Let’s face it – Kakashi Hatake is easily one of the coolest characters in all of Naruto. Ever since his introduction as a teacher to Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura in some of the earliest chapters of the story, fans have been hooked by his cool appearance and prowess in battle.
Kakashi is that strong, mysterious teacher that you can always rely on. We come to know him well – his history as a ninja, his tragic back-story and family relationships, as well as the events that caused him to become a model shinobi.
But there is one thing that is never obvious about Kakashi – the burning question on the lips of every single fan of Naruto since the beginning of the series. Why, exactly, does Kakashi always wear a mask or cover his face?
This has been a strange part of his personality ever since we first encounter him. We get it, ninjas are supposed to hide themselves and be mysterious – but Kakashi is the only character who takes this to the extreme!
It’s such a burning topic that in the Anime there is a filler episode specifically dedicated to the members of team 7 trying to figure out what he looks like without the mask on.
So you, like every respecting Naruto fan, are wondering what on earth is up with him? Why is it that Kakashi always wears a mask? If you find yourself wondering about this – then you’re in the right place!
We’re going to take a look at all the information we have as to why Kakashi always covers his face and see if we can come up with a good answer! Let’s take a look and see if we can figure it out!
Kakashi Values His Identity As A Shinobi
One reason that Kakashi might need to keep his face hidden is that he understands the value of anonymity. With all of the flashy magical effects and abilities the characters of the story have, it’s easy to forget that deep down they are all ninjas.
Ninjas were primarily spies and assassins within real Japanese history, so it’s not surprising that they may value stealth and deception.
By hiding his face, Kakashi can disguise himself without anybody recognizing him. It’s hard to imagine someone as brash and loud as Naruto ever being able to do this. This may seem like a simple idea, but there’s a lot more credit to it when we examine the past of Kakashi Hatake.
Kakashi was once a member of Anbu – which is kind of like the secret service within the Hidden Leaf Village. Aside from intense, unique Ninjutsu, Taijutsu and Genjutsu skills, the Anbu value stealth and deception above all else – with many members and citizens of the Village Hidden in the Leaves not knowing of their existence.
They wear various full-face masks when out in missions. Perhaps Kakashi learned the value of anonymity here – and he has carried this with him as his time as a jonin.
Another reason why Kakashi might always cover his face comes from his childhood. In the Anime, we see evidence that the reason why Kakashi always keeps a mask over his face was because of his fear of nosebleeds.
He presumably had these as a child. Anyone who’s had nosebleeds in the past knows that they can come without warning, particularly within the strenuous physical activity.
As Kakashi grew up as a young shinobi, there would have been a lot of this to give him nosebleeds. If this is true – it’s a small reason that has no doubt led to a lifelong habit of covering his face.
This is also a reference to Kakashi’s love of the adult novels Icha Icha. Whenever characters in Naruto read these books they are comically depicted by having intense nosebleeds as a reaction to the erotic material.
One of the other strange aspects of Kakashi is that he likes to read these books in the middle of conversations, or even in training. It is possible that his nosebleeds are somehow linked to this – though this is likely just a small joke from the writer of the series Masashi Kishimoto.
It Just Looks Cool
We can look at this theory from two different angles – first from Kakashi and secondly from his writer and creator, Masashi Kishimoto.
First off – let’s be honest here – Kakashi just looks awesome with the mask on. The mask is now iconic – a symbol of shinobi in the same way that headbands are.
It’s an iconic look that has forever cemented itself as something that Naruto fans will always remember. Perhaps Kakashi Hatake simply knows that he looks awesome in the mask and that it’s long since become part of his fashion.
After all, we see him as a child with it on. Kakashi knows what works for him, and has long decided that the mask is for him!
Alternatively, let’s look at this from the perspective of Masashi Kishimoto. You’re designing a character – he needs to be cool, mysterious, and powerful. What better way to portray this than a mask that constantly obscures his face.
He is the ultimate embodiment of a ninja – hidden in plain sight, unwavering in his emotions. Kishimoto created Kakashi this way because he knew he would look cool – and perhaps even that he loved to draw a character such as this.
As the series grew, it became a running joke and a source of frustration between fans. This caused Kishimoto to increase the mystery even further by always drawing Kakashi with the mask on.
There are also some indications that the earliest designs of all ninjas had them wearing these masks – just almost all ninja wear headbands in the modern version of the series.
Kakashi could be the character that Kishimoto decided to use to carry this idea forwards – most likely because it’s simply too cool to throw away!
Kakashi is iconic because of this look – able to show emotion despite his lack of expression, which makes him somehow more loveable to the reader and his friends, as well as intimidating to his enemies.
There’s no real answer as to why Kakashi wears his mask, but we can assume that it is one of (or a combination) of the theories laid out above. Let’s be honest here – Kakashi just wouldn’t be the same without his mysterious quirk of constantly covering his face.
When fans did eventually get a look at his face late in the Anime and Manga, it was a little disappointing, as there had been so many theories about it over the years.
We hope that this article has shed some light on the mysterious character of Kakashi, as well as why he wears the mask all of the time. He will no doubt keep it on in future stories in the Naruto Universe, and we are sure he will forever be remembered with it masking his face.