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Nature Transformation (translation meaning "Seishitsu Henka") is an advanced form of chakra control. It entails the moulding and defining of one's chakra into an innate type of chakra nature, altering its properties and characteristics. Nature transformation is one of two necessary techniques for creating a jutsu, its counterpart being shape transformation. Few shinobi can use both shape manipulation and nature manipulation.

Basic Types

550px-Elemental Relationships Diagram svg

A circluar diagram of the different elemental weaknesses. Clockwise from the top: Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth,and Water.

There are five basic types into which the nature of chakra can be transformed, called the Five Elements Nature Transformations (translation meaning "Godai Seishitsu Henka"). These five types are also called elements and chakra natures, and are not only the origin of the names of the Five Great Nations, but also the foundation of all elemental ninjutsu. The five basic natures are all connected to each other in a circle, each being weaker than one and stronger than another.

These elements allow for elemental ninjutsu to be performed:

  • Fire (Hi) natured chakra allows for Fire Style (Katon), which is strong against Wind but weak against Water.
  • Wind (Kaze) natured chakra allows for Wind Style (Futon), which is strong against Lightning but weak against Fire.
  • Lightning (Kaminari) natured chakra allows for Lightning Style (Raiton), which is strong against Earth but weak against Wind.
  • Earth (Tsuchi) natured chakra allows for Earth Style (Doton), which is strong against Water but weak against Lightning.
  • Water (Mizu) natured chakra allows for Water Style (Suiton), which is strong against Fire but weak against Earth.

Basically, this means that if an elemental jutsu is put against an elemental jutsu of the same level, but of a stronger nature, than the jutsu with the superior nature will prevail. However, a jutsu with a weaker nature can overpower a jutsu with a stronger nature if the former is of a higher level.

Counterbalancing

For relationships between chakra natures, there is a principle known as counterbalancing (translation meaning "Sōsai"). This principle states that two jutsu of the same nature would cancel each other out if the same amount of chakra was put into them. For example, in Kakashi's fight with Kakuzu, he was able to cancel Kakuzu's Lightning Style: False Darkness by deflecting it with his own jutsu, the Lightning Blade.

However, if one of the jutsu had more chakra put into it, it would overcome the other jutsu. Not only that, but the stronger jutsu would absorb the weaker one, and the user of the weaker jutsu would receive more damage than the original amount, as he will have added to the jutsu.

Affinity

In general, every person has chakra that has an affinity towards one of these types, a characteristic that seems to be genetic, since whole clans sometimes share affinity. Most members of the Uchiha Clan, for example, had an affinity towards the Fire nature.

To find out what affinity someone has, pieces of paper made from a special type of tree (that are grown and fed with chakra) are used that react to even the slightest hint of chakra in any of a number of ways, depending on the nature latent in the chakra.

The Chakra Paper reactions are as follows:

  • Fire: the Paper will ignite and turn to ash
  • Wind: the Paper will split in two
  • Lightning: the Paper will wrinkle
  • Earth: the Paper will turn to dirt and crumble away
  • Water: the Paper will become wet/damp

This affinity makes it easier to learn how to create and control the nature in question, although even with an affinity this process will usually take any number of years. Shinobi are not limited to the nature they have an affinity to, though. By the time they reach the rank of Jonin, most shinobi have mastered two natures. However, because of the difficulty of mastering a nature and the time required to learn it, it is almost impossible to master all five natures in a normal way. However, there's only three ways to do so, people who are born with the Rinnegan possess all the elements, while Kakuzu got them by stealing the hearts, and chakra, of others, and Jinchuriki have the power to learn and master all five elements.

Advanced Types

Besides the five basic nature types, there are several more advanced types. By initiating two basic nature transformations simultaneously, one can create a completely new nature with unique properties, and is referred to as a "elementally-recomposed nature type". Doing this requires a special ability and such abilities are rarely seen outside a kekkei genkai.

