Hashirama Senju (千手柱間, Senju Hashirama) was theFirst Hokage (初代火影, Shodai Hokage; Literally meaning "First or Founding Fire Shadow"). He hails from the Senju clan who together with the Uchiha clan establishedKonohagakure.
Hashirama was originally the leader of the Senju clan. Under his leadership the Senju clan came to be regarded as one of the two most powerful clans in the world, rivalling the renowned battle-oriented Uchiha clan. Because of this, when someone hired the Senju clan, the opposing side would hire the Uchiha clan and vice-versa, causing frequent battles between the two. Eventually growing tired of the constant fighting, Hashirama and his clan approached the Uchiha and offered a truce with them. Allied with Madara and his clan, the two groups founded Konohagakure.
When deciding who should become the leader of Konoha, the villagers selected Hashirama over Madara for the title of First Hokage. Fearing that Hashirama would oppress the Uchiha, Madara left the village, and challenged Hashirama's rule. After an intense battle that included the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, Hashirama defeated Madara; and Hashirama's wife Mitobecame the Nine-Tails' first jinchūriki by sealing it within herself. In the aftermath of their battle, Madara was believed to have been killed, and theValley of the End was created. Madara would later state that he fought that battle in order to obtain Hashirama's abilities. To commemorate the battle, two statues, of Madara and Hashirama, were carved into the earth surrounding the valley.
During his time as Hokage, Hashirama came into possession of a scroll filled with kinjutsu, which he sealed away in order to keep the jutsu within a secret. He also defeated Kakuzu, who had been sent to assassinate him byTakigakure. At some point, Hashirama gained control of several tailed beasts. He spread these beasts to other, newly-formed villages in an attempt to maintain peace and equalize the powers between the nations, but it did not stop the outbreak of the First Shinobi World War. Thinking about the future of Konoha, he and his younger brother, Tobirama Senju, trained the young Hiruzen Sarutobi. Hashirama died shortly after the founding of Konoha, but not before passing on the title of Hokage to Tobirama.
Hashirama was shown to be a very calm and collected person, as well as kind and caring, with a deep sense of loyalty, great charisma and negotiation skill. He saw the people of Konoha as a part of his own family, and his legacy took a firm root in the village. He was also shown to be a very wise and insightful man, as he passed on great teachings to Hiruzen. It was he who first believed that all Leaf ninja should show a true loyalty to each other, and that a Kage must be willing to put his life on the line for his village to set an example for all others. This belief of his is known as the Will of Fire.
Hashirama is shown with dark tan skin, brown eyes, and long black hair. In most cases, he is wearing a similar style to his brother and Madara Uchiha; dark red, metal plating armour of that era similar to what samurai wear, ninja sandals, as well as some type of headband on his forehead, whether that is Konoha's forehead protector, or simply a red headband. He has however been seen in both on separate occasions. On each side of the collars of the armour is the Senju clan symbol. While in the village, Hashirama wore either the official Hokage garb along with a headband or a light brown kimono shirt with mesh armour underneath it held closed with a red sash and navy blue pants.
Hashirama Senju was considered by both Madara Uchiha and several Konoha Jōnin as the most powerful ninja of his time. He was greatly respected by every shinobi during his life, such that Madara claimed Hashirama was the one person whom he respected the most as well as detested. He knew how to perform a great number of jutsu, and was otherwise knowledgeable of those he could not, as indicated by creating the Scroll of Seals and his familiarity with Summoning: Impure World Resurrection. In the manga he uses a genjutsu against Hiruzen that covers the area in darkness. However, in the anime, it was shown that his brother Tobirama Senju used this genjutsu instead. During his battle with Madara, Hashirama is seen with a variety of weapons that he summoned from a large scroll.
His prowess and abilities were so great that he was able to not only fight on equal footing with Madara despite the power of his Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan and having the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox at his side, but also survive the battle and gain victory in the end. The injuries which he caused to Madara were so great that even decades later they still affect him tremendously.
The ability Orochimaru most highly praised him for was his unique ability to control tailed beasts. Of all his considerable talents, it was this ability in particular that made Hashirama unparalleled in the shinobi world, so much so that he is regarded as one of the few people capable of completely controlling a tailed beast. At one time, he had many of the beasts in his possession. This ability was greatly amplified by his crystal necklace, which Yamato suggested was a requirement to control even Naruto's partial lapses into tailed forms.He was most famous for his Wood Release jutsu, a kekkei genkai to mix earth and water-natured chakra to create this new element. By converting chakra into the source of life, he was able to create trees, causing them to grow to great sizes and manipulate them to diverse shapes and battle uses at will. It was said that this ability was used to create the very landscape and foundation that Konoha is built on. This ability was apparently unique for him, since none of his relatives were shown using the ability. Even Yamato, the only person to have proved compatible with Hashirama's genes, found his use of Wood Release to be much weaker in raw power. Yamato has also shown great skill in standard water and earth techniques, so it is presumed Hashirama could do water and earth techniques as well.
Both he and Tobirama were revived from the dead by Orochimaru usingImpure World Resurrection to fight Hiruzen during the invasion. While fully aware of what was going on, and saddened that he would have to fight his former student, Hashirama and his brother were robbed of their free will as a result of a seal employed by Orochimaru into the backs of their heads. Hiruzen quickly resolved to kill his masters and used a very powerful fire technique that was easily countered by one of Tobirama's walls of water that was then turned into an attack that was stopped by Hiruzen's own earth wall.
During the battle, he demonstrated great teamwork and combination attacks with his brother. He also demonstrated his great Wood Release abilities, forcing Hiruzen to summon Enma for assistance, and at the same time showed great taijutsu skills. His soul, along with his brother's, was eventually sealed by Hiruzen when he combined theDead Demon Consuming Seal and the Shadow Clone Technique to strike both of them at the same time. Before his soul was completely removed, he and his brother apologized to their former student for the trouble they had caused.
Also, Madara Uchiha had taken a piece of Hashirama's flesh in their final battle and was somehow able to combine Hashirama's power with his own. Madara also had the flesh 'planted' at one of his hideouts. From that flesh grew a massive, mindless floweringtree that partially takes the appearance of Hashirama, supports the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, and, having gradually been fed amounts of demonic chakra from the Tailed beasts that had already been captured thus-far, among its roots, seems to have helped produce a legion of 100,000 White Zetsu's for Madara's army against theAllied Shinobi Forces' numbers of about 80,000.Sometime after Hashirama's death, Orochimaru experimented with Hashirama's DNA. Desiring Hashirama's unique abilities, Orochimaru exhumed the Hokage's body and infused sixty child test subjects with his DNA, hoping that one would prove able to use Wood Release. Only Yamato survived the process. Danzō Shimura's right arm has also been infused with Hashirama'sDNA through a similar experiment with Orochimaru, in the hopes of controlling the powers of the Nine-Tails, as well as to increase his physical energy to maintain the ten Sharingan embedded on his right arm.
Part of the legacy that Hashirama has also left behind is known as the Will of Fire, a belief held by all the members of Konohagakure. Madara frequently mentions or remembers Hashirama, his musing over his sworn enemy tends to range from both utter contempt to a begrudging respect and admiration. Madara does admit that Hashirama was the only person whom he respected of the Senju Clan. Madara also claims that Naruto has inherited Hashirama's Will of Fire while Sasuke Uchiha has inherited the hatred of his clan.