. Sai tries to capture Sasuke, however, their mission didn’t go as planned due to a few confrontational ends from both sides and ultimately Sasuke chose to stick with Orochimaru and he disappears with him. Team Kakashi returned back to Konoha.

Land of Fire

Team Yamato (then Team Kakashi) is dispatched towards the Fire Temple to help guard the Tomb of Twelve Guardian Ninja from being robbed. They are sent to find out the perpetrators with Chiriku and Sora. They confront the enemy ninja and Fudo traps them in a rock canyon. Sai’s attempts to escape were repelled continuously. Soon, he figures out the tracking chip he was being spied on from, and manages to separate it and trick the enemy.

After a brief movement, Sai comes across Sakura just in time to save her from a poisonous spider and gets injured in the process, Sakura immediately tends to his wounds and saves him.After the two meet up with Yamato, they find Naruto being drained of his chakra by Fūka. Deciding that they had stalled enough, the enemy ninja retreated.

Upon returning to the village, Sai was sent to the hospital to be further treated. In his absence, Sora took his place.Later, Sai sees that the village is being attacked, and sneaks out of the hospital to help Asuma fight Kazuma which allows Asuma to finish him off.

Elimination of Akatsuki Members

Team Asuma went out to the outskirts of the village to avenge the death of Asuma Sarutobi, Sakura and Sai were dispatched to back up Shikamaru Nara, however, they find out that Shikamaru had already defeated the opponent. Sai returned with everyone else to Konoha, having not taken part in the battle.

Naruto gets seriously injured during the battle after performing his new jutsu; Wind Style : Rasenshuriken. Sai, in an attempt to strengthen his bond with Naruto tries to feed him which angers Naruto as he wanted to be fed by Sakura and Sai interrupted in doing so.

Orochimaru Search Team

Originally led by Kakashi and the members of Team 8 (all sensory type shinobi) the team was reinforced twice, first the remaining members of team 7 were dispatched to help with team Guren and later several miscellaneous Konoha personnel are sent to help seal the Three-Tails.

Sai’s team ran into Guren and Gozu and Sai took on Gozu alone and temporarily restrained him using his ink snakes but soon Gozu broke free of it using his brute strength. Eventually, they came across Yūkimaru accompanying the enemy and discovered that the young boy was capable of summoning and partially controlling the Three-Tails.

After some time, Yūkimaru fell unconscious and was treated by Sakura and Ino. Sai was tasked with bringing him to a secure place but he was attacked by some of Guren’s men who defeated him and captured Yukimaru. Later, he battled foes who were merged but were crushed by the Three-Tails on its rampage and after they failed to seal the beast again, they returned to Konoha.

Tsuchigumo Village

Sai and other members of Team 7 were assigned a mission involving the Tsuchigumo clan. Upon their arrival they found the place in shambles and Tonbee, a member of the clan in charge of guarding the fortress, was injured. A group of ninja attacked in pursuit of Tsuchigumo clan’s kinjutsu, and his granddaughter Hotaru slipped through a secret passage during the attack.

Sai, Naruto and Yamato left to find her, and they found her with a guy named Utakata who left Hotaru in their hands. After she refuses, Sai tricks her into letting them escort her towards the Village. They left her to the village with the rest of her clan but returned upon suspicion of the villagers attitude towards Hotaru and she was gone.

After some time Sai and Naruto battled with Kiri-Anbu as they were seen attacking Utakata and found Hotaru with him. Hotaru later gets kidnapped. Utakata and Team Kakashi rush towards the village where Sai, Yamato and Sakura fight the clan members who were under Shinarami’s control and the Magaki group. They departed from the village when Shinarami was defeated and his plans failed.

Search of Kabuto Yakushi

During the Pain’s Assault in Konoha, Sai was away with Yamato and Anko Mitarashi with the task of locating Kabuto Yakushi since he had been in hiding after Orochimaru’s defeat. Sai used a special tracking technique which could not be traced by Kabuto. They put a hold into their research when Yamato informed them about Naruto reaching the sixth-tailed form of the nine tails.

