Minato Namikaze (波風ミナト, Namikaze Minato), renown as Konoha's Yellow Flash (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光, Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō; English "Yellow Flash of the Leaf"), was a shinobi who became the Fourth (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage; Literally meaning "Fourth Fire Shadow") of .
When Minato was in the , his class-mate and future wife thought that he looked "flaky" and even "girly". He dreamed of being acknowledged by the villagers by becoming the , which Kushina considered to be an impossible dream for someone like him. Years later, however, when Kushina was kidnapped by ninja, Minato was the only one to pick up on the fact that she was leaving behind strands of her red hair to mark their path. After rescuing her, Minato explained that he had always admired her hair. No longer seeing him as "flaky", she fell in love with him.
According to those who knew him personally, Minato was a very talented ninja — a rare genius that appeared only once in a generation. He graduated from the Academy at the age of ten, and was added to a team under the tutelage of , who took a special interest in Minato, and accepted him as an apprentice, amongst other things teaching him the . He even believed Minato might be the , someone who would someday save the world.