Kakashi Hatake is a syndicated character among Naruto fans for his cool demeanour, character model, and unique story. Within the plot of Naruto Shippuden, and the manga of Mashashi Kishimoto, Kakashi plays a large part in some important acts within the story.
Being one of the Hidden Leaf Village’s most powerful and skilled shinobi, it is no surprise that Kakashi became the Sixth Hokage even though he dislikes responsibility. Read on if you want to learn more about Kakashi, how, and when, he becomes the Hokage.
What Is A Hokage?
Each village in Naruto has their own group of shinobi and kunoichi (female shinobi) who protect the village and its inhabitants from the incoming threats of other ninjas from rival villages. In times of war these shinobi are organised into militant forces.
A Kage is the most powerful shinobi in the village, they use their power to protect the village and are also a source of wisdom and training. They often earnt this title based on their merit as a shinobi, proven through certain events and duels.
Each village has their own Kage, and the different Kage of each village often meet. The Kage for the Hidden Leaf Village is known as the Hokage. Currently, there have been Seven Hokage in the most up to date series of the Naruto universe, Kakashi Hatake is the Sixth.
Who Is Kakashi Hatake?
Kakashi Hatake is a beloved character in Mashashi Kishimoto’s Naruto Shippuden series, created from his manga.
He is part of the Hatake clan which has a small lineage that ended with Kakashi, Kakashi’s father was an important ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village and saved it on more than one occasion.
Kakashi enrolled in the NInja Academy at the age of 5 and graduated from the academy, top of his class, in only one year. He was regarded as a prodigy by many and completed the chunin exams aged 6, and became a jonin at 10.
Kakashi is heavily embroiled in the Uchiha clan and their scandalous history, having been an Anbu alongside Itachi Uchiha when the atrocity happened. However, you may wonder what happened to Kakashi’s eye, and why he possesses the sharingan of the Uchiha clan.
During the Third Shinobi World War, Kakashi, under Team Minato, was enrolled to help in the conflict alongside his teammate Obito Uchiha. During combat Kakashi’s eye was fatally compromised as was Obito.
In Obito’s final act he gives Kakashi his eye which contains his sharingan so he can continue fighting and protecting the Hidden Leaf Village. As a result Kakashi could use the sharingan that is usually reserved only for the Uchiha clan members.
This sharingan, plus Kakashi’s natural abilities, made him a seriously powerful shinobi. After the Third Shinobi World War, and during his time in the Anbu, Kakashi was one of the first to discover that Itatchi had massacred his own clan.
Kakashi, during his later career as a shinobi, is put in charge of Team 7 which is composed of Sasuke Uchiha, Naruto Uzumaki, and Sakura Haruno.
The Third Hokage explains that Kakashi is needed to keep an eye on Naruto and his Nine Tails jinchuriki as well as Sasuke’s coping with his clan’s downfall.
He has a tough approach to teaching the three ninjas and pushes them hard with the intention that they will not make the same mistakes he did.
How Does Kakashi Become Hokage?
Kakashi never really wants to be Hokage because of the responsibility that comes with the role. Kakashi has found a lot of grief and casualty comes with the responsibilities he has had in the past.
His general ninja activities are usually carried out alone, likely because of his time in the Anbu and his fear that others will turn against him, thus he feels he isn’t suited for the role of Hokage although he isn’t offered it until after the Fourth Shinobi World War.
However, Kakashi plays a large role in the Fourth Shinobi World War, as he did in the Third. One particular instance of Kakashi’s input in ending the war is his battle with Tobi alongside Naruto.
Tobi is the one of the main advocates to Sasuke’s defection from the Hidden Leaf Village and encourages him to destroy it. In a battle with Tobi, Kakashi and Naruto destroy his mask and are surprised to learn that it is Obito Uchiha.
Kakashi is particularly shocked and hurt by this discovery as Obito was assumed to have died in the Third Shinobi World War after he gave Kakashi his Sharingan eye.
However, Obito is not dead and is encouraging Sasuke to destroy the Hidden Leaf Village. Obito is seeking vengeance for the death of Rin who was part of Obito and Kakashi’s team in the Third Shinobi World War and is accidentally killed in combat by Kakashi.
When Obito is actually defeated he is taken over by Black Zetsu and they have a long battle in order to save the real Obito while Naruto and Sasuke fight with the reincarnated Madara Uchiha.
Madara Uchiha is eventually taken over by Black Zetsu who transforms Madara into Kaguya Otsutsuki, his true master. Obito, Kakashi, Naruto and Sasuke engage in another battle with Kaguya.
Obito is killed in the battle and comes back as a ghost to settle with Kakashi, allowing Kakashi to use his Mangekyo Sharingan to defeat Kaguya.
Obito’s spectral form apologises and makes up with Kakashi and tells him that he feels he will become the next Hokage. Soon after Sasuke and Naruto are able to end the Infinite Tsukuyomi and, in turn, the Fourth Shinobi World War.
When Does Kakashi Become Hokage?
It is the efforts of Kakashi, Naruto and Sasuke, in aggregation with the other Allied Shinobi Forces, that ends the Fourth Shinobi World War and effectively saves the world.
It is these acts that make all three technically eligible to become the Sixth Hokage. In the climax of the war Tsunade resigns her post as the Fifth Hokage as she feels she has completed her fate as Hokage.
However, Tsunade has to carry out the Hokage’s duties even when the role has been passed to Kakashi.
Many felt that Naruto should be Hokage but as he is still a genin and very young it is decided that he should train more with the intention that he will become the Hokage as soon as he meets the requirements.
Sasuke is also technically eligible to be Hokage in terms of his skills and power, equalling Naruto as one of the best ninjas at the time.
However, due to Sasuke’s defection from the Hidden Leaf Village and the actions that led to him being labeled an International War Criminal, he is not in contention to become Hokage even though he is able enough as a shinobi.
Moreover, Jiraiya, the most obvious contender for the role of Hokage, was one of the most powerful ninjas and having been offered the Hokage role numerous times only to turn it down he seemed the next choice after Tsunade until his death by Nagato/Pain.
Similarly, Kakashi is not keen on the responsibility of being Hokage, but understands that he must take it on in order to protect the village. Kakashi becomes the Sixth Hokage but essentially takes it on with the promise that Naruto will become Hokage as soon as he is ready.
It takes Kashi a good year to actually take on the role of Hokage, even though he technically carries the title, as he feels he is unqualified for the role.
After a mission in the Land of the Sea Kakashi takes his first action as Hokage and provides a prison sentence to an enemy of the village. Soon after his acceptance of the position he pardons Sasuke from prison due to his actions in the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Many fans weren’t actually that happy with Kkashi’s appointment as Hokage. Many fans felt this was really anticlimactic as the series of Naruto Shippuden ends fairly anticlimactically with Kakashi becoming the Sixth Hokage while Hinata and Naruto marry.
Many fans felt that Naruto should have become Hokage instead of Kakashi as this would have ended the series nicely, but Naruto is never seen becoming the Hokage within the anime series.
Boruto: Next Generations, the spiritual sequel to Naruto: Shippuden, starts with Naruto already having taken the role of Seventh Hokage and after the birth of his son Boruto.
Kakashi does appear in Boruto after his time as Hokage but is essentially on holiday, taking missions as he pleases, but is still believed to be an incredibly powerful ninja.
Having served Konoha for a long time as Hokage he now returns to his life as a lone ninja carrying out his own recon and surveillance mission for the village’s protection and as Naruto orders.
The main mission that Kakashi embarks on in Boruto follows on the Root storyline from the original Naruto Shippuden which pleased many fans.