Five Kage Summit

Danzō got appointed as the next Hokage after Pain’s assault with Tsunade under long recovery, he summoned Sai personally and asked him to keep a close eye on Naruto as he is a Jinchūriki and could be easily targeted. Later, Sai went to see Sakura and Naruto and he was questioned by them about his meeting with Danzō, to which he explains about the cursed seal placed on his tongue which prevents him from talking about anything related to Danzō or The Foundation at all and that Danzō himself placed the seal on him.

After some time, they were confronted by the Hidden Cloud Ninja who, after a brief conflict, demanded Sasuke’s location. Naruto volunteered to help them and let Karui take out her anger on him, Sai watched from a distance as Naruto was getting beat up for refusing to sell out Sasuke and immediately jumped in to stop any further conflict.

Sai brought back Naruto to Yamato and Kakashi where Naruto asked them to help him find the Fourth Raikage to withdraw the order of eliminating Sasuke. Sai later approached Sakura and told her about everything Naruto went through for Sasuke and that he loves her and will do anything to bring back Sasuke as it will make her happy, which was causing him pain.

Later, Sai accompanied Sakura to help her reach Naruto to speak with him. After Sakura leaves talking to Naruto about abandoning the decision to bring back Sasuke, Sai figures out that Sakura was planning to kill Sasuke herself. He leaves an ink clone behind before leaving with the group who informs Naruto, Yamato and Kakashi about Sakura’s true intention.

Sai tried to stop Sakura and in the process she knocked down Sai, Lee and Kiba to further pursue Sasuke. The ink clone disperses and asks Kakashi to hurry before Sakura reaches Sasuke. Sai and others were later woken up and while returning to Konoha, they came across three Root members.

Sai confirmed that the seal on his tongue had disappeared which confirmed Danzō’s demise. He encouraged them to speak with Kakashi whom he addressed as the new Hokage.

Fourth Shinobi War

Sai was placed in the Surprise Attack Division, one of the units of Allied Shinobi Forces. The unit was led by Kankuro and they used Sai’s ink bird to infiltrate the enemy territory. Sai was placed in the unit for his sealing technique. The unit faced a number of resurrected shinobis and it is there when Sai comes across his brother Shin. They fought against Shin and resurrected Akatsuki members Deidara and Sasori.

Sai, Omoi and Zaji came across a group consisting of Zabuza, Haku, Pakura and Gari, a bunch of resurrected Shinobis. He created several ink birds with explosive tags and used them to bombard the group. He used them long enough to stall them waiting for the back up to arrive.

Later, Kakashi insisted Sai for help by asking to perform the Sealing technique that he had learnt during the Root training, Sai was reluctant at first, but after listening to Kakashi, he performed the technique. The next day, Sai and his team fought against the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist.

Much later, they rushed towards the main battlefield as the news of Naruto and Killer B facing the masked Madara surfaced. During the attack of the ten tails, Sai suggested that it would be easier to reach the main body of the ten tails by eliminating its larger copies first, he used his ink birds to launch a counter attack from above, however, he fell short on the battle as the Ten-Tails was progressing rapidly.

Later, Sai along with his fellow Konoha 11 Shinobi help Naruto defeat Obito by attacking together with the Rasengan. Sai later joined Hashirama to aid against Madara, as Sai prepares to seal Madara, he uses Black Zetsu to be revived fully into life and breaks free of Sai’s seal. Sai later helped Sasuke to perform a sneak attack by using one of his ink birds.

After the Infinite Tsukuyomi was released, Sai’s dream was shown to have fully mastered his emotions and make friends with everyone around him and he also dreamed of perfecting a natural smile.

Land of Silence

Using his super beast scroll imitating drawing, Sai informs Kakashi about Gengo’s menace and expresses his uncertainty about his own thoughts toward the current Shinobi Union during an inquiry into the missing shinobi in the Land of Silence.

