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The five great countries
Of the countries scattered about the Naruto world, five are considered to be the most powerful and influential of them all. These are the Land of Earth, the Land of Fire, Land of Lightning, the Land of Water, and the Land of Wind. Each represents one of the five elements (earth, fire, lightning, water, and wind, respectively) and each is ruled by a Kage.
Land of Earth
The Land of Earth has seen little attention in the series thus far. What little is known is that it is covered in rocks and caves, with mountains acting as a natural border for the country that make communication with other countries difficult. The winds of the country are also particularly strong, picking up rocks as they go and dropping them upon cities. They are not allies with the Land of Fire, as noted in the Kakashi Gaiden arc. Their hidden village is Iwagakure, the Village Hidden in the Rocks.
Land of Fire
Main article: Land of Fire
The Land of Fire is home to Konohagakure, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, and is the home of the majority of the main characters in Naruto. It enjoys a relatively temperate climate with generally sunny conditions, allowing for bountiful harvests all year-round. Because of its location, the Land of Fire trades heavily with the other surrounding countries, giving it one of the largest populations and strongest economies in the Naruto world. It was at first widely regarded as one of the strongest countries, but became significantly weaker after Orochimaru's invasion of Konoha.
Land of Lightning
The Land of Lightning has also seen little attention in the series. The first databook describes it as a peninsula divided by a vast mountain range, with numerous rivers running from it out to sea. Hot springs are also prevalent within the country. Its hidden village is Kumogakure, the Village Hidden in the Clouds.
Land of Water
The Land of Water is oriented towards the element of water. It is composed of many islands, with each having its own unique traditions. The country's weather is typically cool and full of mist and lakes. In some places, like the area where Haku grew up, it is very cold and snows quite a bit. Little is currently known about it and it apparently leaves itself out of most political affairs, which is understandable considering that it is an island relatively remote from the continent containing the other four major countries. Its hidden village is Kirigakure, the Village Hidden in the Mist. Zabuza Momochi attempted a coup d'état in the country, but was repelled. The Land of Water is the smallest of the five great countries, which may be the reason Kirigakure used to hold the gruesome graduation tests that it did.
Land of Wind
Main article: Land of Wind
The Land of Wind is a large, dry, and desolate country whose cities are typically found near water sources. While much of the country is inhospitable, the population is large and prosperous due to its frequent trading with the Land of Fire. While not seen as often as the Land of Fire, the Land of Wind receives a great deal of attention in the series, and has a great many powerful ninja to call its own. Its hidden village is Sunagakure, Village Hidden in the Sand. The Land of Wind has been relatively uninvolved with politics until recent times, and even had a peace treaty signed with the Land of Fire. The lord ruling it, however, had been systematically cutting down his military force and transferring missions he would normally address to his own country's hidden village to Konohagakure, prompting desperate measures on the part of the Kazekage at the time.
Other shinobi countries
Land of Bears
The Land of Bears is introduced in the Star Village filler arc and is home to Hoshigakure. It is surrounded by a canyon filled with poisonous gas.
Land of Grass
The Land of Grass is home to Kusagakure. Little else is known about the Land of Grass. It is probably very rich with flora.
Land of Rain
The Land of Rain is home to Amegakure, but little is known beyond that. In a flashback, it was shown to be filled with a great number of small buildings in a heavily wooded area, suggesting that it might perhaps be located in a rainforest.
Land of Rice Fields
Main article: Land of Sound
The Land of Rice Fields, otherwise known as the Land of Sound, is a small country bordering the Land of Fire and home to Otogakure, Orochimaru's own hidden village. The Land of Rice Fields is its original name, with the Land of Sound being Orochimaru's own name for it. Many of its shinobi were collected, most being from the Fuma clan, to supply his need for followers and jutsu.
Land of Snow
The Land of Snow was the focus of the first Naruto movie, in which it had been taken over by a tyrant. Its hidden village is Yukigakure. The Land of Snow possesses an unusually advanced level of technology when compared to other countries in the Naruto world. Things such as railroads, airships, power generators, and volley guns are commonplace here, though the latter fired salvos of kunai instead of bullets. Additionally, their ninja wear special chakra armor that makes them virtually immune to ninjutsu and genjutsu.
