I read everywhere that Orochimaru tried to reanimate the 4th Hokage during the Chunin exams, but he was unable to reanimate him because he was sealed inside Soul Reaper's belly. But if he can't reanimate him, what was the point of the coffin? To perform reanimation, he needs a host first. He must have reanimated him earlier on a host if it was possible. So what was the point of summoning that coffin?

According to the Naruto wikia's page on Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation (specific revision),

To perform this technique, the user must first acquire some of the DNA of the person they intend to reincarnate. Kabuto remarks that this basically amounts to grave-robbing, although blood stains or organs salvaged after the target's death also work. The soul of the intended reincarnated must also reside in the pure world (浄土, jōdo); for example, those whose souls have been consumed by the Death God cannot be reincarnated. However, if it is a case where the souls are freed from inside the Shinigami, then a user of this technique is free to reincarnate them once again.

Next, a living sacrifice is required for the soul of the reincarnated to use as a vessel.

  • 1
    "He must have reanimated him earlier on a host if it was possible." about this line of yours... what do you base this on? I think this was never stated or implied.
    – ytg
    Jun 13, 2014 at 17:26
  • @ytg How can someone perform reanimation without a vessel? and please see my edited question.
    – berserk
    Jun 13, 2014 at 17:37
  • Related: anime.stackexchange.com/questions/3281/… Jun 14, 2014 at 13:59
  • @MadaraUchiha They don't explain this thing.
    – berserk
    Jun 14, 2014 at 14:00
  • 1
    @berserk that still doesn't explain the "earlier" part. And I think that's where your logic fails.
    – ytg
    Jun 14, 2014 at 18:38

2 Answers 2


Remember the Orochimaru did not know of the Shiki Fuujin, he didn't know about not being able to summon the fourth. The Shiki Fuujin was kept highly confidential and was only ever used twice throughout the series.

Now for a more practical explanation, the author likely didn't think that far ahead, and caused The Third to be able to "cancel" the third summon. The Shiki Fuujin explanation was later applied an implied by certain events taking place.

  • So, it was a mistake by author?
    – berserk
    Jun 14, 2014 at 14:32

As I understood it, each coffin was for an attempted resurrection. The resurrection of the fourth failed as explained above. I assume that Orochimaru either didn't know it would fail, or wasn't sure it would fail, so he tried anyway. I think the coffins were not the actual coffins that the bodies were buried in, just bodies used for the jutsu, possibly generated by the jutsu.

As far as needing a host, what you copied only says that a sacrifice is needed, which was probably arranged off-screen. I'm not sure what that has to do with being able to summon the fourth hokage.

  • You can see in episodes how they do reanimation. Even at the naruto wikia(link above), they mentioned that they have to perform a ritual for reanimation. They first take a living person and do some marking around him. Then they use the reanimation jutsu to bring back the dead on that person's body.
    – berserk
    Jun 14, 2014 at 6:09

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