As a child, Jiraiya and his former team-mates, Orochimaru and Tsunade, were students of the Third Hokage. Jiraiya's relation with his team practically mirrored that of the future Team 7, with Jiraiya being quite similar to Naruto. After
leaving the Third's tutel age, he travelled the
Jiraiya at some point discovered the residence of the toads, a species he proved to have a natural
affinity for. In the anime this is shown to have
occurred when he was still the Third's student;
after seeing the Third perform the Summoning Technique, Jiraiya tried to use it himself. Since he did not have a contract, Jiraiya was reversed
summoned to Mount Myōboku, where the Great Toad Sage made a prophecy concerning Jiraiya: that he would someday choose whether one of
his students saved or destroyed the world.
During his time with the toads, he trained in senjutsu.
During the Second Shinobi World War , Jiraiya and his former team-mates fought Hanzō, the leader of Amegakure. Hanzō was so impressed that they could survive in a fight with him, that he
bestowed upon them the title of Konoha's
"Legendary Three Ninja" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin), and that they accept the title in exchange
for letting them live. Once the battle was over,
Jiraiya and his team-mates encountered three young orphans from Amegakure . While Orochimaru suggested they kill them to spare
them the cruelty of the world, Jiraiya decided to
look after them for a while and teach them ninjutsu. During the time he spent with them, Jiraiya grew close to the three children, and even
wrote a book that was inspired by one of them, Nagato. Eventually, he left them so that they could pursue their own goals. Although news of their
exploits reached him from time to time, he
thought them to have died during an undisclosed
Once becoming a jōnin and capable of leading a squad, Jiraiya became the teacher of Minato Namikaze and two other unknown genin. Jiraiya took special interest in Minato, taking him as an
apprentice, and amongst other things teaching
him the Summoning Technique. At some point, he also told Minato about the prophecy the Great
Toad Sage had given him, believing that Minato
could be the Child of the Prophecy.
Later, Jiraiya's first book, The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi, failed to be a best-seller. Minato, now the Fourth Hokage, thought the book was excellent, and praised Jiraiya, saying that the
protagonist resembled him greatly. It was then
that Minato revealed that he and Kushina Uzumaki, who was pregnant at the time, wanted to raise their child to be a great shinobi, like the
one in the book, and for that reason they decided
to name him "Naruto", after the main character. Jiraiya jokingly pointed out that it would make
him Naruto's godfather, and asked if they were
sure that they would want that. Minato replied
that Jiraiya was a good example for them all and
that he could not think of a finer shinobi than him.
Years later, when Orochimaru betrayed Konoha
and left the village, Jiraiya pursued him, trying to
convince his friend to come back (similar to
Naruto's efforts to bring Sasuke home).
Orochimaru refused, and attacked Jiraiya. While
he tried to find a reason for Orochimaru's defection, Jiraiya eventually realised that his
friend wasn't coming back. Feeling that he was
responsible for Orochimaru's escape, Jiraiya left
Konoha so he could follow Orochimaru's
movements, as well as those of " Akatsuki ", an organisation which Orochimaru had eventually
joined. In doing so, Jiraiya was unable to fulfil the
Third's wishes of him taking on the role of
Hokage, feeling that tracking down Orochimaru
was more important.
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