Hime Cut

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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, Ojou, 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.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Xxx HO Li C: Yuuko Ichihara which enhances her sophisticated image.
  • In Aruosumente, Legna is a rare male example, although it's not immediately obvious because most of his hair is hidden beneath his cloak; he has long black hair with bangs and side tails cut off at chin level. He is also, as the Oracle, of a high social status, traditionally minded to a fault, and outwardly calm and dignified.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
  • Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts has Shōko Kirishima, the Ojou.
  • Hitagi Senjogahara from Bakemonogatari as she has the Ojou vibe.
  • Miho, the Ojou from Bakuman。.
  • Hotarubi from Basilisk has this as her hairstyle, as a traditional Ninja.
  • Ben-To:
    • Shiraume Ume features one of these, complete with a largely formal demeanor and implied vast wealth.
    • The elder Kyo Sawagi, as well, sports this hairstyle and is hinted to be an Ojou.
  • 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.
  • 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. The last miko of the Kamiki family is her mother who also had a similar hairstyle...but though a powerful miko was also a supreme Woman Child.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Himegami Aisa as a variation on the Miko theme but she insists that she is a magician that happens to dress like a miko.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun: Saten and Uiharu from the spin-off perhaps explaining their fascination with Ojous.
  • The Change!: Just about the entire female cast wears the Hime Cut because the series is set in the Heian court.
  • Chrono Crusade: Azmaria has this hairstyle, despite being Portuguese, not Japanese. It fits her mature personality, although she's quieter and more humble than the Ojou.
  • Count Cain: Tomoe wears it because she is the daughter of a samurai.
  • Cross Ange: Salamandinay sports this hairstyle. It is very fitting because she is a princess living in the eastern-themed DRAGON world.
  • Dragon Ball. Chichi's had it underneath her headgear since childhood, and it's more prevalent when she grows up and takes it off. It Signifies her traditional worldview and her role as a traditional Japanese mother.
  • Fairy Tail: Kagura Mikazuchi sports this style as a symbol of superiority among her guild.
    • Ultear has one too.
  • Fruits Basket: Isuzu (aka Rin) often dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita but Akito crudely cuts it off as "punishment."
  • Ga-Rei -Zero-: Yomi Isayama because she's the next to inherit the Isayama familiy name, which is considered prestigious among the exorcists of Japan.
  • Gate: Rory Mercury has the hairstyle to go along with her Elegant Gothic Lolita attire.
  • Gokujou Drops: Yukio Himemiya has her hair this way. Makes sense since she's also an Ojou.
  • Hana Saku Iroha: Nako (although she usually has it up) the Yamato Nadeshiko of the group.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Ryoko Asakura sports this hairstyle, probably as part of her Class Rep surface persona.
  • 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.
  • Hellsing: "Girlycard", that is, Alucard's female appearance, sports the long hair and even bangs. On one hand it's odd because "modest", "calm" and "demure" are not traits typically associated with him/her. On the other hand, it is befitting the fact that Alucard was a ruler in his life as Vlad Dracula III.
  • Hidamari Sketch: Ms. Yoshinoya That's why she was given a leading role in a parody of the story of Kaguya-hime, by her former student Kishi Maiko.
  • Hikaru no Go has a Male example in Fujiwara no Sai Justified, at his time this hairstyle was gender-neutral and he was a high status player. In modern Japan it certainly marks him as the traditional/historical guy in the bunch.
  • Honey and Clover: Yamada signifying her more traditional Japanese Girl Next Door nature.
  • Inu × Boku SS: Ririchiyo Shirakiin an Ojou.
  • InuYasha:
  • Is This a Zombie? : Saraswati/Kirara is a Elegant Gothic Lolita Idol Singer.
  • Jormungand: Koko Hekmatyar has this haircut and she's nicknamed "Princess" by her squad.
  • K-On!: Mio has this as is it fitting for the more mature and traditional member of the band.
  • Kämpfer has Shizuku Sango, an Ojou with trimmed bangs.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Ayano signifying her status as the successor of the Kannagi family.
  • Kill la Kill: Satsuki Kiryuin, the Student Council President and heir of the Kiryuin Conglomerate, has very long hair and ruler straight bangs.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako Kuronuma has this and she's a good traditional girl.
  • 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.
  • Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing has a Caucasian-esque example in Princess Millia. It symbolizes her being a princess. Her hair gets cut short later on after getting rescued by Fam and Giselle.
  • Love Hina has the samurai Motoko Aoyama (pictured above), who sports this type of hairdo.
  • Macross Frontier has a Rare Male Example is Alto Saotome. 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.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
  • Shizuru from Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome. She's an Ojou who uses slicing weaponry in combat.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: Coco is styled this way because she's a princess.
  • The Miko's Words and the Witch's Incantations: Tsumugi, the eponymous miko.
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit: the second empress has this, as befits her station. (Doubtless the first and third empresses do also.)
  • Naruto:
    • 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.
  • Oreimo: Kureneko in this case because she is mirroring the style worn by an anime Gothic Lolita.
  • Paradise Kiss: One of the most important features of Yukari Hayasaka is this hairstyle given that she's trying to become a professional model.
  • 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.
  • Ronin Warriors: Lady Kayura has a traditional hime cut as both a Yamato Nadeshiko and Lady of War.
  • In Saki, Sumire Hirose uses this to match the princess-like attitude she has. Logic!
  • Samurai 7:
    • Kirara, a miko with determination and personal dignity in trying circumstances
    • Ukyo is pretty high status, being the son of a successful merchant and clone of the emperor but he has none of the character traits. He's only good at looking the part.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Rin Itoshiki has many traditional Japanese traits, such as her interest in ikebana.
  • Shamanic Princess: Lena sports the long hair and bangs. Suits her perfectly as she has a modest, calm, and demure demeanor, but if push comes to shove, she will kick your ass without even taking a step forward. She also is given the "princess" title just like Tiara and is held by many in high regards.
  • Shugo Chara!: Nadeshiko Fujisaki 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.
  • Soul Eater Not!, a Soul Eater Spin-Off, has Anya who is an Ojou.
  • Tamayura: Maon styling her hair this way underlines her efforts to become a Yamato Nadeshiko.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Ayeka 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. It is clearly designed to remind you of the Hime Cut while being alien enough to remind you... she's an alien. Also, while she tries to be graceful, modest and elegant at all times she also has a temper and is prone to fighting with Ryoko.
  • Twin Star Exorcists: Benio Adashino has this signifying her position as the current head of a distinguished family of exorcists.
  • Valvrave the Liberator: Saki Rukino 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.
  • The Wallflower: This hair style is one of the signs that Sunako Nakahara could make a terrific Yamato Nadeshiko, if her aunt or the boys could get her to care enough to maintain it properly.
  • WORKING!!: Aoi has this to underline the suspicion that she may come from a high-class background.
  • Yuki Yuna Is a Hero has Togo. Her bangs are a little off from the traditional version but she counts. Togo 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.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: The Japanese X-Woman Armor is usually portrayed with a Hime Cut, denoting her as distinctly Japanese. The armor that inspired her codename is literally a Ancestral Weapon.