List of Advanced Chakra Natures:

  • The Ice Nature, used by the Yuki Clan and the Hozuki Clan, is created by simultaneously combining the Water and Wind natures. This nature allows for the use of Ice Style ("Hyoton") ninjutsu.
  • The Wood Nature, used by the Senju Clan, is created by simultaneously combining the Earth and Water natures. This nature allows for the use of Wood Style ("Mokuton") ninjutsu.
  • The Lava Nature, used by some Kirigakure and Iwagakure shinobi, is created by simultaneously combining the Fire and Earth natures. This nature allows for the use of Lava Style ("Yoton") ninjutsu.
  • The Crystal Nature, used by some unknown clan or village ninja (mostly Guren), is created by simultaneously combining the Earth nature and an unspecified nature. This nature allows for the use of Crystal Style ("Shoton") ninjutsu.
  • The Inferno Nature, used by the Uchiha Clan, is created by simultaneously descended of Fire nature. This nature allows for the use of Inferno Style ("Enton") ninjutsu.
  • The Gale Nature, used by some Kumogakure shinobi, is created by simultaneously combining the Lightning and Water natures. This nature allows for the use of Gale Style ("Ranton") ninjutsu.
  • The Vapor Nature, used by the Terumi Clan (mostly from Mei Terumi), is created by simultaneously combining the Water and Fire natures. This nature allows for the use of Vapor Style ("Futton") ninjutsu.
  • The Particle Nature, used by some Iwagakure shinobi, is created by simultaneously combining the Fire, Earth, and Wind natures. This nature allows for the use of Particle Style ("Jinton") ninjutsu.
  • The Dark Nature, used by all kind of shinobi, is created by simultaneously combining the Wind and Fire natures. This nature allows for the use of Dark Style ("Meiton") ninjutsu.
  • The Steel Nature, used by all kind of shinobi, is created by simultaneously combining the Lightning and Earth natures. This nature allows for the use of Steel Style ("Koton") ninjutsu.
  • The Psychic Nature, used by all kind of shinobi, is created by simultaneously descended of Water nature. This nature allows for the use of Psychic Style ("Saikiton") ninjutsu.
  • The Speed Nature, used by all kind of shinobi, is created by simultaneously descended of Wind nature. This nature allows for the use of Speed Style ("Sumiton") ninjutsu.
  • The Blast Nature, used by some two unknown clan in Iwagakure (mostly used by Gari and Deidara), is created by stimultaneously combining Earth and the other nature unknown (possibly, Earth and Wind, or Earth, Fire, and Wind natures). This nature allows for the use of Blast Style ("Bakuton") ninjutsu.
  • The Scorch Nature, used by Shakutsu Clan, is created by simultaneously combining some unknown natures (probably Wind, Water, and Fire natures). This nature allows for the use of Scorch Style ('Shakuton") ninjutsu.

Combining with Shape Transformation

While nature transformation changes the actual nature of the chakra, shape transformation allows a ninja to change the actual shape and actions of the chakra, altering its abilities. Because of this, a jutsu like the Rasengan can be turned into the Wind Style: Rasengan or the Wind Style: Rasenshuriken, because of Wind Style being joined with the movement of chakra. The cutting nature of wind-natured chakra is used in conjunction with the form of millions of minuscule blades in a spiralling formation, resulting in a much more powerful jutsu.

Yin and Yang

side from the five basic types of nature transformation, there is also a sixth type: the Yin (陰, In), the basis of imagination and spiritual energy, used to perform Yin Style (translation meaning "Inton"); and the Yang (陽, ), the basis of vitality and physical energy, used to perform Yang Style (translation meaning "Yoton"). Together, they are used to perform Yin–Yang Style (translation meaning "Onmyoton"). Yamato implied that the Yin and Yang are the source of non-elemental techniques such as the Shadow Possession Jutsu, Expansion Jutsu, medical ninjutsu, genjutsu, etc. The transformation of the Yin and Yang seemingly has to do with altering the amounts of and balance between spiritual and physical energy in chakra.

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