Hashirama Senju was considered by both Madara Uchiha and several Konoha Jōnin as the most powerful ninja of his time. He was greatly respected by every shinobi during his life, such that Madara claimed Hashirama was the one person whom he respected the most as well as detested. He knew how to perform a great number of jutsu, and was otherwise knowledgeable of those he could not, as indicated by creating the Scroll of Seals and his familiarity with Summoning: Impure World Resurrection. In the manga he uses a genjutsu against Hiruzen that covers the area in darkness. However, in the anime, it was shown that his brother Tobirama Senju used this genjutsu instead. During his battle with Madara, Hashirama is seen with a variety of weapons that he summoned from a large scroll.
His prowess and abilities were so great that he was able to not only fight on equal footing with Madara despite the power of his Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan and having the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox at his side, but also survive the battle and gain victory in the end. The injuries which he caused to Madara were so great that even decades later they still affect him tremendously.
Nature Transformation Edit
Hashirama using Wood Release.
He was most famous for his Wood Release technique, a kekkei genkai to mix earth and water-natured chakra to create this new element. By converting chakra into the source of life, he was able to create trees, causing them to grow to great sizes and manipulate them to diverse shapes and battle uses at will. It was said that this ability was used to create the very landscape and foundation that Konoha is built on. This ability was apparently unique for him, since none of his relatives were shown using the ability. Even Yamato, the only person to have proved compatible with Hashirama's genes, found his use of Wood Release to be much weaker in raw power. Yamato has also shown great skill in standard water and earth techniques, so it is presumed Hashirama could do water and earth techniques as well.
The ability Orochimaru most highly praised him for was his unique ability to control tailed beasts. Of all his considerable talents, it was this ability in particular that made Hashirama unparalleled in the shinobi world, so much so that he is regarded as one of the few people capable of completely controlling a tailed beast. At one time, he had many of the beasts in his possession. This ability was greatly amplified by his crystal necklace, which Yamato suggested was a requirement to control even Naruto's partial lapses into tailed forms.