[[quoteright:337:[[Anime/AfroSamurai http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/afrosamuraiheadband.jpg]]]]


Traditional headgear worn in Japan, known as ''hachimaki'', is a strip of cloth tied around the head. Think Daniel-san from ''TheKarateKid''. It is often decorated with a written slogan (frequently ''Nippon Ichi'', "No. 1 in Japan"), serving as a sort of tee shirt for the forehead. Commonly worn by warriors, protestors, students studying for exams, or anyone who needs to [[strike: keep sweat from dripping into their eyes]] be serious and focused on something. Or by drunk [[{{Salaryman}} salarymen]] (see NecktieHeadband).

An iconic real-life use of this trope was in the fighter pilots of Japan during WorldWarII, when they wore bandanas bearing the word "Kamikaze" upon them, which up until that point, had been a reference to the "Divine Wind" that drove off the Mongol invasion of Japan centuries earlier.

The act of putting one on is generally used as an expression of willpower and a change in mood, not unlike LetsGetDangerous, but it doesn't have to involve violence. Donning a headband with a slogan or motto relevant to your training before undergoing TrainingFromHell is generally the straight use. It occasionally sees MundaneMadeAwesome moments, however, in being used to "pump up" a character's willpower before significantly more mundane things, like scrubbing out one's stinky toilet.

Though somewhat more direct and symbolic, as a gesture, its use mostly mirrors rolling up one's sleeves, or adjusting a helmet / roguishly tilting one's hat for a more martial context. It projects a daring "I got this, bring it on" attitude of emotional readiness and determination to tackle a challenge head-on (while the drunken version looks just like any other misguided attempt at inebriated machismo via inappropriate undressing).
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Millennium Earl wears one at one point in ''DGrayMan'' as he prepares to [[EvilIsOneBigHappyFamily do Road Noah's homework for her]]. The result is a mixture of funny and creepy, especially given the Earl is the BigBad of the series.
* ''GreatTeacherOnizuka'': Worn by GTO when he's studying for a test. The slogan is, "I will pass the test".
* ''{{Planetes}}'': One character is actually nicknamed "Hachimaki", because he wears a plain white headband under his helmet on EVA missions. (Also because his given name is "Hachirota".)
* ''{{Naruto}}'': All ninja candidates are given headbands with the village's symbol carved into the metal forehead guard when they graduate the academy and become genin. Most of them continue to wear their headbands even after they become chunin, although [[GogglesDoNothing many wear it in places other than their heads]]. For some examples, Kakashi uses his as an EyepatchOfPower, Sakura wears hers as a [[HairDecorations hairband]], and Hinata wears hers as a necklace.
** A scar across the village symbol of the hitai'ate indicates the wearer has chosen to abandon their village permanently, notably done by all members of Akatsuki. Zabuza never scarred his, as he intended to return (and take over).
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'' -- In the last Sports Fest, Sakaki starts out wearing a headband. But when her friend and classmate Chiyo-chan is taunted about her running, Sakaki takes it to the next level: she ties her hair back with her headband before taking the racing baton.
** ''Azumanga Daioh'' also uses it in the festival in the last school year, where Kagura, Tomo and Sakaki dress as punks with these on.
* Takako Ayase in ''MidoriNoHibi'' wears a headband titled "Definite Victory" as she reviews her latest plan to become Seiji Sawamura's girlfriend.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Urahara told Ichigo to wear a hachimaki and yell an embarrassing chant ''"Take this! The Power of Justice! Justice Armor, Justice Hachimaki! Equip!"'' to stand a chance on fighting his dangerous sparring partner that could kill him in one blow. He did so, but found out that he's just being had by Urahara.
** It even shows up in the filler arc, having been equipped with a sensor allowing Ichigo to locate the Bount -- and still requires the chant to activate. Rukia is naturally confused with Ichigo's reaction to it.
