Itachi Uchiha, the older brother to Sasuke Uchiha, is a popular character in manga and anime. Naruto reveals that Itachi killed the Uchiha clan. Sasuke was spared. This makes Sasuke hate Itachi and wants to kill his older brother, who he once looked up too.
Itachi’s portrayal as a brutal killer who decimated the entire Uchiha clan (one of the strongest in Konohagakure) speaks volumes about his abilities and establishes him as a formidable foe in Naruto.
Itachi tells Sasuke he killed the Uchiha clan in order to prove his abilities. This makes his little brother, as well as fans of anime and manga, hate him. Itachi’s true motive for killing his clan was revealed later.
Itachi Uchiha killed his Clan for real?
Long answer short,
Itachi was the one who killed the Uchiha clan. He did so on orders from Danzo Shmura and elders of Konohagakure’s hidden leaf village (Konohagakure), to stop the plot by the clan to take control of the village.
After it became clear that the Uchiha clan was planning a coup, Danzo and other elders decided that the Uchiha clan needed to be removed.
Itachi, who loved his brother Sasuke very much, made a deal with the elders to keep him from being killed by the Uchiha clan. Tobi, who claimed he was Madara Uchiha, helped Itachi in the downfall of the Uchiha clan.
Itachi’s act of killing the Uchiha clan wasn’t a cold-blooded attempt to prove his ability. It was a heartbreaking mission that his village superiors forced upon him for the peace of Konohagakure.
Let’s look at some details to better understand why he did this.
Tensions rising between Uchiha Clan & Hidden Leaf Village
The Uchiha clan members were deeply distrusted and feared by many from the very beginning, when the village was hidden in the leaves. Madara Uchiha’s rebellion against Konohagakure was also a factor in the fear of the Uchiha clan by most village residents.
The main concern for the Uchiha was the forced exile of their clan, with Tobirama Senju the Second Hokage and other elders playing a significant role.
The Nine-Tailed Fox attacked Hidden Leaf and made the village’s superiors, particularly Danzo Shimura, suspicious of the Uchiha clan. The superiors remained skeptical that the Uchihas were responsible for the attack and did not know that Tobi orchestrated it. They placed Uchihas under secret surveillance and restricted them to one area of the village.
Uchihas were further angered by the isolation and lack of trust displayed by others. They felt that something needed to be done to rectify this situation. Fugaku Uchiha was Itachi’s father, and leader of the clan. The Uchihas devised a plan to overthrow the leaders who had marginalized the Uchihas.
The coup preparations began by inserting Uchiha spy into the hierarchy and structure for the village administration.
Itachi’s involvement with the Uchiha Coup
Itachi, a gifted prodigy with exceptional knowledge for his age and a prodigy, was assigned to the Anbu Black Ops by his father Fugaku to act as a spy to the Uchihas.
Fugaku tells Itachi his Mangekyou sharingan to convince him to support the Uchiha cause. Fugaku kept his Mangekyou sharingan secret from anyone as he was afraid they would force him to control the Nine Tails and cause havoc in the village.
Itachi was backed by Shisui and tried to find a peaceful solution to the problem by appealing the Third Hokage. Danzo started to press the superiors to end the Uchihas without any bloodshed. However, peace talks soon broke down.
Shisui Uchiha was also against the idea. He decided to use his Mangekyou Sharingan to force the Uchiha leaders into reconsidering their decision. Danzo, who was still determined to eliminate the Uchihas interfered with Shisui’s plan. Itachi was there as a witness to Shisui’s suicide, which allowed him to awaken his Mangekyou sharingan.
Itachi’s shoulders bear the burden
Itachi’s decision to make this decision is clear if we look at it from his point of view.
Itachi suffered trauma as a child from the Third Great Shinobi War. He hated violence and bloodshed. Itachi was also very lonely and isolated. He could have been traumatized as a child, but Shisui Uchiha was his only friend. His father looked down on his beliefs, making him distant from his families.
Itachi, a 13-year-old pacifist, was given the important task of spying on Konoha. He realized that revolution would cause a lot more deaths than he wanted. Shisui also agreed with him, and Hiruzen Sarutobi was notified about the imminent coup.
Itachi and Shisui tried to find a peaceful solution with the Third Hokage. However, they could not stop the clan members planning a coup. Danzo, who was opposed to the idea that negotiations with the Uchihas might be possible, started manipulating Itachi to convince him that eliminating them was the best choice.
How did he do it? To change his mind, he used Itachi’s trauma as well as his love for Sasuke, his younger brother. Danzo was determined to defend the village. He feared that the Uchihas would attempt to revolutionize Konoha if they were not stopped. He was so suspicious of the Uchiha clan that he stole Shisui’s eye to stop him from using his Mangekyou sharingan to stop the coup without any bloodshed.
Itachi was left alone, unsure of what to do or who to trust, after the peace negotiations failed. Shisui then committed suicide to ensure that Danzo could not take his other eye. Some Uchiha leaders believed Itachi was responsible for Shisui’s death.
Itachi was now perfectly placed to be controlled by Danzo. Itachi was told by Danzo that eliminating the Uchihas was the only way to stop a revolution. He explained that the rebellion could lead to another Great Shinobi War, which would result in the deaths of many innocent people. An 13-year-old boy was used to his anxiety and trauma. Danzo suggested the idea to him as though there were no other options.
Itachi also loved Sasuke from the bottom of his heart. He wanted to preserve his brother’s innocence. It’s possible That Itachi was afraid that his brother might be influenced and end up the same clan members he detested. Itachi feared that his brother’s innocence would be compromised. Itachi also thinks in a similar way when he tells Naruto about Sasuke’s innocence and how he is influenced daily by those around him.
Itachi said that killing a clan would make Itachi a better person, and restore the Uchiha clan’s heights.
Danzo uses this side of Itachi too.
Many people believe Itachi was intelligent enough to recognize when he was being manipulated. Itachi is imperfect and more human because of his vulnerability to manipulation due to his trauma and his love towards his little brother. Danzo uses Sasuke’s death as a bargaining chip to get Itachi to do his bidding.
Itachi finally caves to Danzo’s paranoia. Partly because he doesn’t want any more innocent lives to be lost and partly because his brother is worried about everything in his clan. Although he is confused and under immense pressure, Itachi is also burdened with expectations. However, he decides to execute the act regardless, eventually enlisting the help of a masked Tobi who claims to be Madara Uchiha and killing the Uchiha clan.
It is difficult to determine if Itachi was right or wrong following Danzo and the elders’ orders. Given the conditions that the shinobis were living in, it seemed plausible to ‘kill a few to spare many’. Itachi understood village concept, as Hashirama explained it to Sasuke, Orochimaru. Itachi was loyal and faithful to Konoha and realized that as a Shinobi leaf village Shinobi, he had a duty to eradicate any threat to the village.