The Man in the Mask might just be...
There is much mystery surrounding who the masked man from Akatsuki might really be, but I have developed a theory that has been processing in my mind for a few hours - and here it is. To avoid any complications, I'm not going to refer to the man in the mask as Madara Uchiha, because although a lot of evidence points to Madara being this mysterious figure, there is no solid proof as of yet.
Let's begin. First I want to make a generalization, before I get to the heart of what I'm trying to say.
Naruto 500 page 02 | One Manga
Naruto 500 page 03 | One Manga
Kushina says that Uzushiogakure (Hidden Eddy Village) and Konohakagure were close, meaning that they had propitious diplomatic relations with one another. She goes on to say that the clans of Uzumaki and Senju are distant blood relatives, with the Uzumaki having a natural aptitude for sealing techniques. Having said this, we know that Uzumaki and Senju had frequent interaction, but then Kushina says her land was destroyed in war because of the fear others held for their extraordinary sealing techniques. Why? The reasons have yet to be explained, but Kushina also says the survivors scattered into other lands and went into hiding.
Naruto 500 page 04 | One Manga
Kushina says that all the Uzumaki clan members had exceptional chakra, and because of this were granted astonishingly long lives. This is all fact so far, but then something very interesting emerges; a certain story which seems to relate greatly to what Kushina is saying.
Naruto 462 page 11 | One Manga
This masked man from Akatsuki, who has managed to keep his identity a giant question of debate as of now, says that a "hate-filled destiny" has followed the Uchiha clan for generations, all born from a decision the Sage of the Six Paths made long ago in the past.
Naruto 462 page 12 | One Manga
The Sage of the Six Paths walked the planet to bring about "peace and order...but when it was still but a dream, his time came. He entrusted two boys with the power and will of the way of the ninja. The elder was born with the Sage's 'eyes,' and was gifted with his powerful chakras and spiritual energy."
The younger, on the other hand, "was born with the Sage's 'body,' and was gifted with his life force and physical energy."
Kushina said that the Uzumaki clan were renowned for their great chakra, which in turn gave them extraordinarily long lives. Isn't it interesting that the younger son of the Sage of the Six Paths (who gave birth to "Senju" as we know it, who in turn were related to the Uzumaki clan) also possessed "an incredible life force," along with "physical energy?"
Naruto 462 page 13 | One Manga
Could the Sage of the Six Paths have been an Uzumaki, founder of the clan? After all, the Sage of the Six Paths did specialize in sealing, did he not? By giving his two sons a single, but different power, the clans of Uchiha and Senju were to emerge from the power the sons received. And both would have a portion of the Uzumaki's power in them. Is that what Kushina meant when she said the Senju clan was distantly related to the Uzumaki? It is too early to say, but it could very well be this.
Naruto 467 page 15-16 | One Manga
The Sage of the Six Paths sealed the Jubi (Ten-Tailed Beast) into himself, and upon dividing its power on his deathbed, creating nine tailed beasts, sealed its empty body away into the moon. This requires much skill, and the Uzumaki clan were the ones who were renowned for their sealing techniques. This way, Naruto might really be a reincarnation of the Sage of the Six Paths, a descendant of the most legendary figure in the Naruto world.
But that is not all. Take a look at this if you will: Naruto 398 page 18 | One Manga. This masked man from Akatsuki says that the potency of his chakra has been the reason he has managed to live so long, which is oddly similar to the reason why the Uzumaki clan are granted such long lives. The masked man from Akatsuki could, shockingly enough, perhaps be a member of the Uzumaki clan, ultimately having relation to Naruto Uzumaki.
Remember, Kushina said that the ones who survived the destruction of the Uzumaki clan went into hiding so they could avoid persecution.
Naruto 386 page 11 | One Manga
Itachi says here that this masked figure "created Akatsuki, and hid himself in its shadow." Was this masked man's intention really to get away from the continous hunting he and his clan members faced? And if this masked member of Akatsuki is an Uzumaki, it would explain why he is so "curious" about Naruto.
Naruto 460 page 09 | One Manga
Furthermore, it would explain how this unidentified person would be able to "see" the First Hokage in Naruto - the Uzumaki were distantly related to the Senju, so they knew each other well, no? They were "close," as Kushina says, so it only adds on to the possibility.
Naruto 462 page 14 | One Manga
And if this masked man is not Madara, it could explain how he has a Sharingan in his right eye (and possibly left). He could have simply stole it from an Uchiha, as Ao did, "a souvenir" from his battle with a Hyuga, mentioning this here:
Naruto 459 page 15 | One Manga
As of now, it is up to interpretation, with several interesting theories circulating these forums. But I just thought to share this with everyone, and get their thoughts on it. Enjoy.