** An earlier episode has Keigo Asano offer Ichigo a pair of geeky glasses and a "complimentary nerd headband" to wear after Keigo finds out that Ichigo ranks much higher than Keigo expected, academically. [[TalkToTheFist Ichigo punched him in the face]] ''through the glasses''.
* In the Yukina arc of ''YuYuHakusho'', Kuwabara infrequently wears a pink hachimaki that says something to the tune of "I ♥ Snow Girl"
* Wilder and Cancer in ''TransformersSuperGodMasterforce'' wear one each. In one episode, Cancer's hachimaki was a blindfold.
* Subaru of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' wears one that's tied with a bow as part of her [[DeflectorShields barrier Jacket]], in a ShoutOut to ''{{Gunbuster}}''. Nove once refers to her as "the girl with the headband."
* On that note: ''{{Gunbuster}}''. Noriko's long headband is almost as iconic as the BadassArmFold she always does before awesome stuff happens.
* Yoshiko Fujisawa made hachimakis for ''all'' her Furano teammates in ''CaptainTsubasa'', and they wore them during the match against Nankatsu. When their captain Hikaru Matsuyama entered the National Team, he ''always'' put his hachimaki on during his more crucial [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome CMOAs]] in the series.
* In ''Anime/AfroSamurai'', the Hakimachi is SeriousBusiness, as the "Number One" headband supposedly confers the power of a God, and wars have been fought over it. (Afro himself is a constant assassination target due to wearing the "Number Two" headband that confers him the right to challenge "Number One".)
* ''SailorMoon'''s Makoto used this to psych herself up for the daunting task of cleaning Motoki's room.
* In ''PokemonSpecial'', Platinum would take off her beanie and put on a hachimaki when training for her next Gym battle.
** Earlier, all of Gold's Pokémon put one on when they faced The Mask Of Ice during the finale of the Gold/Silver/Crystal arc, a reference to the Focus Band item of the games.
* In ''[[HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou]]'' OAV episode "Omoi no Arika" [[SmallAnnoyingCreature Kotengu]] sports a hachimaki when waiting for Yasuaki, whom he supposedly challenged to a duel. When Yasuaki doesn't arrive in time, Kotengu gets angry and his CrossPoppingVeins cause the hachimaki to get torn in half and fall off.
* Leorio does this in ''HunterXHunter'' while studying for the final exam. It's then revealed that he put cheat sheets on the back of it. And everywhere else in his clothes.
* In later seasons of [[{{RanmaOneHalf}} Ranma ˝]], Akane Tendo took to wearing one of as part of her with her martial arts outfit.
* In ''FushigiYuugi'', Miaka can be seen wearing one while she's at CramSchool.
* Domon Kasshu of ''GGundam'' sports a red one.
* In the ''MaiOtome'' manga, Shizuru wonders where her [[EvilCounterpart Dark Hime]] is, and imagines a version of her PsychoLesbian MaiHime incarnation wearing a "Natsuki [[GratuitousEnglish Love]]" headband. Takeda, who makes a cameo coming to Garderobe to get pictures of Natsuki, has a similar headband.
* Being part of [[Manga/{{Gintama}} Otsuu-chan's fanclub]] means having to wear the uniform which includes one of these.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Kei from ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' wore this kind of headband (though only in ''Biohazards'' and ''A Plague of Angels''). In the anime version, she wore a slightly different kind of headband (it was wider, had shorter trailing ends, and was usually turned sideways).
* Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu from MarvelComics is often depicted wearing one. Since he is not a main character and does not have a traditional costume, it [[DependingOnTheArtist depends on the artist]], more often than not.
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[[folder:Film]]
* First live-action ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' movie: "You wear his symbol on your brow."
* As mentioned in the main body of this article, Daniel-san of ''TheKarateKid'', who was probably the first to introduce this concept to Western pop culture.
* ''BuckarooBanzai'': Buckaroo ties one (with a "rising sun" design) around his head before making his speed run in the jet car at the beginning of the movie.
* In a scene of ''PoliceAcademy 3'', [[ManOfAThousandVoices Sgt. Jones]] wrapped a random strip of cloth around his forehead before doing an imitation of [[HongKongDub badly dubbed kung-fu movies]] to intimidate some thugs.
