The Second Shinobi World War (第二次忍界大戦, Dainiji Ninkai Taisen) was the second of four great wars involving the majority of the shinobi villages and countries.
The First Shinobi World War ended with an armistice treaty, but also left the Five Great Shinobi Countries seriously wounded. The treaty led to a period of peace, but after about twenty years, the economic disparity between the countries had become a serious problem. The nations began to form factions, and under the pretext of expending fair rights, the countries started using military force to expand their territories. Thus, the gruesome Second Shinobi World War started.
Several months prior to the war's beginning, Konohagakure had already been at war with the Kagerō Village of the Land of Mountains. With the war's onset, the need for an end to the war with the Kagerō became apparent. Sending one of their top Jōnin, Jiraiya, as commander of a small unit, Konoha unleashed a surprise attack on the Kagerō Village, which ended in a cease-fire. However, two weeks later, the Kagerō mounted a retaliation, hoping to catch Konoha off-guard, which failed, resulting in the burning of the Kagerō Village. Following this, which was considered the first official battle of the war, the Land of Mountains officially sided with Konoha for the remainder of the conflict.
Following the Destruction of the Kagerō Village, Sunagakure decided to make a strategic move, while Konohagakure had its forces deployed in the Land of Mountains, and invade the Land of Fire. Sakumo Hatake was the general in charge of the defense of the border on the Land of Wind side of the country. He only had approximately seven hundred men, and the invading force had roughly five thousand; one of whom was the Shukaku's jinchūriki.
The battle resulted in a victory for the Hidden Sand, allowing the now four thousand seven-hundred strong invasion force, with reinforcements on the way, unlimited access to the Land of Fire; thus beginning the Invasion of the Leaf (侵入の木の葉, Shinnyū no Konoha). However, Sakumo Hatake became known as "Konoha's White Fang" after he used his White Light Chakra Sabre to stop Shukaku's jinchūriki.
Following the humiliating defeat of Konohagakure at the hands of Sunagakure, the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, ordered all of the available Konoha shinobi to fortify the Fire Temple, where he was sure Sakumo Hatake and his remaining men would gather. He then withdrew all Konoha shinobi from the Land of Mountains to increase Konoha's chances in the face of the Sunagakure invasion. Upon reaching the Temple, Sakumo quickly realized he didn't have time to catch his breath. Sunagakure soon launched an offensive, aimed at finally killing the man who had fought on even grounds with their jinchūriki.
The battle proved to be the first major turning point of the war, even though Konoha made a strategic retreat. During the battle, the jinchūriki's special abilities were sealed by Sakumo Hatake using the Five Elements Seal, severely weakening Sunagakure in terms of power. Furthermore, despite their superior numbers, Sunagakure suffered more losses than did Konohagakure or the Fire monks. While Sunagakure had the opportunity to occupy the Fire Temple, they chose against it, knowing that Konohagakure was likely to send a large reinforcement battalion to the Temple, and Sunagakure had already suffered a large dent in it's forces. Instead, the Sand ninja pulled back and began planning their next move.
After the Battle of the Fire Temple, Sunagakure decided that a march directly towards Konohagakure would be a suicide mission after the losses the sustained in the aforementioned battle. Instead, Sunagakure intelligence learned that Konoha was withdrawing its forces from the Land of Mountains, after their victory in the Destruction of the Kagerō Village. Sunagakure then decides to mount an assault on the returning shinobi, hoping to cut off Konoha's reinforcements and secure another shot at the Hidden Leaf Village itself. To do this, they decided to take Mount Katsuragi, a resting point for the Konohagakure reinforcements on their way back to the village.
This battle ended Sunagakure's invasion of the Land of Fire and their involvement in the Second Shinobi World War. Sunagakure withdrew their forces from the Land of Fire over the following two weeks, during which time, Konoha prepared to launch offensives on two new fronts; the Land of Rain and the Land of Mountains, where Kumogakure and Iwagakure had invaded respectively.
