Suzaku (朱雀, Suzaku) is a descendant of the Gōka clan. He is a myth of sorts, hailed as the Fire Sage (火の仙, "Hi no Sennin") for his wondrous wisdom and sagely power. Long recognized as possessing stupendous control over so-called inextinguishable flames, he alone is called Suzaku of the Demon Flames (鬼の炎の朱雀, "Onihonō no Suzaku", English TV; "Suzaku of the Ogre Flames"). Suzaku, born in the Land of Bamboo (竹の国, "Take no Kuni", English TV; "Bamboo Country"), has extensively traveled the globe as a nomad to learn from the wise-men and sages, amassing great wealth and knowledge while becoming folklore to even the most respected of warriors. The man is a surgeon of remarkable repute, credited with the mystical gift to concoct cures to any illness and restore the health of any patient—some even believe he does not exist.
Despite his psychotic nature, Suzaku is a clever guru of sorts, noted for his wise-sayings and prudent tongue. He—along with two others—are one of the Sansen (三仙人, "Three Hermits" VIZ; "Three Sages"). After the establishment of hidden villages the sage became a resident of the Land of Fire and would eventually go on to become the Fourteenth Hokage (十四目火影, "Jūyondaime Hokage" or "Fourteenth Fire Shadow") and create the FLAME (火炎, "Kaen", English TV; "Fire Operatives"), a covert organization under his leadership.
AppearanceWith blood drenched vermilion-colored hair and eyes, it is easy to spot Suzaku out in a crowd, mostly due to his frown. His long mane reaches just above his rear and its cut at the edges straight across while bangs of varying length cover the sides of his face. Like most of his clan, both of his eyes are without pupils and have a slightly more maroon tint to them. Although being long and tall, this 6 foot 3 inch man is by no means a twig—decades of conditioning see to it that he has a muscular and toned form, almost always exposing his chest for the world to see. Suzaku has an attractive golden tan, mostly because he spends time in warmer climates but also because of his genetics. Across his chest are the beads worn by one of the many guru who taught him in the eastern mountains; they are black in color. While in his youth he wore much more gold and precious crystals, he settles for a "modest" 24 carat gold ring with a stone said to be able to buy ten mountains all by itself—so he claims. Though his tool pouches are concealed beneath the vermilion colored haori he wears, they are filled to the brim with items of various purposes from alcoholic beverages to pictures of his wife and children. Wrapped around his waist is the mythical Sash of Subjugation (帯の討伐, "Obi no Tōbatsu", English TV; "Suppression Cloth"), an item he refuses to divulge how and when he acquired it. On Suzaku's forehead is a crescent moon shaped seal while beneath his right eye are two claw shaped markings made of face paint. He most usually has a grimace plastered on when not drinking or breaking out into random, cackling laughter. Suzaku wears modest black sandals and eggshell-white pants that expose his ankles. Sometimes Suzaku can be seen with his sword strapped to his side for quick use; other times he opts to summon it to wherever he might be. Although not a major part of his appearance, the man's canines are much sharper than one might see in an average man, making him appear more like a demon than usual. From his youth this became a staple for him and to this day people make note of it.
Born at a time of social change and great calamity, Suzaku came into the world under much historical movement. The unprecedented shock of war and natural disasters made life very difficult for the people of the Land of Bamboo (竹の国, "Take no Kuni", English TV; "Bamboo Country"). Earthquakes and droughts caused famine and conflict, leading to distress from one corner of the country to the next. In the Yanagi Village (柳の里, "Yanagi no Sato", English TV; "Village of Willow Trees") and the surrounding land, a large magnitude quake leveled hundreds of houses and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. Mountains of corpses lined the cities and group burial ditches were dug all throughout the land. It was truly a calamitous time. These things took place on a distant continent, centuries before even the Warring States Period (戦国時代, "Sengoku Jidai", English TV; "Clan Wars Era") began and would last for many decades.