* Shows up in the SoBadItsGood flick "SurfNinjas." ''Kwantzu!!''
* ''ToraToraTora'' by the pilots of the Japanese fighters.
** Similarly by the pilots in ''Film/PearlHarbor''.
* Whenever ''{{Rambo}}'' puts one of these on, you can be sure that ass kicking ensues.
* Contrast with Topper Harley in ''Film/HotShots: Part Deux'', who accidentally ties it over his eyes.
* In ''RevengeOfTheNerds'', Takashi dons one when preparing to go on the panty raid.
* ''Film/{{Bloodsport}}'': A few fighters wore this in the Kumite.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Maudlin of Garry Kilworth's ''WelkinWeasels: Heastward Ho!'' borrows a red headband with a phrase written in [[FantasyCounterpartCulture "Asian"]] letters on it when battling a pirate junk. He's very fond of the headband and assumes in his usual daydreamy manner that "''No doubt it read something like GREAT WARRIOR or UNDEFEATABLE ONE''". Nobody has the heart to tell him it actually reads "Number One Stir-Fry Chef".
* In the middle of ''Literature/RatsBatsAndVats'', at least one of the bats dons one of these. They later complain about how it fell over their eyes.
* Magrat wears one when practising martial arts in ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' , but people keep confusing it for a bandage.
** And parodied later on in ''{{Discworld/Maskerade}}'', when the Librarian decides that it's time for some dramatic organ music to support the action: he takes off his bow tie and ties it around his head so that he looks like a "really formal kamikaze".
** On one cover of ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', main character Pteppic, an Assassin, is inexplicably wearing one. Not one of the worst examples of CoversAlwaysLie, but still...odd. (The Assassins only wear black; the headband ''isn't''.)
* In ''The WheelOfTime'' many male [[ProudWarriorRace Aiel]] loyal to [[TheChosenOne Rand]] wear a red headband with a [[DragonsUpTheYinYang yin-yang symbol]] on their foreheads. His [[AmazonBrigade Maidens of the Spear]] think this is ridiculous.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* During ''Series/TopGear'''s Japanese episode, Jeremy Clarkson wore one when he was racing the Bullet train in the new Nissan GTR.
** Clarkson's headband does not read "kamikaze" as seems to be implied, but 闘魂"toukon" (fighting spirit). He also initially puts it on upside down, but a few minutes later it seems to have fixed itself.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', in the episode "Rivals", had a scene where Miles O'Brien was psyching himself up for a charity racquetball match against Bashir, who stomped him when they first played. Keiko, who throughout the episode took on an air of mild amusement regarding the whole thing, sent him off to the match by wrapping a silk scarf scented with her perfume around his head, kissing him soundly and whispering, "Kick his butt."
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Girl in the Fireplace", the Doctor does the drunk salaryman variant -- he ties his tie around his head while pretending to be drunk.
* Parodied by Clive the Bermudan temp in ''Series/GarthMarenghisDarkplace'' before losing a fight with a toolbox.
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[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* WWE's [[ZackRyder Zack Ryder]] wears two when going to down to the ring and, in the style of [[BretHart Bret Hart]] and his shades, will often give one of his headbands to a member of the audience.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Worn by many characters in ''KingOfFighters''. One of the special teams in ''KOF '98'' is actually called the "Headband Team": Goro Daimon, Joe Higashi and Yuri Sakazaki. Yuri's headband lacks the Japanese red sun, though, and the team's ending artwork shows the other two forcing a proper hachimaki on her.
* Lan, the human hero of ''MegaManBattleNetwork'', wears a headband with Mega Man's Navi symbol (also the series logo) on it.
** Just about everyone in the ''Mega Man Battle Network'' series seems to have their Navi symbol somewhere on themselves, either on their shirt, as their earrings, or even as their hairpins. As for someone else who also has something resembling a hairband, the nature-loving Sal has a brown hairband with Woodman's Navi symbol.
