In the famous manga series Naruto, the beloved hidden village of Konoha has experienced countless tragedies, such as the Uchiha clan massacre and the destruction of the village by Pain. Surprisingly, one of Konoha’s leaders, the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi, can be attributed to many of these failures. Although Sarutobi is one of the most revered and respected leaders in Naruto’s history, his inaction, naive trust, and lack of transparency allowed a small group of corrupt individuals to control the future of Konoha, leading to some of the worst events in Naruto’s history.
Every Hokage appoints a group of wise advisors to the Konoha Council to support the village leader in making difficult but necessary decisions, both in times of peace and war. The Third Hokage appointed three individuals to the Council, all of whom had worked under the Second Hokage, a man Sarutobi greatly respected. These three leaders – Homura Mitokado, Danzo Shimura, and Koharu Utatane – are excellent strategists and politicians. However, it became clear throughout Naruto that their draconian views and lack of compassion made them terrible leaders, repeatedly misleading Sarutobi.
Numerous horrifying events took place in Konoha, but one of the most traumatic was the Uchiha clan massacre by Itachi Uchiha. It was eventually revealed that this massacre had been facilitated and encouraged by Danzo, with support from Homura and Koharu, who opposed Sarutobi’s calls for peace. Despite Danzo’s removal from the Council, Sarutobi continued to trust Homura and Koharu, who continued to provide him with terrible advice that harmed the village for years.
For many years, Danzo and the Third Hokage were fierce rivals. Due to Sarutobi’s trusting nature, he appointed Danzo to the Council in hopes of appeasing him. However, he should have been much more cautious and discerning in placing Danzo in such an important political position. Danzo’s tenuous alliance with Hanzo of Hamegakure directly resulted in the death of Yahiko and Nagato’s rise to the leadership of the Akatsuki, a group that remained a major threat to the heroes of Konoha for many years. By appointing Danzo to the Council, Sarutobi granted him unprecedented political power, allowing him to commit numerous atrocities.
Throughout Naruto, the Third Hokage made many personal mistakes, but perhaps his greatest mistake was appointing unreliable individuals to his advisory council. The corruption of Danzo, Homura, and Koharu led to many tragic events for Konoha and its citizens. If Sarutobi had been more thoughtful in appointing these leaders, many of Naruto’s tragic events would never have occurred.