Neji was born the son of Hizashi Hyลซga, placing him in one of the Hyลซga clan's branch houses. When the heiress of the main house, Hinata, turned three years old, Neji's forehead was branded with the customary cursed seal by his uncle, Hiashi. Despite how young he was at the time, Neji's natural talent with the Hyลซga's trademark techniques was apparent to his father. For this reason, Hizashi resented that Neji was marked with a cursed seal, as he felt it bound him to a life of service to the main house when he should be destined for greater things. His anger would often manifest subconsciously, prompting Hiashi to activate Hizashi's cursed seal and punish him with pain, an act that traumatized Neji. Shortly after Neji received his cursed seal, a Kumogakure Head Ninja visiting Konoha took advantage of a peace treaty and attempted to kidnap Hinata in order to gain the secrets of the Byakugan. Hiashi stopped and killed the Head Ninja. In what became known as the Hyลซga Affair, Kumo denied the allegations made against its Head Ninja and insisted Hiashi's actions were a declaration of war by Konoha; the only way to avoid hostilities between the two villages would be if Hiashi's body were turned over to Kumo as compensation. Hiashi was willing to do so if it meant protecting Konoha, but that in turn would give Kumo the Byakugan. Hizashi, Hiashi's twin brother, volunteered to be his body double since his cursed seal would destroy his Byakugan at the time of his death, a fate he insisted upon over Hiashi's protests. Neji was too young to understand what was happening at the time, and over the years came to believe his father had been forced to die for the main house. Neji became spiteful towards the members of the main house for what he believed they'd done to his father; in the anime, he missed no opportunity to try and harm Hinata. He also came to believe that the course of a person's life was determined from the moment of their birth and could be altered under no circumstances. When he graduated from the Academy at the top of his class he was added to Team Guy, where his philosophy placed him at odds with one of his teammates, Rock Lee: Lee wanted to become a great ninja despite his limitations, which Neji believed was impossible. Tenten was easily wowed by Neji, but Lee became determined to defeat Neji in a fight to prove him wrong. Their instructor, Might Guy, encouraged this, believing competition and the drive to succeed would push them to new heights.