Kakashi is the only son of Sakumo Hatake, also known as the "White Fang of Konoha". His mother apparently died when he was young. Kakashi has been known since a young age as an extremely gifted prodigy, regarded by many as the best of his generation. He had received top marks and had shown an innate aptitude for the ninja arts while in the academy. This permitted him to graduate from it in a single year at the top of his class at the age of 5, and then becoming a chūnin a year later. Despite his own success, his father fell into disgrace after choosing to save his comrades rather than complete an important mission, causing Konoha to suffer in the war effort. Dishonoured, Sakumo took his own life after a deep depression and a drop in his skills, which caused Kakashi to lead his life strictly by the ninja code.
After graduating, Kakashi was then teamed with Obito Uchiha and Rin under the leadership of Minato Namikaze, the future Fourth Hokage. Kakashi's relationship with Obito and Rin was noted to be very similar to that of Sasuke's relationship with Naruto and Sakura respectively, as he is known as the indifferent genius who shared a complicated relationship with his team-mates, that later developed into a close friendship.
At the age of 13, soon after becoming a jōnin, Kakashi was assigned to lead Obito and Rin on a mission that would benefit Konoha in the ongoing Third Shinobi World War. They were to destroy the Kannabi Bridge, which was being used by Iwagakure forces to move into Kusagakure. This would also be Konoha's first huge offensive move in the war. On their way to the bridge, Rin was kidnapped by two Iwagakure ninja named Kakkō and Taiseki. Obito immediately suggested that they rescue her, but Kakashi disagreed on the basis that they needed to complete their mission, opting not to make the same mistake his father did. Obito would not hear of it and stubbornly left to save Rin, but not before mentioning that he believed Kakashi's father, the White Fang, was a true hero. Shortly after parting ways, Kakashi reflected on Obito's words and Rin's prior kindness. He realised that his father was not wrong after all, which prompted him to join Obito in the rescue effort.
Kakashi arrived in time to save Obito from Taiseki, using his father's blade to combat him. Despite the 2-to-1 disadvantage, Taiseki was able to attack and damage Kakashi's left eye, who took the blow that was intended for Obito, giving him a permanent scar. In sheer terror and desire to protect Kakashi, Obito finally awakened his Sharingan, allowing him to see through his opponent's camouflage jutsu, kill the attacker, and continue on to Rin. Once they located Rin and Kakkō, Kakashi and Obito teamed up to defeat the latter. Kakashi and Obito freed Rin, but just as Kakashi's team was about to leave, Kakkō attempted to trap them with a crushing technique, causing a cave-in.
While trying to escape, Kakashi was hit in his blind side by a rock, causing him to fall. Obito pushed Kakashi out of the path of a falling boulder, causing himself to be crushed beneath it instead. Knowing his life was at an end, Obito instructed Rin to implant his left Sharingan into Kakashi's damaged eye. Rin complied, and as soon as the surgery was completed Kakashi used the Sharingan and his Chidori to kill Kakkō. He then returned to Obito to see if there was anything he could do for him, but the place was turning into shambles, forcing Kakashi and Rin to leave him behind. With the help of Minato, they ultimately completed their mission, allowing them to mourn Obito's death.
Following the success of his first mission as a jōnin, Kakashi became well-known among all five great countries for the extensive use of his Sharingan, gaining him a reputation as "the man who has copied over a thousand jutsu," hence his nickname. Kakashi joined the Konoha ANBU a few years later. He later left for unknown reasons, but maintained strong connections with the ANBU. He once had a mission wherein one of his team-mates, Iruka Umino, was injured, paving the way for the latter to become an instructor at the Ninja Academy. When Iruka was having doubts at being assigned to be the homeroom teacher of Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi served to remind him of his real reasons for wanting the post in the first place.
Kakashi eventually became a team leader, and tested many genin. As the Third Hokage told Iruka, Kakashi had never passed any of them due to their inability to live up to his expectations of working as a team.
Kakashi became more stern and serious following his father's death, following all the rules and scorning any who disobeyed them, like his team-mate Obito Uchiha. This caused Obito to resent Kakashi, as Kakashi showed little kindness to his team-mate. This changed when Obito was killed in a mission, and Kakashi and Obito became friends in the latter's final moments.
Obito's death had a huge impact on Kakashi's personality. He is now more cheerful and shows greater concern for his team-mates and students, placing their safety over the successful completion of a mission, as well as believing that teamwork is essential to overall success as a team. He is also regularly late for appointments, making obvious excuses just like Obito before him. This is because of his frequent visits to the memorial where Obito's name is engraved, where he loses track of time. However, Kakashi is still just as carefree and emotionless as he was during his youth, often speaking bluntly about sensitive topics.
