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Since his childhood as depicted in manga/anime, Kakashi always wore a cloth mask covering his face, making only eye(s) and a portion of forehead visible.

What was the reason for this?

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I have collected a few reasons, which are actually assumptions..

  • Because he was an ANBU. All the members of ANBU wear masks for various reasons. (hiding their identity, their feelings, expression, and so on, making them merely fighting robots)

  • Since his childhood days, he always was looked down on by the villagers because his father sacrificed a mission in order to save his comrades. This resulted in a huge loss to the village (maybe in terms of reputation and economy). He wanted to hide himself.

  • Moreover, people could easily mistake him for his father since they look similar (one example: Lady Chio attacking Kakashi Hatake because she mistook him for his father Sakumo). He tried to hide himself with his mask, though people vaguely remember it since a generation has been passed.

Though all the above reasons aren't really valid now (in both the anime and manga), Kakashi still wears mask, for which the reason is unknown.

  • Just an idea Kishi had. And here is a piece of information from a blog:

In an interview the question, "Why does Kakashi wear a mask?" was asked. Kishimoto's reply was that he saw ninjas as being "mysterious" or something, so in his character design he made Kakashi wear a mask, but he didn't do that with other characters because it's too difficult to get their expressions down when you can't see their entire face.

Blog link: [click here]

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    Ninja's are mysterious, but lets give the main character an orange jump suit! – SirDuckduck Mar 15 '13 at 10:58
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    lol can count the orange jump suit as mysterious, Why would you wear such a flashy outfit as a ninja who hides in the shadows – Dimitri mx Mar 15 '13 at 21:03
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    Really nice job giving both canonical guesses AND an officially sourced answer :) Wish I could +1 more than once! – atlantiza Mar 16 '13 at 2:11
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    Naruto wears orange to stand out. He wants to attract everyone's attention, not blend in to the crowd. It is also a remember to the audience that he is the 9 tails fox, as it is the color of the 9 tails fox. – StarPilot Mar 17 '13 at 9:40
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    @user1526 are ninja's in orange jumpsuits not mysterous to you? – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 19 '13 at 21:29
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In the Rock Lee spinoff manga and anime, Kakashi says he wears a mask because when he reads ecchi ecchi paradise, he has nose bleeds :)

  • Haha. Funny we forgot that. Good point! :D – Kuchiki Byakuya Feb 22 '14 at 1:29
  • Probably XD.... – abhishah901 May 13 '15 at 8:23
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I've been wondering this myself, and I've watched enough Naruto to make formulate a pretty well-thought out guess.

Kakashi has always worn the mask, before even joining the ANBU and all the tragedy in his life. I believe that his father wanted him to be in the ANBU and started fundamental training for it at a young age, like hiding your emotions with a mask.

At first it was probably nothing to serious, just a regular mask. But he didn't start to wear it "religiously" until his father's death, maybe it is the only thing left to remember his father, or possibly to just honor him by wearing the mask he gave him. Or I could be totally wrong.

I speculate that the mask has a connection to his father because he would have had no reason to wear it in the first place. it would make sense if he had started to wear the mask in his teenage years after the death of his father, Minato, Obito and Rin to mask his pain and emotions, and to represent his stone cold stature. But he wore the mask since a young child before any pain entered his life, so it leads me to believe the mask could only have to do with something between him and his father, perhaps because of influences of the ANBU , or history of Sakumo (kakashi's father), or out of sheer honor, or maybe something completely different, that's just my observation.

Only time will really tell.

  • your observation and your speculation is quite appealing..... – Jiraiya Mar 7 '14 at 19:36
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I think Kakashi wore a mask as a little boy because his dad, Sakumo, made him. What I mean by this is that Sakumo was pretty famous as a ninja and almost everyone knew him, as a result of that he was afraid someone was going to hurt his kid to get revenge or something. So he wanted to protect Kakashi by making him wear a mask every time they got out of their house like that no one would know how his face looked like. Also he trained him like that he would be strong incase he was not going to be there to protect him.

I think this because we already know Kakashi never had his mom as a little kid nor he remembers seeing her. That means she had to die when he was born or when he was just months of being born (or maybe she just left, but that is not my point). Since she died, Sakumo did not want to loose another person he loved, so he made Kakashi wear a mask.

Than after Sakumo died Kakashi felt ashamed of his father, so he decided to keep wearing the mask like that noone would know he was Sakumo's kid. But still some people knew because of his hair. Than latter on Lady Chio mistook him for his dad, somehow.

Also he is pretty handsome (shown in the picture below), so I don't think he wore a mask to hide his face because he was soo ugly. Because he's not.

enter image description here

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