Itachi Uchiha Killing his clan or The Uchiha Incident is one of the most controversial incidents in the Naruto series. While Itachi Uchiha is one of the most popular characters in Naruto, his action has had long, volatile consequences, which Itachi somewhat predicted but did not want. But was it the right thing to do?
Itachi Uchiha killing his clan: Detailed analysis
In a single night, Itachi Uchiha, who was 13 years old at the time, killed his entire clan, leaving only one survivor, Itachi’s younger brother Sasuke. Itachi then left Konoha and was declared a Missing-Nin, or rouge ninja. The incident was labelled as the action of Itachi alone, the cause being dispute within the clan. However, this is only how it appeared.
Eight years before the Uchiha incident, Tobi thought to be Madara Uchiha at the time, instigated the Attack of The Nine-Tailed Fox by using the Uchiha’s signature Sharingan. The Government of Konoha, led by Danzo Shimura, began suspecting the involvement of the Uchiha clan.
Acting on this suspicion, the Konoha Government confined the Uchiha to one section of the village and began to ostracize them. Angered and hurt by this suspicion and treatment, the Uchiha clan planned to stage a coup and planted many young Uchiha prodigies in many Konoha military institutions.
Itachi Uchiha was sent to the ANBU and was made the captain at the age of 12. However, having witnessed the third shinobi war at the age of 4, Itachi believed in peace and opposed his clan’s idea of a coup. The Uchiha suspected Itachi and sent Shisui Uchiha to spy on him.
Shisui, who shared Itachi’s views, planned to use the mind-manipulation or the Kotoamatsukami of his Mangekyou Sharingan on the Uchiha’s leaders to avoid the coup. Danzo, who hated the Uchihas and wanted the Kotoamatsukami for himself, killed Shisui and took his right eye. Shisui left his left eye on Itachi Uchiha before dying, but the Uchiha suspected Itachi of killing Shisui.
Danzo gave a shaken and hostile Itachi two options: the Uchiha go through with the coup and get exterminated, or Only Sasuke Uchiha can be saved provided Itachi Uchiha kills his entire clan. Itachi chose the latter. Itachi then met Tobi outside Konoha and offered to help in his revenge on the Uchiha clan if he left the rest of the Konoha alone.
Unbeknownst to anyone, Tobi slaughtered the military portion of the Uchiha clan while Itachi killed the civilians. Steeped in guilt, Itachi tormented and traumatized an 8-year-old Sasuke to the point that he wanted to kill his elder brother. Sasuke, unaware of the history behind Itachi’s action, was the only one who Itachi Uchiha thought could justifiably judge and punish Itachi for his crime.
Sasuke grew up fostering hate and resentment, which ultimately made him obsessed with revenge on his brother to the degree that Itachi did not foresee, but probably should have. Sasuke’s turn into darkness was as much his fault as it was because of Itachi’s actions and only further villainised the Uchiha in the mind of the people of Konoha.
The whole incident left Itachi with his hatred and his brother's, whom he loved more than anyone, while leaving Danzo with no accountability and a powerful Sharingan.
Why it is controversial
What Itachi Uchiha did was genocide, and under no circumstances can that be justified. If we were to look for why the Uchiha incident happened, we would have to start with the hostility between the Uchiha and the Senju. Tobirama Senju never trusted the Uchiha, and the Senju-led Konoha Government also distrusted the Uchiha, who in turn resented this discrimination.
Every effort to make peace was met with suspicion from Konoha and the answering resentment from the Uchiha. While Danzo and Tobi can be hated as the main villains, Itachi Uchiha’s actions are his own, and while it seemed necessary to him at the time, it led to worse consequences than he could have imagined.
The Uchiha incident seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, which could have been avoided with a little consideration and effort, and perhaps both Konoha and the Uchiha could have achieved the peace Itachi Uchiha dreamed of.