The leaders of Konoha had suspicions that there was a spy within their midst and Kisuke was assigned with the task of finding out who that person was. His investigations led him to an upcoming shinobi, Sabiru. One night, he tracked down Sabiru in a forest, and after discovering he was the spy he engaged him in battle. After a short fight, Sabiru deceived him with a shadow clone and threw him in the river below. He managed to grab a rock, but Sabiru appeared on top of it, saying he had already killed his wife and burned down his house. He then proceeded to extract Kisuke's soul from his body, sealing it in a tag, which was left attached to the rock.
The tag was eventually found and accidentally removed by Naruto, resulting in Kisuke's soul appearing before him a short time later as a ghost, with no memories of his past life. After asking around Konoha, he and Naruto discovered Kisuke's comatose body in Konoha Hospital: the body was later killed by Sabiru, resulting in a second "death" for Kisuke.
With Naruto's help, the now deceased Anbu found out the location of his home, which they found burned down. In this place, by seeing a tulip, Kisuke had his memory back, and revealed what had happened. With Naruto's and Kakashi's help, Kisuke managed to prevent Sabiru from operating his dangerous security project, which would have caused troubles to the village. By possessing Naruto's body and using his signature Shadow Clone Technique, he then proceeded to attack Sabiru. Before he could take revenge however, Kabuto Yakushi silently killed Sabiru from a distance, to prevent him from revealing anything.
In the end, he was able to find eternal rest and meet his loved wife again. As he disappeared, he asked Naruto to put some tulips on his and his wife's grave, thanked him for everything he had done to help him and encouraged him to live his life to the fullest.
Kisuke seemed to be a caring man with a deep love for his wife and his country. After his death, as a ghost, he appeared to be easily scared, as seen in his first encounter with Naruto, where the former's cry scared him, and depressed about his undead condition. However, he easily got used to being a ghost, as he showed no discouragement or fear when his body was killed, resulting in a second "death" for him.
Kisuke was a tall man with long brown hair, with a distinctive bang covering the right side of his face. In life, he wore his hair in a top knot, in a similar fashion to Deidara; as a ghost, his hair was loose. When he was alive, he wore a high collared blue shirt with a green short kimono closed by a yellow belt, mid-length purple pants and sandals; after his death, he donned a similar attire, but with his shirt reaching down to his legs like a robe, and no pants under it.
As an Anbu, Kisuke was adept at espionage and tracking. In battle, he showed an inclination for trap-oriented attacks, as seen when he was able to immobilise Sabiru with some previously placed wiresright after clashing with him in mid-air wielding a kunai.
- "Maboroshi" (幻) means "phantom", "vision", "illusion", "dream".