Tsunade to Sakura: Mother Figure? - Tech With Tech

Tsunade to Sakura: Mother Figure?

Here’s everything about Tsunade being a mother figure to Sakura:

For the most part, Tsunade and Sakura do not have a mother-daughter relationship.

They have a very strong relationship as teacher and student, but neither character is really looking for a mother or daughter figure in their lives.

Despite that, they do have a strong bond and care for each other deeply.

So if you want to learn all about Tsunade acting as a mother figure to Sakura, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

Tsunade to Sakura: Mother Figure? (Everything to Know)

Who Is Tsunade?

Let’s start this conversation with a little background information.

Tsunade is a major character in the Naruto franchise, but before I get into details, it’s important to talk about spoilers.

Tsunade is pivotal in the original Naruto manga as well as the Naruto and Shippuden anime series.

I can’t talk about her or her relationship with Sakura while avoiding pilot points.

So, this is your spoiler warning.

If you aren’t up to speed on Naruto, then you will see spoilers in this discussion.

Note for those who don’t know: manga is a style of Japanese comic book.

Anime are Japanese cartoon shows.

Most popular anime are adapted from manga, and that is the case for Naruto.

With that covered, Tsunade is the Fifth Hokage (leader of the Leaf Village), and the granddaughter of Hashirama (the founder of the Leaf Village).

She’s also one of the legendary Sanin.

She, along with Jiraiya and Orochimaru, was a legend in the Third Great Ninja War.

She fought many enemies, and in that war, she consistently came out on top.

After the death of the Third Hokage, Naruto and Jiraiya set out to find her and convince her to become the Hokage.

They succeeded, and when she took the post, she also took on Sakura as a student of medical ninjutsu. 

Who Is Sakura?

We also need to spend a minute talking about Sakura.

She’s one of the members of Team 7.

She became a ninja in the same year as Naruto and Sasuke, and she worked under Kakashi in the team.

As I already mentioned, Sakura studied medical ninjutsu under Tsunade, and by the time of the Fourth Great Ninja War, Sakura was one of the most powerful and effective medical ninjas in the world.

By the end of that war, Sakura cements herself as one of the most powerful ninjas in her world, probably only under Naruto, Sasuke, and Kakashi.

She maintains that status in Boruto.

All of this is to say that Sakura becomes a truly legendary ninja, and a lot of that ties into her training under Tsunade.

What Is the Relationship Between Tsunade and Sakura? (4 Kinds)

These are both important characters in the story, and the training that takes place is pivotal to plot outcomes.

But, what is their relationship really like?

How do they feel about each other?

The truth is that Sakura trains under Tsunade for multiple years before the Fourth Great Ninja War, and they have a lot of time to develop their relationship.

It’s not one-dimensional, and that’s why I can’t just say whether or not they had a mother-daughter type of relationship.

I’ll discuss that point, but it will be in the midst of every component of their relationship.

With that extra perspective, everything will probably be clearer.

#1 Student-Teacher

The primary aspect of their relationship, by far, is that of student and teacher.

Sakura begs Tsunade to take her on as a teacher, and Tsunade ultimately agrees.

As Sakura studies, Tsunade quickly comes to understand that Sakura will be her greatest pupil.

This isn’t just a matter of a relationship between two characters.

The student-teacher interactions between Sakura and Tsunade are important to the grand plot.

Each of the kids in Team 7 ends up studying under one of the legendary Sanin.

Naruto studies under Jiraiya, Sasuke studies under Orochimaru, and Sakura studies under Tsunade.

This symmetry suggests a bit of destiny in the relationship, so it should come as no surprise that Tsunade and Sakura are teacher and student before anything else.

Despite the strength of this component of their relationship, there is room for other feelings, and they do seem to appear in the series.

#2 Mother-Daughter

Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of the original question.

Is this a mother-daughter relationship?

You could argue that they do have some sense of familial tie to each other, but ultimately, it’s not really a mother-daughter relationship.

Sakura’s parents are alive throughout the original Naruto series (even though we don’t meet them), so she isn’t looking for a parental figure to fill a void (unlike Naruto).

At the same time, Tsunade isn’t really looking for daughter surrogates.

It’s just not a relationship she is seeking.

Because of that, any mother-daughter bonding between the two is extremely minimal.

I would say that overall, that’s just not how they interact with each other.

A little later, I’ll explain each of their individual perspectives. When you compare the mother-daughter ideas to the other clearly present elements of their relationship, I think you’ll agree.

#3 Boss-Subordinate

This is important.

In a ninja setting, a teacher is always going to be something of a boss to the student, and even in other common student-teacher relationships, teachers give out orders to students.

But, the relationship between Sakura and Tsunade has a boss-subordinate component that goes well beyond student and teacher.

Tsunade is the Hokage, and Sakura is a ninja in the military.

It’s Tsunade’s job to send ninjas on missions, and those missions can often be dangerous.

It’s difficult to imagine a mother sending a daughter on these kinds of missions in many scenarios.

Such things do happen in the Naruto universe, but Hokages tend to see things a little differently.

While Tsunade would say that the whole Leaf Village is her family, she does seem to retain a small element of detachment with Sakura, specifically so she can send the young ninja on missions without excessive guilt or worry.

#4 Respected Friend

Tsunade always has the socially superior position relative to Sakura.

Despite that, they do become something of trusted friends.

Such a friendship is always a little different with a generational gap, but they clearly care for each other beyond just being teacher, student, boss, and subordinate.

That’s most evident in the ways that Tsunade comes to trust Sakura with the most important and dangerous tasks.

We don’t get to see a lot of development on that front, but by the Fourth Great Ninja War, Sakura outshines Tsunade on the battlefield, and Tsunade is happy to trust her student as an ally.

What About Sakura’s Perspective?

Let’s really hone in on Sakura’s perspective here.

When Sakura becomes a ninja, she has a living mother and father.

We don’t see Sakura spend much time with her mother, but we know that they have a good relationship.

Sakura actually has the least-tragic backstory for any member of Team 7, and it shows.

She’s clearly less driven than the other characters in the early parts of the show.

Over time, she matures and finds her drive and becomes a legendary ninja.

All of this ties back to her relationship with Tsunade.

Sakura sees Tsunade as a means to become a stronger ninja, not a means to fill an emotional void.

Because of that, Sakura really does see Tsunade as a teacher above all and as the Hokage second.

There just isn’t any need for Sakura to think of Tsunade as a mother figure.

What About Tsunade’s Perspective?

Tsunade’s past is substantially more tragic than Sakuras, so we have to dive a lot deeper to really explore this relationship from Tsunade’s perspective.

I’ll start by saying that Tsunade really doesn’t see Sakura as a daughter figure, and there are clear reasons why.

The best way to understand that is to compare Tsunade’s relationship with Sakura to that of her relationship with Naruto.

When Tsunade meets Naruto, she’s a bit broken.

She has long since lost the people she cared about most in the world, including a younger brother.

Naruto instantly reminds Tsunade of her younger brother, and over the course of their saga together, Tsunade really does form a familial relationship with Naruto.

By the time she agrees to become the Hokage, she sees Naruto as something of a little brother, and arguably, you could say that she might think of him as a son or grandson.

It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely more familiar and familial than what we see with Sakura.

When Tsunade meets Sakura, she is already the Hokage.

So, she already has a sense of responsibility and a need for healthy detachment that weren’t present when she met Naruto.

Because of that, Tsunade doesn’t really form more familial bonds with Leaf ninjas.

On top of that, Tsunade quickly recognizes Sakura as a prized pupil.

She can see from the start that Sakura is incredibly talented, and she’s happy to pour knowledge into the new student.

Tsunade had long wanted to find someone who was capable of mastering all of her techniques, and that someone became Sakura.

It enabled Tsunade to fully assume the teacher role, so there wasn’t a need to add familial attachment to the relationship.

If nothing else convinces you, I’ll leave you with this.

Tsunade clearly treats Naruto and Sakura very differently.

She sees Naruto as family in a way that doesn’t happen with Sakura.