Those who have achieved the title of Kage are the leaders of the five most powerful Hidden Villages and generally the most powerful ninja in their respective villages. There may be exceptions, however; for example, a ninja may be the most powerful at the time of being installed as Kage, but he will age and a more youthful ninja may become more powerful.
A Kage may retire and give the title to someone else; the title, once granted, is held permanently. This creates a case where there are two Kage at the same time, with only one of them actually active -- as was with the Fourth Hokage and the Third Hokage, where the latter had given up the title to the former, only to come out of retirement when the former died.
Their elite status is also attributed to the tendency for most Kage to have family members who were previous Kage, or be personally taught by a former Kage or student of a former Kage. Examples of this occurrence include Gaara, who succeeded his father as Kazekage; the Fourth Hokage, who was taught by the Third Hokage's student Jiraiya; Tsunade, granddaughter of the First Hokage, grandniece of the Second Hokage, and former student of the Third Hokage; and the Third Hokage who was taught by both the First Hokage and Second Hokage.
The five Kage have different titles depending on their village. Those titles are:
* Hokage Kage of Konohagakure.
* Kazekage Kage of Sunagakure.
* Mizukage Kage of Kirigakure.
* Raikage Kage of Kumogakure.
* Tsuchikage Kage of Iwagakure.
The Kage stand equally with the rulers of their countries, oversee the activities of their villages, and are the leaders of ninja society.
The anime introduced a sixth Kage, the Hoshikage (literally "Star Shadow") from Hoshigakure. However, this was a self-given title and not officially recognized by the five other villages. Orochimaru, founder and leader of Otogakure, is also referred to as Otokage by some fans, but this is not an official title, as Otogakure is not recognized by the five great Hidden Villages as an equal nor is Orochimaru actually a Kage, though his abilities are certainly on par with one.
First Hokage (Shodaime):
Age: ? (deceased)
Height: 185.1 cm
Weight: 74 kg
Blood Type: ?
Seiyu: Takayuki SugÅ�
Voice Actor: Jamieson Price
Unique traits: Mokuton (Wood Release) techniques, tailed beast control
The First Hokage was the founder of Konoha and used his unique Mokuton abilities to create the village. He was the older brother of the Second, and the grandfather of Tsunade. During his life he fought Kakuzu, but the details of their battle are never elaborated upon. He saw the people of Konoha as a part of him, and put them before anything else. His spirit even now takes a firm root in Konoha. He was resurrected and summoned by Orochimaru to battle the Third Hokage, who is eventually forced to seal away his soul to defeat him. Prior to this defeat, the First uses Bringer of Darkness Technique to cause the Third to see nothing but total darkness, allowing the First to attack him unseen. In earlier years Orochimaru injected the First's DNA into 60 test subjects in an attempt to replicate his Mokuton abilities. Only one of the test subjects, Yamato, survived and retained the First's abilities.
Second Hokage (Nidaime):
Age: ? (deceased)
Height: 182.3 cm
Weight: 70.5 kg
Blood Type: ?
Seiyu: Kenyu Horiuchi
Voice Actor: Peter Lurie
Unique traits: Excelled at water jutsu, did not require a water source to perform them
The Second Hokage was the younger brother of the First and Tsunade's grand uncle. He greatly contributed to Konoha's establishment as a major power. He was very proud of his superior combat ability, and was especially skillful at water jutsu (to the point that he did not require a source of water to perform them). One such ability was the Water Release: Water Shockwave, which allowed him to spit out a large body of water that he could control to attack others. He was the teacher of the Third Hokage, Homura Mitokado, and Koharu Utatane, and was the one to appoint the Third as his successor. He was resurrected and summoned by Orochimaru to battle the Third, who is eventually forced to seal away his soul to defeat him. One of the anime's filler arcs the Second is revealed to have owned Raijin sword, the blade of which was composed of pure energy and could retract into the handle. Despite being composed of pure energy, the blade can be cracked and broken like a regular sword, which happens at the end of the same filler arc it is introduced in when Naruto uses Rasengan.
Third Hokage (Sandaime):
Age: 69 (deceased)
Height: 163.1 cm
Weight: 50.6 kg
Birthday: February 8
Blood Type: A
Seiyu: Hidekatsu Shibata
Voice Actor: Steve Kramer
Unique traits: Earth mud-river, Earth mud-cannon, Fire cannon, Shuriken kage bunshin no justu, Fire element-fire dragon flame missile.
The Third Hokage and his former teammates, Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane, were students of the First Hokage and Second Hokage. Because of his surname, Sarutobi, the First and Second called him called him "Monkey". Later in his life he became the sensei of Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade, who would go on to become known as the "Legendary Three Ninja" . He also became the father of Asuma Sarutobi, and in later years the grandfather of Konohamaru.
