Yes and no. The point is they are the leaders and they are dictators. They rule the land, handle the security, declare the wars, manage the war economy, order assassinations etc. They handle the poltics and make treaties (Hashirama/Tobirama flashback). The Daimyo is just a figure head with no real sway or power over the villages.Yeah, there's a MASSIVE difference between a Kage and a king. For starters, Hidden Villages aren't even countries. They're basically a bunch of mercenary groups that bound together under a common flag to form a city with an agreement to serve under its country's Daimyo. It's functioning and economy are fundamentally built around ninja and their missionz, even if you have some stuff existing outside of that sphere in it. With that in mind, a Kage is closer to the leader of a country's military than its outright leader. Acts resembling dictatorships are not unfound, like Yagura purging the bloodlines off Kiri in his time, but you very rarely see a Kage acting in any way that resembles totalitarianism.