The Hokage (火影, Hokage) is the title of the leaders of the Hidden Leaf Village from the is a team from the Naruto series created by Masashi Kishimoto. The series first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in November 1999. The Hokage first appeared in Naruto Volume 1 CH. 1 "Uzumaki Naruto".
Only the most skilled and admired of the Leaf Village Ninja are appointed to this position. They are responsible for governing and protecting the village and its people. Each of the Hokage has had their faces carved into the memorial mountain that overlooks the village.
Hashirama Senju is the First Hokage and one of the main founders of the Hidden Leaf Village. He wished to create the village to give structure to the the shinobi that were in a state of perpetual war and revenge. It was originally formed through a union of the Senju and Uchiha clans but several other clans soon joined them. Hashirama wanted to appoint Madara Uchiha as the First Hokage, but he was forced to accept the choice of a democratic vote that made him the leader.
Tobirama Senju is the Second Hokage. He is the younger brother of Hashirama and he took on the role of leadership after his brother's death. He was a cold and pragmatic leader who didn't trust people easily. However, he did not casually discriminate. He looked to any ninja that could put their clan loyalties aside for the sake of the village. He was the leader who appointed the Uchiha Clan to be in charge of law enforcement and guarding the prisons. They were the best suited for that tasks, and he wanted to keep a closer eye on them.
Hiruzen Sarutobi is the Third Hokage. Hiruzen was the disciple of the Second Hokage, and his time in leadership was one of the longest. While he had eventually retired and appointed a Fourth Hokage, he returned to lead after the death of the Fourth. He oversaw the era that nearly saw the Uchiha Clan wage a coup. He was eventually killed by Orochimaru, one of his own former students.
Minato Namikaze is the Fourth Hokage. He was a disciple of Jiraiya, who was one of the students of Hiruzen Sarutobi. His skills in ninjutsu was unparallelled by the ninja of his generation. He was appointed as Hokage by Hiruzen Sarutobi over Orochimaru. His reign in leadership was one of the shortest of the Hokage, however. He sacrificed his own life to stop the Nine Tailed Fox's rampage from destroying the village by sealing it into his own son, Naruto Uzumaki.
Tsunade is the Fifth Hokage. She's the grand daughter of the Hashirama Senju and one of the legendary Sannin, that made of the students of Hiruzen Sarutobi. She was selected by the Leaf Village Council to be Hokage after Hiruzen's death. She was reluctant to take the title at first, but she was convinced by the convictions of Naruto Uzumaki. One of the largest influences she has had as Hokage was to train medical ninja for all shinobi teams.
Stand-in Sixth Hokage
Danzo Shimura was temporarily the Sixth Hokage. He took leadership as Tsunade was in a coma from defending the village against the Akatsuki. He gained the title through manipulating the Leaf Village Council with his stolen Sharingan. He attended the Kage Summit in the Land of Iron, where he also attempted to control the members to his favor. His deceptions were revealed, and he was later killed by Sasuke Uchiha. After his death and her recovery, Tsunade resumed her position as leader during the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
After the War, Tsunade was ready and willing to give up her position to retire and live a life of peace. She appointed Kakashi Hatake and the new and Sixth Hokage of the village for his skills, experience, and leadership he displayed during his lifetime and recently in the war. Kakashi was the student of Minato, the Fourth Hokage, and was well liked by the Feudal Lords as well. He took the position, but would state he only did so because Naruto wasn't old enough and hadn't gathered enough experience to lead the village, telling him that when he was ready he'd step down.
As Naruto grew older and more experienced, Kakashi kept his word and appointed him the new Hokage, the seventh in the village's history. Naruto was the hero of the Fourth Shinobi War, was clearly the strongest ninja in the village, loved by all of the villagers, and already had great relationships with the other Kages. He would strengthen the ties between the other villages and expand Konoha, governing nearly twice as much villagers as his predecessors. He would regularly phone his former teacher whenever he needed advice.