The Names of the Sharingan’s Most Powerful Abilities Reveal Its Divine Origin

The Sharingan is one of the most powerful abilities in the world of Naruto. The eyes of the Sharingan made the Uchiha one of the most feared clans in the ninja world. Many of the strongest ninjas in history possessed some form of the Sharingan, like Madara, Itachi, and Obito. These special eyes allow the wielder to copy other Jutsu, predict the moments of others, and place enemies under powerful illusions. But the Sharingan has many other powers that hint at its divine origin.

As the Sharingan grows in strength it changes forms and grants its wielder new abilities. Many of these abilities are named after Shinto gods. Shinto is a native religion of Japan with a long and rich history. These names are not merely referenced to powerful gods but also represent those gods' powers which help reinforce its connection to deities. A connection further strengthened as the origin of the Sharingan comes from Kaguya Otsutsuki, a being from another world that was regarded as a god on Earth.

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Tsukuyomi

Tsukuyomi is the god of the moon in the Shinto religion and the child of the god Izanagi. This god was born when Izanagi washed his right eye after escaping the underworld. As the god of the moon, Tsukuyomi is also associated with the passing of time. Many of these aspects come into play when understanding the power of Tsukuyomi in Naruto.

The Mangekyo Sharingan allows a person to cast Tsukuyomi, an extremely powerful genjutsu. This genjutsu can alter the target's perception of time making seconds feel like days. The illusions cannot be broken through usual means either. The only time that Tsukuyomi's illusions had been broken was when Sasuke freed himself with his own Sharingan.

Itachi Uchiha is the only person known to use Tsukuyomi regularly. The worlds that Itachi created with Tsukuyomi often had a large red moon in the sky referencing the god's association with the moon. The most impressive feat that Itachi had achieved with Tsukuyomi was placing a woman named Izumi Uchiha in an illusion where she experienced an entire lifetime in just a few moments.

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Amaterasu

Amaterasu is the sibling of Tsukuyomi and is also the child of Izanagi. Like Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu was created when Izanagi washed his eye, this time the left eye. She is the goddess of the Sun in Shinto. Because her sibling, Tsukuyomi, represents the moon, the two gods are considered opposites. This is also true for the abilities that carry their names in Naruto. Amaterasu represents the "Material World and Light" while Tsukuyomi represents the "Spiritual World and Darkness."

Both Itachi and Sasuke use their Mangekyo Sharingan to produce the black flames of Amaterasu. The fire of Amaterasu is incredibly powerful and is said to burn as hot as the sun, referencing the goddess they are named after. The flames produced by Amaterasu cannot be extinguished until their target has been incinerated.

After gaining the ability, Amaterasu has become one of Sasuke's primary attacks. Sasuke can control and shape the black flames for greater effect in combat with the use of his right eye. He has applied Amaterasu to his weapons to increase his damage and used it as a barrier to deter physical attacks from his opponents. With the power of Amaterasu, Sasuke has become a god of fire himself.

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Susanoo

The third child of Izanagi is Susanoo, god of the sea and storms. He was created when Izanagi washed his nose. Susanoo is often considered a heroic figure for defeating the serpent monster, Yamata no Orochi. This directly parallels Itachi's fight with Orochimaru. Itachi sealed Orochimaru in his massive serpent form while Itachi was using Susanoo.

According to Itachi, once a Sharingan user has mastered both Tsukuyomi and Amaterasu they unlock, Susanoo. This technique allows the user to manifest a massive humanoid avatar that will attack and defend on their behalf. Once it reaches its complete form, the Susanoo is able to deal catastrophic levels of damage. Madara was able to level multiple mountains with a single swing of Susanoo's sword.

The Susanoo was also considered the strongest of the Mangekyo Sharingan's abilities. Few ninjas in the series have been able to match the power that the Susanoo gives its wielder. Just like the Susanoo in the Shinto religion, the technique turns the user into a god of destruction rivaled by almost no one.

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Izanagi and Izanami

Izanagi and Izanami are two primordial deities that created many other deities and the Japanese archipelago. The two gods are both siblings and husband and wife. When Izanami died giving birth to the fire god, Kagutsuchi, Izanagi traveled to the underworld to retrieve her. Izanagi eventually saw his wife's decayed form and abandoned her in the underworld. He then went on to wash the filth of the underworld off, which created Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, and Susanoo.

Similar to the gods, they are named after, the techniques, Izanagi and Izanami are connected to one another. Izanagi allows the user to temporarily control reality in exchange for losing sight in one of their eyes. Izanami can place a target in an infinite time loop inside their minds. The only way to escape the loop is to accept one's fate. This technique also causes the user to lose sight in one of their eyes.

Izanagi lets the user defy any damage they take and even their own death by rewriting reality. This is similar to how the god, Izanagi attempted to undo the death of his wife by traveling to the underworld. Izanami traps a target in an infinite time loop where no matter what they do they will always arrive at the same outcome. This mirrors how the goddess, Izanami, was trapped in the underworld after being abandoned by her husband. The Sharingan gave the Uchiha clan the powers of multiple Shinto gods which reinforce their connection to otherworldly and god-like creatures.

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Ryan Bridges (53 Articles Published)

Ryan is a feature writer for CBR that was raised on anime, video games, and fantasy novels. They turned that strong passion for media into a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and screenwriting from LSU in 2021. They are a self described Dungeons & Dragons fiend and #1 Naruto fan. You can find their unsolicited opinions and writing at astormingthought

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