Why Tobirama created Edo Tensei in Naruto

Hokages being reincarnated in the Fourth Great Ninja War in Naruto (Image credits: Masashi Kishimoto/ Viz Media/ Shueisha/Studio Pierrot)
Hokages being reincarnated in the Fourth Great Ninja War in Naruto (Image credits: Masashi Kishimoto/ Viz Media/ Shueisha/Studio Pierrot)

Being one of the founding fathers of Konoha in Naruto, Tobirama Senju didn’t get much appreciation for his efforts in building the nation from scratch. Tobirama was mostly involved in achieving political stability and worked strenuously to make Konoha the greatest nation in the entire Shinobi world.

Throughout his lifetime, he has created many godly techniques that have earned him respect from all corners of the ninja world. Edo Tensei is one of the powerful techniques created by Tobirama. It was labeled as a Kinjutsu or forbidden technique. This is because if it falls into the wrong hands, the world will be engulfed in chaos and destruction.

Fans of Naruto remain puzzled to date about why Tobirama, who is regarded as the most intelligent Shinobi of his lifetime, would create such a catastrophic Jutsu.

Exploring the reason behind the creation of Edo Tensei by Tobirama Senju in Naruto

Initially, Tobirama created the Edo Tensei or the Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation technique to gain an unusual advantage in a battle against a large number of enemies in Naruto. His strategy was to return the souls to immortal bodies and combine them with another powerful creation of his that is the Mutually Multiplying Explosive Tags.

Tobirama used these summoned bodies to minimize the casualties to zero and successfully unleashed a kamikaze-like attack to overwhelm the opponents with an infinite chain of explosions. Although it wasn’t mentioned what other way Tobirama used this powerful technique, it can be assumed that he gathered intel and eliminated whoever threatened the prosperity of Konoha through Edo Tensei.

A reincarnated immortal body can fight tirelessly, so Edo Tensei became the pinnacle of Tobirama’s successful creations. Tobirama has also created many other powerful techniques, like the Flying Thunder God Technique and the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique, which remain the most powerful techniques in the Narutoverse to date.

Being recognized as one of the most powerful Hokage in the history of Konoha, most of Tobirama’s creations ended up being forbidden due to the degree of threat they posed to the Shinobi world. Tobirama himself labeled Edo Tensei as a Kinjutsu and hoped it didn't fall into the wrong hands.

To perform the Edo Tensei, the user needs a living body to sacrifice, which is why Hashirama was against it. However, as he never went against his brother's commands, Tobirama never used the technique again in his life and prohibited others from doing so, too. Despite being the creator of Edo Tensei, he was never able to master the technique, as he could control only a small number of reincarnated bodies.

Over the course of this period, there were individuals who showed greater proficiency with regard to the technique, like Orochimaru and Kabuto. During the Konoha Crush Arc, Orochimaru successfully performed the Edo Tensei and even refined it further by placing specialized tags within the reincarnated bodies of both the first and the second Hokages.

The tags erased the free will of these bodies and also granted Orochimaru complete control. However, Kabuto Yakushi is the only person who has shown exceptional mastery when it comes to using this technique.

Kabuto’s prowess in Edo Tensei not only shook the entire Shinobi Alliance in Naruto but also the creator of the technique, who never got to see its full potential in his lifetime. He not only perfected the technique but also enhanced it to a greater extent. Furthermore, unlike Tobirama, Kabuto was capable of controlling a majority of the reincarnated bodies at once.

Being so twisted and intelligent at the same time, Kabuto let the reincarnated bodies keep their personalities to play a psychological battle against those who knew them. Kabuto even modified Madara’s reincarnated body by restoring it to the latter’s youth and also gave it the Rinnegan and Hashirama’s Wood Release.

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