* The Hachimaki appears as a recurring item in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' series of games. A pilot with the item equipped starts each mission with 5 bonus morale. There's also a Nejiri-Hachimaki, or twisted headband, which gives double the bonus.
* Ayane of ''Videogame/DeadOrAlive'' and ''Videogame/NinjaGaiden'' sports one that is just a few shades darker purple than her hair, and almost never takes it off no matter what she's wearing.
* Ryu of ''Videogame/StreetFighter'' has his trademark flowing headband. Unsurprisingly, resident Ryu FanGirl Sakura also wears one.
** Also, Alex from the III series. Makoto of ''Third Strike'' wears one around her ''neck''.
* [[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]]'s trademark. (And his dad's.)
** Snake's is special. [[MoreDakka Infinite ammo]]!
* The ''Choice Band'' and ''Focus Band'' in ''{{Pokemon}}'' are often drawn as such.
** Some trainer [=NPCs=] also wear these.
** Additionally, the male protagonist in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions wears a headband. Unfortunately, the manga makes it out to be some sort of beanie, while the game art makes it pretty clear it's a headband.
*** Since GF has basically done a ShrugOfGod and only confirmed it's a headband, Ruby (of Manga/PokemonSpecial) has a hat due to the artist thinking of it as so. Another, one volume, manga by another artist had it as a hat too, probably a FollowTheLeader case.
** Ruby of ''Pocket Monsters'' plays this straight like his game counterpart.
* Sanada Yukimura from ''SengokuBasara'' wears a red one. In the anime it comes in handy when, during the all-important FinalBattle, Yukimura's [[TheRival rival]] Masamune is injured and can barely stand. Yukimura ties Masamune's hand to his sword with the headband in preparation for their last strike.
* If you're going to list Sanada Yukimura from ''SengokuBasara'' you might as well list the one from ''SamuraiWarriors''. His is decorated with the crest of the Sanada Clan.
* Axel and Blaze from ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'' both wear headbands while beating up countless goons with their bare fists. Blaze ditches hers for the sequels, though.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has two Hachimakis. The first of which was a tie-in with ''Homefront''. The second one was part of the Japanese bundle, where the sales from the item were donated to help with the Japanese relief efforts.
* Richter Belmont from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' wears one along with an asian looking clothes. He's not surprisingly called "[[StreetFighter Ryu]] Belmont" by the fans.
* {{Kirby}} wears a red one when he gets the Fighter Copy ability, and a blue one when he gets the Throw/Suplex Copy ability.
* ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' about to use a Fireball or Fire Punch (and sometimes the Kamikaze) will don a red one.
* Endou in ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'' wears an orange one. His grandfather also wore an identical one.
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Kung Fu Man]], the [[OriginalGeneration original character]] that comes with ''VideoGame/{{MUGEN}}''. He wears a blue headband.
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[[folder:Webcomic]]
* Shota from ''Webcomic/EveryButtonHurtsTheOtherGuy'' is a deliberately generic karate practitioner, and as such is never seen without his reddish orange headband.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* GaiaOnline has [[http://www.tektek.org/avatar/35698411 several]] [[http://www.tektek.org/avatar/35741165 varieties]] [[http://www.tektek.org/avatar/35698517 of]] [[http://www.tektek.org/avatar/35698560 hachimaki]].
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the third season of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', while infiltrating the Fire Nation, Aang wears a headband with a golden, stylized arrow symbol to hide the tattoo on his forehead.
* Huey from ''{{Boondocks}}'' wears a Hachimaki during his samurai fantasy sequences.
* Sliced Ice from ''WesternAnimation/SkysurferStrikeForce''.
* Quick-Kick from ''GIJoe'' always wore one into battle.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Proponents of the classical kenjutsu school of Kashima Shinto Ryuu [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbd9iNrLe8s&list=FLKUYM3P2Qn0E&index=2 don distinctive white hachimaki]]. as part of their opening 作法 (etiquette/ceremony) before engaging in kata practice.
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