Kakashi claims to have lost everyone who was close to him, causing some reluctance to allow others to get close to him. Of the people who are still alive, Kakashi is on the best terms with his students, although he is on good terms with almost everyone in Konoha. After the formation of Team 7, he begins taking a special interest in their development, as shown from his regular checking up on Naruto and his eating habits. He similarly refuses to go on a mission at the end of Part I so that he can stop Naruto and Sasuke from killing each other. Kakashi is just as devoted to his friends and the rest of Konoha, such that his signature jutsu, the Lightning Cutter, had been made on the principle of duty, and perfected on the principle of protecting loved ones.
Kakashi has a rather solitary and matter-of-fact attitude. His calm and detached demeanour has been called “cool, hip, and trendy” many times by Might Guy. Despite his increasingly growing reputation and prowess as a ninja, Kakashi has shown no signs of arrogance, and is rather modest about his abilities, as shown when he readily praises others for leaps in their combat abilities and stating on more than one occasion that Naruto has surpassed him in power. When suggested by many for him to become Hokage, Kakashi admitted that such a position was unfit for him. His naturally calm attitude is used to his advantage in battle, as it becomes easier for him to maintain his composure to stay focused on the situation at hand, and ultimately notice everything around him. As a result, he can quickly adjust to any situation to make keen and thought-out decisions, allowing him to stay steps ahead of his opponents.
Kakashi has an ongoing, albeit one-sided, rivalry with Guy. In trying to prove himself superior to Kakashi, Guy challenges him to competitions of questionable value ranging from Rock, Paper, Scissors to running races. Guy has a record of 50 wins to 49 losses, which he is particularly proud of, despite these competitions having little accuracy due to their large variations. Kakashi, on the other hand, shows very little interest in their competitions, which only further inspires Guy to defeat Kakashi and his "coolness". However, Kakashi did show disappointment when he learned that Guy taught Lee how to open the dangerous Eight Gates, which turned to sympathy when Guy shows how much his student meant to him.
Kakashi is an avid fan of the Icha Icha series of novels by Jiraiya, showing that he might be slightly perverted. He is typically seen reading one of the books when not involved in a fight, making it the only one of his reportedly several hobbies that is ever seen in the series. He even went and read it during his first fight against Naruto, as Naruto was, at that time, too weak to pose much of a threat. Despite his fondness for the books, he grows uncomfortable when reading passages to others (even around Pakkun and his ninken), presumably embarrassed by the adult content (as noted when they were decoding Jiraiya's last message). Naruto, on one occasion, has used these books against Kakashi during their second bell test, threatening to spoil the ending of the latest instalment to force Kakashi to leave himself vulnerable (by shutting his eyes and blocking his ears) to prevent learning the ending of the story. Kakashi felt humiliated when he realised that Naruto hadn't read past the first ten pages, and that he was tricked.
Kakashi's personality is further emphasized by his generally lazy expression, aloof manner, relaxed voice, and minimalist attitude. In serious situations, however, he is shown to have a very stern and intense look. He is almost always seen in his Konoha ninja uniform, along with iron guard gloves reminiscent of his ANBU days. The cover page for chapter 16 also shows him wearing a chain necklace. Another noticeable feature to Kakashi, other than his unique left eye, is the thin scar running over it and down to his cheek. He is a tall, fit ninja, is characterized by his tall and spiky white hair, forehead protector regularly covering his scarred left eye, and his chronically visible mask. He was once mistaken by Chiyo for his father Sakumo Hatake, who he is considered to greatly resemble.
While it has yet to be revealed why, he has, since a young age, always been seen concealing the lower half of his face. What he looks like remains a point of interest for his students, who try to find out what he looks like in various omake specials in the series. Episode 101 is devoted to Team 7 trying to remove their sensei's mask, and suggests that he is in fact very handsome, as seen from Teuchi and Ayame's reaction to seeing his face. In the few instances that he is seen without his mask, it has been seen that he has a narrow jaw-line; in these instances the parts of his face normally covered by his mask are obstructed from view.
Kakashi is a natural genius, evidenced by the speed he rose through the ninja ranks; he graduated from the Academy at age 5, becoming a chūnin at age 6, a jōnin at 13, and had a long tenure as an ANBU. During his career he has amassed a jutsu arsenal of over a thousand different techniques, making him Konoha's expert in the field. His various accomplishments have earned him much praise by his fellow Konoha ninja and he holds a position of great influence. He is frequently given responsibility for important tasks, such as watching Naruto in case the seal of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox begins to fail and being considered for Hokage. Other ninja villages are very aware of Kakashi's abilities and, upon meeting him in battle, either fear for their safety or grow excited by the challenge Kakashi is sure to pose. Pain was so concerned by Kakashi's abilities that he tried to kill him for fear that he would someday interfere with Akatsuki's plans.
