Kakashi Hatake is one of the most popular characters in Naruto. And when you take a quick look at his, it’s not hard to see why.
He is probably one of the most grounded characters in the series. While many other heroes and villains have grand plans and schemes to conquer the world, escape death through finding a way to obtain immortality, or seeking a way to bring world peace, Kakashi’s goals are pretty simple by comparison:
To protect his comrades and his village, and to be the best teacher to his students that he can be. More specifically, to make sure that they learn from the mistakes of his past.
He has one of the widest arrays of powers in Naruto, being able to use virtually every single Nature transformation of chakra, and having the power to learn even more. His design, with the Jōnin uniform, his stark white hair, and his trademark mask, are iconic in the series.
And the thing that ties all these elements of Kakashi together, is his Sharingan eye. We’re going to take a look at the importance of Kakashi’s Sharingan to him, why and how he got it, as well as why and how he lost it.
If you’re looking for some juicy tidbits of Naruto lore, you’ve come to the right place!
How Kakashi Obtained His Sharingan
Part of Kakashi’s reputation, when we first meet him in the series, is that he is known as ‘Kakashi the copy ninja’ and ‘Kakashi of the Sharingan’. This shows us as the viewer that Kakashi has had his Sharingan eye for a long time at this point.
This is also an interesting point, considering that, despite not being related to or a member of the Uchiha clan, Kakashi has the Sharingan eye in the first place.
So, if we want to take a look at how he got this amazing gift, we have to take a look at Kakashi’s past.
During Kakashi’s childhood, he was a young ninja during the Third Shinobi World War. Having just been promoted to the rank of Jōnin, Kakashi was placed in charge of leading his team, made up of his long-time partners Rin Nohara and Obito Uchiha.
But their mentor and teacher, Minato Namikaze, to destroy Kannabi bridge, which would cripple the enemy’s supply lines, and give Konoha, their village, a tactical advantage.
It is important to note that, because of prodigious skills and talent, as well as his unflinching belief in following Shinobi doctrine to the letter, Kakashi was rarely, if ever, on the same page as his teammates, especially Obito, who was staunchly loyal to his teammates and friends first, and the rules of being a Shinobi a distant second.
This came to a head when their teammate, Rin, was kidnapped by a squad of enemy ninja. At first, Kakashi was resistant to the idea, saying that their mission, to destroy Kannabi Bridge, was more critical, Obito insisted that the life of their comrade was what counted more than following a set of arbitrary rules.
Eventually, understanding where Obito was coming from, Kakashi would join him in rescuing Rin, only for Obito to become trapped under falling debris whilst trying to save Kakashi.
As a last gift, Obito asked Kakashi to take his Sharingan to replace the one Kakashi had lost during the fight. Obito was believed to have died, as they hide out they were in collapsed as Rin and Kakashi made their escape.
So, the Sharingan is not just a last gift from a dead comrade but is a reminder that he should never lose sight of what is truly important: The lives of those around you that you care about.
It is also a reminder of the grief that Kakashi carries with him for those lost. And as the series would continue, that list would only grow longer.
How Kakashi Lost His Sharingan
Kakashi would use his Sharingan for many years afterward, until the final days of the Fourth Shinobi World War, during which he would discover that his deceased friend, Obito, had actually survived, and was one of the orchestrators of the entire conflict. However, thanks to Naruto’s insistent spirit, Obito was eventually.
However, the other architect of the Fourth Shinobi World War, the legendary Madara Uchiha, needed an extra Sharingan to complete his goal of obtaining his powerful Rinnegan eyes, stole Kakashi’s Sharingan, which had developed teleportation and dimension-warping powers by this point, to accomplish this.
Naruto would be able to heal this damage, but he lost the ability to use the Sharingan at this point. However, this would not be the last time that Kakashi would have the Sharingan.
As a last-ditch effort to help Naruto and Sasuke fight the recently revived Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, the first wielder of chakra (late Naruto Shippuden gets wild), Obito bequeathed the last of his chakra and energy to Kakashi, giving him the ability to use 2 Sharingan for a short time.
After the final battle of the main series, Kakashi’s Sharingan would fade back to his normal eyes. And whilst many fans feel that something was lost in the process, it does also signify that Kakashi has received some kind of closer to his past.
And considering how many people the copy ninja has lost in his life, it’s not unreasonable to throw him a bone on this occasion.
Does Kakashi Still Have His Sharingan Later In The Series?
By the time we see him again in the series in Boruto, Kakashi has been without his Sharingan eyes for well over 12 years. However, this doesn’t mean that he isn’t still a powerful ninja. He was, after all, the sixth Hokage for many years following the end of Naruto Shippuden.
He has since grown beyond the need for the Sharingan and the grief that partly defined him. Furthermore, he has mostly healed from those wounds and is ready to help himself and the world move forward.
So, whilst Kakashi may have been defined by the eye that was not his for the longest part of his life, he used it to great effect. And always in the service of others.
And, now having his old eyes back, he would be able to see the world he helped make with his own two eyes.