Akatsuki is an organization consisting of some of the most powerful ninja from different ninja villages all around the world. This group of powerful people has one main mission, to hunt every jinchuriki, and extract the tailed-beasts that are sealed within them. Considering the jinchurikis are located in different nations, and every single one of them boasts a remarkable amount of power, it is safe to say that this is an incredibly dangerous, time-consuming, and most importantly, costly endeavor.
Akatsuki may be one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world, but even they can’t do whatever they want for free. From something as simple as living expenses to the appropriate reward for its members, Akatsuki needs tons of money to make sure it can run its operation smoothly. So how did Akatsuki make money? Well, they have two main sources of income: Mercenary works and Assassination gigs.
At its root, Akatsuki was a rebel group in Amegakure that sought to overthrow a tyrannical government. After losing so many of its members, Akatsuki managed to achieve that objective. But thanks to the influence of Madara Uchiha, Akatsuki quickly turned its gaze to the outside world. They began to recruit powerful and dangerous ninja into their ranks and solidify themselves as a powerhouse organization. The main objective of Akatsuki has always been to collect the tailed-beasts, but before they began that life-long mission, they started off by becoming mercenaries, a group of highly-skilled soldiers for hire.
The situation between the five great ninja villages at the time is quite tense, to say the least. They may not engage in a full-blown open war, but there are countless secret missions, spies, and small skirmishes every day. Think of it as the Cold War of the ninja world. That situation couldn’t be more perfect for Akatsuki. Thanks to the versatile abilities of its members, Akatsuki can take any kind of job thrown at them, and execute it to perfection. For nations that wish to gain something from their enemies without having to dirty their own hands, Akatsuki is the perfect solution for them.
During the five kage summit before the Fourth Great Ninja War, the Tsuchikage admits that Akatsuki offers excellent service with a relatively affordable price. Be it infiltrating an enemy’s base or ambushing a group of highly trained ninjas, Akatsuki can complete all kinds of missions for whoever is willing to pay them. Tsuchikage even alluded to the fact that Orochimaru’s infiltration of Konoha is one of the handiworks of the Akatsuki, although he’s not sure if Orochimaru is still a member of the Akatsuki at that point. It’s unclear how much money the group earned from their work as a mercenary, but since there are apparently a lot of governments, organizations, or even private entities that are willing to use their service, we can assume they make quite a lot of money through this work.
This particular gig is actually tied heavily to the first one. After all, the requests that a group of overqualified mercenaries like them receives usually have something to do with killing certain groups or individuals. And since Akatsuki is composed of individuals who have mastered different kinds of jutsu, they are certainly the perfect people for an assassination job. The story never explicitly mentions anything about the people who are unfortunate enough to be the target of their assassination, but it’s not hard to imagine the members of Akatsuki pulling off any kind of assassination.
Because while there are Akatsuki members that have a destructive fighting style, such as Kisame or Kakuzu, there are also members who are experts
in stealth combat, and thus perfect for an assassination job. Itachi can trap his target within his Genjutsu and then kill them in thousands of different ways. Deidara can use his clay bombs to eliminate targets who hide behind any kind of security. Hidan can kill anybody once he ingests their blood. Zetsu can appear out of any solid objects undetected and take out his target silently. And don’t forget that Tobi can phase through anything and travel anywhere through his unique dimension.
And then there are also some members who have a large network of spies and information while also have the ability to perform exceptionally well in both open battlefield and in stealth missions, such as Sasori, Konan, Orochimaru, and Pain. So as you can see, they are the perfect people for any kind of assassination Other Money-Making Endeavors
Those are some of the ways Akatsuki funds their operation. One thing worth noting, however, is the fact that from what we’ve seen in the story, Akatsuki is a rather loose organization. Because while all of them have to adhere to any commands and missions that the leader gives them, they are free to do whatever they want when they are not on an Akatsuki mission. That means each member has their own way to collect money that may not be listed in this brief article.
There are people like Orochimaru and Sasori who have their own secret organizations and have a multitude of ways to collect money. There are also Pain and Konan who are basically the rulers of the Amegakure, which means money is the least of their problems. And then there’s Kakuzu who loves to be a bounty hunter. To him, it is a quick and relatively easy way to earn a huge sum of money. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are also people like Hidan who act like a hoodlum and simply take whatever he wants. So as you can see, other than being frighteningly powerful, Akatsuki is also a bunch of entrepreneurial ninjas.
Individual members aside, it’s worth remembering that other than operating expenses, the main goal behind the works of Akatsuki is not money, but rather influence and recognition. By providing services to numerous influential clients, they gain valuable information and connections that will eventually be useful to achieve their main objectives. And by being recognized as a powerful and dangerous organization, there are few people who dare to stand in their way, which will make it easier for them to complete their missions.
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