And it's easy to maintain!
The regal hairstyle worn by many female characters, primarily in Japanese or Japanese-inspired media. The name comes from the Japanese word for princess and is associated with the upper classes and tradition.
In its pristine form, the straight black hair endemic to actual, real-life
Japanese people is worn long, save for perfectly level bangs trimmed just above the upper eyelids, and side locks trimmed to roughly cheek and/or shoulder level (or sometimes even both). It is widely believed to be the court style of the Heian Period, and thus Older Than Feudalism
. Well, Japanese feudalism. The hairstyle is rooted in the fact the Japanese tend to have voluminous sideburns.
The Hime Cut is rivaled by other styles. Ojou Ringlets
are gaining prominence among anime royalty, and the general populace in Japan also favors distinctive short cuts or ponytail offshoots, such as Tsundere pigtails
This hairstyle has a good chance of showing up if the character is an Ojou
or Yamato Nadeshiko
. It's also a fairly popular style with Mikos
. In more modern settings, it's popular with Elegant Gothic Lolita
characters. If it's a Chanbara
, its appearance is a given, although usually the hair is tied back with a ribbon, and sometimes the side locks also. It's also used to accentuate personality traits traditionally associated with the ojou and similar types: calm, dignified, traditional, elegant, graceful, demure, and modest (or some combination thereof). When listing examples, please identify which character traits the hime cut is symbolizing or accentuating.
Naturally, any Historical Fiction
or Period Piece
set between the Heian period and Meiji Revolution will have women wearing this hairstyle, in which case the choice of cut itself has little meaning. When listing examples, please mention if the story is set in those times.
Please do not list examples unless they have all
the required physical characteristics (straight hair, bangs, sidetails, and back) and
at least one of the lifestyle or personality characteristics (royalty, Miko
, Yamato Nadeshiko
, Elegant Gothic Lolita
, Lady of War
, or other traits).
For Western haircut with similar high status connotations, see Regal Ringlets
. Do not confuse with a Gilligan Cut
, or any kind of scene change as a cut. The trope Samurai Ponytail
can have similar connotations of class but also indicates martial ability and, of course, the samurai.
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Anime and Manga
- A clear example has shown up in Rinne. Kaori Himekawa in chapter 8 sports a pristine version, if a trifle short in the back. Fitting, as she is a reincarnated princess, or rather it was enough to convince a ghost as much. Kaori is actually a reincarnated sea turtle. She's not happy about that. Then again her name "river princess" does actually foreshadow this reveal.
- Caucasian-esque example: Princess Millia from Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, which symbolizes her being a princess. Her hair gets cut short later on after getting rescued by Fam and Giselle.
- Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu has Shōko Kirishima, the Ojou.
- One of the most important features of Yukari Hayasaka from Paradise Kiss, given that she's trying to become a professional model.
- Miho, The Ojou from Bakuman。.
- Ken Akamatsu is fond of this hairstyle. Some examples from his works:
- Girlycard from Hellsing, befitting the fact that Alucard was a ruler in his life as Vlad Dracula III.
- Hell Girl has Ai Enma. Along with her kimono, it's meant to give her the air of a traditional miko...but in a rather dark and unsettling sense.
- Ririchiyo Shirakiin from Inu X Boku SS, an Ojou. Her sidetails are notably longer than the standard, but after getting reincarnated she sports the classical version of the hairstyle.
- Hinata Hyuga, daughter of the respected Hyuga clan grew her hair into this style after the timeskip.
- Shion a blond miko from the first Naruto Shippuden movie also wears her hair this way.
- The second empress in Seirei no Moribito has this, as befits her station. (Doubtless the first and third empresses do also.)
- Yomi Isayama from Garei Zero, as she's the next to inherit the Isayama familiy name, which is considered prestigious among the exorcists of Japan.
- Azmaria from Chrono Crusade has this hairstyle, despite being Portuguese, not Japanese. It fits her mature personality, although she's quieter and more humble than The Ojou.
- Shizuru from Mai Hi ME and Mai-Otome. She's an Ojou who uses slicing weaponry in combat.
- Mio from K-On! fitting the more mature and traditional member of the band.
- Ms. Yoshinoya in Hidamari Sketch uses it. That's why she was given a leading role in a parody of the story of Kaguya-hime, by her former student Kishi Maiko.
- Rin Itoshiki in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. She has many traditional Japanese traits, such as her interest in ikebana.
- Himegami Aisa from A Certain Magical Index as a variation on the miko theme.
- Saten and Uiharu from the spin-off A Certain Scientific Railgun perhaps explaining their fascination with ojou-samas.
- Yamada from Honey and Clover signifying her more traditional Japanese Girl Next Door nature.
- Male example: Fujiwara no Sai in Hikaru no Go. Justified, at his time this hairstyle was gender-neutral.
- Tomoe from God Child, who wears it because she is the daughter of a samurai.
- Ouka from Busou Renkin, being an Expy of Tomoe, also has a Hime Cut.
