My image of a ninja before starting Naruto was a man with a mask jumping from one tree to another. But after watching Naruto, I learnt that there was more to being a ninja. The only person who fit my image of a ninja was Kakashi, which ultimately made me think, Why does Kakashi wear a mask?
At the start of the series, the mask was more of feature or let’s say uniqueness. It added a feeling of mystery and strength to the character. Like most people I imagined it to be the trait of his clan, but alas that is not the case. So let’s theorize on the possibilities.
- Kakashi’s father was a famed ninja from the Hidden Leaf. According to Minato he was so powerful that the title of Legendary Sannin was nothing in comparison to White Fang’s powers. Strong and poewrful means just one thing and that is enemies. Sakumo Hatake had taken the lives of many powerful and skilled ninja. In fact he was so famous that Kakashi was often mistaken for White Fang, that probably explains the reason why he was wearing a mask. His dad made him wear a mask to protect his identity. It’s somewhat similar to why Naruto was not named a Namikaze.
- Since his childhood days, Kakashi was looked down on by the villagers because his father sacrificed a mission in order to save his comrades. This resulted in a tremendous loss to the village (maybe in terms of reputation and economy). He probably wanted to hide his emotions using the mask.
- As time passed, he just became used to the mask as any other thing in his life. His mask became a part of his identity hence he didn’t stop wearing it.
- Last but not the least, he probably wears the mask to stop nose bleeds which he gets while reading eechi eechi paradise.
These are the possible answers to the question why Kakashi wears a mask. We may or may not know the true story in the future, until then let’s theorize and have fun.