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What Is the Curse Mark on Sasuke? (Explained)

If we’re talking about the characters from Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto franchise, and it is by now obvious that we are, Sasuke Uchiha is certainly one of the best characters we can talk about. Sasuke is a fan favorite and in terms of character development, he is one of the best characters in the whole franchise, which means that there is plenty to talk about when he is concerned. In this article, we are going to deal with the Curse Mark that Sasuke has, explaining what it actually is.

The Cursed Seal of Heaven is one of Orochimaru’s strongest cursed seals, the equivalent of which is the Cursed Seal of the Earth. The seal consists of three tomoe, similar to the Sharingan, which spread across the body in the shape of flames when activated. Like all Cursed Seals, the user receives an increase in chakra level and physical abilities. The seal was seen on the back of Sasuke’s and Anko’s necks.

In this article, we are going to give you more details about Sasuke’s Curse Mark, as we as answer some questions about it. The article is going to focus on the curse mark, the story behind it, and a lot of other questions related to Sasuke’s character. This is going to be your best all-in-one guide if you want to know everything about Sasuke’s Curse Mark.

The Cursed Seal of Heaven is one of Orochimaru’s strongest cursed seals, the equivalent of which is the Cursed Seal of the Earth. The seal consists of three tomoe, similar to the Sharingan, which spread across the body in the shape of flames when activated. Like all Cursed Seals, the user receives an increase in chakra level and physical abilities while the seal is active, up to the point where it enters the second stage equal to the power of Naruto’s one-tailed form.

The Cursed Seal of Heaven originates from Jugo, a Shinobi who sought out Orochimaru in the hope that he could cure Jugo of his incessant rages. But Orochimaru was astounded by the way that Jugo was able to absorb natural energy to gain strength. Undeterred by the toll this process took on Jugo’s mental state, Orochimaru went about seeking a way to harness this power, extracting enzymes from Jugo’s blood and combining them with his own Senjutsu Chakra. Thus, the curses were created. 

As Orochimaru was unable to achieve Sage mode through his discovery, he found another way to utilize the Senjutsu Chakra: brand other people to become his vessels. By branding a follower with a curse mark, Orochimaru was able to increase his powers whilst using their bodies as vessels, through which, he could gain insight and knowledge. 

The design of the curse mark is known as mitsudomoe. Translated as: “mitsu” three and “domoe” comma-like, the emblem consists of three of these comma-like marks in a circle. The Japanese believe that a tomoe is a seed of life, which holds the spirits of the dead and gives the owner their power. It is a common design seen on Japanese family crests and roof tiles of traditional homes. 

The tomoe itself is an ancient symbol originating in magatama. What these symbols originally represented is unconfirmed with suggestions ranging from the shape of the soul to an animal tooth or the moon. The mitsudomoe is often used to represent the relationship between the cosmic forces that make up our universe: heaven, earth, and the underworld, or, heaven, earth, and man.

The design later came to be a symbol of Hachiman, the Shinto God of war, leading many people to view the symbol as one representing strength and courage. The fact that there are three tomoe is also significant as three is a sacred number across many worldwide religions and cultures.

In the context of Naruto, Sasuke being marked with The Cursed Seal of Heaven represents the relationship of different beings merging their powers. There are elements of three beings, Jugo, Orochimaru, and Sasuke working together within one vessel. The three domoe could also represent the bond between Sasuke, the spiritual world and his external environment, or, heaven, earth, and man. The mitsudomoe symbolizes strength, and how, if strength is misused it can be a dark force leading to war.

The meaning of the Cursed Seal of Heaven is a complex and poignant one; its powers are even more so. The mark could be deemed a blessing or a curse, but an individual could not be considered free, whilst they were still branded. How does Sasuke free himself of the curse mark? Read on to find out.

As you probably know by now, Sasuke obtained his Curse Mark from Orochimaru. Orochimaru placed Cursed Seal on Sasuke during the second phase of the Chūnin Exams, which took place in the Forest of Death. Orochimaru’s goal was for the seal to corrupt Sasuke’s mind so that he could become his next body. Kakashi Hatake used the Evil Sealing Method to try and prevent this, however, its effectiveness was only up to Sasuke’s will, who refused to use the Cursed Seal. He eventually did use it, but he never actually succumbed to Orochimaru’s influence completely.

As for Anko, the only other known possessor of the Mark, her story is both similar and different. Anko received the Cursed Seal when she was Orochimaru’s apprentice. She, along with nine others, was the first person to receive the cursed seal. She was only the only survivor of the “Mark”, which meant that the probability of surviving a seal was one in ten.

Because she lacked the will to use it, her seal receded, and (in the anime) Orochimaru wiped her memory. Orochimaru was able to briefly reactivate the seal when they fought in the Forest of Death before the Third Hokage sealed it off again. It was fully removed when Sasuke used it as a medium to revive Orochimaru’s consciousness and body via the Evil Releasing Method.

