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Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation [1]
Hokage reincarnated
Kanji 口寄せ・穢土転生
Rōmaji Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei
Literal English Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation
Viz manga Summoning: Worldly Resurrection
English TV Summoning Jutsu: Reanimation
Games Forbidden Jutsu: Return from the Dead
Other Reanimation Jutsu
Manga Chapter #117
Anime Naruto Episode #69
Game Naruto: Ultimate Ninja
Appears in Anime, Manga, Game
Classification Ninjutsu, Kinjutsu, Reincarnation Ninjutsu, Space–Time Ninjutsu
Rank S-rank
Class Supplementary
Hand seals Tiger → Snake → Dog → Dragon → Clap hands
Other jutsu
Parent jutsu
Derived jutsu

The Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation binds the soul of a deceased person to a living vessel, restoring them as they were when they were alive in order to do their summoner's bidding. It was originally created by Tobirama Senju, after which he declared it a kinjutsu. Orochimaru rediscovers the technique decades later and improved on the original design, to which Kabuto Yakushi nearly perfects it some time after this.


Kabuto Demonstrates Edo Tensei

The seal for the ritual.

Before this technique can be performed, the user must first acquire some of the DNA of the person they intend to reincarnate. Kabuto remarks that this basically amounts to grave-robbing, although blood stains or organs salvaged after the target's death also work.[2] The soul of the intended reincarnated must also reside in the Pure Land; souls trapped in the stomach of the Shinigami, for example, cannot be reincarnated so long as they reside there.[3] A living sacrifice is also required for the reincarnated soul to use as a vessel.[2]

Fu sacrifice

Torune being reincarnated with Fū as the sacrifice.

To actually perform the Impure World Reincarnation, the DNA of the person to be reincarnated is smeared on a special scroll. Once the scroll is activated, the remains spread out in the form of a special seal with the living sacrifice in the centre. Then dust and ash encase the sacrifice's body, giving them the same appearance that the reincarnated had at the time of their death; the process is apparently painful for the sacrifice.[2] The sacrifice's chakra signature is completely overridden with the chakra of the one being reincarnated. Although the sacrifice is still technically alive so long as the technique is active, their body will never again be theirs and the body will die when the reincarnated soul is released.

Although Tobirama was the technique's creator, his usage had two flaws: the reincarnated souls were nowhere near as powerful as they were while alive and he could only control so many at a time.[4] Orochimaru is stated to have somewhat mitigated both flaws, but it is Kabuto who almost eliminates them, bettering the Impure World Reincarnation to such a degree that the reincarnations are much closer to how they were during life and he can control as many at a time as he wishes to, resources permitting.[2] His improvements, combined with the fact that performing the Impure World Reincarnation requires no chakra from the user, causes Kabuto to declare it the most powerful jutsu in history.[4]

Reincarnations can be mobilised like standard infantry, where they must travel to their destination. Alternatively, coffins that contain them can be summoned to a location, assuming someone is there to perform the summoning; the anime does not consistently require this.[5] Reincarnations can be recalled in a similar way, with a coffin emerging around them to take them back.


Zabuza Being Controlled

The talisman used to control the reincarnated.

The only discretion a user needs to exercise for the Impure World Reincarnation is how much control to exert over the reincarnated soul. After first performing it the user is only able to restrict their movements. In general, this limited control is not an issue for the summoner, and they will typically "deactivate" the reincarnation, placing them in a coffin for storage and transportation until they're needed. However, when the perfected Impure World Reincarnation is used to revive somebody, there comes a possibility that they will be strong enough to resist this control; Orochimaru notes Hashirama Senju could break free if he chose to.[6]

In order to actually be able to control their actions, the user must implant a special talisman - generally attached to the end of a kunai - within the reincarnation's brain. The talisman's design determines how strong the control is:

