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Zigzag Paper Tassel
aka: Shide

Shide are paper tassels with a zigzag shape, associated with Shinto. They are sometimes seen hanging from ropes, known as shimenawa, found at shrines or other sacred places, often trees or boulders. They are also found on haraegushi / ōnusa / gohei, wooden rods used in Shinto rituals. A gohei has two shide, whereas the other types have more than that. Also, some gohei are handheld (like the other types), whereas other larger ones are stationary standing features of shrines.

A rope hung with shide represents a boundary between the sacred and profane. When hung from a wooden rod, they are used for purification (oharai).

Not to be confused with a hataki (which is comparable to a Feather Duster) used for cleaning.

Also see Paper Talisman.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Done in Ai Yori Aoshi, with the crew investigating the Big Fancy House's attic. Boy, do they look cute in the miko getups.
  • In Bleach, the giant naginata-thing that Soul Society tried to execute Rukia with had one of these on it. They also frequently appear in the background.
  • Used liberally in Hell Teacher Nube to seal off places, objects, or people possessed by obake and youkai.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, the ceremonial hoe used by Rika in the Cotton Drifting Festival is adorned with these.
  • The goshinboku tree in InuYasha has a shimenawa around it in the present, but not in the past.
    • Also in InuYasha, some monkeys trick Inuyasha into touching a small stone which sticks to his hand and becomes a huge boulder. It has a shimenawa around it.
    • Barriers set by Miko and monks will often be physically represented by a rope hung with shide.
  • In Kannagi, Nagi has an ōnusa that resembles a Magical Girl's wand. There's also a shide in the series logo, which has four segments, each of which has one of four hiragana characters from the title on it.
  • The title page illustration for chapter 8 of Mahoromatic showed Mahoro dressed up as a miko, holding an ōnusa in one hand and exorcism sutras in the other. (This chapter is about searching for ghosts at school.)
  • In Ranma , Happōsai was trapped in a cave by a boulder with a shimenawa around it.
  • An exorcist in chapter 12 of Rinne has an ōnusa.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The kind on a rod appear occasionally in the hands of Rei Hino (Sailor Mars) and her (unnamed) Grandfather during scenes at their Shrine. Rei is normally shown waving it in front of a a flame while doing fire readings, while her grandfather uses it during more comedic scenes.
    • In the first episode of Sailor Moon S, a worried Rei who's just had visions of The End of the World as We Know It is seen hanging some shimenawa from the Hikawa shrine's sacred tree. Then she's attacked by the Monster of the Week, since the enemy had planted a "seed" in the tree to transform it into a monster.
  • In Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, the entrance of the cave where Ryoko was trapped had a shimenawa hung from the walls which also encircled a large rock hanging from the ceiling.
  • Sakura from Urusei Yatsura (a miko) sometimes uses an ōnusa.
    • Episode 47 featured a television crew that was recording a pseudo-documentary in the forest. They set up a shimenawa across the footpath to make it look more interesting.
  • Used somewhat ineffectually by Himiko in the OVA version of Vampire Princess Miyu.
  • Used in Amatsuki by the shrine maidens and during the ceremony to summon Teiten.
  • Kafuka from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei uses these to contain a Hikikomori in her room.
  • Mikan from Rental Magica (a miko) uses one.
  • Shinto priestess in training Mutsuki Asahina from has an ōnusa and uses it as a Simple Staff among other things.
  • In Death Note, the Yagami house has a kamidana, or a small household Shinto altar, near the kitchen. Shide are in evidence, hung on a shimenawa.

    Film 
  • Very large trees are surrounded with shimenawa in My Neighbor Totoro.
  • In Spirited Away, the individual bathing rooms are blocked with shinto ropes once they are cleaned and closed for the day.
  • A rare American example; in Fantastic Four; Rise of the Silver Surfer, after their final battle with Doctor Doom in Tokyo, Reed and Sue opt to complete their previously interrupted wedding there. A number of Shide tassels are seen in the background during the ceremony.
  • In Kill Bill Volume 1, there are some shide hanging in the background in the scene where Hattori Hanzō has finished making the sword.

     Table Top Games 

    Video Games 
  • In Cave Story, there's a boulder with a shimenawa around it which blocks an entrance to one area in the game. You must get Balrog to push it out of the way in order for you to continue.
  • In Kiki Kai Kai / Pocky and Rocky, player character Sayo-chan / Pocky (a miko) uses an ōnusa as a weapon.
  • The sacred tree and its saplings in Ōkami and Ōkamiden can be identified by shimenawa.
  • Shimenawa appear on floating rocks in the Sakura Palace in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?'s sequel.
  • Used often in Touhou , by being associated with four characters: Reimu's gohei, Kanako's shimenawa, Sanae's haraegushi, and on shimenawa wrapped around Tenshi's rocks. Reimu in the very first game (the one that wasn't a Bullet Hell shooter) used her gohei to whack around her Ancestral Weapon, the Hakurei Yin-Yang Orb; in the fighting game spin-offs, she whacks opponents directly with the gohei instead.
  • Mizuki fights with a shimenawa in Samurai Shodown. She can cut you in half with it.
  • Enemy Lairs in Muramasa: The Demon Blade are marked with shimenawa. The rope breaks when you pass by, presumably so that they can be entered, but will repair itself after a short time.
  • Another miko character, Sayo Yuuki from Castle Of Shikigami is depicted carrying an ōnusa in her character portrait in the second game.
  • In The King of Fighters '98, whenever Chizuru Kagura fights one of the Orochi heralds, she shows up in Miko attire, swinging an ōnusa at them.
    • She also wields one in KOF: KYO, when you-as-Kyo go to her shrine.
  • In Persona 2 you can buy ōnusa from convenience stores, which cure the possession ailment.
  • These appear in barrier rope form in the Fatal Frame series. The horror comes from this: this form is generally meant to protect a shrine from defilement. The shrines in Fatal Frame are... different.
  • These appear on some of the trees in Moonglade in World of Warcraft.


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Paper TalismanReligion TropesCosmic Keystone

alternative title(s): Shide; Shimenawa
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