Hashirama Senju was the first Hokage, the man who invented the hidden leaf system, the only naturally born wood jutsu user, could use sage mode, was the only man to ever defeat Uchiha Madara and can control all the tailed beats, which gave him the tile “god of all shinobi”.
Yes this man was truly great and an important part of Naruto’s history however; his life is still incredibly mysterious. This man is literally one of the greatest ninja’s to ever live; yet we know so little about him, especially when it comes to his death.
This is odd considering whoever was capable of taking down this mad would have been at a level above him and Madara. But it’s not only who killed him but also when he was killed.
Many fans mistaken that is was the Akatsuki member Kakuzu, who defeated Hashirama however; it wasn’t him. Kakuzu did in fact servilely injure the first Hokage although, Kakuzu lost the battle. As a result, we know little else about the life of Hashirama after the time of Madara.
But in recent times I have started to re-watch the original Naruto series and have discovered something many people overlooked, about the first Hokage’s unknown death.
After returning to the period of time where Naruto and Jiraiya were looking for Tsuande to take the mantle of fifth Hokage, I discovered a clue suggesting that Hashirama did not die an old man.
In a flashback of Tsunade’s, she mentions that she found it silly for people to throw their lives away for the sake of others, such at the first four Hokage.
This in turn suggests that the first Hokage dies in action, similar to the other three Hokage. Now I don’t have any evidence suggesting who killed him however; I can suggest a time period.
Later on in this very period we watched a flashback of Tsuande’s brother and his desires to become Hokage, similar to his grandfather. Except when Nawaki spoke of his grandfather’s role as Hokage and his dream, he did so in past tense. This again suggests that the first Hokage was no longer with them.
Furthermore, this period of time when Nawaki dies was most likely during the early stages of the 3rd great ninja war, as shortly after this Tsunade meets Dan and he too dies.
We know that during the 2nd great ninja war the 3 Sannin were awarded their legendary status however; it looked as if they had already received the title of Sannin by this time period.
We must also take into account the Jiraiya began training Nagato and his companions outside of Konoha, shortly after his battle with Hanzo; the man who gave them the Sannin title.
It means that Jiraiya couldn’t have been in the village for the remainder of the second war, as he was when both boys died.
What does this have to do with Hashirama’s death? It means that he too was likely dead long before this period of time, as Nawaki spoke of him as if he was no longer with them.
But that’s still a big gap of time between when Hashirama fought Madara and the 3rd Great War however; don’t worry, because I have more.
When Hiruzen was given the title of 3rd Hokage, it was given to him by the 2nd Hokage during a mission. This mission took place in the midst of the 1st Great Ninja War, as it showed a teenage Hiruzen and Danzo.
Tobirama gave Hiruzen the title ahead of Danzo during this mission and later face a group of jounin enemy ninja’s to save his comrades. In the process he sadly gave his life to save the others however; he appointed Hiruzen the next Hokage beforehand.
Why does this mean Hashirama was already dead? Well because of the time period. Why would Tobirama give the burden of the village to a teenager when his older brother, the first Hokage, was still around?
This is war times at a level the world had never seen before and he appoints a teenager as leader of the village, it makes no sense. Therefore, we must suggest that the experienced first Hokage was too already deceased by this time.
Sadly these are only theories derived from what we know and we still don’t have a clear suspect for who killed him. At least we have narrowed down that Hashirama most likely died sometime after his fight with Madara and Kakuza, but before Hiruzen’s Hokage appointment. This means that he may have still been around during the first great war however, was cut down early on.
Hashirama vs Naruto, who would win? Find out here: