Remember the strange boy who joined Kakashi’s Team 7 as a replacement for Sasuke? Yeah, he was Sai, who seemed like an antagonist at first. But later won the hearts of his people and also ours with his character. Sai was a very complex character with a tragic childhood. But again, his life started to turn around when he joined Team Kakashi. This also gave him the opportunity to make new friends, who played a huge part in altering his outlook on life. And Sai became one of the best and most-loved characters in Naruto. So, let’s look at some lesser-known but interesting facts about Sai Yamanaka in Naruto.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers about Sai Yamanaka from the Naruto manga and anime series. We suggest you watch the anime and read the manga first to avoid ruining your experience.
1. Sai’s New Family and His New Last Name
When Sai met Ino for the first time, he called her beautiful and that marked the beginning of a lovely relationship. Sai was initially seen struggling with his emotions, but he later began to understand love together with Ino. They dated, and it was confirmed in the finale that they have feelings for each other and are in a relationship. Fast forward to Boruto (check out the complete Boruto filler list), they’re now married and have a delightful kid named Inojin Yamanaka.
The interesting fact here is Sai had no last name in the Naruto anime show. But after marrying Ino, he decided to take her last name and is now called Sai Yamanaka. While we have seen female characters in Naruto like Sakura and Hinata taking up their husbands’ last names, we haven’t seen a male do it. So, Sai is the only male character in the series to take his wife’s last name.
2. Sai Is a Powerful Root Member of His Generation
From a young age, Sai Yamanaka was raised as a member of the Root, a branch of Anbu training division, and he went on to get lauded by Danzo himself. Danzo trusted Sai and his powers very much; so much so that he assigned him top missions like single-handedly taking out Sasuke. As a result, Danzo recognized Sai to be the strongest Root member produced in his generation.
Even as he reached adulthood, he grew up more in terms of power. He became the head of the Anbu division due to the massive talent he possessed. He was seen working directly under the Seventh Hokage, Naruto of the Uzumaki clan, and assisting him in big decisions. Thus, Sai still continues to be one of the top authoritative figures in the Naruto series.
Note: Recently, Sai has been moved from “Anbu” to Chūbu (Support Division), and it is currently unknown why this change has been made in the anime.
3. Sai’s Tragic Past Leads to His Inept Personality
When Sai was first introduced in this show, he was seen as more of an emotionless person. He made up for his lack of emotions with a little smile on his face all the time. Sai was an orphaned child who was later taken into Anbu’s Root division. There he was trained to have zero emotions, no personality, and no closeness to anyone whatsoever.
His humane side was gotten rid of from a young age itself, which is the reason why he grew up as an emotionless person. For those who are wondering why they were trained this way, well, it was so that they can carry out any immoral missions assigned to them without personal feelings or doubt clouding their judgement.
So Sai didn’t grow up socializing with other people and that led to him having a hard time processing emotions and bonds between people. Subsequently, he was also seen speaking without giving any thought, which hurt people around him. For example, he called Sakura “ugly” and almost called Choji “fat” during their first encounter. But over time, he realized his mistakes and wanted to rediscover his emotions in order to become a better person (which he did too).
4. Sai Considers Kakashi as His Senpai to this Date
I’m sure every Naruto fan remembers that Kakashi used to be a member of the Konohogakure’s Anbu. Since Sai was also a part of Anbu, out of respect for his senior, Sai Yamanaka called Kakashi his Senpai. Sai even became a part of Kakashi’s Team 7 later on, which he might not have expected when he was a member of the Root.
Another interesting fact about the relationship between these two characters is that, according to the Naruto Databook, Sai wants to battle against his senpai Kakashi in a friendly way. Sai may want this to happen in order to prove his strength and prowesses, which he honed all these years.
5. Sai’s Hobby Is Exactly What You Think It Is
Sai developed the habit of drawing when he was a kid. His artistic skills gave birth to the Ninjutsu Ink Technique, which is a very unique one. According to the databook, Sai Yamanaka’s hobbies are mainly drawing arts and doing calligraphy. This was also seen a little bit when he was first introduced in the anime.
Throughout the anime, we didn’t see anyone have a hobby or doing something amidst their busy ninja lives. But luckily, we at least get to see that with Sai.
6. Sai Had a Cursed Seal in Naruto
Sai Yamanaka revealed that he had a cursed seal on his tongue. It was placed by none other than by Danzo on all of the members of the Root. Furthermore, Sai explained why Danzo placed a cursed seal on every member. Actually, it was placed in order to prevent anyone from revealing any information about the Root organization.
As this division was very cruel when it comes to missions (to protect the village indeed), Danzo wanted to keep everyone’s mouth shut using this cursed seal. It is considered that Sai’s cursed seal was released after the death of Danzo Shimura. The Root organization was disbanded after his death.
7. Sai Was Lucky to Have an Adoptive Brother
Formerly, Sai had an adoptive brother named Shin who was also a Root member. He was even reincarnated by Kabuto during the Fourth Shinobi World War, for those who do not remember him. Shin first discovered Sai’s artistic abilities while he was alone and supported him as if he were his own brother.
Shin and Sai grew quite close as a consequence, and Sai still views him as his adopted brother. Shin was a significant person in his life and always looked up to him as an older brother. Unfortunately, Shin passed away from an illness when they were forced to fight each other as part of the final training, allowing Sai to prevail.
8. Sai’s Official Power and Skill Stats
For those wondering, according to the Naruto Databook, the official stats of Sai Yamanaka are as follows:
Stats Intelligence Strength Speed Stamina Hand seals Ninjutsu Taijutsu Genjutsu Total Points 3.5 3 3.5 3 4 4 3.5 3 27.5
Furthermore, following his growth in terms of power and skills over time, Boruto’s character trivia showed his updated stats as:
Also, his famous skills such as his artistic skills and disinformation were also given a rating. They are as follows:
Skills Ratings Art (Painting) ★★★★★ Disinformation ★★★★☆
9. Sai’s Favourite Food and Words in Naruto
Naruto’s Databook revealed our beloved Sai Yamanaka’s favorite word and food was revealed. So according to the databook, Sai’s favorite word is Comrades (Nakama). While he grew up as an emotionless person, later in life Sai learned about the bond between people, which resulted in him getting new friends who always stood up for them. He considers his friends so high in his life to the point that Comrades is his favorite word now.
And his favorite food is Momen Tofu (bean curd in English). Additionally, his least favorite food is Mitarashi Dango (rice dumplings covered in sweet soy sauce).
10. Sai’s Skills Were Hugely Underrated
Throughout the show, Sai Yamanaka was seen as a cunning person like a fox. He was also given a rating for his disinformation skills, as we mentioned above. Sai was a clever person who could deceive others easily and was often sent on missions alone by Danzo. Furthermore, he always carried out his espionage missions masterfully, thanks to his excellent Ninjutsu and other techniques. Sai was highly praised by Danzo for his success and powers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sai was initially introduced as more of an antagonist as he worked under Danzo. But later after spending time with Naruto and his new friends, he became an ally and one of the important characters in the anime.
The backstory of Sai is tragic and he is a very complex character in the show. But what makes him more special is his Ink Techniques such as the Super Beast Imitating Drawing and many more.
At the end of Naruto Shippuden, Sai was in a relationship with Ino Yamanaka. Later they married and now they have a son named Inojin Yamanaka.