The Third was called The Professor due to his vast knowledge of jutsu, purportedly knowing all the jutsu within Konoha. During the only battle he is seen in he utilizes a number of attacks dealing with fire and earth; his fire-based jutsu deal with spitting streams of flames at opponents, while his earth-based attacks allow him to either create defensive walls or projectiles to launch at opponents. In addition to elemental attacks, he can use Technique Neutralize to prevent or stop an opponent's jutsu by exerting an equal amount of chakra. After throwing a shuriken at an opponent, he can use Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique to replicate it and surround the opponent. The Third also has a personal summon: the monkey king, Enma, who can turn into a staff that the Third wields with great proficiency. Despite all of his abilities, the Third seems to have had some sense of lecherousness in him as he spends much of his free time talking to young girls. When Jiraiya was still his student, he offered to help Jiraiya test the jutsu that would allow the user to spy on naked women unnoticed. Even Jiraiya, in this instance, noted his sensei's perverted qualities.
While Orochimaru was his student, the Third came to appreciate Orochimaru's natural talent and, after becoming Hokage, hoped to someday pass the title on to him. As he neared retirement, however, the Third realized that Orochimaru was only interested in the role of Hokage as a way to get power, and thus could not give him the role as village's protector. As such, the Third passed on the role of Hokage to one of Jiraiya's former students, the Fourth Hokage. After the Fourth's death the Third was forced to reassume the role of Hokage, at which point began investigating a number of disappearances within Konoha. Upon finding that Orochimaru was the source of the abductions, the Third was unable to bring himself to harm his favorite student, allowing Orochimaru to escape. Years later, Orochimaru invades Konoha in an attempt to kill his former master. To give the Third a similar privilege, Orochimaru resurrects the first two Hokages to do battle with him. After struggling to defeat the two former Kage the Third is able to use the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to seal away the souls of his former masters. Although he attempts to do the same to Orochimaru, his age and the injuries he has received from the battle make it impossible. Doing what little he can and hoping to rectify his mistake of allowing Orochimaru to escape years earlier, the Third seals Orochimaru's arms to ensure that he will never again be able to use jutsu, a punishment for Orochimaru's obsession with power. With the village saved from Orochimaru, the Third dies with a smile on his face, death being the result of performing the sealing.
During his battle with Orochimaru, the Third's likeness on the Hokage Monument cracked across the face. While the crack is fairly prominent due to its size, it doesn't always appear in the anime due either to a bad angle or a mistake by the animators. Later filler arcs try to address this discrepancy by filling up the crack, but the filling is revealed to consist of exploding tags and as such is removed. Masashi Kishimoto originally planned for the Third Hokage to be a dog, but eventually dumped the idea for being "too weird".
Fourth Hokage (Yondaime):
Age: ? (deceased)
Height: 179.2 cm
Weight: 66.1 kg
Birthday: January 25
Blood Type: B
Unique traits: Flying Thunder God Technique, Spiraling Sphere, Dead Demon Consuming Seal
Minato Namikaze was the The Fourth Hokage, also known as "Konoha's Yellow Flash", and was the brave and immensely powerful ninja responsible for sealing the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox inside Naruto Uzumaki, an action that required him to sacrifice his life. After strongly hinting at the link throughout the series, it was eventually revealed that Minato was Naruto's father.
He is said to be the greatest ninja Konoha had ever produced. Though his skills in combat go largely unwitnessed, he was considered dangerous enough that a flee-on-sight order was given in regards to him during the Third Ninja War. Before performing the seal on the demon fox, Minato said that he did not want Naruto to be viewed as the container of a monster, but as a hero who saved the village from annihilation. This request, however, was not honored by the villagers, who still held much resentment for the demon fox. Along with two other unknown Genin, he was a student of Jiraiya; he was the sensei of Kakashi Hatake, Obito
Uchiha, and Rin.
Minato created several distinctive techniques, including the Flying Thunder God Technique, which essentially allowed him to teleport to any location with the use of a special seal, or "jutsu formula". By attaching the seal to a kunai or an enemy, Minato could teleport to the location of the seal unnoticed, allowing him to wipe out nearby opponents almost instantly. He also created the Rasengan, a technique that does not rely on hand seals but instead uses a concentration of spinning chakra in one's palm that causes immense damage to its victim on contact. Later in the series it is revealed that technique is actually incomplete. Minato had planned to add his own nature manipulation training to the Rasengan, making it even more powerful, but couldn't manage to prior to his death.
Fifth Hokage (Godaime):
Height: 163.1 cm
Weight: 48.9 kg
Birthday: August 2
Blood Type: B
Unique traits: Medical Ninja Power, Super Strength, Worm / Slug Summoning Technique
Konoha's latest Hokage. Tsunade was the granddaughter of the First Hokage and was the student of the Third Hokage. She was one of the Three Legendary Sannins. At first she was reluctant to become the Fifth Hokage because her boyfriend and little brother both had dreams of becoming Hokage and died while trying to achieve this goal. When she met Naruto she thought that his dream of Hokage was stupid because of that, but his hard work and determination inspired her and she accepted the position of the 5th Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village.