The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

The Sharingan is a Kekkei Genkai of the category Dōjutsu. It belongs to the “Sandai Dōjutsu” and is also called “Tengan” (heavenly prayer) because of its variety of abilities. Characteristic for this Jutsu are the red pupils and the black “Tomoe”.

When an Uchiha feels strong feelings such as friendship or love for a person and that person is in a dangerous situation or has even been killed, the brain of the Uchiha releases a special chakra. This chakra influences the optic nerves and causes a change in the eyes of the Uchiha – the Sharingan. This is why Tobirama Senju calls it also the “Eye that reflects the Heart” (Kokoro o utsusu Hitomi).

The number of Tomoe after the first activation varies between persons for unknown reasons, and a total of three Tomoe per eye can be achieved. The number of Tomoe is an indicator of the strength of the eye’s abilities. The name “Sharingan” probably comes from the fact that the Tomoe of Sharingan sometimes rotates when using Genjutsu.

When the Sharingan controls a living being, the Sharingan with three Tomoe also forms in its eye. Furthermore, the Sharingan seems to glow in the dark.


The Sharingan has its origin in the Rinne Sharingan, whose appearance with the red iris, three black rings around the pupil and three tomoe on each of the rings already strongly resembles the appearance of the Sharingan. Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, the mother of Rikudō Sennin, manifested this eye in a third eye socket in the middle of her forehead. She was able to use the powers of this eye to apply Genjutsu to whole nations.

The normal Sharingan first appeared in Kaguya’s grandson Indra, the older son of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki. Why it differs from the eye of his grandmother is unknown. After him, it appeared years later in some members of the Uchiha clan. If a shinobi receives the Sharingan without being part of the Uchiha Clan, he/she will not be able to deactivate it.

In addition, the constant activation consumes a lot of chakra, why Kakashi and Danzō covered it up. If the original owner of the Sharingan is still alive, he/she keeps some kind of connection to his/her eye and can sometimes see what it sees. This is also possible for the new owner. Furthermore, the eye can be transplanted into an animal. So did Itachi Uchiha with his crow and Shisui’s right Mangekyō Sharingan.


The abilities of Sharingan are based on the interaction of its two components – the Eye of Insight (Dōsatsugan) and the Eye of Hypnotism (Saimingan). This enables the user to see the chakra and its movements and to distinguish it by its colour roughly. Also, he/she can recognize if a person has been affected by Genjutsu, because then the chakra flow is disturbed. Furthermore, Sharingan allows the user to read lips and copy movement sequences, such as those used for writing.

These abilities improve with the development of more Tomoe. The user can then see objects moving at high speed and eventually recognize even the smallest muscle movements of his/her opponent. This allows the user to see through his/her attack pattern and allows him/her to easily evade attacks if his/her body is able to react accordingly.

  • 1 Tomoe: Can read hand and lip movements.
  • 2 Tomoe: anticipating movements and copying techniques.
  • 3 Tomoe: Increases the skills even more.
1-3 Tomoe Sharingan - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

Sharingan Genjutsu

Sharingan Genjutsu - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Genjutsu is a Dōjutsu of the Sharingan and refers to its standard ability to perform Genjutsu. When the target looks into the Sharingan, a Genjutsu is applied to the target, making them unable to fight.

In addition, information can be extracted from the victim. Sometimes, when using this technique, the tomoe of the Sharingan may rotate, or the pupil may dilate. It can also be used with the Mangekyō Sharingan and the Rinnegan with six tomoe. Since this Jutsu is very easy to use, it is likely that at least all owners of Sharingan with three tomoe will be able to use it.

Latsu Sharingan

Latsu Sharingan - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Iatsu Sharingan is a Jutsu that can only be used by people who have the Sharingan. By looking into the user’s eyes, the opponent is sent into a nightmarish illusion, which causes great fear to the victim. You can use it to threaten and force everyone to do anything. Even Sai, who gets the full force of this Jutsu, shows himself to be badly hit, although he is, as he used to say himself, “unemotional”.

Magen: Kasegui

Magen: Kasegui no Jutsu - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Magen: Kasegui (Demonic Illusions: Shackle Stakes) is a Genjutsu performed with the Sharingan. Here the victim is thrown into an illusion in which he is impaled with several huge nails and cannot move.

