Hashirama was originally the leader of the Senju clan. Under his leadership the Senju clan came to be regarded as one of the two most powerful clans in the world, rivalling the renowned battle-oriented Uchiha clan.
When deciding who should become the leader of Konoha, the villagers selected Hashirama over Madara for the title of First Hokage. Fearing that Hashirama would oppress the Uchiha, Madara left the village, and challenged Hashirama's rule. After an intense battle that included the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, Hashirama defeated Madara; and Hashirama's wife Mito became the Nine-Tails' first jinchūriki by sealing it within herself. In the aftermath of their battle, Madara was believed to have been killed, and the Valley of the End was created. To commemorate the battle, two statues, of Madara and Hashirama, were carved into the earth surrounding the valley.