In the world of Naruto, countries operate as separate political entities ruled by landlords. Within these countries are hidden villages, settlements housing ninja. A hidden village maintains the economy of the parent country by training ninja from a young age and using them to perform missions for other countries. The ninja of a hidden village also serve as the military force of their parent country. The leaders of the hidden villages hold equal status with the leaders of their respective countries. Five countries in the Naruto world are known as the "Five Great Shinobi Nations". These countries are the most powerful in the Naruto world. They are ruled by a feudal lord and the leaders of the hidden villages in these countries hold the title of Kage.
Land of Fire
The Land of Fire is one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations, and contains the hidden village of Konoha. Per its namesake, the Land of Fire is oriented towards the element of fire, with bright and warm weather.
Land of Wind
The Land of Wind is one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations, it is a large, dry, and desolate country whose cities are found near water sources. While much of the country is inhospitable, the population is large and prosperous due to frequent trade with the Land of Fire. The hidden village in the Land of Wind is Sunagakure. Land of Sound The Land of Rice Fields is a small country sharing a border with the Land of Fire. Orochimaru, a former Konoha ninja, took control of the country, and renamed it the Land of Sound.
Land of Water
The Land of Water is one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations and contains the hidden village of Kirigakure. It is composed of many islands, with each having its own unique traditions. The Land of Water and Kirigakure are shown only briefly in the series, but several ninja featured in the series hail from this area.
Land of Lightning
The Land of Lightning is one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations and contains the hidden village of Kumogakure. It is composed of numerous mountain ranges. The country and its inhabitants go largely unseen until late in the second half of the series.
Land of Earth
The Land of Earth is one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations and contains the village of Iwagakure. The leader is called the Tsuchikage, and the current leader is Onoki, the Third Tsuchikage. The ninja in Iwagakure specialize in earth-based jutsu. Not much is known of this land as it has mainly been mentioned in passing in the manga. Like Kumogakure and Kirigakure, it has been revealed that Iwagakure had two tailed beasts in its possession: the four-tailed beast, sealed within an old man named Rōshi, and the five-tailed beast, sealed within a large, armor-clad man named Han.
Land of Waves
The Land of Waves is a poor nation, and as a result does not have a hidden village. It is an isolated island, but was prosperous until the country was taken over by Gato, who monopolized the economy. The Land of Waves is introduced early in Part I, and Team 7, which consists of the main characters of the series, travels to the Land of Waves as bodyguards for a bridge builder. With the aid of the populace of the Land of Waves, Team 7 manage to defeat Gato and his hired assassin Zabuza Momochi, and his assistant Haku, and restore the country to its former status. As a sign of gratitude, the bridge is named the "Great Naruto Bridge" in honor of Uzumaki Naruto.