Hiruzen Sarutobi V.1 JUS | Naruto Mugen
Hiruzen Sarutobi (猿飛ヒルゼン, Sarutobi Hiruzen) was the Third Hokage (三代目火影, Sandaime Hokage, literally meaning: Third Fire Shadow) of Konohagakure. A disciple of the village’s two previous Hokage, Hiruzen was a powerful ninja, hailed as a “God of Shinobi“. Though he was only ever directly the teacher of the Sannin, generations of Konoha shinobi benefited from his wisdom during his lifetime.
Hiruzen was born the son of Sasuke Sarutobi. The Sarutobi clan was one of the first clans to settle in the newly-created Konohagakure, where Hiruzen struck up a friendship with the Shimura clan‘s Danzō Shimura. Hiruzen was part of the first generation of ninja produced by Konoha and he, Homura Mitokado, and Koharu Utatane were placed under the tutelage of Tobirama Senju. Hiruzen early on displayed prodigious talent in the ninja arts, earning him additional training from Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage; at the same time, Danzō became jealous of Hiruzen’s skills and started a one-sided rivalry in an effort to surpass him.
During the First Shinobi World War, Tobirama, by that time the Second Hokage, led a team consisting of Hiruzen, Homura, Koharu, Danzō, Kagami Uchiha, and Torifu Akimichi. During a mission they started to be pursued by Kumogakure‘s Kinkaku Force, an enemy that somebody would need to distract and inevitably die at the hands of in order for the rest of the team to escape. Hiruzen volunteered to be the decoy, boasting that, as the strongest of their group, he stood the best chance of surviving the encounter; nevertheless, he asked Danzō to look after the others. Tobirama volunteered himself instead, and before going to his death he appointed Hiruzen as Third Hokage.