In most shonen anime, you’ll see the protagonist saying that he wants to be either a magical emperor or a pirate king. When Naruto was first introduced, his dream was to become the Hokage of his village, Konoha. However, during this time there was already a Hawkage in the village. That was Hiruzen Saratobi.
Along with Naruto, we see Hiruzen’s young grandson, Konohamaru, eager to take the old man’s place as the Hokage. However, Hiruzen was different from the previous and next Hokage of the village. Why? Well, one of the reasons for this could also be that Hiruzen looks much older if compared to others. However, there is a reason for this. He is the only Hokage who returned after retirement to take his seat as the Hokage. He is also the person who gave his life to save the village and his dear people. It is known that Hiruzen coached a team of his own when he became the Hokage. With this in mind, we often think of the exact age when he became the Hokage. Before getting the answer of this question, let us have a look at his life.
Hiruzen Sarutobi. About this
Hiruzen Saratobi had his own story before becoming the Hokage. He was from the Sartobi clan. This clan was one of the first clans to settle in Konoha. He trained under Tobirama Senju with Koharu Utane and Homura Mitokado. As time passed, he was taken under the wings of Hashirama Senju, the first Hokage, and grew stronger.
Hiruzen was trained to be one of the most capable shinobis. He also befriends Denz Shimura, the latter igniting jealousy towards the former’s skill. Hiruzen became an active participant in the team led by Tobirama in the First Shinobi War. When it came to this, Hiruzen presented himself as a temptress. However, Tobirama refused and designated Hiruzen as the Hokage, who would succeed him, making him the Third Hokage. Along with saying goodbye, the Second Hokage, Tobirama also reminded Hiruzen of the “Will of Fire”. This means that he told Hiruzen to treat the village as his family and would love and protect the village, along with the desire for fire.
How old was Hiruzen when he became the Hokage?
Hiruzen actually became the Hokage at a young age. So far we know that Tobirama, before leaving for his death, officially appointed Hiruzen as the Hokage because he was the most efficient of his teammates. However, Hashirama and Tobirama chose him as their successor when he was quite young. Although we do not know when the title was officially conferred with the ceremony, we do know that Hiruzen became the Hokage when he was in his teens and early twenties. The average age is 21/22 to 24.
Hiruzen is considered one of the youngest Hokage. As a Hokage, he decided to train three students – Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru. These students later came to be called “The Legendary Sanin”. Although he was equally loved by his students, he considered Orochimaru his successor, often inciting Jiraiya to become like him.
Also read: Did Jiraiya know it was Sasuke? Boruto’s key conspiracy theory exposed
Hiruzen, Third Hokage (again)
Although Hiruzen was a hokage who was deeply in love with his village, he made mistakes. One of them is trusting his friend Danzo and turning a blind eye to most of his wrongdoings. The Second and Third Shinobi Wars were led by Hiruzen. Unfortunately, Hiruzen had to step down from the Hokage position because he signed a peace treaty to end the Third Shinobi War. Luck was not on his side, Hiruzen could not give the “Will of Fire” to Orochimaru, the heir of his dreams. However, he did accept Minato Namikaze, a student who had trained under Jiraiya.
Minato’s tenure was cut short by his death caused by an attack by the Nine-Tailed Monster Fox. Not considering a successor and not relying on Danzo as the new Hokage, Hiruzen decided to return as the Third Hokage. He became the Hokage again when he was 56-60 years old.
During his tenure as the Hokage for the second time, Hiruzen was given the responsibility of raising Naruto Uzumaki, the protagonist of the series. After a few years, Itachi was ordered by Danzo to kill Uchihasa. The former asks Hiruzen to take care of his brother Sasuke. After this, Hiruzen finally put an end to Danzo’s terrible antics.
His term came to an end when he had to sacrifice himself to save the loving village from his beloved student Orochimaru, who had gone rogue. He was around 68/69 by this time.
In Part II of the series, Naruto Shippuden, Hiruzen reappears as Orochimaru revives the Hokage to aid the village with his strength.
Also read: In which episode does Orochimaru revive the Hokage?