- Coco◊ from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, being a princess.
- Bleach: In the Zanpakuto Rebellion arc, Tobiume wore her hair like this, adorned with cuffs on the sidelocks and a plum-branch ornament on her left temple. This is likely a reference to her Yamato Nadeshiko nature.
- Chichi from Dragon Ball. She's had it underneath her headgear since childhood, and it's more prevalent when she grows up and takes it off. Signifying her traditional worldview and her role as a traditional Japanese mother.
- Ayano from Kaze no Stigma, signifying her status as the successor of the Kannagi family.
- Tsumugi, the eponymous miko from The Miko's Words and the Witch's Incantations.
- Just about the entire female cast of the manga The Change! wears the Hime Cut because the series is set in the Heian court.
- Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi ni Todoke. She's a good traditional girl. She's sometimes called Sadako by her classmates because of her (accidental) "creepy face" in reference to the character from The Ring, who sports the same haircut.
- Kirara, a miko, and Ukyo from Samurai 7 the anime version, when they take their hats off.
- Hitagi Senjogahara from Bakemonogatari as she has the ojou-sama vibe.
- Hayate the Combat Butler (being about ojou) has several examples:
- Hinagiku clearly has the length and cut to qualify, and even had such before she was adopted into a wealthy family (probably due to personality).
- Isumi has a straighter, more traditional, example, with long purple-shaded hair. She's the miko.
- Holo from Spice and Wolf fitting her as a goddess.
- Hotarubi from Basilisk has this as her hairstyle, as a traditional Ninja.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- Ryoko Asakura of Haruhi Suzumiya sports this hairstyle, probably as part of her Class Rep surface persona.
- Aoi from Working, to underline the suspicion that she may come from a high-class background.
- Kämpfer has Shizuku Sango, an Ojou with trimmed bangs.
- Nadeshiko Fujisaki from Shugo Chara! wears hers in this style, but as a ponytail, and (if you ignore the psycho-ness) is clearly a Yamato Nadeshiko. However, she's actually a boy. Appropriately, he wears his hair in a Samurai Ponytail.
- Kureneko from Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, in this case because she is mirroring the style worn by an anime Gothic Lolita.
- Lady Kayura has a traditional hime cut as both a Yamato Nadeshiko and Lady of War but keeps it in a pony tail when fighting the Ronin Warriors (Yoroiden Samurai Troopers).
- Anya from the Soul Eater Spin-Off Soul Eater Not!, who is an Ojou.
- Nako from Hana Saku Iroha (although she usually has it up) the Yamato Nadeshiko of the group.
- Ayeka from Tenchi Muyo! has a variation of it. It has the perfectly cut bangs but the hair is promptly cut off at neck level, save for two long pony tails that nearly touch the ground. Clearly designed to remind you of the Hime Cut while being alien enough to remind you... she's an alien.
- Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower. Fits her Yamato Nadeshiko theme.
- Shiraume Ume features one of these, complete with a largely formal demeanor and implied vast wealth.
- The elder Kyo Sawagi as well sport this hairstyle and is hinted to be an Ojou.
- Saraswati/Kirara from Kore wa Zombie desu ka? is a Elegant Gothic Lolita Idol Singer.
- Maon from Tamayura, underlining her efforts to become a Yamato Nadeshiko.
- Isuzu (aka Rin) from Fruits Basket, who often dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita but Akito crudely cuts it off as "punishment."
- A rare (if not unique) male example is Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier; some characters even make fun of him calling him "hime-sama". It's implied that the reason is that he used to play female roles when he was a theater actor. It's not explained why he keeps the hairstyle after abandoning his acting career, though habit could be a reason as a flashback shows he's had it since he was a child. Another reason could do with the fact he strongly resembles his deceased mother.
- Nadeshiko Adenokouji from Binbogamiga manages to combines this with Ojou Ringlets. Though it becomes more noticeable when she lets her hair down..
- Koko Hekmatyar in Jormungand has this haircut. She's nicknamed "Princess" by her squad.
- Yukio Himemiya in Gokujou Drops has her hair this way. Makes sense since she's also an Ojou.
- In Kyo Kara Maoh, the calm, dignified, intelligent and very male Great Wise Man (whose actual name has been lost to history) is shown with this haircut.
- In Blue Exorcist Izumo generally wears her hair in the traditional Girlish Pigtails for her character type, but when down it fits the Hime Cut to the T. Suits her as well, with her Hien Period Eyebrows and Miko status.
- In Saki, Sumire Hirose uses this to match the princess-like attitude she has. Logic!
- Saki Rukino from Valvrave the Liberator sports this hairstyle, combined with a half-updo. She is a Teen Idol, who also requires a very presentable public image like other kinds of celebrities.
- Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de aru has Tougo. Her bangs are a little off from the traditional version but she counts. Tougou is very into traditional Japanese culture and history, to the point where she won't even eat "western" breakfast like her parents, and is quite patriotic.
- Satsuki Kiryuin from Kill la Kill has an interesting variation.
