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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.


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     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: When They Cry, 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: Crazy Shrine Maidens, 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 ½, Happōsai was trapped in a cave by a boulder with a shimenawa around it.
  • An exorcist in chapter 12 of RIN-NE 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.
  • In Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit, one of Reimu's many Get Rich Quick Schemes involves proclaiming various trees around the Hakurei Shrine to be sacred trees as an excuse to hold festivals nearly constantly. When she tries removing the shimenawa from one "former" sacred tree, Kasen warns her that the rope's purpose is keeping the spirits inside the tree, and they might not be too happy if she does so. Reimu quickly replaces the shimenawa...and then says she's gotta go make a whole bunch more.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Suzu wears a hairpin of a shide, symbolizing her status as a sort of God in Human Form. In middle school, Matsuri used a necklace it hung on to exorcise a curse from Suzu, and she made the hairpin from the only one left.
      Her ayakashi medium costume has shide sewn onto the opening of the back pockets.
    • Shirogane's giant true form has a shimenawa around his neck. In his Sleep-Mode Size, it changes to a simple scarf/bib.

    Fan Works 

  • 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 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there are several uses of shide tassels in the game.
    • With the Champion's Ballad DLC, Link can temporarily obtain the One-Hit Obliterator, which is decorated with shide tassels.
    • The Yiga Clan's hideout is decorated with shide tassels in the Gerudo Desert.
  • In Kiki Kai Kai (aka Pocky & Rocky), the main protagonist, Sayo-chan/Pocky is a miko who uses an ōnusa as a weapon.
  • The sacred tree and its saplings in Ōkami and Ōkamiden can be identified by shimenawa.
  • In Ōkamiden, Kagu uses these as adorable hair decorations once she becomes a Miko.
  • Shimenawa appear on floating rocks in the Sakura Palace in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?'s sequel.
  • Used often in Touhou Project , 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.
  • In Samurai Shodown, Mizuki fights with a gohei. 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 frequently in Onmyōji (2016) as well, but most notably is Shiromujō who wears a red-and-white shimenawa as a belt with two of these hanging from it and a gold mirror attached to the middle.
  • These appear on some of the trees in Moonglade in World of Warcraft.
  • In Gun Nac, one of the Japanese version's untranslated opening screens shows a miko using one of these to perform a Summoning Ritual.
  • Power Sokoban turns the pushing blocks into boulders tied with shimenawa and uses them to seal off Hell Gates.‎
  • In LittleBigPlanet, this is one of the decorations you can obtain from The Island level of LBP1.
  • Okabe Rintarou specifically requests to be cleansed with a rod holding one of these by miko Ruka in Steins;Gate. It highlights him as a weirdo because no one requests this, and it actually takes Ruka a minute to find where his family keeps it.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, Patch waves a gohei at the item he's repairing in his Ritual.
  • Sacred Earth - Alternative: Konoe wields a Gohei, which can be used for melee attacks and for using Ether Arts.

    Web Original 
  • Shide and shimenawa are prevalent in Britsune Garden, which appear on certain character designs such as that of Sachiko Snowblossom or the Yuki-Inu and are around sacred objects such as trees and torii.

Alternative Title(s): Shide, Shimenawa