Yahiko is one of the most famous fictional characters in the fan-favorite manga and its anime adaptation, the Naruto series, written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto.
Disclaimer: This article will contain detailed information about Yahiko and his role in the series. Readers are advised to read at their own discretion as this article will contain spoilers.
Yahiko was a shinobi belonging to the Village Hidden by the Rain. He was one of the pupils of Jiraiya, one of the Three Legendary Sannin of the Hidden Leaf Village. Yahiko played a significant role in the series. He inspired Nagato Uzumaki, who played a major role and shaped the story of the series. Yahiko was the one who initially founded the popular organization, Akatsuki.
He founded the Akatsuki along with Nagato and Konan and became its leader. Akatsuki was founded with the goal to end the era of war and establish peace in the war-inflicted they were living in. Hanzo of the Salamander, the leader of the Hidden Rain Village at the time, was threatened by Yahiko’s growing influence in the Hidden Rain Village and feared he might overthrow him to become the leader of the Hidden Rain Village.
To prevent this, he took Konan hostage and threatened to kill her if Nagato didn’t kill Yahiko. To save Nagato from the pain of killing his friend, Yahiko ran to Nagato’s kunai and killed himself. In his last moments, he told Nagato that he and Konan have to live, as he believed Nagato would be the one to bring peace to their war-inflicted world and entrusted his dream to his best friend, Nagato Uzumaki.
Nagato later used Yahiko’s corpse as Deva Path, also known as Tendo Pain. Deva Path was the face of the Six Paths of Pain and the leader of the Akatsuki. Even after Yahiko had died, Nagato still wanted him to be the leader of Akatsuki and fulfill his dream of world peace.
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Shippuden Episode 128: Tales of a Gutsy Ninja - Jiraiya Ninja Scroll Part 2|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Wataru Hatano (Child)|
|Kenyu Horiuchi (Pain)|
|English Voice Actor||Troy Baker|
|Matthew Mercer (Shippuden Episode 346+)|
|Affiliation||Hidden Rain Village|
|Team||Hidden Rain Orphans|
Yahiko was a citizen of the Hidden Rain Village and the information regarding his parents and lineage is not available so far. He was one of the many victims of the Second Great Ninja War. He lost his parents at a very young age in the war and was forced to live the life of an orphan. At first, he wandered the streets in search of food and shelter. Going through something as extreme as this would make anyone give up, but Yahiko was always optimistic and powered through.
At some point, he met Konan. Both orphans worked as a team to steal food to survive. Before long, they found a place to stay and food stock to survive. Later, they came across Nagato, who was laying on the ground, facing death due to starvation and exhaustion. They save Nagato and provided him with food and shelter. Nagato also had a dog with him, Chibi. The three of them banded and started living together. They survived by stealing food and keeping it stored to be prepared for any uncertain incident.
Yahiko would often share his dreams for the future. He wanted the war to come to an end, and if it doesn’t end on its own, the would become strong enough to end it himself. He wanted peace so that no one else had to face the horrors of the war and suffer what he and his friends had to endure. He knew that the only way was to become a shinobi. Yahiko then set out on a journey to learn ninjutsu along with Nagato and Konan.
On their journey, they witnessed the battle between Hanzo of the Salamander and three Hidden Leaf Shinobi, Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade. They were the eye witness when Hanzo declared them the Three Legendary Sannin of the Hidden Leaf Village. At that point, the orphans decided that they wanted to train under one of them.
The three Sannin traveled and engaged in battle on different battlefields. For the orphans. it proved to be a difficult task to track them. They even lost Chibi, their dog, when a stray kunai with a paper bomb attached to it exploded in their path.
After a lot of struggle, they were able to track the three Sannin. Yahiko requested them to train them. Jiraiya sympathized with their situation and agreed to take them under his care. He asked Orochimaru and Tsunade to go ahead without him and decided to stay with the kids and for a while, Yahiko and his companions stayed with Jiraiya.
Yahiko and the others trained under Jiraiya’s tutelage for three years. The three orphans had developed in worthy shinobi under Jiraiya’s care. Once, they were able to defeat Jiraiya’s shadow clone. After witnessing their skill and abilities, Jiraiya deemed them to be strong shinobi and capable of defending themselves. He bid his farewells to them and returned to the Hidden Leaf Village.
