Has it ever been confirmed in any official source whether Itachi was dying from some sort of terminal illness when he decided to fight his brother?

I seem to remember White Zetsu commenting during the fight that Itachi was unable to dodge certain attacks which he should have been able to dodge.

Has there been a confirmation of this?

1 Answer 1


Tobi mentioned that Itachi was sick with a disease, and was taking medicine for it to extend his life. This happened right after the battle for Sasuke when he woke up. Tobi told him the truth about Itachi at that time, and the disease and illness was a part of it.

The Wiki notes it on the last line of his Background section, and references Chapter 401:

At some point, Itachi contracted a terminal illness. He kept himself alive through the years with medicine and sheer willpower so that he could live long enough to die by Sasuke's hand.

And it also notes that Itachi's death was actually due to the illness, that the fight between them weakened him enough that he couldn't resist it much longer. That does explain why he lived through Sasuke's Kirin, but then coughed up blood and was unable to do anything else but walk and maintain Susanoo for a minute, and then gave up after saying his last words.

Edit: He did also have enough strength to implant one cast of Amaterasu to go off when he saw a Sharingan (possibly Tobi's specifically, but that was never clarified), which was triggered right before the truth was revealed.

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    I do not know how I should post a picture of the page itself though, but I checked and confirmed it is in chapter 401, at around page 14 or 15 just like reference 33 says.
    – Ryan
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 17:44
  • This answer illustrates why itachi will probably be my favourite character in all of literature.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 17:55
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    Did he not also implant the amaterasu in sasuke as he was dying?
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 17:58
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    @NeilMeyer I suppose he did, added. I suppose its not really all that important to the answer, but I guess it does have relevance since it was one of if not the last things he did before dying. Probably happened when he touched the forehead, but I can't recall if he said his last words before or after that.
    – Ryan
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 20:14
  • I know this is a three year old post, but... If you checked the actual chapter, you should cite that in the answer, not in the comments, and rather than put in a picture, you can just quote the text exactly. The wiki link is useful, obviously, but less authoritative than the text. And you can have both in the answer. Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 17:05

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