Serving as village leaders in the Naruto series, each village leader, known as Kage, has their own mistakes and accolades. Some make more mistakes than others, and some earn more accolades than others.
In particular, Leaf Village's Hokage always seems to have at least one major mistake or error in each of their reigns. From Naruto's First Hokage to their Seventh, each one makes some mistakes or doesn't live up to their position in one way or another.
Here are the seven most questionable decisions taken by Hokage in Naruto.
Tsunade hiding Naruto in wartime, 6 others comprise most questionable decisions by Naruto’s Hokage
1) Hiruzen Hiding Naruto’s heritage
Hiding the fact of Naruto is the son of Lord Fourth is an incredibly questionable decision by Hiruzen. Naruto acted out as a child to get attention due to the village ignoring and ostracizing him. While the leaf at large was unaware of his parentage, the Third Hokage was and still kept it a secret.
Naruto could have had a somewhat more normal childhood had he not hidden that fact. At the very least, it's likely his attitude and attention problems would've been slightly mitigated by knowing what his father did for Leaf Village.
2) Hashirama not killing Madara
By not killing Madara when he had the chance, Hashirama allowed more death and destruction for centuries beyond his time than was necessary. Even before the Fourth Great Ninja War, his actions led to the deaths of so many innocent, unknowing people. Even more, lives were ruined due to Madara being alive.
Arguably, Lord First letting his old friend turn into an enemy for life is one of the biggest mistakes from the series Hokage.
3) Hiruzen leaving Danzo to his own devices
Since Danzo was an old comrade in Tobirama Senju's final moments as Second Hokage and beyond, he turned a blind eye to his wrongdoings. This eventually led to the Leaf Village being in great peril of a dramatic change before Danzo's death at Sasuke's hands.
While Hiruzen is partially responsible for his friend's misdeeds, another is also at fault.
4) Tobirama unintentionally teaching Danzo hatred of the Uchiha
Tobirama’s constant teachings of caution towards Uchiha fostered minds like Danzo’s into viewing them as complete and utter enemies and liabilities. While he wholly understood Uchiha and was merely cautious of them, Danzo took that caution as fear or hatred.
With a lack of understanding of why his mentor was cautious towards them, he viewed them as savage animals, ready to bite the Leaf Village’s hand at any moment. In reality, the Uchiha are loving people who merely have that love twisted into a great hatred by the Shinobi world.
5) Tsunade keeping Naruto out of the Fourth Great Ninja War
This is arguably Tsunade’s single biggest mistake as Hokage. From the instant Naruto sets foot on the battlefield, the entire state of the war is turned around. He’s able to create enough Shadow Clones to help out every battlefield at once, all while his main body runs straight to Tobi (now called Madara).
While Naruto thankfully arrived in time for the Ten-Tails antics of the real Madara and Tobi, his absence would’ve spelt doom for the Allied Ninja Forces. As a result, Tsunade’s single biggest mistake as Hokage is without question.
6) Minato not assigning guards to Kushina
While not as big an issue as other mistakes on this list, Minato's leaving Kushina unguarded with their just-born son is a very questionable decision. While he was cautious of the attacker being a Leaf Village native, the ANBU Black Ops was likely still a safe force to call in. Minato could have asked Jiraiya or Kakashi to assist, even if not for them.
While any other course of action would have changed the series' core story, it's still a somewhat questionable decision.
7) Kakashi letting Sasuke wander outside the village in penance
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes by any Hokage ever was Kakashi allowing Sasuke to leave the village for penance. While this atonement was self-imposed, it’s simply inexcusable to let a ninja that powerful leave the village indefinitely.
Although Naruto is also powerful, the two form a nigh unbeatable combo that can defend the Hidden Leaf from anything.
While this isn’t an incredibly impactful decision (since Sasuke is shown returning right when he’s needed), it’s just downright confusing. Even with the self-imposed atonement, Kakashi could have ordered him to remain in the village if he genuinely wanted to.
This article was modified on Tuesday, July 11, at 7:19 pm.