Why Did Itachi Kill His Clan? What Led to the Cause?

Why did Itachi kill his clan? Itachi chose to bear the burden of being seen as a traitor and murderer to spare his village and his younger brother, Sasuke, from the horrors of war. Read on to find out why.

Itachi Uchiha Had Great Promise as a Ninja

To understand the Uchiha clan’s tragic massacre, let’s talk about the character of Itachi. As the eldest child of the Uchiha leader, Itachi possessed immense ninja skills and was hailed as a prodigy. 

However, witnessing the horrors of war at a young age turned him into a pacifist. He aspired to become the greatest ninja, hoping to one day eliminate all strife from the world. 

Graduating early and becoming the Anbu captain at just 11 years old, Itachi made the devastating choice to annihilate his entire clan, sparing only his younger brother.

Why Did Itachi Kill His Clan?

From the early days of the Hidden Leaf Village, there were doubts and suspicions surrounding the Uchiha clan. Tobirama Senju, the second Hokage, especially had his reservations. Unlike his brother Hashirama, Tobirama wasn’t as trusting or idealistic. 

And it turns out, Tobirama’s suspicions were not unfounded. The revolt led by Madara Uchiha against the Leaf Village only fueled the fears and mistrust in people’s hearts. And when the nine-tailed fox Kurama attacked, those fears intensified, making the village advisors wary.

With increasing fears, the village leader made a decision to confine the Uchiha clan to the outskirts of the village. This exclusion made the Uchihas incredibly angry. Fugaku, who was the head of the Uchiha clan and Itachi’s father, took matters into his own hands. 

He enrolled Itachi in the Anbu black ops, where Itachi started spying on the village and other clans, with the intention of staging a coup. 

But here’s the twist: Itachi was already working as a spy for the village advisor Danzo Shimura. Itachi believed that by being a double agent, he was working towards peace. Danzo, on the other hand, feared that if the Uchihas were not stopped, they would trigger another war.

Itachi shared his family’s coup plans with Danzo, who then manipulated Itachi into thinking that the only way to prevent the coup was through violence. To make matters worse, Danzo took Shisui Uchiha’s eye, leaving Itachi torn about who he could truly trust. 

Ultimately, Danzo preyed on Itachi’s vulnerabilities and inexperience, pushing him to make the devastating decision to wipe out the Uchiha clan. Itachi believed that by doing so, he could prevent another destructive war and save countless innocent lives.

Who Killed Itachi Uchiha in the End? 

It wasn’t Sasuke’s immense power that led to Itachi’s downfall, but rather his own overwhelming guilt and stress. Throughout his life, Itachi carried burdens that his family never fully understood. 

He was expected to excel as the prodigy son of Fugaku and Mikoto, as well as serve as a spy for his family while secretly working for the Leaf Village’s elders. This double-agent role caused him tremendous stress.

Itachi’s burdens also weighed heavily on his emotions because he genuinely loved his family. However, he knew that his duty as a loyal Leaf ninja had to come first. When he made the heart-wrenching decision to kill his family, it shattered his own heart. 

When it came to Sasuke, Itachi couldn’t bring himself to harm his innocent little brother, despite his orders.

Over time, Itachi’s immense stress and guilt took a toll on his physical and mental well-being, manifesting as a psychosomatic illness. Despite this, Itachi remained a formidable fighter until his final battle. However, the cost was great. 

Itachi didn’t succumb to some plot-driven illness or remove an apparently invincible character from the story. His reasons for his slow decline were complex but valid.

The portrayal of Itachi’s illness may have been a deliberate choice to conceal the true, heartrending reasons behind his deteriorating health. 

He preferred that others believe he was suffering from a common disease rather than exposing his immense personal anguish. 

It was easier for Sasuke to see his older brother as a heartless, twisted murderer than to witness the struggles of his truly innocent and lovable brother. This added a bittersweet element to Itachi’s death in Naruto Shippuden.

Final Thoughts

Itachi Uchiha’s story is one of immense sacrifice, guilt, and the weight of duty. His role as a double agent, his devastating decision to kill his own family, and the toll it took on his health and relationships make his character a tragic and complex figure within the Naruto universe.