  • At its most basic, the reincarnated souls retain their personality, giving them the freedom to approach a given task however they like so long as it broadly carries out the summoner's bidding. On the one hand, this makes them more useful in combat because they know how best to use their own abilities[7] and, if deployed against somebody they knew when they were alive, there is a possibility for psychological warfare.[8] On the other hand, although they are compelled to do as their summoner wishes and act without reluctance,[9] they can undermine their summoner to a degree, either by making poor decisions that opponents can take advantage of or by giving opponents advice about how to defeat them.[10] Despite its risks, Kabuto prefers this level of control.
  • At its strongest level, the reincarnated soul's personality is entirely eliminated. The summoner instead controls all of their actions, even permitting them to speak through the reincarnation[11] or summon other reincarnated souls to their location. Although this guarantees the reincarnated soul will only ever act as desired, they are less resourceful and it requires the summoner's attention for every action that must be taken, making it difficult for them to multi-task depending on the circumstances. Orochimaru prefers this level of control. Kabuto has at times rewritten talismans remotely in order switch to this level of control when the situation calls for it.[12]

Kabuto and Orochimaru are able to strengthen the bindings they use through external means: Kabuto siphons chakra from the cursed seal Anko Mitarashi is branded with;[12] Orochimaru uses Senju cells.[13] On a related note, any level of control creates a traceable chakra signature between the reincarnated soul and their summoner, allowing reincarnated sensors to trace the summoner's location.[14]


Edo Tensei 2

Deidara being rejuvenated.

When first summoned, the body will appear grey and in a state of minor decay: marred by cracks and other imperfections. If the summoner chooses to, they can rejuvenate the reincarnation while planting their control talisman, restoring their complexion and reducing some of the imperfections; this is merely aesthetic and the signs of decay do not inhibit their abilities. An unavoidable characteristic of a reincarnated body is the darkened sclerae, with a soul that retains its personality having grey sclerae and a soul with a suppressed personality having black sclerae.[4]

A reincarnated individual will have all the abilities they had during their life, including kekkei genkai and kekkei tōta. They are psychically restored as they were at the time of their death, including any physical handicaps they may have possessed, such as Nagato's damaged legs. Exceptions exist: illnesses they had will not be preserved, nor will any physical damage that contributed to their death. There is some inconsistency of whether or not foreign body matter will be restored as well: Hanzō retains the poison gland of the black salamander, but Madara Uchiha does not have access to Hashirama Senju's genetic material and thus Kabuto must artificially reproduce it for him.

Clothing is reproduced according to what they wore when they died, although it is merely a superficial aspect of their reincarnated body; armour offers no actual protection, being of the same ashen material as the rest of their body. Reincarnated members of Akatsuki are, however, outfitted with different cloaks than they used to wear. Weaponry is usually not retained and must instead be gathered by the summoner; the reincarnated Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist only have access to those swords Kabuto is able to acquire.[15] One exception seems to be the Gold and Silver Brothers' Treasured Tools of the Sage of the Six Paths, which are still seemingly stored within the brothers' bodies.[16]

Despite being largely the same as they were while alive, the reincarnated can never be as powerful, even with the perfected Impure World Reincarnation; Madara's reincarnated body is successfully bound by the Sage Art: Gate of the Great God, which he easily breaks free of as soon as he is restored to life and with no eyes, blitz's Sage Mode Naruto and Sai.[17] Likewise, there are some things a reincarnated body simply cannot do, such as access all the abilities of the Rinnegan or become the jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails.[18]


Gojō Kibaku Fuda 1

Tobirama using the Mutually Multiplying Explosive Tags.

One of the major benefits of the Impure World Reincarnation is that it grants immortal bodies to those who are reincarnated. Any damage they receive will regenerate in time and, assuming the damage is not too debilitating, they can continue attacking even before their body recovers. This was one of the main purposes Tobirama created the technique for, as he would use one or more reincarnated souls to perform a series of Kamikaze-like attacks until the opposition was wiped out;[19] he created the Mutually Multiplying Explosive Tags specifically for this purpose. Reincarnated bodies do not bleed, except in those cases where blood is needed to perform the Summoning Technique.[20]

A second benefit is the limitless refilling of their diminished chakra reserves that the reincarnated individuals have access to; they can fight eternally and perform ordinarily physically demanding or chakra-intensive jutsu without issue, knowing their current reserves will infinitely refill.[21] They are still subject to certain inherent demands of the jutsu itself, such as the Second Tsuchikage's chakra supply being cut in half after using the Fission Technique[22] or only being able to create a certain number of clones.[23] Other side-effects may still manifest, as when Itachi Uchiha's eyes bleed from using his Mangekyō Sharingan, but he is not inhibited by it.