Magen: Kyō Tenchiten

Magen: Kyō Tenchiten - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Stomach: Kyō Tenchiten (Demonic Illusion: Mirror Heaven and Earth Change) is a Genjutsu of Itachi Uchiha, which he uses with his Sharingan. It enables him to direct the Genjutsu back to its users. Itachi uses this Jutsu against Kurenai when he and Kisame break into the village of Konoha to look for Naruto. He also tells Kurenai, who first wanted to use this Jutsu against him, that a Jutsu on this level doesn’t work against him.


Izanagi - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Izanagi is a Dōjutsu of the Sharingan and forms a couple with Izanami. It works differently than a regular Genjutsu because it works on the user himself. Furthermore, it can only be used if the user has the genetic dispositions of the Rikudō sennin.

When the required finger signs have been formed, Izanagi starts to work for a short moment. Within this moment, the border between reality and illusion is removed for the user, and he gains control over his own existence. If he now suffers an injury, he can undo it, even if it is actually deadly. Then the body of the user disappears and immediately afterward reappears unharmed.

However, Izanagi also has a disadvantage. After the usage, the Sharingan, with which the technique was done, closes forever. Therefore it was classified as Kinjutsu by the Uchiha-Clan. Izanagi’s duration of effect can be extended with Senju cells. Danzō has the Sharingan and the cells of Hashirama Senju, he can maintain the Jutsu one minute per eye. Obito is the same, but with the difference that he is also descended from the Uchiha clan. Thus he can maintain the Jutsu for five minutes.

Izanagi was considered the perfect Dōjutsu of the Uchiha clan, able to change fate. In the past, it was used by members of the Uchiha-Clan to win important fights. But eventually, they became arrogant and used Izanagi for their own benefit. This soon developed into fights for the better result, which is why the Jutsu Izanami was invented with which an Izanagi user could be punished. Itachi also says that Izanagi changes the fate of the user while Izanami decides it.


Izanami - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Izanami is a Dōjutsu that can be used with Sharingan and forms a couple with Izanagi. Izanami works differently than a regular Genjutsu because it does not directly influence the five senses of the victim. After the usage, the eye used for Izanami goes blind.

If the user decides in a moment to act, he saves this moment with his eyes like a photo. Then the user repeats this moment on purpose and saves it as well. Izanami connects these two moments and thus also the time span between the two moments. This creates an infinite cycle for the victim, from which he cannot escape by ordinary means, even if he becomes aware of the effect. Meanwhile, in the real world, he falls into the typical Genjutsu trance and stands motionless on the spot.

Since Izanami was initially developed to punish the users of Izanagi, there is a way to escape from it. To do so, the victim must realize his deeds and stop fleeing from their consequences. Izanami should teach people not to rely on Jutsu alone and to accept their own fate. Since a Genjutsu, from which one can escape, is too dangerous in fights, Izanami was classified as Kinjutsu.

Izanagi and izanami explained - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

Mangekyō Sharingan

Mangekyō Sharingan - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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There is a more powerful form of the Sharingan, the Mangekyō Sharingan. This is activated when someone with a Sharingan experiences a trauma caused by the death of the person most important to him or her. For this reason, Uchiha often killed their friends and relatives in the past. However, it is not enough to kill or watch the most important person die; the Sharingan user must also feel the pain associated with it.

If he previously doesn’t have a fully developed Sharingan, then first the missing Tomoe and then the Mangekyō Sharingan is formed. The appearance of the eyes differs depending on the owner. While they give him access to several powerful Jutsus, the use of the eyes is accompanied by blindness, which can only be corrected by the owner using the Mangekyō Sharingan of a close blood relative.

This creates a Mangekyō Sharingan whose appearance resembles a fusion of the two original Mangekyō Sharingan. This unique eye is called “eternal Mangekyō Sharingan”.


Amaterasu - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Amaterasu is one of the Dōjutsu that can be used with the Mangekyō Sharingan. It represents the “material world and light” (“Busshitsukai to Hikari”) as a counterpart to the non-material Genjutsu Tsukuyomi.

Amaterasu lets the pitch-black flames of Enton emerge where the user looks. These flames, also known as flames of hell, are difficult to avoid and when they hit their target, they burn with the heat of the sun. Their power is so enormous that they can extinguish even normal Katonjutsu and cannot be extinguished by Suitonjutsu.