Land of the Waterfall
The Land of the Waterfall consists of a large waterfall which hides Takigakure, its hidden village. Not much is known about this land, except that Team 7 had a mission that brought them here. Obviously, the landmark of the area is its waterfall, which is rather large by modern standards.
Land of the Moon
The Land of the Moon is the focus of the third Naruto movie. It is an island nation in the shape of a crescent moon, hence the name. It is home to the ninja village Getsugakure. In the first Chunin exam, a ninja wearing a headband with a crescent moon shape on it is seen taking the test, but is not mentioned or shown in the other exams.
Other non-shinobi countries
Land of Birds
The Land of Birds is a small country that Naruto and Team Guy (minus Rock Lee) were sent to in the Bird Country filler arc. They were sent to investigate the rumor of the ghost of Noroimusha, as well as protect the daimyo, Toki. They eventually learned that a group of wandering ninja (The leader posing as the advisor of the Feudal Lord) was hoping to take over the country through a complex conspiracy. The ninja were defeated in the end.
Land of the Claw
The Land of the Claw is featured in episode 177 of the anime. There was, at one point, tension between this nation and the Land of the Fang. The two sides barely averted a war thanks to one of Jiraiya's Icha Icha novels, which was delivered to the Fang Country's feudal lord by mistake.
Land of the Fang
The Land of the Fang is featured in episode 177 of the anime. There was, at one point, tension between this nation and the Land of the Claw. The two sides barely averted a war thanks to one of Jiraiya's Icha Icha novels, which was delivered to the Fang Country's feudal lord by mistake.
Land of Honey
The Land of Honey is briefly mentioned in episode 194 of the anime. Nothing else is known about this land.
Land of Red Beans
The Land of Red Beans is briefly mentioned in episode 194 of the anime. Nothing else is known about this land.
Land of the River
The Land of the River is located between the Land of Fire and the Land of Wind. Akatsuki had their hideout in this country before Sakura Haruno and Chiyo destroyed it in their battle with Sasori. Not much else is known about this country.
Land of the Sea
The Land of the Sea is featured in episode 169. Orochimaru had a hideout here, and several of his forbidden experiments were conducted here as well. One of his subordinates continued the work after Orochimaru abandoned it, leading to attacks on the local ships.
Land of Stone
The Land of Stone is featured in episode 159. It is ruled by a priest.
Land of Swamps
The Land of Swamps makes an appearance in episode 152. Anko Mitarashi protects its daimyo, Chichiya.
Land of Tea
The Land of Tea is a small country in which Team 7 helped Ibiki Morino's younger brother, Idate Morino, win a race with very high stakes. It consists of two separate islands.
Land of Udon
The Land of Udon is first mentioned in episode 192 of the anime. Chikara-sama is the daimyo of this country and is currently engaged to Princess Fuku of the Fire Country.
Land of Valleys
The Land of Valleys is briefly mentioned in episode 193 of the anime, Nanafushi, a shinobi set on stealing Konoha's secrets hails from this country. It is possible that there is a Shinobi village here, but it is unknown.
Land of Vegetables
The Land of Vegetables is featured in episodes 187-191 of the anime. Naruto, Choji, and Hinata are sent there to escort a small convoy, not realizing that the country's daimyo's daughter, Haruna, was with the group.
Land of Waves
The Land of Waves is a relatively poor nation, and thus does not have a hidden village. It is an isolated island, but used to be prosperous nonetheless, until Gato set his sights on it. He broke the people's will and monopolized the import/export industry, which was crucial for its economy. Team 7's first real mission was to this country, and, with the help of Zabuza Momochi and the townspeople Gato's reign of terror was ended for good.
Great Naruto Bridge
The Great Naruto Bridge was the name given to the bridge built by Tazuna to end Gato's monopoly over the economy. While Gato was still in control of the Land of Waves, Tazuna started building the bridge to allow free import and export once again, giving its economy a chance to recover. Tazuna decided to name the bridge after Naruto Uzumaki because of everything he did to inspire both his grandson and, by proxy, the rest of the citizens.