The reincarnated body can be further enhanced. Madara Uchiha's body is restored to its physical prime rather than the withered state it had when he died, he receives a graft of Hashirama Senju's DNA so he can use Wood Release, and he has access to dōjutsu he gave up during his life.[24] The reincarnated jinchūriki similarly have their respective tailed beasts sealed back into them.[25]

Reincarnated individuals are immune to the Infinite Tsukuyomi.[26]


While the reincarnated are immune to traditional attacks such as weapon-based attacks and even the death of the summoner being ineffective,[27] there are four discovered methods to end the technique:

  1. Seal away the soul of the reincarnated individual.
  2. Have the summoner end the technique. As they are unlikely to do this voluntarily, using a genjutsu to trick them into cancelling the technique is ideal. The sequence of hand seals for cancelling the technique is Rat → Ox → Monkey → Tiger → Dragon → Boar and saying "release" (解, kai) (when demonstrating the technique to Tobi, Kabuto lied that the seals to release it are Dog → Horse → Tiger).[28][29] If the summoner dies before the technique is deactivated, however, then this method is no longer a viable option.[30] This also does not work if the summoned managed to sever the contract's link before the summoner undo the technique.
  3. The reincarnated individual is affected in some emotional way that gives them closure;[31] Kankurō notes that human emotions are not so easily restrained.[32] However, this method cannot work if the summoner eradicates the personality of the reincarnated individual before their soul is freed of its bonds.[12]
  4. If the reincarnated person is struck in a vital spot with a Yin-Yang Technique that renders the target into nothingness, said person will effectively die, as they cannot regenerate.[33]
Itachi's soul

Itachi Uchiha's soul ascending.

Once any of the first four methods are accomplished, the reincarnated individual will briefly regain their personalities before crumbling back into dust, leaving the bodies of the sacrificed individuals lying among the ashes. If the technique is cancelled by the user, the reincarnated's bodies are surrounded by a light before beginning to deconstruct.[34] After this, the reincarnated individual's soul will begin to ascend, leaving behind the corpse of their vessel.

Aside from the four methods of actually defeating the technique outright, there are five discovered methods of countering the effectiveness of this technique:

  1. The technique can be partially combated by immobilising the bodies in a way that it cannot move, act, or be recalled by the summoner. Although this does not truly defeat the summoning, it is effective at neutralising the immediate threat the reincarnated pose in battle.
  2. If the reincarnated still retain their personalities, they can speak against the user or themselves by providing hints and advice to the opponents, even in the midst of involuntarily fighting them.[35][36] With considerable strength of will, the summoner's authority can even be completely overridden, albeit briefly,[37] although in one case the reincarnated was completely able to resist the restraining properties of this technique with relative ease and in another case the reincarnated was able to resist the restraining properties before it was strengthed.[38]
  3. Itachi Uchiha was able to use Kotoamatsukami to layer another order on top of the one established by this technique overriding the user's control.[39] This can be remedied if the user can place a stronger binding talisman into the said reincarnated person, thus re-establishing control.[40]
  4. What Madara describes as "the one risk of the technique", if the reincarnated knows the specific seal, one can release the Impure World Reincarnation's summoning contract, severing the bond between themselves and the summoner. This leaves the individual effectively immortal with an unlimited amount of chakra, and the summoner has no control over the individual's mind and movements any longer, nor can the technique be deactivated on the said individual.[41] The seals for severing the contract as depicted in the anime are Snake → Ram → Boar → Dog → Tiger.[42] Using this method, if the individual was given free reign, temporarily removes the cracks on their bodies, restoring them to the appearance they had in life, but for unexplained reasons the cracks reappear later on.
  5. If the reincarnated is struck with a Yin-Yang Technique that renders the target into nothingness, then the struck body part will not regenerate, as the very technique itself is destroyed. If struck at a vital point, then the reincarnated person will effectively die, thus defeating the technique outright.[33]

