Name : Sarutobi Asuma
Date of birth : October 18
Blood type : O
Height : 190 cm
Weight : 81 kg
Current team : Team 10 (Asuma Sarutobi, Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka, Choji Akimichi)
Niju Shotai (Shikamaru Nara, Asuma Sarutobi, Izumo Kamizuki, and Kotetsu Hagane)
Sarutobi Asuma is the leader of Team 10, consisting of Shikamaru Nara, Choji Akimichi and Ino Yamanaka. Not much is known about Asuma, only that he seems very laid back and is always smoking a cigarette whenever he is seen. However, he often worries about his pupils, who (as he puts it) consist of a "glutton" (Choji), a "loud mouth" (Ino), and a "slacker" (Shikamaru).
There is a possibility he is romantically involved with Kurenai Yuhi. At one point, Kakashi mentions this and Asuma attempts to change the subject.
The sash under Asuma's vest indicates that he was a member or previous resident of the "Temple of Fire" Ninja Temple within the Land of Fire. It's possible that Asuma was one of the 12 Guard Ninjas of Fire who protected the Lord of the Land of Fire at one point in his life, before returning to active military duty as a Jonin (akin to Kakashi's stint as an ANBU operative before returning to the rank of Jonin in the ninja military).
Asuma uses trench knives (brass knuckles with a blade on one end) to fight. He can extend the blades of his brass knuckles with his chakra to injure the enemy even though the physical portion of the blade doesn't touch them.
He finally makes his appearance in Part II with his team. They visit Kakashi in the hospital and Asuma sends the kids off to dinner saying he will pay. Apparently, Asuma wanted to talk to Kakashi about something of importance, but he was quickly interrupted by appearance of Kurenai, who was looking for Asuma. Once Kurenai appears, Asuma changes his mind and says they'll talk later. As he left with her, Kakashi commented that was even more curious about what Asuma had to say.
In chapter 314, it is confirmed that Asuma is the son of the . While standing at the Third's grave, he comments on how he's finally beginning to understand what the Third taught him. Asuma confesses that he's always been detached from Konoha, but after seeing how his father sacrificed himself for the village, he is now proud to be a member of the Sarutobi family. There were several clues leading to the revelation of Asuma's connection to the Third Hokage, including:
- The Third is often seen smoking a pipe seeing as he is from an older generation, while Asuma is often seen smoking a cigarette as he is from a younger generation.
- In flashbacks of the Third when he was younger, his facial features bore a resemblance to Asuma, minus Asuma's long sideburns.
- He and the Third Hokage share a resemblance in terms of appearance. Note that they both have similar hairstyles and facial hair.
In chapter 317, the reasoning behind Asuma molding chakra around his trench knives is explained; by imagining his chakra being split into two pieces and rubbing them together, he can sharpen the chakra parts into into fine pieces and compress them together. He emphasizes that "the thinner and sharper the better." After molding chakra around the knife and throwing it, the knife possesses enough power to pierce through a tree and embed itself in a boulder behind the tree. Asuma told Naruto that if he hadn't restrained himself, he could have sent the knife through the rock also.
In the following chapter, he is teamed up with Shikamaru, Kotetsu Hagane, and Izumo Kamizuki as members of Niju Shotai. His team, along with the entire group, was ordered by Tsunade to search and capture Akatsuki members. However, if it doesn't seem possible, they can kill them. Asuma mutters a slight complaint about the mission before taking off ("Well, somebody has to do it.") and Shikamaru looks over in confusion. Kurenai also glances over through her window, realizing the Niju Shotai are going, and glances down sadly.