Kumogakure and Iwagakure had not remained quiet all this time. Taking advantage of Konohagakure's focus on Sunagakure, Kumogakure invaded the Land of Rain and Iwagakure, the Land of Mountains. In response to this, Konohagakure sends two powerful teams of shinobi into each land respectively while the remainder of the war effort cleans up the damage to the Land of Fire. These teams were Team Sarutobi, who were assigned to the Land of Rain, and Team Shōyō, who were assigned to the Land of Mountains.
Conflicts in the Land of Rain
Conflicts in the Land of Mountains
Following Iwagakure's invasion of the Land of Mountains, Konohagakure, who was still reeling from Sunagakure's failed invasion, sent Team Shōyō - a team of five Jōnin-level shinobi - to the Land of Mountains to begin countermeasures. After hearing Shōyō had been sent, the Third Tsuchikage, Ōnoki, personally appeared on the battlefield and directed his men towards the location of the Team.
The battle took place in the mountainous valley closest to the border of the Land of Mountains. Ōnoki, and one hundred of his men, ambushed Team Shōyō in this valley, and a bloody battle ensued. While Ryun, Seireitou, Hikaru, and Echo fought the foot soldiers, Shōyō took on Ōnoki on a nearby cliff side. While it is unknown the exact breakdown of their battle, Shōyō was known to have revealed Sage Mode during the fight, shocking Ōnoki. Try as he might, Ōnoki's Earth Release techniques were failing against Shōyō's kenjutsu and Senjutsu techniques. With no other maneuvers left, Ōnoki unleashed Dust Release: Detachment of the Primitive World Technique, which hit its mark; killing and vaporizing Shōyō on the spot.
From below, it was Seireitou who noticed their old master's death, thanks to his Byakugan eyes. The immense pain of loss within Ryun and Echo awakened their Mangekyō Sharingan. At that point, the four grief stricken shinobi renewed their assault on the remaining Iwagakure shinobi. As night fell, the four had cut down over eighty of the original one hundred Iwagakure troops with only minor injuries themselves.
Still enraged by his master's death, and using the cover of darkness to his advantage, Seireitou went on a killing spree among the remaining Iwagakure forces, slaughtering close to forty men single-handedly before his teammates joined the fray to aid him. By early morning the next day, Iwagakure's forces were wiped out and Ōnoki had strategically retreated to regain his strength after his lengthy battle with Shōyō.
The death of Shōyō was stomach churning to Konohagakure, but most importantly, his former students. After this battle, Ryun opted to go to the Dark Forest, the home of the Owl summons, and rest; something which his other teammates agreed to. This battle awakened both Ryun and Echo's Mangekyō Sharingan, which would play a large role in the battles to come. It was also the battle in which Seireitou earned the title "Shiroyasha" (白い悪魔, White Demon) due to his single-handed, forty man killing spree.
As with all wars, the Second Shinobi World War brought forth many heroes and took even more lives. It was during this war that the legendary "Sannin" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin; Literally meaning "Legendary Three Ninja") rose to fame and received their nickname from Hanzō during a skirmish with Amegakure. Tsunade in particular became famous as the world's greatest medical-nin while successfully countering all of Chiyo's poisons. It is also likely that this war was where Sakumo Hatake made his name as "Konoha's White Fang" (木ノ葉の白い牙, Konoha no Shiroi Kiba).
The "Yonkō" (四幸, Four Fortunes) also rose to prominence due to their battles in the Land of Mountains. On the other side, it was the war where Tsunade lost her younger brother, Nawaki and her lover, Dan Katō, leaving her with an extreme case of hæmophobia. It was also this war that took the lives of Sasori's parents, an event that eventually led him to desert his village and join Akatsuki. The Ame Orphans lost their parents during this war, leading Jiraiya to take care of them for a while, claiming it was the least he could do. One of the orphans, Nagato, would come to desire an end to war because of his experiences from this war, a purpose he used Akatsuki for.
It was during this second war that the Land of the Sky emerged to challenge the Five Shinobi Nations, only to be destroyed.