In the anime, It was hinted that Yahiko and Konan had developed a romantic relationship with one another during the time they spent together.
Following Jiraiya's departure, those three came together to form the Akatsuki, with Yahiko serving as its leader. Their objective was to build their organization and attract supporters in order to put an end to the war. They began spreading their message and pressing for an end to the war because they held the belief that only by experiencing one other's suffering could they truly comprehend one another.
They acquired recognition and their beliefs spread. At some point, Obito Uchiha approached the orphans while posing as Madara Uchiha and offered to help them achieve their goal and assist Nagato in unleashing the full extent of his Dojutsu, the Rinnegan. Yahiko declined his offer because he thought that he only intended to use Nagato and his abilities for personal gain.
Although Yahiko served as the leader of the Akatsuki, he always believed that Nagato would be the one to bring to their war-inflicted world. He, along with Jiraiya and Konan, believed Nagato to be the reincarnation of the Sage of Six Paths. Yahiko thought of himself as nothing more than an aid serving to guide Nagato to his destiny.
Hanzo of the Salamander, the ruler of the Hidden Rain Village at the time, approached the Akatsuki as they rose in stature and power. Hanzo suggested working together with them. It turned out to be a trap set to ambush Yahiko. Hanzo felt threatened by Yahiko's power and worried that he would lose his position.
Together with Danzo Shimura of the Hidden Leaf, he set up an ambush and attacked them with a horde of his troops. Hanzo kidnapped Konan and threatened to kill her if Nagato did not kill Yahiko. Yahiko ran into Nagato's kunai and sacrificed himself in an effort to save Nagato from the agony of killing his friend. In his final moments, Yahiko stated that he trusted Nagato and that he would transform the world.
Nagato, who was overcome with rage and despair, attempted to save Konan by using his might but did so at the cost of burning his legs. Then, using his Rinnegan, he summoned the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, commonly known as the Gedo Statue, and used it to slaughter Hanzo's soldiers, though Hanzo was able to flee.
After Yahiko passed away, Nagato understood that their way of thinking was flawed. People would never voluntarily break the cycle of hatred. He developed the notion that the only way he could bring about peace was by invoking the agony and dread of conflict.
Nagato was left with a frail body that was immobile as a result of linking with the Gedo Statue and having his legs scorched by Hanzo's attack. After some time, Nagato developed the Six Paths of Pain. He used Yahiko's body for Deva Pain since he still considered Yahiko to be the Akatsuki's undisputed leader.
Yahiko was a kind soul. Naruto Uzumaki, the protagonist of the series, somewhat resembled Yahiko in essence. Since a young child, he wanted to end all war and bring about peace to the world, so that no one had to witness the horrors of war and go through what he and his friends had gone through since they were young.
Since young, Yahiko was a firm believer in the notion, ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and ‘ Eye for an eye.’ Yahiko was fairly attached to his homeland, the Village Hidden in the Rain. He wanted to save the Hidden Rain from its misery. Hidden Rain was often used as a battlefield for the conflicts of the Five Great Nations.
He wanted to put an end to the endless rain in the village. He referred to the rain as a symbolic gesture that the Hidden Rain was crying due to all the destruction caused by war. Yahiko wanted to become a strong shinobi, become Hidden Rain’s leader and lead it to an era of peace and prosperity. To achieve this goal, he founded Akatsuki along with Nagato and Konan.
Yahiko cared about Nagato and Konan deeply. He was willing to sacrifice his needs, even his life, to protect his friends. When Hanzo threatened to kill Konan if Nagato did not kill Yahiko, Yahiko ran into Nagato’s kunai, killing himself, just to save Nagato from the agony of killing his friend. He sacrificed his life for the sake of his friends. He also admired and respected their master, Jiraiya.
In the anime, it was hinted that Yahiko had feelings for Konan and they had developed a romantic relationship over the years they spend with each other.
Yahiko believed that when people share their pain with each other and cry together, only then they can sympathize with each other and live in harmony. This philosophy of his gained many followers. Yahiko also had a very sharp intellect. With a single glance, he spotted Obito, impersonating Madara Uchiha at the time to be a problem and instructed Nagato and Konan to stay away from him.
Yahiko had a certain charismatic personality and the qualities of a great leader. Among the three orphans, Yahiko always took charge of their well-being and acted as a leader. He also served as the leader of Akatsuki. The Akatsuki gained many followers under his leadership.
