"Shinobi can only survive in warfare. Without some enemy to face, without some evil to vanquish, without something to assign missions for... a shinobi has no other purpose than to die like a miserable dog. And when shinobi die, the shinobi villages follow, and the land decays until there can be no more life. Lord Sixth knew that better than any of us. And he did what he did to secure his position as Lord Hokage for the greater good."
Kasuga Sarutobi (猿飛 春日, Sarutobi Kasuga) is the current matriarch of the Sarutobi Clan and also the Seventh Hokage (七代目火影, Shichidaime Hokage; literally meaning "Seventh Fire Shadow") of Konohagakure. She is the eldest granddaughter of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi. A master of all five basic changes of nature and an accomplished Sage Master, Kasuga was personally trained by the Sixth Hokage, Seireitou Hyūga, and became his eventual successor. Her undisputed mastery of the Fire Release has prompted the shinobi world to know her as the "Avatar of Amaterasu" (天照の化身, Amaterasu no Keshin), for they believe that her great beauty and unrivaled control over fire is a sign that the Sun goddess Amaterasu herself has assumed human form in the form of Kasuga.
In her younger years, Kasuga was a rather quiet girl that often ignored the strife that surrounded her daily. Perhaps it was the constant fear revolving around the consistent threat of death that plagued her which contributed to her cold indifferent persona, due to having lived in the era were the Third Shinobi World War was still raging on, though whatever the case, she had not cared if she lived or died. It was only after meeting Tsunade, one of the three great Sannin, that she began to see light in the world for the first time in her life. She saw this beautiful woman with strength in her eyes and pride in her voice, despite the horrible state of the world and how it impacted normal people, becoming inspired to follow in her footsteps and one day become just like her. Though she lived in a rather secluded mindset, letting nobody but Tsunade into her heart, she did want to earn her praise by becoming a respected kunoichi. This goal eventually matured into a sort of pride for her status as a kunoichi, which carried itself into her adult years, and subsequently led to her desire to succeed Tsunade in the following years as Hokage.
Over the years, fueled solely with the desire of acquiring Tsunade's praise and becoming one of the greatest kunoichi, Kasuga matured into a stern and rigid woman whose eyes exhibit nothing but a coldness that blocks anybody from perceiving her thoughts. Though the influence of Tsunade in the girl's youth did prevent her from becoming emotionless, Kasuga still retained a rather callous personality. She had no sympathy for others and even goes as far as to find some sick sense of joy out of watching others suffering. However, there appears to be some sort of irony here in that she only finds enjoyment with such things when she is the one that causes it; going to the defense of those being tortured by others and slaying the enemy responsible. There is no way of knowing what is the reasoning behind this inconsistency, though it could be that she simply isn't capable of empathy because of her childhood but tries her best to understand. Kasuga often disregarded her own existence as a female and opted for more masculine characteristics, quite possibly born from a necessity to survive in the world where women were seen as mere tools by men, despite deep down wanting to live as a true woman and become one as beautiful as she regarded her mentor to be.
While in combat, this coldness carries over into her lack of mercy while in the troughs of fighting. Her sadistic tendencies support her fighting style with hand-to-hand combat, aiming to strike opponents in locations that would cause the most pain and grant them the most horrible of deaths; including, but not limited to, snapping their neck after forcing them on their knees, standard forms of bloody and rough mutilation, and her most favored method, castration. Combined with her warrior senses and callousness, she will even make comical remarks during the most inappropriate times in regards to violence, which put others at discomfort when they are around her.
