Naruto has one of the most complex yet intriguing timelines in the anime world. The history is long and very well-written. Kishimoto was able to explain the cycles of hatred and passing down of will very beautifully.
The story seems very much like what real-life evolution would look like. The war between clans and the solution to form villages to create a safe place but being unable to avoid internal conflicts, that’s how the real world works too.
This resemblance to reality is what makes the timeline of Naruto seem super interesting. However, I am not saying that Naruto’s history is without fault. Kishimoto seems to repeat the same story with different characters which kind of gets boring at one point.
The story of Naruto starts from the time Kaguya enters the earth and consumes the Chakra fruit and progresses until Naruto becomes Hokage. I will only be focusing on Naruto’s timeline and will not include Boruto’s part.
So let’s dive in to understand the proper history and the order in which things have taken place in Naruto!
*Disclaimer: Since the anime does not have proper years to go by, we will be using Naruto’s age as the timeline.
Naruto’s timeline is long and starts with Kaguya first entering Earth and ends with Naruto becoming the Hokage. They had to go through 4 Great Shinobi Wars before they could achieve peace.
1. 1000 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
Kaguya and Isshiki came to Earth in pursuit of Chakra fruit. Kaguya was meant to be a sacrifice, however, she mortally injured Isshiki and consumed the Chakra fruit for herself becoming the progenitor of Chakra.
Later, she ended wars and took control of Nations ruling them in peace. However, she eventually lost hope in humanity and used Infinite Tsukuyomi to put everyone under Genjutsu.
2. 970 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
Kaguya eventually bore twins, Hagoromo and Hamura who were the first people born with Chakra. However, these brothers became her undoing as they did not agree with her methods.
Kaguya, who wanted to keep her chakra to herself, fused with the God tree and attacked her own sons. They somehow managed to seal Ten tails chakra in Hagoromo making him the first Jinchuriki.
Kaguya creates an artificial being before being sealed away. This entity will eventually be known as Black Zetsu who manifests her will and brings about the later events.
Hamura departs for Moon where he created the Otsutsuki clan while Hagoromo travelled wide and far to spread the teachings of Ninshu which would evolve into modern-day Ninjutsu.
3. 900 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
Hagoromo split the Ten-Tails into 9 beasts starting from One-tail to Nine-Tail. He eventually had two sons Indra and Ashura who had contradicting personalities and skill sets.
While Indra was a natural prodigy who mastered Ninshu within no time, Ashura struggled quite a bit. As he struggled, he realised that life is much easier and more meaningful when shared with others.
He realised the importance of bonds to become stronger while Ashura was a sad loner. Hagoromo sees more potential in Ashura and makes him the inheritor of Ninshu.
Shrouded by jealousy, Indra attacks his community with his visual prowess, however, Ashura defeats him with the help of Senjustu and the chakra from all the villagers.
Eventually, Indra forms the Uchiha clan to avenge him while Ashura forms the Senju and Uzumaki clans to preserve the teachings of his father. This very event has multiple repercussions throughout the series as we see these two clans constantly at odds with each other.
4. Warring States Period- 800 Years Before Naruto’s Birth to 64 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
Small states engaged in battles to gain more power and territory. However, since they lacked the resources, they often hired Ninja clans to fight for them. The strongest clans over the years proved to be the Senju and Uchiha clans.
They were hired throughout centuries which led to repeated clashes until the Senju and Uchiha became mortal enemies. Both the clans lost their family and loved ones to the opposing group which deepened their hate.
Somewhere during this time, Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju bonded and became good friends without knowing each other’s lineage.
They would often sit on what would later become Hokage Mountain and talk about peaceful times. Hashirama and Madara wanted to create a village which would protect the children of the clans.
However, unfortunately, their families learn of their meetings and are then forced to participate in battles from then on. They eventually become the clan leaders and Hashirama suggests a pact.
