- Who is Kakashi’s father?
- What happened to Kakashi’s father?
- How did Hatake Sakumo die?
- How strong was Hatake Sakumo?
- Would the White Fang win against a fight with Yellow Flash?
Who is Kakashi’s father?
In the shinobi world, Hatake Kakashi’s father is renowned as the White Fang of Konoha. We never get to hear about him because Kakashi went through a traumatic experience during his father’s death and has vowed to never speak about his father since then. It’s only until the 119th episode (Kakashi Chronicles ~ Boys’ Life on the Battlefield ~ Part 1) of Naruto Shippūden do we learn about him, where Minato Namikaze tells Obito about the tragic story of Kakashi’s father, whose real name was Hatake Sakumo. Hatake Sakumo was a jōnin of Konohagakure’s Hatake clan, and his nickname was feared across the lands and was said to even overshadow the Three Sannin’s fame. Not only was Sakumo a genius and a powerful ninja like his son, but he was also a good father to him during Kakashi’s childhood.
I mean, we have never even seen Kakashi smile much after that. Because his mother died giving birth to him, his father was the only one who took care of Kakashi. In the flashbacks, we see that Sakumo always picked up Kakashi after he was done playing with friends. His father was also there the day Kakashi passed the Academy entrance exam and was also able to predict one of the characters’ abilities. The father and son met Might Duy and his son Guy, whom they later discovered failed the entrance exam after Sakumo attempts to befriend the two children.
The young Kakashi underestimated young Guy for not passing the exam and doubts his potential as a ninja, but Sakumo warns him that Guy’s hard work ethic will surpass even Kakashi someday. In the future, his father ended up being right as we see Guy open all the Eight Gates. Kakashi’s love for his father is evident just by how much he upholds the rules and regulations of the shinobi world early on in the anime.
What happened to Kakashi’s father?
In episodes 119 to 120, Minato explains what happened to Kakashi’s father. While Kakashi was still in the academy, his father and his teammates were sent on a mission that was crucial to the village of Konoha. This was during the Third Great Shinobi War, when Sakumo was disgraced by the village after he failed an important mission by abandoning it when his comrades’ lives were in danger. Although he saved them, his teammates, the Land of Fire, and the villagers of Konoha shunned him because of the great deal of losses caused by this failure. If he had stuck to the mission, the war probably would have ended. It’s no surprise how the villagers of Konoha were this ruthless, we’ve witnessed the way they treat the Uchiha clan afterwards and the son of their former leader who they practically bullied into suicide.
Let’s face it, if you went out on a battle with your friends, wouldn’t it be difficult to watch them die? This is why in Naruto, we always hear Kakashi talk about how abandoning your friends is much worse than breaking the rules. Even when Sakumo is vilified by the villagers, his legacy as a powerful ninja remained throughout the shinobi world. This is evident in episode 179 when the Fire Daimyō recognizes Kakashi as the son of the White Fang and becomes pleased with the council’s decision to make Kakashi the Sixth Hokage. The Third Tsuchikage, Ōnoki, also recognizes Kakashi while they were deciding on who should be the face of the alliance in Konoha. Obito also highly respected the White Fang’s decision to protect his teammates over the mission.
How did Kakashi’s father die?
The incident took a toll on Sakumo physically and mentally because he was blamed for the extension of the Third War. Dishonored, he spiraled into a deep depression, which weakened his abilities as a result. He eventually took his own life in an attempt to redeem himself from his actions. Kakashi, who was a little boy then, found his father’s dead body during a stormy night and was scarred forever by the incident. Hatake Sakumo was then buried at the Konoha Cemetery. Since that day, Kakashi refuses to ever speak a word about his father. In order to help him move on, Obio tries to lecture Kakashi into avoiding his father’s fate by strictly following the rules and being apathetic towards his friends.
On the other hand, we also learn that Sakumo was stuck in limbo for many years, carrying the guilt of leaving his son behind and wishes for the day he can finally seek his forgiveness. It does happen when Kakashi uses up his remaining chakra during Pain’s assault on Konoha to rescue Choji Akimichi from the Asura Paths missile and dies temporarily. In the afterlife, he meets his father in a campfire and forgives Sakumo for his actions before Kakashi is brought back to life after his father realizes there’s still a lot left for him to do in the living world. After this, Sakumo decides he can finally be with his wife, an Inuzuka.
How strong was Kakashi’s father?
Unfortunately, we never get to see the White Fang in action because he dies early on in the timeline of the anime. However, we can take into account the gossip and tidbits of information we hear from various characters throughout the anime. Sakumo was rumored to be on the level of Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Orochimaru, or the Sannin. Even with the likes of the Yellow Flash, Sakumo was praised for his talents in the ninja arts.
According to Minato, a lot of shinobis including Kakashi looked up to Sakumo. So he must at least be high jōnin level, in addition to the fact that his name was feared, it should be a good indicator of his skill. His father wields a tanto or a short Japanese blade called the White Light Chakra Sabre, where he gained the nickname White Fang because his sword emitted, as the name suggests, bright streaks of white light.
If he shared the chakra affinity as Kakashi, we can also assume he had lightning release or a natural affinity for lightning nature. Because he was able to predict Might Guy’s future during Kakashi’s time in the academy, we’ve got a good guess that he was a man of sharp intellect and great observation. During his career as a shinobi, Sakumo confronts and murders Sasori’s family at some point. This has earned Chiyo’s hatred for the White Fang even 21 years later when she almost attacks Kakashi after having mistaken him for his father.
Would the White Fang win against a fight with Yellow Flash?
It’s tempting to imagine how a battle would go between them, as the names White Fang and Yellow Flash gained notoriety in the shinobi community. Hearing their names would make anyone run away in fear, knowing that the Flash had a flee-on-sight warrant issued. This question is definitely impossible to answer, as we practically have no clue as to what the White Fang’s abilities are. Still, we can try to assess their qualities and guess who would win over the other. First of all, popularity doesn’t equal strength. While the Fang’s namesake is enough to consider him powerful and is said to be on par with the Legendary Three, it doesn’t inherently mean he’s stronger.
But let’s say he was incredibly strong, it would still be difficult for him to land a hit on the Yellow Flash, who is considered to be the fastest ninja ever. In the terms of speed, his specialty—extreme speed, Flying Thunder God, and space-time ninjutsu—definitely wins over Sakumo. If that wasn’t enough, Minato has mastered Sage mode and is highly skilled in taijutsu. Second of all, the White Fang has to be a clever tactician, and his chakra-enhanced tools were his main assets. Not to mention his skills in kenjutsu.
Unfortunately, Minato has already dealt with fighting against kenjutsu, so we can assume he would have the upper hand. A lot of fans believe that the Yellow Flash easily wins the battle, however, this is purely speculation. I think it’s unfair and a little biased to assume he would win because there’s more information about him. Because in the end, each ninja has their individual strengths and weaknesses, and we truly can’t tell how the two would match up against each other without knowing what the White Fang could do.