During this time an infant Suzaku was found in a bamboo grove crying; his parents had both died of starvation with he in their arms. Countless walked pass the scene and did nothing, mostly because they could offer no help. Day after day Suzaku lay there among the corpse of his parents. In the heat of day and cold ran at night his cries never ceased. One day an old man traveling through the Yanagi Village came across the site of the malnourished baby, perplexed as to why he had survived for so long in such unfortunate conditions—other than the natural elements, he was surrounding by rotting flesh, maggots and flies. Even the wild animals did not come by to eat him. Intrigued, the man named Chakki picked the child up and took him along. Chakki was a wandering guru and doctor of the region; he had been travelling about to bless and heal the people of the land.He would raise Suzaku as his own. As time went on it was clear that Suzaku was a child of great vitality and life. Suzaku grew much quicker than the children around him and could weather the storms of those time. He rarely was truck with illness and when he was overcame it quickly. These things caused Chakki to wonder where the child had come from and from where his lineage originated. As time went on the man taught the boy all he knew about spiritual matters, the world and his profession—he became a son. Eventually, Chakki too would grow weak with disease and die, leaving Suzaku alone again at the age of 7 years old. He would become an indignant child, angry at the world, stealing scraps of food to survive and begging on the streets. Those of the Yanagi Village grew to hate Suzaku and began to call him the derogatory term Demon Child (悪魔の子, "Akuma no Ko", English TV; "Demon Possessed Boy") due to his red hair and permanent grimace. It didn't matter how hungry he got, how beat up he was, he always seemed to survive, leading people further to believe that he was from Hell. Those of his clan, the Gōka, were known to be temperamental and were disliked by those who they lived with anyway. Upon hearing about this boy, members of the Goka clan came to find him. He would join their oppressive cult, being indoctrinated with the clan's beliefs and piety for fire. Clan members are devoted and radical worshipers of Agni (火事, "Kagi", English TV; "God of Fire"). He himself would become a Fire Acolyte (火集団, "Hishūdan", English TV; "Disciple of the Flame" or "Fire Cultist") at a rather young age and quickly began sacrificing to Agni which often times required human offerings. Because of these practices those of the Gōka clan are incredibly superstitious and believe highly in divine providence. They believe that those killed by their fire are offerings to Agni and that Agni is pleased with such veneration. Before and after killing a person he will often-times pray for success and appeasement, leading many to believe that he is a religious fanatic and insane, both of which are partly true. Upon seeing his childhood friend beaten by those of the clan, Suzaku escaped the Bamboo Country in his early teens. At this time he came across a young man named Omu who himself at a rough upbringing. Suzaku and Omu began a rivalry that would last up until today. In hopes of meeting Omu again he began to train arduously, making the best use of his time. Throughout the years Suzaku became strong and word of his strength and vitality spread throughout the nations. In modern times Suzaku is a family man and has many connections throughout the world. His most loved ones, however, reside in Konohagakure.
Very seldom seen smiling, it is no wonder why many assume Suzaku to be a person of stiff personality. Some have mentioned how he is difficult to approach, reserved during conversation and rigid when it comes to the rules. This is all-the-more frustrating when he randomly smirks or lets out a chuckle at an inappropriate time. It may appear that he is being rude or mocking when in fact his mind—like most of the time—is simply elsewhere. Since youth Suzaku has had a very active imagination that goes beyond the normal, leading him to cook-up odd occurrences with funny endings in his head. The worse time for him to do this is during meetings or while talking to someone on important village matters. His advisers claim it to be a symbol of his deplorable negotiating skills while his wife and children deem it the Hidden Suzaku (奥義朱雀, "Ōgi Suzaku", English TV; "Secret Suzaku"). Despite his inappropriate laughter, Suzaku is a man of true devotion and loyalty. He has a strong sense of ambition and is stated by those who know him to "never do anything without a clear and logical purpose". He is very shrewd and analytical, watching before acting and listening before speaking. When he does speak, however, he can go on and on, much to the chagrin of other people. Like most from his clan, it is no secret that he has a short temper, quick to lose his fuse when tried by words or on the battlefield. One second he can be full of laughter and the next seething with rage, making him worthy of the Spicy Headed Suzaku (一刻朱雀, "Ikkoku Suzaku", English TV; "Hotheaded Suzaku") moniker.
Oddly enough, he is in total denial of his bad temper.
Never one to feign innocence—outside of his tempestuous temper, that is—Suzaku is very-well aware of his awful drinking habits; he is never without a gourd of elixirs close behind him and almost always smells of booze.
It is rumored that no one knows how he is sober and is almost always in a perpetual state of intoxication. On becoming Hokage this problem only swelled due to the added amounts of stress, leading Suzaku to make poor decisions in and out of the office like pardoning criminals and signing off on expensive purchases. Couple this with his love of wealth and Suzaku would sooner sell the entire village than simmer his sizzling addictions. Most of the wealth he has acquire has gone to his massive collection of spirits and collectible liquors, none of which amount to the legendary and probably mythical Golden Sake (金酒, "Kinsake", English TV; "Elixir of Life", "Gold Liquor") which he babbles on about in his drunken stupors. He is so enthralled with the legend of this sake that should someone even hint at the impossibility of it, he will be thrown into a rage, one that once nearly demolished the Hokage Mansion in the dead of night. Fortunately for Suzaku, his advisers care for him dearly and discreetly.On being offered the office of Hokage, Suzaku first refused until being bribed with the yearly salary and retirement pension. It wasn't until after he took office that he was told that most of the Hokage died in office and never received the compensation, resulting in a fit of anger. He is certainly not one to shy away from unpopular opinion if he believes in it and is willing to do what seems unethical in order to accomplish goals that benefit the majority. One thing he does not tolerate is abandonment of ones priorities or traitors to the village and nation. Although sometimes reasonable, he holds a long and arduous grudge and is willing to take it to his grave if need be. On the battlefield Suzaku engages in most battles as a game and isn't usually quick to finish a bout out of the fun he has in testing his opponent, that is, should they not piss him off and send him in a rage. His puns during combat usually have something to do with fire and heat, generally embarrassing those who fight alongside and even against him. Regardless of his drunkenness, love of money, double-personality and fits of rage, Suzaku has a true soft spot for his family, especially his children. He would do anything for them and spends whatever extra moments he has looking after them. Friends a foes notice something interesting about Suzaku; he has a verbal quirk, always evoking "Get it?" (わかる？, "Wakaru?") either before or after he speaks, something that he picked up on as a child and still does to this day.
