Why did Itachi tell Sasuke to hate him?

Why did Itachi tell Sasuke to hate him?

The Naruto series revolves around many characters and their way of dealing with war. Since most eras have seen significant battles between nations, most characters deal with trauma, while others have an extreme case of the god complex. One such traumatic experience in the series was the infamous uchiha massacre.

One night, both Itachi and Obito killed everyone in their clan, including civilians and the military. The first chose to forgive his little brother, one of the main characters of the program. Itachi’s way of tormenting himself to save his little brother touched the hearts of all fans.

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Itachi deliberately put sasuke on the path of revenge by telling him to spend his whole life hating his older brother. The following article will discuss the truth behind Itachi’s reasoning.

Disclaimer: The following article contains spoilers for Naruto and Shippuden. Sportskeeda does not claim ownership of any media used here unless otherwise noted.


Naruto: Itachi and the reason why he kept his little brother in the dark

Itachi was initially introduced to viewers as a mysterious antagonist in the main criminal group, akatsuki. Over time, the development of her as a character through various backstories has been the basis for several arcs. However, before we get into Itachi’s motives, readers need to catch up on the Uchiha massacre.

Itachi meeting with Danzo after the massacre (Image via Naruto)
Itachi meeting with Danzo after the massacre (Image via Naruto)

In short, to avoid a coup, Itachi murdered all the civilians in the Uchiha clan, including his parents. However, as mentioned above, he forgave his little brother and told her to form an immense hatred within him. While in the initial backstories, Itachi was seen as a cold-blooded killer.

But his main activity was for the benefit of the village and Sasuke all along.

Itachi killing his parents (Image via Naruto)
Itachi killing his parents (Image via Naruto)

These are the words Itachi recorded in Sasuke’s mind since the latter’s childhood:

My silly little brother, if you want to kill me, then send me away, hate me and live a disgusting life. Run away and run away to cling to life. And then someday when you have the same eyes as me, come before me.

By doing this, he pushed Sasuke into thinking that his older brother was the villain. Therefore, since childhood, Sasuke’s only goal was to get stronger and kill Itachi. On the other hand, if Sasuke had somehow understood the truth behind the massacre, he would have gone against the entire village.

Child Sasuke after watching Itachi commit mass murder (Image via Pierrot)
Child Sasuke after watching Itachi commit mass murder (Image via Pierrot)

Itachi didn’t want the latter to happen, as he always wanted his little brother. The only miscalculation was the strong sense of revenge that manifested within Sasuke over time. itachi he never told Sasuke the truth about the village, even until the former’s last breath.

However, in the last part of the final arc, Itachi showed Sasuke the whole truth before disappearing completely. Readers should note that Itachi never planned to reveal the truth to Sasuke during his lifetime. Seeing that Sasuke was strong enough to protect himself, the reanimated version of Itachi decided to let Sasuke know the whole truth in the end.

Sasuke awakening Mangekyo Sharingan after learning the truth behind Itachi (Image via Naruto)
Sasuke awakening Mangekyo Sharingan after learning the truth behind Itachi (Image via Naruto)

However, after learning about the entire massacre, Sasuke took the same path of revenge, but this time his target was the hidden leaf village. While the full reveal of Itachi’s backstory is still considered one of the iconic moments of the series, it didn’t change Sasuke’s character much, even after his death.

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Edited by Soumyadeep Banerjee


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