Why Hiruzen didn’t make Fugaku Uchiha the Hokage in Naruto

Fugaku Uchiha as seen in Naruto (Image credits: Masashi Kishimoto/ Viz Media/ Shueisha/ Studio Pierrot)
Fugaku Uchiha as seen in Naruto (Image credits: Masashi Kishimoto/ Viz Media/ Shueisha/ Studio Pierrot)

In Naruto, there has been an ocean of shinobis with powerful feats, and they are ranked based on their skills and intellect. The individual who sits at the top of the hierarchy is the Kage, who oversees crucial aspects of the village and takes responsible steps for its well-being.

In Konoha, the leader of the village is called the Hokage and the only people who can appoint an individual to that position are the Daimyo of the country, the village elders or the former Hokage.

Hiruzen was about to retire due to his old age, but he wanted to leave the village in safe hands. Fugaku was considered the best candidate for the Hokage position, but Hiruzen chose Minato to be his successor.

Exploring the reason behind Hiruzen overlooking Fugaku and appointing Minato as Fourth Hokage in Naruto


The entire Konoha is aware of the tension between the people and the Uchiha clan in Naruto. After the word was out regarding the Third Hokage's retirement, there were rumors floating around that Fugaku Uchiha might get elected as the successor. In his lifetime, Fugaku served as the leader of the Uchiha clan and was a force to be reckoned with.

He was an ideal fit for the position of the Fourth Hokage. However, Hiruzen chose Minato Namikaze as his successor, as the former was impressed by the latter’s performance in the Third Great Ninja War. The only people who wanted Fugaku to become the next Hokage were the Uchiha clan, whereas the entire Konoha silently disapproved.

Moreover, it was Orochimaru who was touted as the successor of Hiruzen, as the latter dreamt of the day when his ex-student would assume the position of a Hokage. Orochimaru possessed all the major qualifications required to succeed, but he lacked the Will of Fire.

He further went to Jiraiya, asking him to take the position, but was swiftly refused as the latter was averse to occupying such great responsibility. Hiruzen finally resorted to making Jiraiya’s most cherished student, Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage of Konoha.

Hiruzen maintained an apprehensive disposition towards Fugaku Uchiha, as the former was aware of the clan’s intentions against the village, even before he was made the Third Hokage in Naruto. Furthermore, Hiruzen didn’t even confer with the Uchihas, as he presumed a hostile reception.

If Hiruzen had not appointed Minato as his successor, Konoha would have been engulfed in a civil war between the Uchihas and the rest. This is why after the death of the Fourth Hokage, Hiruzen reclaimed the position, even when Fugaku was unequivocally the best candidate.

After the Nine-Tailed Fox's rampage, Konoha accused the Uchiha clan of plotting the move in Naruto. However, this was a misconception as they were stationed to protect the villagers on the orders of Danzo Shimura. Although Fugaku was a humble person longing for peace between his clan and the village, he was infuriated by the accusation.

This is why he tried to execute a coup d’etat to take control over Konoha and placed his eldest son, Itachi, in Anbu to seek crucial intel. However, Itachi was the bearer of the Will of Fire, which is why he betrayed his entire clan and family to protect the village.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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