Who is the Useless Hokage?

by Hazel

In the world of Naruto, the title of Hokage is the highest and most respected position within the village of Konohagakure (Hidden Leaf Village). The Hokage is responsible for leading and protecting the village, making critical decisions, and serving as a role model for all ninja. Throughout the series, several characters have held this prestigious title, each bringing their own strengths and weaknesses to the role. However, fans often debate who might be considered the “useless” Hokage. This article aims to critically analyze the performance of each Hokage to determine who, if anyone, deserves this controversial label.

The Role of the Hokage

Responsibilities and Expectations

The Hokage is expected to be the strongest ninja in the village, capable of making strategic decisions, protecting the villagers, and maintaining peace. They must also be a figure of inspiration and leadership, guiding the next generation of ninja.


Challenges Faced

The Hokage faces numerous challenges, including political intrigue, threats from other villages, internal conflicts, and natural disasters. The effectiveness of a Hokage can often be measured by how well they handle these challenges.


The Hokage Lineage

Hashirama Senju: The First Hokage

Hashirama Senju, the founder of Konohagakure, was renowned for his immense strength and ability to control the power of the tailed beasts. He played a pivotal role in establishing peace among the warring clans and setting the foundation for the village. His leadership and vision were crucial in the early days of Konoha, and he is widely respected for his achievements.


Tobirama Senju: The Second Hokage

Tobirama Senju, the younger brother of Hashirama, was known for his pragmatic approach and innovative techniques, including the creation of many powerful jutsu and the formation of the village’s administrative systems. He played a significant role in stabilizing the village after his brother’s death and established several institutions that became the backbone of Konoha’s governance.


Hiruzen Sarutobi: The Third Hokage

Hiruzen Sarutobi, known as the “Professor” for his vast knowledge of jutsu, served as Hokage during two separate terms. His leadership saw both periods of prosperity and great strife, including the Third Great Ninja War and the attack of the Nine-Tails. While his wisdom and strength were undeniable, his tenure was also marked by significant challenges and controversial decisions.

Minato Namikaze: The Fourth Hokage

Minato Namikaze, the “Yellow Flash,” was famed for his incredible speed and strategic brilliance. His tenure was cut tragically short due to his sacrifice during the Nine-Tails attack, where he gave his life to protect the village and seal the beast within his son, Naruto Uzumaki. Despite his short reign, Minato left a lasting legacy.

Tsunade Senju: The Fifth Hokage

Tsunade Senju, one of the legendary Sannin, was known for her medical expertise and superhuman strength. She took on the role of Hokage during a time of crisis and played a crucial role in healing and rebuilding the village after the attack by Orochimaru. Her leadership was marked by her dedication to the welfare of the villagers and the training of new medical ninja.

Kakashi Hatake: The Sixth Hokage

Kakashi Hatake, the “Copy Ninja,” was known for his exceptional skills and intelligence. His tenure as Hokage was relatively peaceful, allowing him to focus on reforms and strengthening the village’s defenses. Kakashi’s leadership style was more laid-back compared to his predecessors, but he was effective in maintaining stability and guiding the village into a new era.

Naruto Uzumaki: The Seventh Hokage

Naruto Uzumaki, the protagonist of the series, became the Seventh Hokage after years of training and proving himself as a hero. His tenure has been marked by efforts to foster peace among the ninja world, handle threats from powerful enemies, and address internal issues within Konoha. Naruto’s leadership is characterized by his unwavering determination and compassion.

Evaluating the Hokages

Criteria for Evaluation

To determine the effectiveness of each Hokage, we will consider the following criteria:

Leadership and Decision-Making: How well did they lead the village and make critical decisions?

Strength and Combat Prowess: Were they able to protect the village and handle threats?

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: What lasting contributions did they make to the village?

Management of Crises: How effectively did they handle crises during their tenure?

See Also: Who Killed Muzan Kibutsuji in Demon Slayer?

Hashirama Senju

Leadership and Decision-Making: Hashirama’s vision for peace and his ability to unite the warring clans were instrumental in the creation of Konoha. His decision to distribute the tailed beasts to other villages to maintain balance demonstrated strategic foresight.

Strength and Combat Prowess: His ability to control the tailed beasts and his immense chakra made him one of the strongest shinobi in history.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: He is remembered as the founder of Konoha, and his ideals continue to influence the village.