Her training under Seireitou could best be described by any outsider, unfamiliar with their unusual relationship as mentor and student, as being simple torture. This eventually led to Kasuga becoming a damaged individual, as she herself would say. It had come to a point where she is mentally scarred and unable to become sexually aroused except from the troughs of combat itself. This is most commonly shown whenever a man touches her, she possesses the automatic reflex of throwing them over her shoulder whether she meant it or not. It is possible that she derived this from her youth, often watching innocent women brutalized for no reason other than to watch them writhing, but also may be due to the form of lecherous training methods of her mentor, Seireitou. While she comes off as having a distinct distaste of men, it is actually that she is absolutely unable to devote herself romantically or even sexually to any person — male or female — as a result of the horrific experiences she suffered under her training. It made her strong, strong enough to become the best; all she would miss out on is everything else. Relationships, bonds of true friendship and devotion, these are things that she no longer possesses the emotional capacity to engage in. If there is anything she can devote herself to, it is the love of conflict and the love of imposing her own order in times of chaos.
Surpassing even the Uchiha, known primarily for their excellence in the Fire Release arts, Kasuga is renowned throughout the shinobi world for her skill in this particular discipline. She has reached a level where her abilities can no longer be considered standard ninjutsu, for they go beyond the realm of basic shinobi training. Though she partially acquired her skills through her training under her mentor, Seireitou Hyūga, Kasuga gained the entirety of her capabilities through years of dedicated self-study. Prior to being chosen to succeed her mentor as Hokage, therefore having the means to request permission to leave the village, Kasuga often took time to scour various locations out to acquire special texts she had heard about in regards to the ways of manipulating fire. She had learned secrets that even the self-acclaimed masters of fire, the Uchiha, had not ever realized about this chakra nature. And with such knowledge under her belt, she forged herself into what can be respectively called a true master of the fire release.
Kasuga had always been fascinated by the elemental arts of fire. She deems it to be the most necessary element, of which the other natures depend heavily upon it. After all, all life exists only due to heat. Earth, the element of substance and foundation, depends heavily upon its ability to resist influence. No matter what, however, a great enough heat can dissolve even its mighty defenses and shatter its uniformity until it is rendered onto a bubbling chaos. Lightning, with its powerful burst of absolute force, is dependent upon the movement of electrons; which themselves depend entirely upon their own energy. Wind can only exist when those particles in the air itself possess the means to move about, the energy to engage in motion, which can be stripped away. Even water, the eternal nemesis of fire, can only maintain its flowing state of freedom when allowed to exist in its ideal temperatures. It can quite easily be manipulated onto a cold crystalline structure or an evaporating fleeting smoke, when its energy and heat is compromised. In the end, fire is the dominant master. Others see a flow of balance between the five elements, but it is a sham. Nothing but a lie. To a master of Kasuga's skills, the truth becomes crystal clear: fire remains dominant in this relationship of natures.
The Hokage's flame ninjutsu is so powerful that she is capable of turning simple and basic techniques into the most deadly attacks. While the degree of their heat and temperature can be altered, they are more commonly utilized as incredibly scorching flames. A single blast of fire is enough to render even an earthen wall onto a smoldering chaos. It is also due to the fact that her flames are so potent that she requires very little chakra to fuel her techniques in order for them to be strong enough to overcome her enemies.
Her mastery over flames extends not only to how powerful she can conjure them but how skillfully she can control and manipulate them. After creating a continuous stream of flames, most commonly in the form of the Fire Release: Blast Wave Wild Dance technique, Kasuga can control its flow so fluidly, one could swear she was invoking the water release. She has shown the ability to allow the stream of flames to coil around her body like the ribcage of an Uchiha's Susanoo, protecting her from onslaught, while utilizing parts of those flames as projectile attacks. She can manipulate the stream as one would handle a whip, attacking at opponents from close range or even at a distance, as she can further control how large to make the stream. It appears that while using her hands allows her maximum speed and accuracy when manipulating the flame stream, she can also control it with a mere glance as well; further demonstrating her advanced mastery. After setting her entire surroundings on fire, she can still manipulate each ember after conjuring them, subsequently turning the entire battlefield into her personal weapon of choice. It has also been shown that Kasuga can freely control existing flames, even those created by her opponents. In fact, her mastery is so great that it presumed a foolish endeavor on the part of any opponent to use fire release ninjutsu against Kasuga. If such a foolish opponent were to attempt this, she has shown the ability to quite literally halt the technique with her bare hands and then manipulate the handled flames right then and there, turning her enemy's jutsu into her own weapon.