Despite all his achievements, he always thought of himself as an aid serving to lead Nagato on his journey of acquiring peace for the world. Although he considered Nagato to be the bridge of peace, all the members of Akatsuki under Yahiko’s leadership, including Nagato, believed that Yahiko would be the one to lead the world to an era of peace.
Yahiko had blue eyes and short, spiky orange hair. He wore black pants, a black and white belt that he tied in front, mesh armor underneath, and a short black shirt robe with green trimmings while under Jiraiya's instruction. He wore a long, black robe with a crimson stripe down the middle, along with armor that only covered his midsection and had a pouch attached to it. He was an original member of the Akatsuki.
During this period, he also carried a fairly large sword. Additionally, it was shown that Yahiko had acquired his master's obscene smile, which, funnily enough, made Jiraiya uncomfortable. He also fashioned an Akatsuki cloak paired with a Hidden Rain Headband, as the leader of the Akatsuki.
All of Yahiko's physical characteristics from when he was alive were present in the Deva Path because it was his body, particularly his medium-length, spiky orange hair. He wore an Akatsuki cloak with a Hidden Rain Headband with a line through the symbol of the village, denoting that he was a rogue ninja.
As a Path of Pain, the Deva Path gained possession of Nagato's Rinnegan, which had six piercings, including one spike stud on each end of the bottom lip and metal bars through each ear and the sides of its upper nose. Additionally, it had three piercings—three on each wrist, three just below his neck, and at least one on its upper wrist. He also became a little pale in complexion, which was bound to happen as he was a walking corpse. He wore a purplish-grey Akatsuki ring on his right thumb.
He also wore a necklace that resembled the one the Sage of the Six Paths wore in several ways. He was spotted wearing red nail polish as well. The expression on his face is another distinguishing feature between the Deva Path and Yahiko; unlike the Yahiko Deva Path's face was expressionless and resembled that of a dead person in every aspect. Despite being just fifteen years old, his appearance gave the impression that he was in his mid-twenties to thirties.
Yahiko was a skilled and strong shinobi. In the anime, he was not seen much demonstrating his abilities. Yahiko possessed three out of five basic chakra natures, Wind Release, Water Release, and Fire Release. In the anime, he was only seen demonstrating his skill in Water Release techniques.
In the flashback episodes, Yahiko was often seen carrying a big sword with him, indicating he was skilled in Kenjutsu and often used sword fighting techniques in his battles.
Yahiko also possessed great charisma and leadership skills. Although he believed Nagato was the bridge of peace, all the members of Akatsuki under Yahiko’s leadership believed that Yahiko would be the one to lead the world to an era of peace.
In the anime, Yahiko showcased his mastery of these two ninjutsu:
Other than the manga and its anime adaptation, Yahiko appears in other forms of media as well. Yahiko debuts in an ova with the release of Naruto x UT. He appeared in Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie as Deva Path.
Yahiko made his debut as a playable character in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 and its later installments and other series-related games. When it comes to novels, Yahiko made his debut in the novel category with Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom.
Here is a list of the games in which Yahiko is a playable character:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing||14 July 2016||24 August 2016|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection||2014|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu||27 July 2015|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Online||14 April 2013||20 July 2016|
Yahiko appears as a different costume for Pain in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, even though he isn't a directly playable character in these games.
A. Yahiko committed suicide by running into Nagato’s kunai knife. Hanzo of the Salamander took Konan hostage and threatened to kill her if Nagato did not Yahiko. To save Nagato from the agony of killing his friend, he ran into Nagato’s kunai and sacrificed his life for the sake of his friends.
A. Upon Yahiko’s death, Nagato used Yahiko’s corpse as the Deva Path, one of the Six Paths of Pain. Deva Path became the face of the Six Paths of Pain and represented Nagato as the leader of the criminal organization, Akatsuki. Nagato used Deva Path to lead the Akatsuki because he wanted Yahiko to be the leader of the Akatsuki and lead the world towards peace in essence.
A. Yahiko along with Nagato Uzumaki and Konan founded the organization, the Akatsuki. Yahiko was the first leader of the Akatsuki. They founded the Akatsuki to put an end to the era of war and establish peace in their war-stricken world.