Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen often reminds anime fans about Narutoby Hatake Kakashi. However, another character is said to be the inspiration behind Yuji Itadori’s mentor. According to Twitter, Gojo was inspired by Tonbo Tobitake, a shinobi fan of Naruto may or may not remember, as he is not a main character compared to other shinobi in the hit series.
Kakashi has been a fan favorite since Naruto started. He was a former Team 7 mentor and his white hair combined with a slanted forehead protector makes him easily recognizable among Konoha’s many elite shinobi. The Sharingan, appearing in his eyes, made him a powerful character for most of the original series.
Gojo’s design is not inspired by Kakashi
On Twitter, a quote from Jujutsu Kaisen creator Gege Akutami was shared discussing Gojo’s design and Naruto’s impact on the series. Like Naruto, Jujutsu Kaisen follows a young hero who acts recklessly but protects those around him when possessed by a creature that can cause mass destruction. Naruto and Itadori act as living prisons while they work hard to become stronger. Given these similarities, it’s not surprising that additional connections are assumed, even in terms of each hero’s mentor’s character design. However, Akutami revealed a supporting character in Naruto inspired by Gojo’s appearance: Tonbo Tobitake.
In terms of Gojo’s character design, it’s actually more influenced by the bandaged and blindfolded proctor in the second phase of the Chuunin Exams, than by Kakashi-sensei. The character design at that time left a deep impression on me but when I met Kishimoto-sensei and asked him about it, he said ‘Is there such a guy…?’
As mentioned in the quote, Tonbo Tobitake was the proctor in the Chunin Exams. He first appeared in the third volume of Naruto and chapter 40 of the manga. His head and upper face are largely concealed by a bandage wrapped around his head, while a forehead protector covers his eyes. Although Gojo also has an eye patch, he is known to have removed it to use his Six Eyes jutsu. Understandably, this trait seems to be inspired by Kakashi’s Sharingan, especially since both characters wear white hair in a pointed style.
Tobitake is not a famous character, even when it comes to his creator himself. He doesn’t seem to have any special abilities based on his current appearances in Naruto. In many ways, he seems unremarkable other than that he is a Chunin serving as part of the Konoha Intelligence Department to gather and analyze information. Although he looks a lot like Kakashi Hitake, Satoru joyous not modeled after the icon Naruto instructor.