Therefore Amaterasu is also known as the strongest Katon-Ninjutsu. As such, however, it carries a risk in the form of high chakra consumption and an enormous strain on the user’s eye, which is noticeable by bleeding. Although Amaterasu is a feared Ninjutsu, there are various means of defence against the flames. If a shinobi has a high speed, he can prevent Amaterasu from appearing on him by escaping the user’s focus.

You can also save yourself from the flames by removing the part of your body or clothing that has been hit. Nagato was able to push the flames away with Shinra Tensei, and it seems that the flames cannot ignite Gaara’s sand either. Jiraiya was able to seal the flames, and the user of Amaterasu himself can learn to stop and extinguish the flames.

Amaterasu: Entenka

Amaterasu: Entenka - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Amaterasu: Entenka is a Ninjutsu from Sasuke Uchiha, in which he combines Enton with Susanoo.

First, he surrounds himself with the ribs of Susanoo, and then he sets them on fire with Enton: Kagutsuchi. In this way, he can protect himself from attacks and also prevent the enemy from attacking him, as he would otherwise take damage from the black flames. Sasuke himself claims that his ability to use Enton together with his Susanoo is explicitly an even better defence than Gaara’s Suna no Tate.

Enton: Susanoo Kagutsuchi

Enton: Susanoo Kagutsuchi - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Enton: Susanoo Kagutsuchi is a Ninjutsu from Sasuke Uchiha, in which he combines Enton: Kagutsuchi with Susanoo. Thereby he creates an Enton sphere in the right hand of Susanoo, from which he can create arrows for Susanoo’s bow or an Enton sword. These weapons penetrate strong defences and burn everything they hit with their black flames. He can also fire projectiles from the sphere that incinerate their target.


Kamui Obito - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Kamui is one of the Dōjutsu that can be used with the Mangekyō Sharingan. The basic ability of this technique is teleportation, but the way it is used varies depending on the eye with which it is applied.

Kakashi has the left Mangekyō Sharingan and has awakened Kamui by hard training. With this, he can carry out a ranged attack that teleports objects into another dimension. For this purpose, Kakashi first creates a spell circle, the size and location of which he can determine himself, around the target. Then the space within the spell circle is distorted, and everything that is there is pulled into the other dimension.

This Jutsu is very powerful because it is impossible to escape the circle. If the user provides enough chakra, even whole people can fall victim to it. Since Kakashi isn’t an Uchiha, the repeated use of Kamui causes him serious problems. Obito has the right Mangekyō Sharingan, after whose awakening he could use Kamui immediately. He can teleport himself and everything he touches into the dimension.

In order to achieve a kind of immateriality, Obito can also teleport only individual parts of his body. Kakashi Hatake compares Obito’s usage with the Hiraishin no Jutsu of Minato Namikaze but emphasizes that Obito’s Kamui is much more powerful because neither finger signs nor Jutsu phrases are needed. Obito himself refers to his usage as Jikūkan Idō (“space-time migration”).

When Obito teleports, a vortex is created whose center is his Sharingan. With this, he goes into the other dimension, which he can leave again in the same way to cover long distances in a short time. During this dimensional leap, Obito’s chakra becomes untraceable, while he apparently can locate and teleport to people regardless of their location. Obito, like Kakashi, can also teleport other objects or people into the dimension.

Again, his eye serves as the center of the vortex, which transports the target to the Sharingan with an attracting force until the teleportation is completed. Afterwards, Obito can also rerelease the target, which also happens through a vortex. To teleport a target, Obito has to touch it. Since Obito can determine the speed of this vortex himself, he can use it for attacks by releasing objects like a shuriken at high speed. He is also able to combine Kamui with Katonjutsu.

As mentioned, Obito can achieve a kind of immateriality with Kamui. This is done by teleporting individual body parts into the other dimension. Since the corresponding part of his body is covered by another object, it seems to outsiders as if this object would pass through Obito’s body. However, it actually only takes the place of the teleported body part.

This way, Obito can make any physical attack ineffective and disappear into the ground, for example, to attack enemies from below unnoticed. He is also able to transfer this immateriality to other objects as long as he touches them. However, he cannot have physical contact with objects while he himself is immaterial.

