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In recent chapters, all the Hokages that have passed away have been summoned by Orochimaru with Edo Tensei.

Didn't the Third Hokage, during his fight with Orochimaru, in which Orochimaru used Edo Tensei to summon the 1st and 2nd, seal both Kage away in some way, so that they could never be summoned again?

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All four Hokage had been sealed with the Shiki Fuujin:

  • As you said, the First and Second Hokage had been sealed by the Third, in his fight against Orochimaru.
  • On that same fight, the Third sealed himself, along with the First and Second.
  • The Fourth sealed himself when he sealed the Kyuubi inside Naruto.

The Third Hokage, summoning the Shinigami

Those whose souls were sealed by the Shiki Fuujin cannot be summoned or reincarnated.
However, as we discovered in chapter 618, the seal can be broken by summoning the Shinigami while using a Shinigami mask that was stored in the Uzumaki Clan's Mask Storage Temple.

Orochimaru, breaking the Shiki Fuujin

  • Ah! I totally forgot about that. That perfectly explains what would otherwise have been a plot hole. Thank you! :-D – phaz Jun 27 '13 at 20:37

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