Although not one of the principal protagonists, Kakashi Hatake was nevertheless one of the best and most beloved characters from Masahi Kishimoto’s Naruto franchise. The guy had a very specific approach to life. Because of his great relationship with the protagonist trio, Kakashi has become a fan-favorite character, and that is the principal reason why fans are always asking questions about him. In this article, we are going to tell you when Kakashi Katake became a Jōnin, one of the most important ranks in the shinobi hierarchy of Naruto.
As was confirmed later, Kakashi Hatake became a Jōnin at the age of 12. This was first confirmed much later, in Episode 36 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, titled “The Graduation Exam Begins!”; the episode premiered on December 6, 2017. As far as it is known, this scene was not shown in the manga. Kakashi graduated at the age of 5 and passed his Chūnin exams at the age of 6. By the time he was 13, he was already an ANBU member.
The rest of the article is going to focus on Kakashi Hatake and his story during the prologue of the Naruto main storyline. You’re going to find out what exactly happened to Kakashi in the series, as well as how old he was in Naruto and what his overall role in the prologue is. We’ve prepared an interesting article for you, so stick with us to the end, but be careful, as there are going to be spoilers.
What is a Jōnin in Naruto?
A Jōnin is a highly skilled high-level shinobi. To become a Jōnin, the ninja in question must have control over a minimum of two types of elemental chakra or have a specialty referring to some type of technique (such as Kurenai in Genjutsu or Guy in Taijutsu). Still, it is known that ninjas of this rank (to which they belong: Kakashi Hatake, Might Guy, Kurenai Yūhi, Asuma Sarutobi, etc.) have the possibility to continue doing missions with other high-grade ninjas (as Genma Shiranui and Raidō Namiashi do), form a group with 3 Genin under your responsibility (such as Kakashi, Asuma, Kurenai or Guy) or join the ANBU. These ninjas are the only ones who can be entrusted with a rank A or S mission, which are usually highly dangerous, such as assassinations or espionage of a rival village.
Famous Jōnin from the canon include Akatsuchi, Ameyuri Ringo, Asuma Sarutobi, Baki, Biwako Sarutobi, C, Chōjūrō, Chōza Akimichi, Chūkichi, Daen Nara, Dan Katō, Darui, Dodai, Dōtō Akimichi, Ensui Nara, Fugaku Uchiha, Fugi, Fuguki Suikazan, Furui, Gaku Inuzuka, Gari, Gonbee, Gōza, Hamaki Mimura, Heki, Hiashi Hyūga, Hizashi Hyūga, Hoheto Hyūga, Homura Mitokado, Ikkaku Umino, Inoichi Yamanaka, Iroha Hyūga, Isago, J, Jinin Akebino, Jinpachi Munashi, Jōseki, Jūzō Biwa, Kagami Uchiha, Kakashi Hatake, Kakkō, Kankurō, Killer B, Kisame Hoshigaki, Kitsuchi, Kohari Umino, Koharu Utatane, Konohamaru Sarutobi, Kō Hyūga, Kunugi Mokume, Kurenai Yūhi, Kurotsuchi, Mabui, Mahiru, Might Guy, Maki, Mangetsu Hoozuki, Mikoto Uchiha, Mukade, Neji Hyūga, Otokaze, Pakura, Rashii, Reki, Rock Lee, Ryūsa, Sajō, Sakumo Hatake, Sakura Haruno, Samui, Santa Yamanaka, Satetsu, Shibi Aburame, Shibito Azuma, Shikaku Nara, Shikamaru Nara, Shinku Yūhi, Shitō Akimichi, Shizune, Sumashi, Suzaku Nara, Taiseki, Tango, Temari, Torifu Akimichi, Toroi, Unmo Samidare, Yugito Nii, and Yūra.
When did Kakashi become a Jōnin?
This was one of the most complex questions until 2017 when the exact number was confirmed. Namely, a lot of fans online debated when Kakashi actually became a Jōnin, mainly because the original Naruto manga never gave a clear answer to that question. Most theories of the time actually thought that he became a Jōnin at the age of 13, which is around the time he became an ANBU member as well; it was known that he graduated at the age of 5 and passed his Chūnin exams at the age of 6, but the Jōnin age was still a mystery.
Despite a lot of the theories suggesting that he was 13, some doubted it initially. It was in Episode 36 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, titled “The Graduation Exam Begins!” (which premiered on December 6, 2017), that Kishimoto confirmed that Kakashi Hatake was 12 years old when he became a Jōnin, making him one of the youngest Jōnin in history. So, how did Kakashi reach that level?
When Kakashi was very young, his father, Sakumo Hatake, took his own life because he fell out of favor with many people in the village. During one mission, he decided to defy the rules of Konoha at the time and protect the lives of his teammates instead of completing his mission. The damage Konoha suffered as a result of Sakumo’s mission failure has the village and even Sakumo’s rescued teammates blaming him. This incident caused Kakashi to stop talking about his father out of shame, and his path as a shinobi went in the complete opposite direction.
It has become Kakashi’s maxim that the successful completion of a mission is the top priority, and a shinobi must always abide by the rules and regulations of the shinobi world. Kakashi’s attitude toward his father and his path as a shinobi only changed after Obito told him that he considered Sakumo a hero, thereby acknowledging his decision. When Kakashi meets his father again in a near-death experience, the reader also learns that Kakashi’s mother also died very young, probably before his father, since Sakumo seems to remember it, at least in Kakashi’s mind.
Obito Uchiha was Kakashi’s best friend. Their relationship with each other was very similar to that of Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha in their early stages – but with the roles reversed. Obito viewed Kakashi as someone to surpass. The two have often quarreled and have had very different views on the path of the shinobi. On their last mission together in Kusagakure, the two put their differences aside for the first time, and Kakashi has followed Obito’s path of shinobi, despite his beliefs.
After being mortally injured during this mission, Obito gifted his newly awakened Sharingan to Kakashi. After Obito’s death, Kakashi inherited many of his idiosyncrasies, such as his views on companionship and making excuses for being late. Also, often the reason for Kakashi’s lateness is that he has been at the stone memorial for a long time to honor Obito’s memory. Kakashi has an extraordinary rivalry with Might Guy, although it is unknown how seriously he takes it. However, Guy sees himself as Kakashi’s eternal rival who wants to measure himself against him in many ways.
According to Guy’s statement, Kakashi has won 49 direct duels, but Guy has already won 50. However, one learns that both are fine with any kind of duel – even if it’s a “rock, paper, scissors” fight. Another aspect of their relationship is the heartfelt speeches Guy often makes, which Kakashi ignores. At the end of each of these speeches, Guy looks at Kakashi, whose eyes are on something else, until he turns to Guy and asks him if he said something.
Little is known about Kakashi’s training as a shinobi. Kakashi, Obito Uchiha, and Rin Nohara, together with their sensei Minato Namikaze, formed the Yondaime team, which, among other things, took part in the Third Shinobi World War. Kakashi was made a Jōnin during this war when he was only 12 years old and soon after joined the ANBU. A lot of details about Kakashi’s life as a young ANBU member are known, as we have seen how his story evolved while he was a member of Minato’s team, but the precise details of his shinobi training are not known. Proof of that is that we had to wait until Boruto to finally confirm that Kakashi was 12 years old when he became a Jōnin. And this concludes Kakashi’s story and our article along with it.