Hokage Line of Succession

Hokage Line of Succession

Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village

As we all know, because we’ve all watched all 220 episodes of Naruto, 500 episodes of Naruto: Shippūden, and 232 current episodes of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, the Hokage is the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village.

Hokage Rock from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Hokage Rock

However, have you ever thought about who becomes the next Hokage when it’s time for a new one? We’ve seen Hokage be appointed by their predecessors, seize power, and be appointed by the village elders. But those who are recognized as Hokage all have something in common.

Every Hokage has a close relationship with a previous Hokage. There are no exceptions. And this effectively means that anyone lacking one such relationship is barred from becoming the Hokage in the future.

Today, I’m going to go through the Hokage line of succession and use it to make some predictions regarding future holders of the title.

First Hokage – Hashirama Senju

The First Hokage was Hashirama Senju, one of the founders of the Hidden Leaf Village. He became the Hokage after it was decided that the people would more readily accept him as their leader than the alternate option of Madara Uchiha.

There’s not really much else to say about Hashirama because as he was the first Hokage, there wasn’t yet an established line of succession.

Second Hokage – Tobirama Senju

Tobirama Senju was appointed as the Second Hokage after the death of Hashirama. This is where the line of succession really begins, as Tobirama was Hashirama’s younger brother. You can’t really get much closer to the previous Hokage than by being their blood relative.

Of course, Tobirama wasn’t made the next Hokage simply because he was Hashirama’s brother. Tobirama was also one of, if not the, strongest shinobi in the village at the time.

And since Hashirama was killed by Madara, a member of the Uchiha clan, Tobirama’s anti-Uchiha policies would have been pretty popular at the time. It’s no wonder he was selected to follow in the footsteps of his brother by leading the village.

Third Hokage – Hiruzen Sarutobi

Hiruzen Sarutobi wasn’t related to Hashirama and Tobirama Senju. So, how did he become the Third Hokage? Well, he was a student of Tobirama Senju. When blood relations aren’t available, teacher-student relations are the next best thing.

Hiruzen Sarutobi as Hokage from the anime series Naruto
Hiruzen Sarutobi as Hokage

Hiruzen was named as the Third Hokage directly by Tobirama before his death. Tobirama fought against the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist on his own in order to allow his students to escape. He knew this would be his final battle, and so he named a successor.

Again, though, that doesn’t mean Hiruzen wasn’t worthy of this title. He’s been called the strongest of the Hokage (probably not including Naruto). But, his relationship with the previous Hokage played a major role in him becoming Hokage.

Fourth Hokage – Minato Namikaze

Of all the Hokage, Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage, has the most tenuous connection to previous holders of the title. He’s not related to any of the previous Hokage and he wasn’t even a student of any of them.

So, doesn’t he break the rule then? Well, not exactly.

Minato was the student of Jiraiya, who was the student of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen. There’s still a direct teacher-student path to the previous Hokage. And, Minato’s teacher, Jiraiya, was even offered the title of Hokage multiple times, both before and after Minato received it.

Fifth Hokage – Tsunade

Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, is the one with the most connections to prior Hokage so far on this list. She’s the granddaughter of the First Hokage, (grand?)niece of the Second Hokage, and student of the Third Hokage.

But, her connections go beyond just those. She was also the teammate of Jiraiya, the teacher of the Fourth Hokage. Of everyone so far, you could argue that Tsunade is the most qualified for the title of Hokage based on the importance of relations to previous Hokage.

Sixth Hokage – Kakashi Hatake

The Sixth Hokage, Kakashi Hatake, is in very much the same position as the Third Hokage. Just as Hiruzen was the student of the Second Hokage, Kakashi was the student of the Fourth Hokage.

And if you follow the teacher-student relationship of Kakashi back far enough, you get to the Second Hokage, Tobirama. Kakashi was the student of Minato, who was the student of Jiraiya, who was the student of Hiruzen, who was the student of Tobirama.

Hopefully, that illustrates just how tightly this line of succession is connected. Outsiders don’t make their way in. There’s always a blood relative or student of a previous Hokage.

Seventh Hokage – Naruto Uzumaki

With Naruto Uzumaki as the Seventh Hokage, Tsunade no longer holds the record for most connections to previous Hokage. Naruto has a pretty solid connection to all of them except for the Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju.

Naruto Uzumaki as Hokage from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Naruto Uzumaki as Hokage

Naruto’s relationship with Kakashi is simple; Kakashi was his teacher. His connection to Tsunade is a bit more complicated. Naruto was the student and godson of Tsunade’s teammate, Jiraiya. And he’s also a descendant of the Uzumaki clan just like Tsunade is.

Naruto is also the son of Minato. Simple. And he was kind of like the adopted grandson of Hiruzen. Before Minato died, he asked Hiruzen to watch over Naruto for him, and that’s exactly what Hiruzen did up until his own death.

Lastly, Naruto is also the reincarnation of Asura Ōtsutsuki just like Hashirama Senju was. So, Naruto wasn’t the reincarnation of Hashirama, but they were both reincarnations of the same person.

Eighth Hokage – ???

Who’s going to become the Eighth Hokage after Naruto’s done with the title? Well before I answer that, I just want to point out that all of the deceased Hokage died in combat. So let’s first assume that Naruto is killed in battle.

If this were to happen, I think the most likely scenario would be that Kakashi reclaims his title of Sixth Hokage. At the moment, I don’t see anyone else who’s both a good and willing candidate. There’s also precedent for this, as Hiruzen did the same thing following the death of Minato.

Okay, but what about after Kakashi, or if Naruto survives into retirement? Who would be next in line? Again, I see one, very likely candidate: Konohamaru Sarutobi.

Konohamaru is both the grandson of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen and the student of the Seventh Hokage, Naruto. Therefore, I’d say he has all the connections required to become Hokage. And, by that point, I think Konohamaru would be strong enough.

Ninth Hokage – ???

Of course, there has to be another Hokage after Konohamaru. We know that Sarada Uchiha’s goal is to be Hokage. And, I think she’ll succeed in that goal with Boruto playing the role of the “shadow” Hokage as Sasuke does currently.

Sarada will be the student of the Eighth Hokage, teammates with the son and grandson of the Seventh and Fourth Hokages respectively, and she’s the daughter of the student of the Fifth Hokage.

Oh, and I think she’s technically the student of the Seventh Hokage, too. Though, this hasn’t really panned out as Sarada probably expected. I think she may have trained with naruto like once.


Do you think it’s fair that every Hokage is connected to the previous Hokage in some way? Kiba probably wouldn’t be very happy if he ever figured this trend out. Also, do you think anyone other than those I predicted will become the Hokage in the future? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Discover more from DoubleSama

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a Comment