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10 April 2011 @ 10:22 pm
Kushina and an unrealistic dream  
I was thinking about Kushina as Hokage the other day and idly planning a fic where she has to deal with the Uchiha clan in the form of Fugaku complete with rampant UST when I realised something important: there was never any chance of her becoming hokage at all. There are two major reasons for this:
1. She was a foreigner.
2. She was a jinchuuriki.

I'm not sure which reason would have been more important when it came to her perceived unsuitability as a future hokage but they were probably intertwined in people's minds. It isn't clear how many people knew about her jinchuuriki status though almost certainly Danzo would have figured it out (if he wasn't told outright) in addition to Hiruzen and his wife who were shown to know in canon. I guess Jiraiya and Tsunade were likely to have known (or guessed).

The foreigner aspect would have definitely been significant. She was a refugee from a destroyed village, claiming the name of a clan that didn't exist any more. (I wonder if Whirlpool was destroyed after Kushina came to Konoha or before, which is why they got hold of her so easily.) I know the US only allows people born in it to become president and no doubt other countries have similar laws. The hidden villages would probably have rules to that effect even if they were only unwritten.

Put them together and you have an outsider given access to immense destructive power who must have seemed like a potential agent of chaos, ready to change everything they knew.

Was there pressure on Kushina to abandon her dream as a child? Almost certainly, but I think that it was her growing up and realising just what her differences meant was the real reason she gave it up.

...This turned into a mini-essay somehow. Any thoughts? Am I interpreting this wrong?
nthcoincident on April 12th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
/snuggles this mini-essay

I've thought about this too! I came to the conclusion that a major counterargument to the foreigner thing is Mito--she obviously didn't have too much trouble as a foreigner, to the point where she succeeded in landing Konoha's most eligible bachelor, and no one gives her descendants flack about it (if it were an issue, Tsunade would have gotten at least a little snide "YOU'VE GOT WHIRLPOOL BLOOD IN YOU GOAJFOAIFNFF RAEG RAEG" from the elders, but no one even brought it up).
This is obviously open to debate, though, given a few things:

-she saved the village's ass, she could have been a Martian and they'd have owed her one
-Hashirama might have married her against the village's will
-Konoha needed to be populated with foreigners, since it was an ad-hoc coalition village and it was to their best interests to attract foreign clans with unusual talents. Chances are that everyone in the village was some kind of foreigner and xenophobia simply could not have taken hold in a society like that. This is most likely, in my opinion.

And in terms of jinchuuriki, of course, we have Gaara as a counterexample--although this is a newer generation--but it's a similar situation really, he was descended from Kazekage stock, and Kushina was mentored by the First Lady. I think I read somewhere that the jinchuuriki were always related to the Hokages in some fashion to prevent treason, so presumably they considered that a safeguard? IDK. It also seems that if a convicted felon and murderer were allowed to take the Kage post (Gaara killed more innocents than Itachi) foreigners would have been okay too, especially if they were raised in the village.

I got the impression that she never became Hokage because she simply wasn't as talented as her peers, idk. She got kidnapped and wasn't able to get out of it, she didn't have any signature techniques the way other Hokages have, and most of all, no one talks about her. Usually in Kishi-world, if you have talented family members, they get talked about, but literally no one talked about Kushina's skills, just her personality and the sealing techniques--which aren't really prime offensive stuff.
Laurellaurelsblue on April 13th, 2011 11:57 am (UTC)
I have no idea where it came from as my usual thoughts on Kushina tend to centre on her ridiculously long and impractical hair. I just look at it and think how on earth does she keep it looking like that and she's a NINJA for crying out loud that hair is just asking for trouble honestly has no one ever used it against her in a fight. (I've had nearly waist-length hair in the past and the only quick way of making it not look like I walked through a bush backwards was to keep it plaited all the time.)

Mito was from a different time to Kushina though. In her day, the Uzumaki were a thriving and respected clan with their own village but when Kushina talks about them, the village is long-gone and the clan diminished and scattered.

Personally, I chalk most things like that up to Kishimoto not planning ahead/wanting to reveal future plot points.

I've seen some good fic dealing with Gaara becoming Kazekage and one frequent theme that comes up is that there's no one else strong enough.

I think that was something the Raikage said about the jinchuuriki of the Hachibi but it seems to hold true for other villages as well.

That's a good point, I hadn't thought about that.
Bird: Pinoko; say what now?inkedfeathers on May 14th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)

I like my hair long (it's pretty much past waist length, aha), but it is troublesome, so I just keep it in a bun all the time!

... although, even while training, it'll no doubt come a little loose. Er...

Not to mention how gross it'd feel when you're all sweaty.


... waaah, well, she was a tomboy, so maybe she didn't care about that, but you're right about "wouldn't somebody use it against her?"

Just imagine grabbing her by the hair and spiiiiiiiiiiiinning her.

I totally lost my train of thought. Yeah. ^^;
Laurellaurelsblue on May 14th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
How do you do it? I used to keep mine in a bun but it was always falling out and looked bad. A plait is much easier.

The amount of money she must spend on hair care products is ridiculous. Unless... She invented some sort of seal to keep her hair sweat/dirt-free. She wrote it on her hair-clip of course.

...Now I can't unsee that happening. Someone just grabbing her and. Spinning. Lol. That would make a hilarious comic.
Birdinkedfeathers on May 14th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Weeeell, I'm a hijabi, so I often keep my hair under wraps or a hat outside. So. It never has a chance to fall apart. xDDD;

But yes, on its own, the buns don't really hold... maybe we should get mizuhiki like samurai!

I cannot braid or plait! ;^;

xDDDDD It would!
Lindy Stark_undertoe on December 6th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
Hrm, I don't know if the foreigner thing would be too too vital? I mean, all the villages are is collections of ninja tribes, so by adopting, assimilating other nearby peoples that might increase their power, especially if such individuals have strong blood (apparently the Uzumaki heritage is full of strength). Also, isn't the hokage supposed to be the strongest ninja (I know it isn't that easy, but it can't hurt to be in control of such power as having a bijuu) I think the kyuubi would be a bigger issue- surrounding being able to control it entirely and not being suspected of being taken over by the fox's trickery. Just a thought.

BTW, don't know why I haven't been watching you before!
Laurellaurelsblue on December 13th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
In the founders' time, sure, but I imagine by Kushina's, the village had probably pretty much settled into its current form, in terms of clans.

Well, yes, but there are probably other factors too, particularly in a village with lots of strong people. For example, Jiraiya is quite strong but he's never mentioned as a candidate for Hokage (instead of Minato).