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Note: This is based off the latest manga scanned and translated by fans online and not the current manga in print. If you aren't up on the latest manga, this question contains spoilers.

Kakashi activated his mangekyou sharingan back in the war times when

he killed Rin,

but he didn't use it for such a long time.

What was the reason?

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  • 2
    After answering this I'm wondering if you meant to say "Kakashi" instead of "Itachi". Since it was Kakashi who killed Rin. Or maybe you meant to say someone other than "Rin". Oct 12, 2012 at 11:25
  • I'm going to edit this question to what I think the intent of the OP wanted, or else everyone is going to read it incorrectly. As it stands now, it doesn't make sense.
    – spong
    Oct 12, 2012 at 17:36
  • yes you are right mate. I meant Kakashi Oct 14, 2012 at 9:17

2 Answers 2

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Although his personal reasons are of course never revealed, and more than likely are due to plot reasons there are practical reasons why one wouldn't just use an ability like that all the time.

It's use deteriorates your eyesight to the point of blindness. If you don't need it don't use it.

Mangekyo Sharingan

The above is the first link that comes up when you google "Mangekyo Sharingan". Quotation:

Over time, use of the Mangekyō Sharingan's techniques deteriorates the user's eyesight to the point of blindness.

EDIT

If the OP meant to ask about Kakashi, it is most likely due to what Sunpech said, the plot wasn't all there yet. Plus, consider how draining the use of the standard sharingan was on Kakashi near the beginning of the series. The strain rendered him bed-ridden due to prolonged usage. The mangekyo variant is far more draining than the base situation.

The sharingan itself was something Kakashi used very sparingly, it only follows that the far more dangerous mangekyo would be used far less.

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  • +1 I think the writer(s) didn't have it set when the manga was initially created. It's odd how Kakashi only started to use it after it was introduced through Itachi. But it's possible that he didn't know how as he's not from the Uchiha clan, and is more draining on his body.
    – spong
    Oct 12, 2012 at 17:46
  • 1
    Since the question now targets Kakashi, we should take note that Kakashi was immobile for days after using the non-magenkyo sharingan for too long earlier in the series. It was too draining on his body. Oct 12, 2012 at 19:39
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I would argue that Kakashi was simply unaware of having a Mangekyo Sharingan, or of having anything but the regular three-tomoed Sharingan, up until the time skip.

First and foremost, we know from the manga that Kakashi develops Kamui during the time skip: when he meets Naruto and Sakura after the time skip (chapter 247), he refers to a new techinque that he has developed recently. Naruto and Sakura dismiss him over a distraction without letting him elaborate, but it is later revealed in chapters 275 and 276 that the technique is Kamui.

A plausible in-world explanation, which was my understanding while I was reading, is that he underwent some Sharingan-specific training during the time skip in order to counter the increasing threat posed by Akatsuki, specifically Itachi Uchiha. During that training he discovered that, for some reason (could have been Rin, but for all he knew at the time it could have been Obito), he could use Mangekyo Sharingan.

To my knowledge, there is no indication of Kakashi ever considering having Mangekyo Sharingan, let alone consciously activating it for purposes other than Kamui, before the events of 275: it activated on its own upon Rin's death, Kakashi collapsed right after and that was it.

It should be mentioned for context that pre-Shippuden Kakashi knows, although possibly without too many details, that Mangekyo Sharingan is a thing. This can be seen in chapter 142, when he foresees that Itachi is about to use it against him, Asuma and Kurenai. It isn't all too surprising, considering that it does not seem to be a secret (Fugaku Uchiha mentions it to baby Sasuke in a flashback in chapter 224) and that it has a bearing in recent history.

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