    Films 
  • Millennium Actress - Chiyoko has her hair (or prop hair) in this style when playing an actual Princess for one of her movies.

    Literature 
  • 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.

    Live Action Television 

    Video Games 
  • Arcana Heart: Maori Kasuga has this hair style and she's a Miko.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Seraph Lamington, the ruler of Celestia, wears this haircut in its most pristine form.
  • Kuon: Utsuki, Kureha and Lady Ayako all sport this. Since the story is set in Feudal Japan, it's hardly surprising.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Zelda sports a traditional Hime Cut in place of the tiara favored by her other incarnations because she's not a princess this time. She's technically a "spirit maiden", not a miko, but they are similar in function and the hair decorations in her post-Skyloft outfit appear similar to the kind worn by some shrine maidens.
  • 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.
  • Samurai Shodown' has the Yamato Nadeshiko Nakoruru and miko Mizuki both with this fashion.
  • Tekken: Emily "Lili" Rochefort, an Ojou sports a perfectly trimmed blonde example of this.
  • 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 and so, of course, she has this hair style.
  • Valis has Valna. She's a princess, after all.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • In Drowtales, several characters have this hairstyle and associated traits.
    • Faen wears her hair like this and is that daughter of the Sullisin'rune Ill'haress and has a gentle, meek personality due to her empathy. She also usually combines it with a small tiara.
    • 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, has a Fashionable Asymmetry variation with one sidelock dyed black and longer than the other. The overseers are apparently all Ladies of War and represent tradition.
  • El Goonish Shive: little Akiko Kitsune styles her hair this way, presumably at the behest of her traditional Japanese mother.
  • Frivolesque: Clementine 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.
  • Ronin Galaxy : Ai, the catgirl robot of has this haircut. She seems to be modeled after a traditional Japanese woman.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • 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.


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