Naruto: How did Kakashi unlock his Mangekyo Sharingan? Explained

Kakashi Hatake (Image via MAPPA)
Kakashi Hatake (Image via Pierrot)

Kakashi Hatake, also known as Kakashi of the Sharingan, is one of the most popular and mysterious characters in both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. Being a prodigy, he has several high-level offensive abilities and genius battle tactics. He is the kind of character that one can’t help but look up to.

He and Danzo are the only characters in the Naruto series who possess the Sharingan outside members of the Uchiha Clan. Fans of the anime will remember that Kakashi was given his Sharingan as a gift by his dying friend Obito Uchiha in Episode 345 of Naruto Shippuden.

The Mangekyo Sharingan does everything that a normal Sharingan does, but better. Like the regular Sharingan, this eye also provides the user with the ability to see through Genjutsu, Taijutsu, and Ninjutsu while copying other abilities that are not Kekkei Genkai.

However, Naruto fans might wonder how Kakashi was able to awaken the Mangekyo Sharingan despite him not being a Uchiha.

How Kakashi awakened the Mangekyo Sharingan without being a member of the Uchiha Clan in Naruto

Team Minato (Image via Pierrot)
Team Minato (Image via Pierrot)

Kakashi, Rin, and Obito were a part of Team Minato, also known as Team 10. Minato, popularly known as the Yellow Flash of the Leaf, had taught his students the importance of teamwork and mutual understanding. However, one mission changed their lives forever.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, during the course of the mission, Obito got impaled by a huge rock and met his demise. Obito, who had not given Kakashi a present for his birthday yet, gave him his left eye sharingan as a parting gift. His only request was for Kakashi to protect Rin forever.

However, as Naruto fans already know, Obito was far from dead and was rescued by Madara Uchiha, the ghost of the Uchiha clan. One day, Obito found out that Rin and Kakashi were in trouble. Without a second thought, he rushed out to help them.


Little did Obito know that this was all a ruse. Madara had deliberately captured Rin and made her the 3 tails Jinchuuriki, to make her wreak havoc once she returned to the Hidden Leaf. He even sent Mist Village ninjas after her in an attempt to stop her from escaping with Kakashi.

These Mist village ninjas tracked them down and surrounded them. Rin on realizing Madara’s plan, asked Kakashi to kill her as she knew that they were going to be captured. However, he refused. It was not his ‘ninja way’ to kill friends no matter what the situation.

However, Rin showed true resolve, gaining the respect of both anime fans and characters within the show itself. She realized it was too dangerous for her to stay alive and she decided to protect the people of the Hidden Leaf by giving up her own life.

She jumped in front of Kakashi while he tried to use Chidori on a hidden mist ninja. Kakashi, who was already through with the action, was unable to stop himself and ended up piercing Rin through the chest. Chidori is a devastating Lightning Blade Jutsu and Rin knew she would die if she took the impact at point-blank range.

Obito arrived at the battlefield precisely at this moment and saw Kakashi evidently kill Rin. As nobody knew of Obito’s survival, Kakashi assumed that he had awakened the Mangekyo Sharingan as a result of Rin's death. However, that didn't happen.

The Mangekyo Sharingan is awakened when the user experiences severe emotional trauma from the death of a loved one. Obito felt true despair when he saw Rin die. As could be inferred on several occasions, Obito loved Rin ever since he had met her. He therefore awakened the Mangekyo Sharingan, indirectly giving the ability to Kakashi as well.

Final thoughts

Kakashi Hatake the 6th Hokage (Image via Pierrot)
Kakashi Hatake the 6th Hokage (Image via Pierrot)

Obito had a significant impact on Kakashi’s life, teaching him the importance of love and friendship. In a way, he enabled our favorite sensei to become the dependable ninja we all know and like Naruto himself, have come to admire.

Kakashi, being an ingenious ninja, easily mastered his Sharingan and was able to copy up to 1000 techniques with it. He did not let Obito’s apparent death go in vain and vowed to forever use his gift for the safety and security of the Hidden Leaf Village and teach others like Naruto to do the same.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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