- X-Men: The Japanese X-Woman Armor is usually portrayed with a Hime Cut, denoting her as more distinctly Japanese Magik (just look◊) also wears one, though she's Russian.
- Millennium Actress - Chiyoko has her hair (or prop hair) in this style when playing an actual Princess for one of her movies.
- Sadako from The Ring (being associated with the mystical).
- In the Protector of the Small quartet, the Yamani princess Shinkokami and her two ladies-in-waiting are described as having this haircut, referred to as "the noblewoman's style" and worn either loose or tied back with a ribbon.
- In Stone King, Lt. Kirihara Azusa wears her hair like this until most of her hair is burned off during Jalal's attack on Kasama Defense Station.
Live Action Television
- In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger:
- Mako Shirashi had a hime-cut in later episodes. (Samurai)
- Also Kaoru Shiba, an actual princess.
- Yamato Nadeshiko Nakoruru and miko Mizuki from Samurai Shodown.
- Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword sports a traditional Hime Cut in place of the tiara favored by her other incarnations.
- Flonne, the Elegant Gothic Lolita-esque girl from the Disgaea series. Incidentally, the male Seraph Lamington is the one who wears it in its most pristine form.
- Touhou has several examples of the haircut, but only a few matches the personality as well:
- Reimu Hakurei, the resident miko, sports this hairstyle in most of her early appearances. ZUN's art also leans more towards this than the wilder hair of most other depictions of her.
- Princess Kaguya, which makes her one of the few characters without a Nice Hat or Hair Decorations.
- Fujiwara no Mokou, who would have been actual Heian nobility.
- Maori Kasuga of Arcana Heart, a Miko.
- Emily "Lili" Rochefort from Tekken sports a perfectly trimmed blonde example of this.
- Utsuki, Kureha and Lady Ayako from Kuon. Since it's set in Feudal Japan, it's hardly surprising.
- Valna from the Valis games. She's a princess, after all.
- Very subtly in Pokémon: Mawile's head seems to sport this haircut (it's not hair technically, but it looks like it), and it's even more evident in Mega Mawile. Indeed, the Pokémon is based on the legend of the futakuchi-onna, a demonic woman with a mouth on the back of her head, though obviously most people wouldn't know.
- In Six Rules, one of the main characters, Yuki, sports this haircut. Justified as she turns out to be Heian Japanese nobility of the Taira clan.
- In Ace Attorney, Maya Fey, a spirit medium from an isolated village, wears a variation of this haircut along with her kimono. Her expy, Ema Skye, wears almost the exact same variation but with the bangs brushed to the side.
- Rika◊ as a Miko from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
- Kazuha from Yosuga no Sora an Ojou.
- Yo-Jin-Bo's Hatsuhime has this cut, but, perhaps because she's a Rebellious Princess, she keeps it tied up in a ponytail with a red bow, leaving only her bangs and framing shoulder locks free.
- Mayucchi and Kokoro from Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai, who are both Ojou.
- Ai, the catgirl robot of Ronin Galaxy has this haircut. She seems to be modeled after a traditional Japanese woman.
- In Drowtales, Sil'lice Val'Sharen wears her hair this way and is associated with the "dignified, traditional and elegant" traits associated with it.
- Also Vidhi'yani, one of the Empress's overseers. The overseers are apparently all Ladies of War and represent tradition.
- Another western example is little Akiko Kitsune in El Goonish Shive, presumably at the behest of her traditional Japanese mother.
- Clementine in Frivolesque always sports the hairstyle even though she's not Japanese. It accentuates her quiet, demure personality quite well, making her the closest thing to a western Yamato Nadeshiko the cast could have.
- Mai (nobility) from Avatar: The Last Airbender technically has this haircut, though it's almost never drawn down. She also has Odango Hair.
- In The Legend of Korra, Eska and Desna, princess and prince of the Northern Water Tribe, wear practically matching Hime Cuts.
- Twilight Sparkle of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a rendition of the hairstyle, lacking the traditional sidelocks yet drawn in away that makes it almost look like she does. In the movie where she gets a human counterpart, she actually has a true Hime Cut. And she is now royalty with her sister-in-law being princess Cadance, and her being upgraded to an Alicorn like the other Princesses.
- Mystique, doubling as a Lady of War and The Vamp, has a variation of this hairstyle in season one of X-Men: Evolution. However, her bangs are somewhat shorter than most examples of this trope (possibly held up by the yellow pendant she wears on her forehead) and her side-locks are hung down in shoulder-length, plaited curtains that mesh with the longer hair she has in the back, covering her ears.
- In the Inspector Gadget episode, "The Japanese Connection" Penny's Japanese friend Atsuko sports this hairstyle along with the associated personality. It's probably the least offensive of the numerous stereotypes present in the episode.
- Many wearers of Lolita fashion and Hime Gal have a hime cut, presumably both due to its regal connotations and the fact that it frames the face nicely if all the rest of the hair is in ringlets or a bouffant. It is admittedly less popular now than it used to be.