What is the curse mark on Sasuke in ‘Naruto’? Origin and meaning, explained

Sasuke Uchiha is arguably one of the most important main characters in Naruto. Asides from playing the role of Naruto’s rival and teammate, his character has more nuance than just being a side character or love interest. The character had his own various challenges and obstacles throughout the original anime’s run that makes him a compelling character worth following.

Sasuke is one of the only surviving members of the Uchiha clan after his family and village were massacred. Since that horrific event, Sasuke’s goal is to become a powerful ninja so that he can avenge his family’s death by killing his older brother, who was responsible for the mass killing. And it’s this goal, alongside having the ability to use the kekkei genkai – Sharingan, that made him the perfect candidate for Orochimaru to place a curse on him.

What is the curse mark on Sasuke in ‘Naruto’? Origin and meaning, explained

The cursed seal of heaven is a mark placed on Sasuke’s neck by Orochimaru during the Chunin exams. The mark gives the user the ability to draw more power and ultimately lose their will to Orochimaru. The design of the curse mark is shaped of the tomoe, a similar design as the Sharingan. When used, the mark spread across the body, changing the marks from black to a flaming red and orange tone.

Sasuke got a taste of this power during the second test of the Chunin exams, where he was able to break the arms of Zaku as his team tried to kill Sakura, Naruto, and himself when they were weak due to Orochimaru’s attack. It was also almost used during his preliminary fight against Yoroi.

Orochimaru used these cursed seals as a form of research for immortality and was previously used by Anko, the second proctor during the Chunin exams in Naruto’s era.

The curse was sealed during the preliminaries after Sasuke qualified for the finals by his mentor Kakashi using the Evil Sealing Method, but it’s only effective if Sasuke doesn’t use the seal. Kakashi was confronted by Orochimaru, saying that Sasuke will seek out for him to use more of the seal’s power. Unfortunately, Sasuke chose to advance his seal to the second phase in order to exact his revenge, which led to his body turning into a monstrous form.

The mark was eventually removed from his body later on in the series when his older brother Itachi used the Sword of Totsuka to extract Orochimaru from Sasuke and sealed him in the sword.

Sasuke is a person who would do whatever it takes to be strong. He was first introduced as someone who rather does things on his own rather than relies on his teammates. And while he started to get along with both Sakura and Naruto, he still didn’t stray from his goal of wanting vengeance. But deep down, he’s a good guy with a tragic past.