Being under Gengo’s genjutsu, Sai intercepts Shikamau’s attempt to assassinate Gengo. Shikamaru gets imprisoned and later Temari comes to aid and battles against Sai, as he attempts to deal a finishing blow, Sakura punches him unconscious.

Later, Ino uses her Mind Body Switch Technique to reach out to his deep consciousness and finds him crying and wrapping himself in his memories. She calls out to him and reaches to hug him and it puts a genuine smile on Sai’s face. He breaks free of Gengo’s genjutsu and they return to Konoha, where Sai asks Ino out on a date.

Naruto’s Wedding

Sai and Ino are seen holding each other's hand during Naruto and Hinata’s wedding, declaring their relationship. They appeared blissfully happy while their pals taunted them about how their relationship was developing.

Sai in New Era

Sai married Ino and took on the Yamanaka name, and eventually rose to the position of director of Konoha’s Anbu. He and Ino worked together part-time at the Yamanaka Flowers. They have a son named Inojin, whom Sai aids in preparing to become a part of the new generation Ino-Shika-Chō alongside his wife.

Sai’s Abilities

Sai is an exceptional Shinobi trained under Root with the organization's kenjutsu. He is highly capable and dependable in terms of combat so far as for Danzō to assign him the mission of eliminating Sasuke Uchiha.

Ink Technique

Sai’s signature technique is performing the Super Beast Scroll using ink and paper, using his custom ink and scroll and applying chakra into his drawings which come to life.

Sai is able to combine ink with Body Flicker Technique and is able to create drawings into mere movements. He casually creates giant birds to use as a means of transportation, mice to infiltrate any area and snakes to strangle his enemies. He also turns words into small animals for any discreet missions which allows them to travel to designated targets.

At times, Sai has also the ability to create large humanoids who possess the power of benevolent kings. He can also produce explosive tags for chain explosions to bombard his enemies.

Sealing Technique

During Sai’s Root training, Danzō personally tutored him into learning the Sealing Technique. The technique required extreme emotional energy which in turn became complex for Sai to master as he was getting consumed by negative emotions. During the Fourth Great Ninja War, though his mastery was incomplete in this technique, he gathered up all his emotions and released into it.

The technique is performed using a massive scroll, by animating a large tiger into a scroll. He can easily use it to grab and seal the target in the painting. The technique holds its own risks as it involves emotional energy as Sai becomes susceptible to his negative emotions.


Sai is able to use Earth Release to conceal himself underground without disrupting the surface of the earth. He also uses fire, water and yang release. After marrying Ino Yamanaka, Sai appears to have been well versed or at least knowledgeable in their (Yamanaka clan’s) hidden techniques to aid his son’s training. He can also perform shadow clones.

Physical Prowess

Sai has been shown to be quite proficient in taijutsu despite it not being his speciality. He easily blocked Naruto’s attempt to stab him with a kunai using his tanto. He also blocked Sasuke’s attempt to stab Naruto and also was able subdue Kabuto Yakushi quite easily.

During the Fourth Shinobi war, he broke Shin’s neck with a flying knee kick in mid-air. He has shown great skill with bladed weapons and is able to face any opponent wielding large weapons.

Sai’s Personality

Initially, Sai showed a lack of emotions and he often masked himself with a false yet cheerful smile. At times, Sai offended people because of his social awkwardness and by his statements as he was not able to differentiate between rude and polite ones. He read a book on how to come closer to people by giving them nicknames.

Over time, he started to learn and understand bonds genuinely with Team Kakashi, specifically learning from the bond between Naruto and Sasuke. This made him remember about his brother Shin and also understand emotions, which put a genuine smile to his face.

Following years after the war, Sai truly came to understand love and compassion. He completely rejected the teachings of root, while he accepted that Danzō’s actions were genuinely to protect the Hidden Leaf, the methods were completely unjustified and misguided.

Sai cares deeply about his family and is a dedicated father, he has begun training his son artistic-ninjutsu. He also believes that growth occurs only when you are able to find certain answers for yourself.

