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Soragakure (隠れの里; Soragakure no Sato; lit. Village Hidden in the Sky) was a village located in the Land of Rock. Its isolationist policy prevented it from influencing the world, though lately the current village leader made steps towards letting in foreigners and making a greater impact in the world. Its members were diverse in their abilities, though they focused more on improving technology than any other village. Even so, their ability to defend themselves were good enough to prevent constant invasion by other villages. Numerous clans live under the Sky shinobi's banner, with their own secret abilities. It is rumored that several never-before-seen kekkei genkai could be found there. The village leader is not recognized as one of the Kages, though he or she has commendable ability. The village leader is known as the Shujin.
Soragakure has been around for a long time, though certainly not as long as Konohagakure. It has been one of the most isolated of the villages, originally called Dōkutsugakure (洞窟隠れの里; Dōkutsugakure no Sato; lit. "Village Hidden in the Caves"). In fact, they are so isolated from the rest of the world, that they are hardly mentioned in historical texts, none of their shinobi held prominence in the world, and no famed ninja has ever visited the village. Soragakure have never reported to have been invaded once in their history, which could be attributed to their out-of-the-way status of the village's location and remaining out of global affairs (and not bothering "neighboring" village Iwagakure).
The reality is that there has been one attempt to infiltrate Soragakure. Conducted by operatives from the Sound Village, their objective was to steal village secrets to utilize against the Sound's enemies. All of the Sound operatives have been accounted for since the mission commenced, and nothing has been pilfered. Orochimaru was suspected to have been involved in the planning stages, from the analysis made by Sky strategists.
Two years after Soragakure's formation, one of the founding clans was fragmented as a splinter clan broke away. Primary cause was determined to be disagreement in how the village should be run, which often led to aggressive conflicts. These two clans, the founding Minamoto (源) and rebelling Koga (久我), were constantly at each others throats. Chaos would have reigned if the shujin did not issue an injunction to prevent either clan from fighting each other.
The First Shujin was forced to spend much of his time dealing with this domestic affair in particular, thus focused very little on foreign issues. By abstaining from such matters, the shujin unintentionally began the village's policy of isolation.
Some time after these feuds died down and the isolationist policies of Soragakure created, Yondaime Shujin slowly began tearing away at the isolationist policies and reinstate Soragakure into the shinobi world. He believed that Soragakure will fall behind in strength and become assimilated into Iwagakure.
The area around Soragakure is cold, with snow present all year around, along with a windy atmosphere. As so, their shinobi dress warmly for their daily activities, and can fight well under their relatively heavy (in relations to other villages' clothing) garments. Since the air at the peak of the mountain is thinner than at the base, their ability to circulate air through their lungs is generally stronger than others, allowing for greater endurance away from their mountainous home. It also gives them an advantage in the case that Soragakure is invaded by a rival group.
Besides the creation and usage of the hot air balloon for quick transit to and from Soragakure's mountainous location, the Sky shinobi have also developed a special shuriken that allows temporary levitation depending on how well it was thrown. The elevation from the ground is based on the manner of how one throws the object, and its amount of spin determines the distance required for a levitation shuriken to become stationary. These shuriken are often used at night for reconnaissance and defensive purposes.
Another technological advancement they made includes the improvement of the telescope to enhance their ability to spot intruders at greater distances, as well as make reconnaissance safer.
The culture of Soragakure is singular, with architecture and other styles rather similar to each other. Their isolationist views prevented much cultural diversity. It does not take an expert to notice the subtle difference in appearance between Soragakure and a village of the Five Great Nations. Soragakure's name is almost known exclusively through their participation in events like the Chunin Exams, where other villages warn their genin to be weary of the unknown status of the Sky shinobi. Even to information gatherers, little could be uncovered about the Sky ninja, except through their presence at the event in question.
They occasionally have village events designed to show off their village pride in the outdoors. They have a liking to kite flying, and have an annual holiday for flying kites. This kite celebration greatly symbolizes their pride in the continued existence of the Sky Village, since the constantly blowing wind makes it less likely for a kite to lose air and fall to the ground.
Financially, Soragakure is weak. It does not produce much of its own currency, due to the fear of inflation. It does take missions from foreigners, but often charges high prices for village services, to enforce their policy of isolation.
Behind the scenes
Soragakure was submitted to the website NarutoPod's Create-a-Village contest, taking first place in a narrow victory. It won 35% of the total votes.
Coincidentally (as the village concept was conceived before the movie's release), Soragakure bears similarity to the Soragakure from Naruto Shippuden: The Movie 2: Bonds, namely their focus on technology and airborne equipment. Soragakure of the Alternate Naruto World was originally conceived as a literally floating village, located upon a levitating meteor in the Land of Rock, where the only method to enter the village was by aircraft of Sky Village origin located at a ground-based port.
The feud between clans in the village was inspired by the 2005 live-action movie and anime adaptations of the novel The Koga Ninja Scrolls, in which the Iga of Tsubagakure and Koga of Manjidani were in constant feud, though prevented from killing each other because of a no-hostilities pact issued by the shogun Hattori Hanzo.