Why Did Itachi Massacre The Uchiha Clan?

The life story of Itachi Uchiha is one of the saddest in the entire series of Naruto. Both in the manga and Anime, Itachi Uchiha’s life is shrouded in mystery for much of the story.

And it isn’t until later that we find out why he killed his entire clan. When we eventually do find out, it’s a heartbreaking story that has brought tears to Naruto fans’ eyes worldwide. 

Let’s explore the story of Itachi Uchiha – why he did the things he did and the impact this has on the story!

Big spoiler warning from here on out, so if you don’t already know, we highly suggest you stop reading and catch up with either the manga or anime! 

What Do We Know About Itachi At The Beginning Of The Story?

We first find out information about Itachi from the cool, dark, and edgy Sasuke Uchiha. Sasuke’s entire clan has been wiped out at the start of the story, leaving him alone in the Hidden Leaf Village.

What, exactly, happened to his clan is not known, but Sasuke begins to tell the audience through small internal lines of dialogue that his brother had something to do with it.

It isn’t until Itachi shows up at the Hidden Leaf Village with his Akatsuki partner Kisame Hoshigaki that we find out what happened.

At the age of 13, Itachi massacred his entire clan, including his parents, friends, teachers, and comrades.

Some of the jonin who face Itachi note that he is extremely powerful for his age, and he leaves Kakashi almost dead after their battle. 

The only person he left alive was his younger brother Sasuke. As to why he did this is not known, but since he is with the Akatsuki, at this point we assume it was for malicious reasons.

This has caused Sasuke to become hell-bent on revenge and killing his older brother – but each time the two meet Itachi easily beats him and mocks him for not being strong enough. 

This is one of the main driving forces that cause Sasuke to abandon the hidden leaf and turn towards dark powers to become powerful.

It isn’t until the final showdown – when the brothers face in Naruto Shippuden – that we begin to understand the motivations behind Itachi’s actions. 

History Of The Uchiha Clan And Itachi 

Before we can understand exactly why Itachi massacred his entire clan, we must first understand a little about the history of the Uchiha Clan. 

The Uchiha clan has a rich history of conflict within the Hidden Leaf. The great power of the clan with their unique power of the Sharingan caused years of unrest and friction between them and the different clans within the Hidden Leaf.

It could be argued that the biggest action that caused the Uchiha to become hostile to the Hidden Leaf is how they were cordoned off into a small part of the village by the Second Hokage who did not trust them.

Eventually, this caused the Uchiha to be segregated and caused the tension to rise. 

At this time Itachi was an extremely promising young ninja, growing up amidst a terrible war. Itachi was a gentle child and very sensitive to the evil and cycles of hatred around him in the world.

He began to train as a ninja so that he could protect his family and prevent wars.

But as he was growing up in this way, tensions between his clan and his village were beginning to rise – this is the central difficulty that he would eventually have to face when he was 13 years old. 

Itachi joined the Anbu (the Hidden Leaf’s secret service) and was expected to spy for his clan. But as he did this, he began to realize that war between the Hidden Leaf and the Uchiha was becoming inevitable. 

The Reason Why Itachi Massacred The Uchiha

So this all came to the moment where Itachi decided to follow orders from his Anbu. Eventually, Itachi was ordered by the leader of Anbu, Danzo Shimura, to massacre his entire clan.

Danzo tells Itachi that his clan is most likely to start a war and try to overthrow the village government. Knowing that they couldn’t be reasoned with, Itachi had a very difficult decision to make.

In the end, he picked the logical decision – to kill his clan in order to save the world from a devastating war. Itachi killed his parents, his friends, his comrades all so that the war could be averted. 

But here is the catch – one of the main decisions that sparks the entire story of Naruto. Itachi refused to kill his little brother. He agreed to massacre the Uchiha, but only if his little brother would stay alive and be protected.

It’s later revealed that the only reason Itachi showed back up at the village was to make sure that Sasuke was still safe, to remind the Hidden Leaf to leave him alone.

We don’t find this out until after Itachi’s death. When Sasuke learns of his brother’s history, he becomes enraged with the Hidden Leaf and decides to destroy the entire village himself. This is another decision that greatly affects the outcome of the story. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has given you some insight into the mind and story of Itachi Uchiha, he is by far one of the most nuanced and interesting characters in modern anime and manga.

There is a lot that can be explored when it comes to why Itachi did the things that he did, but ultimately he was a pacifist who wanted to protect his little brother at all costs – even if it meant destroying his clan to promote peace.