Born into the famed Uzumaki clan of Uzushiogakure, Kushina lived most of her youth being caught up in war, making her seek for a daily peace. At a young age she was sent to Konoha and enrolled in the Academy.
Wanting to make a strong first impression, she proclaimed to her class that she would be the first female Hokage. The other kids laughed at her statement, and began calling her "Tomato" because of her then-round face and fiery red hair. This prompted her to lash out and pummel the kids who teased her. This, in addition to her red hair flying wildly around her as she did so, earned her the nickname of Red Hot-Blooded.
Kushina was eventually told why she had to leave her home of Uzushio and go to Konoha; because of her special chakra, she was to be the next jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Kushina was terrified by the idea, but she was comforted by the Nine-Tails' then-current jinchūriki, Mito Uzumaki. Before the transfer was performed, Mito advised Kushina that love was the only way to tame the Nine-Tails and overcome its hate.