Through her training with Seireitou and the subsequent learning of how to expel chakra from her tenketsu, by way of Hyūga teachings, she has adapted these principles into how she conjures her fire ninjutsu. She has displayed the capability of casting large-scale flames by a simple wave of her hand, releasing a stream of flames from her palms or fingertips, that can overwhelm a horde of enemy shinobi and even samurai alike. However, because she lacks the Hyūga bloodline, it is presumed that she can only release fire chakra from only specific tenketsu that she personally trained herself to learn. Using this same method, she shows a means of enhancing her own Taijutsu by coating her hand strikes and kicks with flame-nature sage chakra. Even with such a method, however, she typically relies upon the Fire Release Chakra Mode and Lava Release Chakra Mode.
She has developed a means of actually controlling the shape of her conjured flames to suit any and all purposes during battle. While this is sometimes demonstrated through manipulating her flames to appear similar to projectile weapons in form, one of her favorite methods is to forge her flames into the likeness of foxes, which are then mentally controlled by Kasuga herself and attack the opponent in often randomized attacks; commonly through a bite or slashing with their claws. Another method is to actually forge her own likeness into the flames and create copies of herself for battle, hiding among them by turning herself into fire, but also for the sake of overwhelming her opponents in direct confrontation. Against the strongest of opponents, Kasuga resorts to a secret technique of her own creation that allows her to manipulate large amounts of plasma and forge a construct into the shape of the tailed beasts. Her most often used creation is the likeness of Kurama.
Kasuga had eventually realized that no matter how powerful her flames might be and how skillfully she can manipulate their motions, the bane over all chakra natures are the dreaded absorption techniques; including those used by Rinnegan wielders. This meant that her techniques could be absorbed and rendered useless against opponents carrying such abilities. However, through her extensive studies, she had also happened upon the mechanics behind absorption techniques. They work only when the user is able to momentarily match their chakra wavelength to the wavelength of the chakra they are attempting to absorb. Only by forming that momentary pair can absorption truly take place in a constructive way. Therefore, the answer was simple. Kasuga developed a method, inspired by a genius method of her mentor's own design, in which she could render these absorption techniques useless against her fire release. Just as fire itself is wild in the way it dances about, untamed and savage, Kasuga managed to manipulate the wavelength of her fire release techniques to also behave in the same way. The wavelength would fluctuate chaotically in the same manner as fire itself acts. The result is that Kasuga's fire release techniques are incapable of being absorbed solely due to the fact that their wavelengths cannot be logically matched by an opponent due to their feral behavior.
One of the most dangerous aspects of Kasuga's fire release ninjutsu, which is also tied into her Scorch Release, is that all of her techniques accomplish the act of heating all substances that they strike to such immediate and vast degrees that they transition almost immediately into plasma. This is a state of matter that only comes about when all of the electrons in a substance's atoms escape the nuclei's orbit, turning the entire space between the multiple nuclei into a free electron sea. According to Kasuga, at the instant she manages to successfully render any substance into plasma, it becomes her weapon to command as an extension of her fire release. She is shown freely manipulating the plasma she creates by either mental command or utilizing hand gestures, forging walls or other constructs for both offensive and defensive maneuvers.
Great Yang Method
- "I will commend you for having the bravery to challenge the Hokage herself in open one-on-one combat. As a reward, I'll let you off with only a light toasting."
- "Making the Hokage enter the front lines... How unsightly. What a pitiful bunch of shinobi."
- Kasuga's name is derived from Kasuga, a character from the Sengoku Basara video game and anime.
- Her personality and traits were borrowed from another character created by the author in the Bleach fanon universe.