Having lost his brother in the same battle, Madara puts forth a condition, demanding Hashirama’s death to accept the pact. Hashirama being the man he is takes the kunai to sacrifice his life but is stopped by Madara who remembers their friendship.
The two clans form the Konohagakure, Hidden Village of Leaves and Hashirama became the First Hokage of the Village which would mean that Tobirama would be the next Hokage.
Tobirama was very hostile towards the Uchiha clan which would mean that after Hashirama’s death, the Uchiha clan would be cornered. With these concerns, Madara attacked Konoha with the Nine-Tailed fox.
Hashirama emerged victorious in the battle and his wife Mito sealed Kurama inside her. He then called upon a Five Hokage Summit and requested their alliance. He even shared the Tailed Beasts to create a power balance.
Later on, Hashirama passed away under unknown circumstances and Tobirama became the Second Hokage which led to the First Shinobi War.
5. First Shinobi War 34 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
The First Great Shinobi was due to the Five Allied Nations fighting over the resources. Tobirama sacrificed himself during this war to save his subordinates and appointed Hiruzen Sarutobi as the Third Hokage.
Hiruzen Sarutobi would go on to train Tsunade, Jiraiya and Orochimaru. While Orochimaru was a prodigy, Jiraiya was a klutz who couldn’t master any jutsu. However, he later learnt Senjutsu and became greatly powerful.
6. 16 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
16 years before the birth of Naruto, Kushina moved to Konohagakure, she was to be the host of Nine-Tails which she quietly accepted. However, this made her a great bargaining chip and she was kidnapped by other villages.
She was however saved by Minato Namikaze and eventually fell in love with him. During this time, the majority of the Uzumaki clan was wiped out as they were seen as a threat due to the powerful sealing techniques, the rest were scattered around the world unaware of their lineage.
7. Second Shinobi Ninja War- 14 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
The Second Shinobi Ninja War took place 14 years before Naruto’s birth, the legendary Sannin earned their name during this war.
Jiraiya also took it upon himself to train Konan, Nagato and Yahiko after the war and acted as a father figure to the trio.
8. Akatsuki Formation- 12 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
Yahiko, Konan and Nagato form a group called Akatsuki with the intent of protecting smaller communities from the wars of larger nations. During this time, Yahiko dies leaving Nagato in charge.
Devastated by the loss, Nagato turns Akatsuki into a mercenary group. Manipulated by Black Zetsu, he decided to conquer all the tailed beasts and use them as weapons of war.
He intended to start fear of war in people and create a sort of pseudo-peace. He started calling himself Pain and gathered a bunch of super-powerful people.
9. Third Shinobi War- 4 Years Before Naruto’s Birth
Minato was able to prove himself to be a distinguished ninja during the Third Shinobi conflict. However, Rin, Kakashi and Obito had quite a difficult time during this war.
Obito was seriously injured and gave his Sharingan to Kakashi. While Kakashi and Rin believed that Obito was dead, he was alive and saved by Madara Uchiha.
Aged Madara was able to awaken Rinnegan and cultivated an army of White Zetsu. He cured Obito intending to use him as a pawn but is met with reluctance until he witnesses Rin’s death.
Obito returns to Madara having awakened his Mangekyou Sharingan and agrees to participate in his Infinite Tsukuyomi plan.
He takes the name of Madara and lays the groundwork for multiple major events of the show.
10. Naruto’s Birth- 0 Year
The day Naruto is born marks the death of his dear parents. The village is attacked by Obito, who then tries to control the Nine-Tails after the seal was significantly weakened.
However, he failed and Kurama was sealed inside Naruto which made him an outcast in the village.
11. Itachi Obliterates the Uchiha Clan- 4 Years After Naruto’s Birth
With tensions rising between the Uchiha clan and the village, civil war seemed to be on its way. To prevent this, Itachi Uchiha acted as a double agent and killed his entire clan.