Sai’s Appearance

Part 1

Sai has short, straight black hair, dark eyes and translucent-looking pale skin. He carried a small backpack with his brush, scrolls, and ninja ink. He wears a short black and grey jacket with red straps, as customary for all Root members. He also carries a tip-less tantō on his back.

The rest of his outfit consists of a high-collared midriff shirt, black pants, shinobi sandals and gloves with his index and thumb fingers exposed. When with Team Kakashi, his jacket has long right and short left sleeves. His casual outfit consists of a long-sleeve shirt with a high collar, matching pants and his regular shinobi sandals. This outfit was first depicted in purple color and later in navy blue.

He doesn’t wear his forehead protector or gloves with this outfit. He had Danzō’s cursed seal on the back of his tongue until Danzo’s death. Sai grew his hair longer two years after the Fourth Shinobi War with his bangs framing his face. His attire is similar to his old Root outfit but his jacket is now completely black with both sleeves of his shirt long and less of his midriff exposed. He also has a large scroll strapped on to his back horizontally and his sandals reach above his calves.

Part 2

Sai’s jacket now covers his entire upper body with long sleeves. His hair is shorter and he wears an even larger scroll on his back to perform fūinjutsu. He keeps his hair in a short ponytail as is customary of the Yamanaka clan. He has a different styled jacket with the sleeves rolled up and his collar is upturned. He also wears gloves and occasionally wears his forehead protector.

Sai’s Quotes

(To Sakura) “A smile can get you out of a tough situation, even if it is fake.”

(To Sasuke) “Even when I force myself to smile. It seems I’m the type of person who ends up being hated.”

(To his team) “Sai is the name I was given for this mission… I’m nobody. I am a tool for Lord Danzō. I don’t exist.”

(About his picture book) “The center of two pages were the ones I wanted to show my brother the most, but since he’s dead, I can’t remember what I wanted to draw on them.”

(To Sakura) “Lately when I look at Naruto I’ve been able to feel it.. his sadness. And when he thinks of Sasuke there’s a heat coming from his gut and I know that’s anger. For Naruto’s sake, for Konoha’s sake, we need to do something ourselves instead of always relying on him.”

Sai in Other Media


Sai is in the following movies:

Naruto Shippūden the Movie : Bonds
Naruto Shippūden the Movie : The Will of Fire
Naruto Shippūden the Movie : The Lost Tower
Naruto the Movie : Blood Prison
Road to Ninja : Naruto the Movie

Video Games

Sai is a playable character in the following Video Games

Jump Ultimate Stars
Naruto Mobile
Naruto Shippūden : Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
Naruto Shippūden : Getikō Ninja Taisen ! EX 2
Naruto Shippūden : Getikō Ninja Taisen ! EX 3
Naruto Shippūden : Getikō Ninja Taisen ! Special
Naruto Shippūden : Kizuna Drive
Naruto Shippūden : Legends : Akatsuki Rising
Naruto Shippūden : Naruto vs. Sasuke
Naruto Shippūden : Ninja Destiny 2
Naruto Shippūden : Ninja Destiny 3
Naruto Shippūden : Shinobi Rumble
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja 5
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Blazing
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
Naruto Shippūden : Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution
Naruto to Boruto : Shinobi Striker
Naruto x Boruto : Ninja Tribes
Naruto x Boruto : Ninja Voltage
Naruto : Shinobi Collection
Naruto : Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu
Naruto : Ultimate Ninja Online


Q. Why is Sai so weird in Naruto?

A. Sai’s social awkwardness tends to get people angry because he often speaks without considering his words and their effects on people, it is mainly the result of his Root training that he seemed weird in the beginning.

Q. Is Sai evil or good?

A. Sai was trained to be an emotionless operative ready to kill anyone deemed enemies, his lack of understanding emotions made it difficult to understand his true intentions. He has an overall good character.

Q. Is Sai stronger than Naruto?

A. No, Naruto is stronger than Sai in all aspects.

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