It should be noted that the reincarnated are still vulnerable to any technique that could affect them while they were alive, but they are able to reform as soon as they receive any damage. Furthermore, while the reincarnated can't be destroyed and feel no pain which originates from bodily harm or mutilation,[43][44][45][46][47] they are still vulnerable to the drawbacks from their own techniques or weaknesses. Such examples include Hanzō's poison acting as a paralysis agent, along with the Second Mizukage being left weakened after using certain techniques, and Itachi's eye bleeding on the activation of his Mangekyō Sharingan. The First to Fourth Hokage were also limited by how many clones they could make while maintaining the Four Red Yang Formation.[48] In some instances, small, self-inflicted harms will produce blood so that the summoned can use summoning techniques,[49] for an example, although greater harms won't make the summoner bleed.[50]

Apparently, as least in Madara's case, the reincarnated body created by this technique cannot access the fullest potential of the person's original living body, as Madara only managed to break free of the Sage Art: Gate of the Great God and Sealing Technique: Tiger Vision Staring Bullet when he forced Obito to revive him into a body of living flesh, despite all the enhancements Kabuto gave him beforehand.[51] Also, the corpse vessel created by the Impure World Reincarnation cannot be used as a host for the Shinju.[52]

Known Reincarnated


Reincarnated by Orochimaru
Name Village of origin Reason for reincarnation
Hashirama Senju Konohagakure Hokage
Hiruzen Sarutobi[3] Konohagakure Hokage
Minato Namikaze[3] Konohagakure Hokage
Osoi (Anime only) Kumogakure Failure; intended to reincarnate Toroi
Tobirama Senju Konohagakure Hokage
Yota (Anime only) Unknown Testing the technique

Kabuto Yakushi

Reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi
Name Village of origin Reason for reincarnation
Ameyuri Ringo Kirigakure "Renown"
Asuma Sarutobi Konohagakure "Renown"
Chen (Anime only) Konohagakure "Renown"
Chiyo Sunagakure "Renown"
Chūkaku (Anime only) Fire Temple Failure; intended to reincarnate Chiriku
Chūkichi Kirigakure "Renown"
Dan Katō Konohagakure "Renown"
Daimaru (Anime only) Sunagakure Failure
Deidara Iwagakure Akatsuki
Fourth Kazekage Sunagakure Kage
Takigakure Jinchūriki
Fuguki Suikazan Kirigakure "Renown"
Fukai (Anime only) Kumogakure Jinchūriki
Gari Iwagakure "Renown"
Ginkaku Kumogakure "Renown"
Haku Kirigakure "Renown"
Han Iwagakure Jinchūriki
Hanzō Amegakure "Renown"
Hayate Gekkō (Anime only) Konohagakure "Renown"
Heiji (Anime only) Amegakure Failure; intended to reincarnate Hanzō
Hizashi Hyūga Konohagakure "Renown"
Inabi Uchiha (Anime only) Konohagakure "Renown"
Itachi Uchiha Konohagakure Akatsuki
Jinin Akebino Kirigakure "Renown"
Jinpachi Munashi Kirigakure "Renown"
Jirōbō (Anime only) Otogakure "Renown"
Kakuzu Takigakure Akatsuki
Kidōmaru (Anime only) Otogakure "Renown"
Kimimaro Otogakure "Renown"
Kinkaku Kumogakure "Renown"
Kushimaru Kuriarare Kirigakure "Renown"
Madara Uchiha Konohagakure Blackmailing Tobi/"Renown"
Mangetsu Hōzuki Kirigakure "Renown"
Iwagakure Kage
Nagato Amegakure Akatsuki
Osoi (Anime only) Kumogakure "Failure"/Stalling Allied Shinobi Forces
Pakura Sunagakure "Renown"
Rōshi Iwagakure Jinchūriki
Sakon and Ukon (Anime only) Otogakure "Renown"
Sasori Sunagakure Akatsuki
Second Mizukage Kirigakure Kage
Shin Konohagakure "Renown"
Tatewaki (Anime only) Land of Iron "Renown"
Tayuya (Anime only) Otogakure "Renown"
Third Raikage Kumogakure Kage
Tonika Village Head (Anime only) Tonika Village Deceiving enemies
Toroi Kumogakure "Renown"
Torune Konohagakure Demonstration for Tobi
Utakata Kirigakure Jinchūriki
Yagura Kirigakure Jinchūriki/Kage
Yota (Anime only) Unknown "Renown"
Yugito Nii Kumogakure Jinchūriki
Zabuza Momochi Kirigakure "Renown"


Kabuto controlling the revived

The pebbles and grid Kabuto uses.

