Who is actually the strongest Hokage? It would be such a simple question and answer if Kishimoto just gave us a direct answer. But instead, Kishimoto feeds us different information along the way as the story progresses.

Pre Chuunin Exam
Sarutobi was highlighted as the genius Shinobi. The manga stated that he quickly surpassed both the first and the second at a young age, and was widely known as the Professor. We also find out later that the first and second died in war, while the third and fourth sacrificed their lives to use the demon god.

Chuunin exam era + beginning of Shippuden
Minato was considered the strongest Hokage. Recall when Orochimaru was using Edo Tensei to revive all dead Kages - Sarutobi was most afraid of the Fourth. For a while, everyone regarded the 4th as the strongest shinobi. I am not sure if this is because they never witnessed the first, but it seems evident that Minato was the powerhouse. Everyone kept saying - If the fourth was here, Orochimaru would be no problem, etc.

Late Shippuden when Tobi starts acting and Madara is revealed
Hashirama is the God of Shinobi. He is depicted as the strongest of all four, even recognized by Minato. He is the only one to resist Orochimaru's control. Madara Uchiha also regards everyone else, aside from Hashirama, as insignificant.

The thing that bothers me the most is how Sarutobi was not worried and was able to handle fighting both Hashirama and Tobirama. Minato was the source of his fear.

And then later on, Hashirama just seems like he is on another level. So I guess I have to redefine my question. Was Hashirama always the strongest Hokage, or did Kishimoto develop his strength later on? Or can this just not be determined?

  • It actually can be said like this. The next generation can surpass the previous one! So Hashirama is called as the God or the strongest but now he just might not be! Dec 29, 2013 at 10:57
  • @kirkara very astute observation !!!!!! +1 to your question
    – Jiraiya
    Dec 31, 2013 at 7:01

5 Answers 5


During the fight between Sarutobi Hiruzen and Edo Tensei Hokage brothers, the 1st and 2nd Hokage were not able to use their full power, because, Orochimaru hadn't perfected the jutsu at that time.

Also, Hiruzen was not afraid of Minato alone, but he was afraid that he wont be able handle all three of them at once.

In my personal opinion, Hashirama Senju is considered the strongest Hokage because of his abilities like Sage Mode, extraordinary life force, Wood Release techniques, impressive clones, great stamina (many people have tries to replicate it, like Orochimaru, Madara Uchiha, Zetsu, Obito Uchiha).

  • 1
    There is a trend of diminishing power with the hokages. The first we know is Hashirama. So he should be the strongest
    – Igbanam
    May 9, 2014 at 21:10

Yeah, Minato and Tobirama were very strong and Hiruzen was meant to be brilliant when he was younger, but Hashirama was like a Greek hero. He had the spirit of Ashura, he could do all the crazy healing things Naruto is doing right now, he was powerful beyond compare.

He had chakra that doesn't compare to anyone we've seen all series, easily breaking out of Orochimaru's Edo Tensei the second time which none of the other hokages could do, his sage mode was ridiculous, his wood dragon was as powerful as the nine tails and his ridiculous avatar made of hands was by far the most powerful thing in the series. Minato and Tobirama had some absolutely brilliant techniques, and Hiruzen had an amazing breadth of techniques but Hashirama's chakra alone just put him on a different level, in addition to his other ridiculous powers.


Well you can't compare Hokage. May be Hashirama is very powerful. But at the same time Tobirama is more powerful because he can be very dangerous due to the edo tensei and transportation techniques.

In the other way Sarutobi may be not powerful as much as people say he is. He is only capable of using basic elements and his will of fight. His sealing jutsu also belong to uzumaki class.

My point of view you cant compare the Hokages to check who is most powerful because each one is unique.


Looking at your question, I feel that you want to know who was more powerful, Minato or Hashirama, right? Actually, I also keep on wondering about these kind of stuff myself. I wonder what would happen if Hashirama and Minato would fight? Who would win? And I begin to compare their power and make them fight with each other in my thoughts.

Hashirama can heal himself fast due to extra ordinary life force so he can easily survive any attack made to him. On the other hand, Minato can teleport himself so quick that he can escape easily from any attack Hashirama would made. Then again, Minato can use his Rasengan but I wonder if that can wound Hashirama. Hashirama along with his sage mode and wood style might be able to track where Minato would teleport himself next. But Minato with his instantaneous reflexes might be able to dodge that as well.

Minato is capable of defeating nine tails as he sealed the beast once. On the other hand, Hashirama is someone who can control and tame the tailed beast. He even won his fight with Madara who was controlling Kurama at that time.

But you don't have worry very long. Naruto will become Hokage someday. He had promised that so many times. And he will be the most powerful of all Hokage for sure :)

  • The Konoha Shinobi should probably have a general idea of who the strongest Hokage was. At least the Kages themselves should know. I'm not really seeking who would win in a fight, but rather who is regarded as the strongest kage.
    – krikara
    Jan 9, 2014 at 16:33
  • Oh! I see now. Then Hashirama is the one who must be regarded as the strongest by Konaha Shinobi because he was the one who defeated Madara and Madara is someone with whom everyone fears of because he can control even the nine tail with his Sharingan.
    – Dhiraj
    Jan 9, 2014 at 16:50
  • so what? nauto can control kyuubi without sharingan. would that make him stronger than madara??
    – Sp0T
    Jan 28, 2014 at 9:28
  • @Sreepati We are talking about Hokages not Naruto...
    – Dhiraj
    Jan 29, 2014 at 17:08

Actually Sarutobi is said to be stronger than the 1st himself. The only thing holding him back is the fact he's old. No other Hokage has been as old as him, making him weaker than he is. You are also forgetting the fact that he SHARES the title of "God of Shinobi" with Hashirama and the Sage of Six Paths. Being able to handle of Orochimaru and 2 of the strongest hokage, even in an edo tensei form, is pretty damn impressive. Especially at a weak state due to his age. Honestly Sarutobi is my favorite of all the Kage. But I'm pretty confident that he is the strongest if not second.

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