The Ninja Forehead Protector (額当て, hitai-ate) is an object from the manga series Naruto that was created by Masashi Kishimoto. It first began serialization Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in November 1999. The forehead protectors first appeared in Naruto Volume 1, CH. 1 "Uzumaki Naruto".
Masashi Kishimoto has admitted that he created the metal stamped forehead protectors for the Naruto series to replace the goggles that he originally designed for Naruto. This was mainly becasue of the amount of time it took to draw the complicated goggles.
Obtainment and Rules
The rules on how a ninja obtains their forehead protector can vary depending on the village, but nearly all are educated from a young age in some form of academy. Upon graduation, they are given their forehead protectors to mark them as official ninja of the village. They are then ranked as Genin and placed in a squad.
.A ninja can chose to wear their forehead protector in any way they choose, and doesn't always need to be easily seen. Some where them around the neck, waist, arms, hair ribbons, or attached to other clothing and gear. The only ninja who are almost never seen wearing their forehead protectors are the Kage leaders, but they will sometimes don them as a sign of solidarity in combat.
The Leaf Village Ninja all wear the mark of the leaf on their forehead protectors. They're based in Konogakure in the Land of Fire. The spiral in the design was incorporated from the symbol of the Uzumaki Clan. These ninja often specialize in fire-based jutsu.
The Mist Village Ninja all wear the mark of four waving lines on their forehead protectors. They're based in Kirigakure in the Land of Water. These markings represent the water vapor in mist. These ninja often specialize in water-based jutsu.
The Sand Village Ninja all wear the mark of an hourglass on their forehead protectors. They're based in Sunagakure in the Land of Wind. Other than the similarity to a hourglass, the direct inspiration is unknown. These ninja often specialize in wind-based jutsu.
Nearly all of the members of the Akatsuki are rogue ninja from various ninja villages from around the Shinobi World. All are rogues from their homeland, but still wear the forehead protectors of their original village, but with a mark through the imprinted symbol. This is a bold action since there is a kill on sight for all rogue ninja.