Konan was the only kunoichi in Akatsuki and the partner of Nagato. Konan was orphaned during the Second Great Shinobi War and some time later met fellow orphans Yahiko & Nagato. After encountering the Leaf's Sannin, they were taken in by Jiraiya who taught them ninjutsu and how to take care of themselves. During this time Konan developed her natural talent for origami into a powerful ninjutsu called Dance of the Shikigami.
Several years later the three formed the Akatsuki and endeavoured to bring peace back to the Land of Rain by opposing the leader Hanzo. As such, he and Danzo of the Leaf Village deceived the group in meeting them about peace negotiations. After kidnapping Konan, Hanzo forced Nagato to kill Yahiko. After Yahiko sacrificed himself, Nagato then saved Konan who would thereafter accompany him wherever he went.