Sunday, January 11, 2009
The Senju clan (千手一族, Senju Ichizoku) was considered the strongest clan in the world during the war-torn era before the founding of the hidden villages. Together with their rivals, the Uchiha clan, they were responsible for founding Konohagakure and making the village into what it is today.
The Senju clan gained their fame in the era before the founding of the hidden villages. Where other clans focused on mastering one particular skill, the Senju had masters in all skills, from Ninjutsu, to Taijutsu, to Genjutsu. Because of this, they were feared as "the clan with a thousand skills" (「千の手を持つ一族」, "sen no te o motsu ichizoku"), which gave them their name Senju (千手, "a thousand skills," "a thousand hands"). The most famous member of the clan was their leader, Hashirama Senju. His unique Wood Release ninjutsu even gave the clan the nickname the Senju clan of the Forest (森の千手一族, Mori no Senju ichizoku). This Wood Release and his ability to control the Tailed Beasts made him the greatest shinobi of his time.
The Senju's place at the top of the shinobi world was undisputed, but there was one clan that was able to stand up to them: the Uchiha clan. Whenever one country hired the Senju, their enemies would hire the Uchiha. This led to a rivalry between the two clans and, more specifically, between the leaders of the clans, Hashirama and Madara Uchiha.
However, in a world of constant bloodshed, Hashirama had a dream of peace and a great love for his fellowmen. Known as the Will of Fire (火の意志, Hi no Ishi), this belief made the Senju clan propose a truce to the Uchiha clan. Fed up with fighting and persuaded by Hashirama's great charisma and negotiation abilities, the Uchiha accepted, ending their bloody rivalry. Only Madara was against this truce, believing the Senju would one day destroy the Uchiha clan. He was forced to accept, though, but his humiliation wouldn't end there.
Some time after the alliance between the Senju and the Uchiha was signed, the Land of Fire hired them to stabilise its borders and the clans created a permanent settlement within the country. Thus, Konohagakure was founded, and with it the system of one hidden village per country. As the system spread throughout the world, the constant violence stopped and Hashirama's dream became reality. It would soon start anew when Hashirama was elected as the First Hokage. A move that made humiliated Madara even more and made him decide to leave the new village and eventually return to attack it.
Throughout the years, the Senju retained their supremacy over Konoha and made the village into what it is today. After the First Hokage's death, his younger brother, Tobirama Senju, became the Second Hokage. Although likely not a Senju by blood, Hiruzen Sarutobi, who would become the Third Hokage after the Second's death, was trained by both the First and Second. His successor, Minato Namikaze, was the student of Jiraiya, a student of the Third. Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, was not only a student of the Third, but the granddaughter of the First. All of them strongly held the Will of Fire.
It is unknown if the Senju clan currently still exists as an organization. There are no known people with the Senju name currently alive, although the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade, might be an official Senju. It is very well possible that the Senju clan disbanded into smaller clans and families, especially since they never had a specific skill or technique like the Uchiha or Hyuga clans. However, their legacy lives on strongly in the hearts of the people of Konoha.
* Hashirama Senju (Leader) (deceased)
* Tobirama Senju (deceased)
* Tōka Senju (presumed deceased)
* Nawaki (deceased)