According to Kabuto, the seal itself contains the chakra of Orochimaru, which Kabuto used to enhance the binding power of the incantation: Impure World Reincarnation. When Orochimaru was defeated, his consciousness remained split between the cursed seals, and Sasuke used this along with a piece of Kabuto’s modified flesh to return him to his original state and spirit.

What does the Curse Mark do, exactly? Aside from the fact that it allows Orochimaru to corrode one’s mind from the inside, it also gives the user a significant power boost. The user, as we have said, receives an increase in chakra levels and physical abilities while the seal is active, up to the point where it enters the second stage, in which it is equal to the power of Naruto’s one-tailed form.

In all honesty, the first level didn’t do much for Sasuke, since he was already very powerful. It did give him a boost, but it wasn’t anything significant, to be honest. Sasuke was able to fight off the Mark’s influence without much effort, so you can understand why the first level didn’t actually do much for him. The second level, though, was a different story.

Despite initially refusing to, Sasuke eventually chose to develop his seal to its second stage, while fleeing the village to Orochimaru with the help of the Sound Four. The second level made Sasuke significantly stronger and much more menacing than before. This is best seen from Sasuke’s fight against Deidara in Part II of the manga.

After wanting to kill Orochimaru, Deidara and Obito search for Orochimaru’s killer: Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi Uchiha’s younger brother, or to capture Naruto, depending on who they met along the way first. When he finally finds Sasuke, Obito and Deidara fight against him; at first, Obito only helps Deidara by putting mines on the ground, but later he gives up the fight.

First, Deidara uses his C1 chakra, he, seeing that it does not work, uses C2 level chakra, which fails to hurt Sasuke and Deidara says that he will continue playing with him. After Deidara’s failed attempts because the explosive element is neutralized by Sasuke’s element and fails to explode, Sasuke, after remembering the defeat he suffered from the Sharingan when he faced Itachi in the past, decides to use his final technique (according to him, the one he had saved to kill Itachi in the future): the C4 Karura, which ends in failure in the same way as the previous one.

Seeing Deidara with his trained eye that fell into a Genjutsu, Sasuke attacks him from above, and they both fall to the ground, thus both run out of chakra. Deidara as his last move decides to explode himself, saying that with his death he will become art, in turn opening the mouth he has on his chest, to which he gives explosive clay. This causes a large explosion in a 10-kilometer radius, but Sasuke fails to take damage from the attack as he summons Manda to protect himself, which makes Deidara’s last attack useless like the previous ones.

Well, the most it did for him was change him physically. His mind wasn’t all that corrupted by the Mark, as Sasuke’s character development showed that he had internal struggles long before he actually got imprinted with the Curse. His family legacy was always at the center of his issues, and the seal didn’t influence that very much.

As for the physical changes, when Sasuke activated the second level of the seal, his skin color changed to gray and his hair grew to a dark blue color. His eyes also turned gray. Additionally, he grew claw-pinniped wings on his back that he could use for gliding, and a dark star-shaped mark appeared on the bridge of the nose; during his fight with Deidara in Part II, Sasuke lost his left wing with one of the explosions but replaced it with snakes.

The removal of the seal happens during the final moments of Sasuke’s fight against Itachi. At one moment, Sasuke thinks he has finally won, but Itachi suddenly stands up. He has survived the impact of Kirin thanks to his Susanoo, a colossal chakra guardian possessed only by those who have the Mangekyō Sharingan in both eyes.

As Itachi begins to move toward Sasuke, who has no chakra left, the suppressed part of Orochimaru that Sasuke had absorbed begins to take over his body. Using the Eight Branches technique, Orochimaru’s eight white snakes burst forth from Sasuke’s cursed seal, while Orochimaru himself emerges from one of the snakes’ mouths. He thanks Itachi for lowering Sasuke’s chakra enough to free himself and is grateful to have another opportunity to take over Sasuke’s body.

Using his Susanoo Sword of Totsuka, which can seal any soul and trap it in a genjutsu forever, Itachi decapitates seven of the eight snakes and manages to seal Orochimaru, removing Sasuke’s cursed seal in the process. However, this requires too much chakra, and Itachi’s Susanoo is reduced to its simplest form.

Itachi coughs up blood and slowly makes his way to Sasuke, who cannot move away from him. As Itachi approaches Sasuke, he whispers his last words to Sasuke and bumps him on the forehead before he sinks to the ground, dead. Sasuke thinks about Itachi’s last words and stares at his brother’s corpse before collapsing next to him from sheer exhaustion.

Why did Itachi ultimately do what he did? To grant his brother his freedom back. The Uchiha were a proud clan and although Sasuke was his enemy at that point, Itachi detested the fact that Sasuke lost his freedom to Orochimaru, so he did everything he could to give it back to him.

These events happened in episode 138 (“The End”) of the original Naruto: Shippūden anime series. The episode premiered on December 3, 2009 and was part of the Fated Battle Between Brothers arc.

What is the Curse Mark on Sasuke?

How did Sasuke get the Curse Mark?

How does Sasuke’s Curse Mark work?

Did the Curse Mark change Sasuke?

How did Sasuke get rid of the Curse Mark?

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