  • Kabuto is seen using a grid to keep track of all the reincarnated individuals he controls, with a pebble representing each shinobi.[4] It is not clear if there is some actual connection between the grid and those he reincarnates or if it's a mere convenience for him. In the anime, the pebbles crumble when the reincarnation is sealed. All of the pebbles are light-coloured except for Madara Uchiha's, whose is black.[53] In the anime, the failed reincarnations are represented by piles of sand.[54]
  • "Edo" (穢土, Literally meaning: Dirty Soil) is what Japanese Buddhists call the normal world, unenlightened people live in. The current, living world. The world of the people who have not yet have escaped the polluting thoughts (greed, hatred, delusion, etc.) that result in suffering.
  • A possible translation of Tensei is "Resurrection". In terms of this technique, both "Reincarnation" and "Resurrection" can be found; the sacrificed body is reincarnated into the body of the summoned shinobi, while the reincarnated shinobi is resurrected from the dead.
  • In Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2, Orochimaru reincarnates the Third Hokage despite his soul not being in the Pure Land.
  • During the original Naruto anime, a reincarnated target's eyes appear normal, albeit glazed over.[55] In Naruto: Shippūden, the eyes are corrected to match the manga.
  • Starting in Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, Kabuto Yakushi (Snake Cloak Form) uses the Impure World Reincarnation as his ultimate technique. He summons Kakuzu, Itachi, and Deidara, who attack the opponent using the Lightning Release: False Darkness, Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique, and C1, respectively.
  • In the anime, when eradicating the personality of Hanzō, Kabuto used several hand seals instead of just one.[56]
  • In the anime within Tsunade's Infinite Tsukuyomi dream, Sasori used this technique to revive an army of shinobi puppeteers, which could all use Red Secret Technique: Performance of a Hundred Puppets.[57]

See Also


  1. First Databook, page 181
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Naruto chapter 520
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Naruto chapter 618, pages 13-17
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Naruto chapter 521
  5. Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
  6. Naruto chapter 620, page 11
  7. Naruto chapter 513, pages 2 and 17
  8. Naruto chapter 516, page 5
  9. Naruto chapter 548, page 14
  10. Naruto chapter 557
  11. Naruto chapter 560, page 2
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Naruto chapter 522
  13. Naruto chapter 620, pages 9-11
  14. Naruto chapter 577, page 16
  15. Naruto chapter 523, page 6
  16. Naruto chapter 527, pages 1-3
  17. Naruto chapter 656, page 17
  18. Naruto chapter 614, page 5
  19. Naruto chapter 561, page 2
  20. Naruto chapter 548, page 17
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named chpt591
  22. Naruto chapter 553, pages 4-5
  23. Naruto chapter 637, pages 4-5
  24. Naruto chapter 560, page 3
  25. Naruto chapter 565, page 1
  26. Naruto chapter 677
  27. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named chapter521
  28. Naruto chapter 589, pages 8-12
  29. Naruto chapter 521, page 3
  30. Naruto chapter 577, page 17
  31. Naruto chapter 518, page 17
  32. Naruto chapter 519, page 4
  33. 33.0 33.1 Naruto chapter 642, pages 4-5
  34. Naruto chapter 589, pages 12-17
  35. Naruto chapter 532, page 15
  36. Naruto chapter 548, pages 16-18
  37. Naruto chapter 532, pages 10-11
  38. Naruto chapter 620, page 9-11
  39. Naruto chapter 550, page 8
  40. Naruto chapter 582, page 3
  41. Naruto chapter 591, page 17
  42. Naruto: Shippūden episode 340
  43. Naruto chapter 527, page 14
  44. Naruto chapter 532, pages 10-11
  45. Naruto chapter 552, page 16
  46. Naruto chapter 553, pages 4-5
  47. Naruto chapter 561, pages 2, 7
  48. Naruto chapter 637, pages 4-5
  49. Naruto chapter 548, page 17
  50. Naruto chapter 532, pages 10-11
  51. Naruto chapter 656, page 17
  52. Naruto chapter 614, page 5
  53. Naruto chapter 575, page 14
  54. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ship316
  55. Naruto episode 69
  56. Naruto: Shippūden episode 272
  57. Naruto: Shippūden episode 449