Born into the famed Uzumaki clan of Uzushiogakure, Kushina lived most of her youth being caught-up in war, making her seek for a daily "peace". At a young age she was sent to Konoha and enrolled in the Academy.
Wanting to make a strong first impression, she proclaimed to her class that she would be the first female Hokage. The other kids laughed at her statement, and began calling her Tomato because of her then-round face and fiery red hair. This prompted her to lash out and pummel the kids who teased her. This, in addition to her red hair flowing wildly around her, earned her the nickname of Red Hot-Blooded Habanero.

Sometime after arriving in Konoha, Kushina was kidnapped by Kumogakure ninja who wanted to make use of her special chakra. As they escorted her to Kumo she secretly plucked and left behind strands of her red hair to mark her trail in the hopes that someone would find her. Minato Namikaze, one of her classmates that Kushina believed to be a wimp, was the only one to pick up on this. After rescuing her he informed her that he had always admired her red hair. Since Minato proved himself to be anything but a "wimp" and liked the one thing she hated about herself, Kushina fell in love with him, now considering her red hair as the "red thread of fate" that had brought them together.
Red Thread of Faith

Kushina was eventually told why she had to leave her home of Uzushio and go to Konoha; because of her special chakra, she was to be the next jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Kushina was terrified by the idea, but she was comforted by the Nine-Tails' then-current jinchūriki, Mito Uzumaki. Before the transfer was performed, Mito told Kushina that love was the only way to tame the Nine-Tails and overcome its hate. The love of Minato helped her do so.

As she grew up Kushina became renowned for her beauty and unique ninjutsu style, including the fūinjutsu of her clan. At some point, Kushina married Minato and they conceived a son. During her ten-month jinchūriki-influenced pregnancy, they decided to name him "Naruto" after the main character of Jiraiya's first book. When Jiraiya asked if they were sure, stating that it was a name he had just came up with whilst eating a bowl of ramen one day, Kushina said that it was a beautiful name. They even approved of Jiraiya to be Naruto's godfather. Kushina also hoped that her son and her best friend Mikoto Uchiha's youngest son Sasuke would become friends in the future.

Because the seal keeping the Nine-Tails within Kushina's body would be at its weakest during childbirth, special arrangements were made. Kushina would leave the village in secret and give birth in a remote location. Minato would help maintain the seal and ANBU would guard the area. Soon after Naruto was born they were found by Madara Uchiha. Madara killed all of the ANBU, Biwako, Taji, and took the newborn baby Naruto hostage, threatening to kill him as well. Minato was able to take Naruto back, but this gave Madara the chance to escape with Kushina. Wishing to use the Nine-Tails to destroy Konoha, Madara released it from Kushina's body. Since the longevity inherent to the Uzumaki clan allowed her to survive the extraction, though greatly weakened by experience, Madara tried to have the Nine-Tails finish Kushina off. She was saved by Minato and brought to Naruto, who she stayed with while Minato went to help in the village's defence.

To stop the Nine-Tails' attack, Minato was forced to bring it to Kushina and Naruto's location, and both of them to its. Despite her weakened state, Kushina used her diminished chakra to restrain the Nine-Tails. Kushina then volunteered to have it sealed back into her body so that it would die with her. Doing so would also save the lives of Minato and Naruto; her thanks to them for giving her such a happy life. Minato suggested using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal on the Nine-Tails and sealing the rest of it into Naruto instead.
As this would also mean Minato's death, and consequently give Naruto a horrible and lonely life, Kushina naturally objected. Minato convinced her that it was for the best, and that doing this would also allow Kushina to see Naruto when he was older. When the Nine-Tails realised their intentions, it tried to kill Naruto, but both Minato and Kushina used their bodies to shield him. As Minato performed the sealing, and already at the point of death, Kushina told Naruto how much she loved him and gave him her best advice for the future; her final act in this world was to fill her son with as much of her love as possible. Minato then sealed the rest of their remaining chakra into Naruto, ending their lives.

Her family name was then given to Naruto by the Third Hokage, in hopes that nobody else would discover the connection between Naruto and Minato.
Naruto as a Kid