Kakashi Hatake (はたけカカシ, Hatake Kakashi) is a jōnin-level shinobi from Konohagakure and the leader of Team 7. He is known worldwide for his use of the Sharingan, earning him the moniker Copy Ninja Kakashi (コピー忍者のカカシ, Kopī Ninja no Kakashi) and Kakashi of the Sharingan (写輪眼のカカシ, Sharingan no Kakashi).
Kakashi was once very stern and serious due to his father's death, following all the rules and scorning any who disobeyed them, like his team-mate Obito Uchiha. This caused Obito to resent Kakashi, as Kakashi showed little kindness to his team-mate. This changed when Obito was mortally wounded in a mission, and Kakashi and Obito became friends in the latter's final moments.
Obito's death had a huge impact on Kakashi's personality. He is now more cheerful and shows greater concern for his team-mates and students, placing their safety over the successful completion of a mission, as well as believing that teamwork is essential to overall success as a team. He is also regularly late for appointments, making obvious excuses just like Obito before him. This is because of his frequent visits to the memorial where Obito's name is engraved, where he loses track of time. However, Kakashi is still just as carefree and emotionless as he was during his youth, often speaking bluntly about sensitive topics.
Kakashi claims to have lost everyone who was close to him, causing some reluctance to allow others to get close to him. Of the people who are still alive, Kakashi is on the best terms with his students, although he is on good terms with almost everyone in Konoha. After the formation of Team 7, he begins taking a special interest in their development, as shown from his regular checking up on Naruto and his eating habits. He similarly refuses to go on a mission at the end of Part I so that he can stop Naruto and Sasuke from killing each other. Kakashi is just as devoted to his friends and the rest of Konoha, such that his signature technique, the Lightning Cutter, had been made on the principle of duty, and perfected on the principle of protecting loved ones.
Kakashi has a rather solitary and matter-of-fact attitude. His calm and detached demeanour has been called "cool, hip, and trendy" many times by Might Guy. Despite his increasingly growing reputation and prowess as a ninja, Kakashi has shown no signs of arrogance, and is rather modest about his abilities, as shown when he readily praises others for leaps in their combat abilities and stating on more than one occasion that Naruto has surpassed him in power. When suggested by many for him to become Hokage, Kakashi admitted that such a position was unfit for him. His naturally calm attitude is used to his advantage in battle, as it becomes easier for him to maintain his composure to stay focused on the situation at hand, and ultimately notice everything around him. As a result, he can quickly adjust to any situation to make keen and thought-out decisions, allowing him to stay steps ahead of his opponents.
Kakashi has an ongoing, albeit one-sided, somewhat childish rivalry with Guy. In trying to prove himself superior to Kakashi, Guy challenges him to competitions of questionable value ranging from Rock, Paper, Scissors to running races. Guy has a record of 50 wins to 49 losses, which he is particularly proud of, despite these competitions having little accuracy due to their large variations. In the anime, Kakashi has a 51 wins to 50 losses record. Kakashi, on the other hand, shows very little interest in their competitions, which only further inspires Guy to defeat Kakashi and his "coolness".
Kakashi is an avid fan of the Icha Icha series of novels by Jiraiya, showing that he might be slightly perverted. He is typically seen reading one of the books when not involved in a fight, making it the only one of his reportedly several hobbies that is ever seen in the series. He even went and read it during his first fight against Naruto, as Naruto was, at that time, too weak to pose much of a threat. Despite his fondness for the books, he grows uncomfortable when reading passages to others (even around Pakkun and his ninken), presumably embarrassed by the adult content (as noted when they were decoding Jiraiya's last message). Naruto, on one occasion, has used these books against Kakashi during their second bell test, threatening to spoil the ending of the latest instalment to force Kakashi to leave himself vulnerable (by blocking his ears) to prevent learning the ending of the story. However, even with blocking his ears, Kakashi could read Naruto's lips with his Sharingan, so he was forced to shut his eyes as well. Kakashi felt humiliated when he realised that Naruto hadn't read past the first ten pages, and that he was tricked.
Kakashi has always been seen with the standard Konoha shinobi outfit along with iron plated gloves from his ANBU days.
- Kakashi is Koyuki's adoptive uncle, due their relationship between Koyuki's tribe and The Hidden Leaf
- Kakashi is one of few people outside of the Uchiha Clan to use the Sharingan