Some have described Suzaku as being something of a pyromaniac, though he is entirely sane. He simply has the urge at times to burn things up, particularly so when he is upset. Due to the culture in which he was raised in the man is very spiritual and feels that he is connected to the spiritual world like no other; this comes through in his superstitious ways. As being a man who originated in times of old, he finds it hard to relate to those around him and even speaks in an ancient dialect.
ReputationWhen one has transcended the title of legend and stepped into the honor of a myth they have truly become something otherworldly—Suzaku of the Demon Flames (鬼の炎の朱雀, "Onihonō no Suzaku", English TV; "Suzaku of the Ogre Flames") is such a man. Stories are told about him from one corner of the earth to another. It is said that he is a demon made of flames who takes on a human form to punish wicked men and women. Others say that he does not exist at all, that he is nothing more than a tall tale told to children who misbehave. Around a campfire somewhere drunken men relate fiction of his exploits, claiming that Suzaku once hurled the sun at a god, banishing him to the underworld. Whatever the claim, the man is honored as an historical figure wherever he might go. Whispers of his drunken stupor and trifling temper are anything but fantasy, however. He is a man who finds much joy at the bottom of a gourd and a man who can be smiling one moment and irate the next. As a pyromaniac, Suzaku cannot be separated from the magnificence of his majestic flames—one cannot speak of a master of the art form without paying homage to the might he possesses. Under a single moon it is said that Suzaku once slaughtered over 100,000 men using a technique that resembled the sun; he himself brushes off the claims, never one to reveal secrets. Other than his unquestionable caliber, the sage is well reputed to be quite the medicine man. Some have described his restorative powers to be mystical, magical even. He himself claims that there is nothing he cannot heal and as such his name has become throughout time a charm to ward off evil spirits and bad health. He has penned text books and literature that detail what are not elementary knowledge when it comes to the body and medicine.
Rumors that he can raise the dead have bestowed upon him the moniker Witch Doctor (魔女医師, "Majoishi", English TV; "Shaman Healer"), fueling the flames of the idea that he is indeed a demon.
Suzaku is also noted to be very wise and experienced. The poems he has written, wise-sayings he has spread abroad and the counsel he gives on behave of those who listen have made ripples throughout the known world. Many are blessed to have been taught by him, deeming him a guru or Master (主君, "Shukun", English TV; "Lord") whose godly wisdom is invaluable in all generations. These thoughts are cemented by the fact that he is indeed the Fire Sage (火の仙, "Hi no Sennin") and one of only three who has been blessed with the title Sansen (三仙人, "Three Hermits" VIZ; "Three Sages"), a unique privilege of sage masters who have become something like religious figures to those under their tutelage.
- "Suzaku" (朱雀) means "vermilion bird".
According to lore, Suzaku is a large, scarlet, phoenix-like bird. He is one of the shijin, or Four Symbols while being associated with the Chinese element of fire, the season of summer, the planet Mars, and the color red. Unlike the character, however, Suzaku represents the virtue of propriety while both the character and the legend control heat and flame. Much of these elements are seen in his character creation in order to exemplify the mythology.
- His name is pronounced 'SU - ZAK - UU'.
- Favorite Colors: Vermilion
- Favorite Foods: Spicy Foods (スパイシー), Chili Peppers (唐辛子), Liquour (焼酎), Chigenabe (チゲ鍋)
- Favorite Word: Money—(お金, "Okane")
- Favorite Phrase: "One hundred years to cultivate with hands, one second to consume with fire." (手で耕すのに100年、火で消費するのに1秒。)
- People I Would Like to Fight: Suzaku does not want to fight anyone in particular
- Hobbies: Acupuncture, cultivating herbs, and horseback riding
- Likes: Gold coins, summertime, and astrology
- Dislikes: Swimming