The village head (里長, sato-osa) is the highest-ranking shinobi in a village, and usually the most powerful. They are the main representative of the village to other countries, and are the administrative and military leader of it. They are not alone in maintaining the village, however - the village's councillors and leaders of the various sub-sections of the shinobi forces also aid them in that task. Higher-ranking shinobi may also have a say in changes to the village, but as with many matters, the details vary from village to village. The manner in which the leader is elected also differs. The village head of a village of the Five Great Shinobi Countries is called a Kage, and are collectively called the Five Kage (五影, Gokage; Literally meaning "Five Shadows").

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