The most significant disadvantage of Obitos Kamui is the fact that he cannot use both abilities at the same time. He must be “material” to teleport himself or other objects and can be hit by attacks in this short time. The same kind of vulnerability also exists when it comes to releasing teleported objects. Obito can only maintain his immateriality for a maximum of five minutes. After that, he becomes material again for an indefinite period of time

Furthermore, depending on the size of the object, teleportation takes longer, and generally, he needs more time to teleport himself than he needs for other objects. If he teleports individual body parts, these remain material in the other dimension and can be hit by attacks, as Kakashi finds out. Since both ninja use the same target dimension, he is able to hurt Obito several times.

Kamui Kakashi (Obito's Eye) - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Kotoamatsukami - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Kotoamatsukami is one of the Dōjutsu that can be used with the Mangekyō Sharingan. It is also the most powerful Genjutsu that Shisui Uchiha can use with his Mangekyō Sharingan. The Jutsu allows the user to control a person completely. This person doesn’t even have to look into the Sharingan to be caught in the illusion. However, the Genjutsu can only be used every ten years as long as you don’t have Hashirama Senju’s cells.


Susanoo First Stage - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Susanoo is one of the Dōjutsu that can be used with the Mangekyō Sharingan.

This third force only awakens in the eyes of those who have mastered both Mangekyō Sharingans. According to Tobi, it is rare that a Sharingan user awakens Susanoo. The Jutsu creates a ghostly warrior from the user’s chakra, which is why the appearance and colour of the warrior vary from user to user. While acting as a protective spirit for the user, the warrior also consumes the user’s life force. Like other Jutsus from Mangekyō Sharingan, Susanoo strains the eyes of the user. Furthermore, Sasuke Uchiha describes the effect of continuous use as pain in every cell of his body.

To harm the user, a ninja must first penetrate Susanoo, which is extremely difficult because it consists of several layers. Only when the attacker has destroyed these, he can attack the user himself. As Danzō shows in his fight with Sasuke, strong attacks are sufficient to break through the protection given by Susanoo. Another possibility is to pull the user out of Susanoo as Gaara did with Madara.

Susanoo Second Stage - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Susanoo’s development

After Susanoo can be used, it goes through several stages until it’s fully developed. In its first form, it only consists of a skeleton whose parts the user can use to protect himself from attacks. Although Sasuke calls his Susanoo an even stronger defence than Gaara’s sand, the bones can be destroyed. Sasuke also forms a single skeleton arm to save Karin.

Since the skeleton does not completely surround the user, he can move more freely than later when the Susanoo changes into the second form. Then first muscles and skin are formed, followed by a suit of armour. This makes it almost impossible for enemies to inflict physical damage on the user, as they have to penetrate three layers to do so.

Some users who have gained perfect control over Susanoo can stabilize his chakra. Susanoo will then take on a colossal, accomplished form called Kanseitai – Susanoo. This variant can also be used as a suit of armour for a Bijū.

Susanoo Last Stage - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Tensha Fūin: Amaterasu

Tensha Fūin: Amaterasu - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Tensha Fūin: Amaterasu is a Ninjutsu of Itachi Uchiha, where he can seal Amaterasu in the Sharingan of another person with his Mangekyō Sharingan. When the Sharingan sees a specific target, the seal is released, and Amaterasu is released onto the target.

Itachi uses this technique on Sasuke so that Amaterasu is released when he looks into Tobi’s eyes.


Tsukuyomi - The Sharingan And Its Abilities Explained

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Tsukuyomi is one of the Dōjutsu that can be used with the Mangekyō Sharingan. As a counterpart to the material Ninjutsu Amaterasu, it represents the “spiritual world and darkness” ( Seishinkai to Yami ).

Tsukuyomi is one of the strongest existing Genjutsu and is applied by simple eye contact with the target. The target is then caught in a black and white illusion world that is completely under the control of the user. Even time, space and matter can be changed by him, which makes it possible to make the victim seem a few seconds as many hours.

Thus, the victim can be tortured and psychologically destroyed in a short time, for example, by being repeatedly pierced by several blades or by having to experience a disturbing event. Only Tsunade is able to revise the mental damage caused by Tsukuyomi. Due to its immense strength, however, the Jutsu carries a risk in the form of high chakra consumption and a huge strain on the eye of the user, which is noticeable by a blurred vision.

This Genjutsu can only be broken by a blood relative of the user, who is also in possession of the Sharingan.