Management of Crises: He managed to bring peace to the warring clans, establishing a lasting legacy of unity.

Tobirama Senju

Leadership and Decision-Making: Tobirama’s pragmatic and often harsh decisions helped stabilize the village and create administrative structures.

Strength and Combat Prowess: He was a formidable shinobi, known for creating powerful jutsu and being an effective leader in battle.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: His contributions to the village’s governance and institutions are still felt.

Management of Crises: He effectively managed the village during its formative years, although some of his policies were controversial.

Hiruzen Sarutobi

Leadership and Decision-Making: Hiruzen’s leadership was marked by his wisdom and deep knowledge of jutsu, but he faced criticism for some of his decisions, especially regarding handling threats like Orochimaru and the Uchiha clan.

Strength and Combat Prowess: Despite his age, he remained a powerful shinobi, demonstrated during his battle against Orochimaru.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: His impact on the village was significant, though his tenure also saw some of its darkest times.

Management of Crises: He faced multiple crises, including the Nine-Tails attack and the Third Great Ninja War, with varying degrees of success.

Minato Namikaze

Leadership and Decision-Making: Minato’s short tenure was marked by his brilliant strategic mind and quick decision-making.

Strength and Combat Prowess: Known for his speed and strength, he was instrumental in protecting the village during the Nine-Tails attack.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: His legacy is defined by his sacrifice and the sealing of the Nine-Tails, which had long-term implications for the village.

Management of Crises: He managed the Nine-Tails crisis with exceptional bravery and effectiveness, although his tenure was too short to evaluate fully.

Tsunade Senju

Leadership and Decision-Making: Tsunade’s leadership was marked by her dedication to rebuilding the village and improving medical care.

Strength and Combat Prowess: Her strength and medical skills were unparalleled, and she was crucial in healing the village after major battles.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: Her focus on medical training and village welfare had lasting positive effects.

Management of Crises: She effectively managed the aftermath of Orochimaru’s attack and Pain’s assault, demonstrating strong crisis management.

Kakashi Hatake

Leadership and Decision-Making: Kakashi’s leadership was characterized by his calm demeanor and strategic thinking.

Strength and Combat Prowess: Although not as physically dominant as some predecessors, his intelligence and experience made him a strong leader.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: His reforms and guidance during a peaceful period helped stabilize and modernize the village.

Management of Crises: His tenure was relatively peaceful, allowing him to focus on internal improvements rather than crisis management.

Naruto Uzumaki

Leadership and Decision-Making: Naruto’s leadership is marked by his passion for peace and justice, though his impulsive nature sometimes leads to hasty decisions.

Strength and Combat Prowess: One of the strongest shinobi ever, his combat prowess and ability to inspire others are unparalleled.

Legacy and Long-Term Impact: His efforts to foster peace among the villages and his role in major battles have a profound impact.

Management of Crises: He has managed several crises effectively, including threats from powerful enemies and internal village issues.

Determining the “Useless” Hokage

Controversial Decisions and Weaknesses

To determine the “useless” Hokage, we need to examine the controversial decisions and notable weaknesses of each leader:

Hiruzen Sarutobi: His inability to prevent the Uchiha massacre and his handling of Orochimaru are often criticized. Some view his leniency and indecision as significant flaws.

Tobirama Senju: While effective in many ways, his policies towards the Uchiha clan laid the groundwork for future conflicts.

Kakashi Hatake: Though effective, some argue that his tenure lacked the significant challenges faced by other Hokage, making it difficult to evaluate his crisis management skills.

Fan Perspectives

Fan opinions on the “useless” Hokage vary widely. Some criticize Hiruzen for his handling of internal threats, while others believe Tobirama’s policies created long-term issues. Kakashi’s quieter tenure often leads to debates about his effectiveness compared to more active Hokage.


Labeling any Hokage as “useless” is a contentious and subjective task. Each Hokage faced unique challenges and brought their own strengths to the role. While some may argue that Hiruzen’s decisions led to significant problems or that Tobirama’s policies were too harsh, it is essential to consider the context and complexities of their tenures. Ultimately, the effectiveness of a Hokage is best judged by their overall contributions to the village’s safety, stability, and growth. Each Hokage, despite their flaws, played a crucial role in shaping the history and future of Konohagakure.


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