By the age of 13, Kakashi had enough experience on the battlefield to detect a hiding enemy's presence, impressing his sensei, Minato. His long career as a jōnin, and formerly as an ANBU, have only expanded his knowledge, allowing him to handle virtually any situation (though, by his own admission, he does not believe he is suitable for the Hokage position). For these reasons Kakashi has been assigned to a variety of teams - typically as a leader - and he is always able to work well with his team-mates. Chōza Akimichi attributes Kakashi's success to his approach to battles: he avoids direct combat by using misdirection and clones until he can determine the opponent's skills, at which point he modifies his tactics to fit the situation. He is aided in this regard by his calm personality, which allows him to analyze a given situation with some detachment. He is, however, capable of "going wild" when upset, at which point he relies on his allies more than usual to make up for his heightened emotions.
Kakashi has been shown at various times using his experience to help his students, using unorthodox methods to produce months if not years of training in just weeks to produce similarly impressive leaps in their abilities.
Ninja Skills Edit
Kakashi primarily relies on his mastery of ninjutsu, of which he has a vast arsenal due to his Sharingan; being noted to have copied a thousand techniques. With this arsenal, he can attack or defend against his opponents in numerous manners. He has proven to be very adept in taijutsu, which, combined with his impressive speed, allows him to effectively catch his opponents off guard and evade attacks. While used less often, he has also shown skill in genjutsu, which he can use to throw off his opponents as a set-up for stronger attacks. But Kakashi is not limited to the three major ninja skill sets, as he is renowned for his tracking abilities and has otherwise displayed proficiency with trap-making, survival, stealth, and assassination. Orochimaru has noted that he has recently started to dabble in fūinjutsu, which he found impressive given Kakashi's age. He is also more than willing to use any weapon he comes across, such as Zabuza's Kubikiribōchō, a feat made more impressive by his ability to lift the giant blade with one hand.
Despite how many ninjutsu he is purported to know, many of the jutsu Kakashi is seen using in the series are element-based. He has a natural affinity for lightning, which he has mastered and which has, in turn, become an attribute that enemy ninja identify him by. During his various battles with Kirigakure ninja he has copied several water-based jutsu with his Sharingan, which he is able to perform even without a nearby water source. He has used earth techniques less often, but can nevertheless produce intricate earthen walls fairly quickly. He has also been shown using fire-based techniques in the anime, and he is otherwise at least knowledgeable enough with Wind Release to help train Naruto in its use.Kakashi was taught how to use the Rasengan by its inventor, Minato Namikaze. As the Rasengan was created with the intention of mixing it with one's elemental chakra, Kakashi tried to infuse the Rasengan with lightning. He failed, so produced the next closest thing: Chidori. While powerful, the Chidori has two drawbacks: the amount of chakra it requires and the speed at which the user must move. These flaws prompted Minato Namikaze to ban his student from using the technique after seeing it in action. After gaining the Sharingan, the tunnel effect can now be worked around, as he can now see his opponents clearly. He later refines the Chidori into the far stronger Lightning Cutter, his supposedly only non-copied technique.
Kakashi's most distinguishing ability is his Sharingan, a gift from his late friend Obito Uchiha, as it allows him to copy any technique used against him, see through any deception, give hypnotic suggestions, perform genjutsu, and predict his opponent's movements. However, because Kakashi is not of Uchiha blood, using the Sharingan demands a great deal of chakra. He also cannot deactivate it, and so keeps it covered when not in battle to prevent the chakra drain and the following extended bed rest. Because of this, Kakashi only relies on it when he feels it is an absolute necessity. Despite his handicap with the Sharingan, he is very skilled in using it; Itachi Uchiha, a true heir and master of the Sharingan, acknowledged Kakashi's superior proficiency with the Sharingan compared to most true Sharingan wielders.
Kakashi has somehow been able to improve his Sharingan with time. When he first received the Sharingan it had only two tomoe, but by the start of the series it has progressed to three. In addition, by Part II, Kakashi seems to have extended the amount of time he can sustain using the Sharingan, as he is seen using it for seemingly a day while testing Naruto and Sakura.
During the time skip, Kakashi further improved his Sharingan by developing his own Mangekyō Sharingan through undisclosed means. With it he can perform Kamui, a jutsu that sucks everything within a small area to another dimension. When he is first seen using Kamui he lacks proper control, leaving him prone to either hitting targets he was not aiming for or missing completely. He improved his skill with Kamui by the invasion of Pain, seen when he successfully sends fast-moving projectiles to another dimension with it. Kamui's chakra requirements are even greater than those of the standard Sharingan, such that he has to be hospitalized for a week after using it three times in one day. Despite Kamui being his only Mangekyō Sharingan technique, he is familiar with Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, and Susanoo. He is also aware of the risk the Mangekyō Sharingan poses to the user's eyesight, though he has never shown signs of deteriorating vision.