He couldn’t bring himself to kill his baby brother and told him to live with revenge on his mind, which honestly was the dumbest move, we all know how Sasuke turned out with all that hatred.
12. 13 Years After Naruto’s Birth- The Main Story Arc Begins
13 years after Naruto’s birth, he graduated from the Ninja Academy and joined Team 7. Team 7 takes on its first significant mission and faces off against Zabuza and Haku, emerging victorious.
They then enter the Chunin exams and make contact with Orochimaru for the first time. The village is attacked by Sunagakure and Orochimaru who takes Hiruzen’s life.
It is during this time Naruto faces off against Gaara and this encounter is what turns Gaara for good.
With the Hokage’s position empty, Jiraiya and Naruto set out to find Tsunade where Naruto learns the iconic Rasengan. After another battle with Orochimaru, Tsunade becomes the Fifth Hokage.
During this time, Sasuke grows frustrated with his weakness and leaves the village. A retrieval team is sent but the mission fails.
Frustrated by his inability to save Sasuke, Naruto leaves with Jiraiya to master more jutsu.
13. 16 Years After Naruto’s Birth- Naruto Returns to The Village
3 years after the time skip, Naruto returns to the village and learns that Gaara is now the Kazekage. Gaara is targeted by Akatsuki who extracts the One-tail and kills him in the process. However, he is revived by Chiyo.
Soon, Sai and Yamato join Team 7 and have a confrontation with Orochimaru. Later, realizing that the Akatsuki will come after Naruto, Hidden Leaf attacks Hidan and Kakuzu.
The plan backfires when Hidan and Kakuzu kill Asuma Sarutobi and is later avenged by Shikamaru. Elsewhere, Sasuke seemingly kills Orochimaru, forms his team and confronts Itachi.
Itachi dies during the battle and Sasuke awakens his Mangekyou Sharingan.
14. 17 Years After Naruto’s Birth- Pain Arc
Jiraiya is sent to Amegakure on a mission, where he is killed off by Pain. Naruto grieves his master’s death and vows to become stronger to avenge Jiraiya. He travels to Mount Myoboku and learns Senjutsu.
He defeats Pain and manages to convince Nagato to revive the ones who died in the battle. Elsewhere, after failing to capture Killer Bee, Sasuke declares war during the Five Kage Summit and later kills Danzo.
15. 4th Shinobi War
Naruto learns to control Nine-Tailed Chakra after training with Killer Bee. Many strong characters are brought back to life until Itachi defeats Kabuto. The four Hokages are brought to life by Orochimaru.
Neji is killed by the rampaging Ten-Tails and Obito later becomes the Jinchuriki of Ten Tails. Naruto and Sasuke join forces to defeat Obito, however before he is fully defeated, Black Zetsu forces him to fully revive Madara.
Madara then becomes the host of Ten Tails and the epic fight between Might Guy and Madara ensues. During this time, Naruto and Sasuke encounter Hagoromo and are granted his powers.
He puts the entire world under Genjutsu and just when he seems to have won, his powers run out of control and Kaguya Osutsuki is revived through him.
Naruto and Sasuke defeat and seal her together, however they still seem to have conflicts which they decide to resolve with one final battle which ends with both losing their dominant arm.
They eventually make peace and revive the world from Genjutsu.
18 Years After Naruto’s Birth –Naruto is still a Genin, and Kakashi is now the Sixth Hokage.
20 Years After Naruto’s Birth– Naruto and Hinata get Married
25 Years After Naruto’s Birth- Naruto finally becomes Hokage!!
16. About Naruto
Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. Its publication began on September 21, 1999, and continued till November 10, 2014, in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. The manga has collected 72 volumes in tankōbon format.
Naruto Shippuden is Part II of the anime series, which follows an older Naruto as he attempts to save his friend Sasuke while at the same time – addressing the looming threat of the criminal organization – Akatsuki – who are targeting him for their grander scheme.
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