The Land of Earth
It was announced to the public right before the onset of the war. According to the Iwagakure Anbu Black Ops intelligence, the supposed “Tori Massacre” had of course been a false flag attempt from Konoha - and what was worse, the people of Konoha had bought it. The Last Hokage immediately took advantage of the public outcry and marched his forces into Amegakure. Iwagakure was the first to join in Sunagakure’s defense of their ally. Long had there been a feud between the Leaf and the Rock, and this was the perfect chance for Iwagakure to right some of the wrongs that had been done to them.
Though the treachery of the Mizukage had been heinous the death of the First Tsuchikage, the Great Unifier, and a large portion of their military left Iwagakure in a precarious position. The village, with the wholehearted backing of the daimyo, accepted the peace that Kirigakure gave the other nations. Many of its’ people know that the village is in great risk. This is not the diplomatic position it might prefer itself. But they are not the same people they once were; their shinobi were all trained by battle hardened warriors, some of the most experienced among them nine year veterans for one of the most brutal wars in memory. They know that, backed with proper force, a diplomatic solution to the Konoha partition might be viable.
On the whole, the people in Iwagakure have given the Konoha people a good welcome. Those villages in Iwagakure’s sphere had been diplomatically integrated to the village not long before the war, so Iwagakure was well equipped to integrate a new people into its social structure - though, due to the nature of this integration, there are some suspicions remaining for those old enough to have fought against Iwagakure in the war, while the younger generations are generally treated as would any other member in Iwagakure.
Their relations with the Konohanagi members have soured since the war. Likewise, Iwa-Sunagakure relations have also soured. Few can forget the Blood Rain, a disastrous attempt by Iwagakure to take back Amegakure from the forces of Konoha. Not only was it unsuccessful, leaving the village in Konoha’s hands at the cost of many lives, it ultimately killed many hundreds of people in Amegakure, mostly civilians doing their best to live under occupied rule. Many of the surviving involved shinobi still - to this day - hold that it was their best method of breaking into Konoha proper. Kumogakure relations fair no better. For years following the war it was debated on whether or not the shinobi in Kumogakure were incompetent fools, or vicious Machieavellians, perhaps collaborating with Kirigakure the whole time. Some people still whisper that the Raikage was involved with the Mizukage’s betrayal. To them it seemed a likely explanation; three on two didn’t quite seem as befuddling as four on one.
A smaller political entity, Kusagakure quickly learned how to integrate diplomatically with the states around them. Chief among them was the smaller states that would eventually come to make up Iwagakure, as well as Amegakure, Takigakure, and Tanigakure. When the Great Unifier eventually solidified Iwagakure, however, it seemed only natural that Kusagakure would agree to join such a mighty coalition. Still, members of the village kept those close ties with those villages it had once counted as allies.
It was many Kusagakure ninja that were at the forefront in convincing the Great Unifier to go to war, all of them certain that the Tori Massacre was a ploy for Konoha to invade the smaller village. That would give it free access to Sunagakure and, more importantly, Kusagakure. A dangerous prospect for everyone involved. The village went from a tranquil place to the front of the war as Iwagakure fortified it against Konoha assault. Several major Iwagakure offensives (as well as the infamous Blood Rain) were staged in Kusagakure.
During the near decade of war, the stereotypically soft village went through a metaphorical hardening. Where once its ninja were thought of only as adequate enough for their leaders to conduct diplomacy, they garnered serious respect from their Iwagakure brethren. Their traditions in friendly diplomacy meant that they knew the terrain of Amegakure better than almost any of the native Iwagakure or Takigakure shinobi. It was often Kusagakure scouts that gathered the necessary intel the army needed to function.
It’s long been said of Takigakure that it has never been conquered. Every time a foe threatens to overwhelm them, the Hero Water is used to repel the invaders and keep the village safe from all outer threats. At least, that’s how the stories went. When the Shinobi World War started, however, the Hero Water was still decades off. The people of Takigakure had to fight for their lives, their morale weakened by the knowledge that they wouldn’t have their legendary equipment. This was one of the few, minor villages west of Konoha that would see Kirigakure shinobi in the war, in a mad attempt by the Mist ninja to capture the Hero Water.
By and large, though, the village remained mostly fine in the war - at least, compared to somewhere like Sunagakure or Amegakure.