Beauty in Symmetry: The Everlasting Allure of the Hime Cut

by Shance and Yi.

enma ai ishikawa youichi jigoku shoujo kimono

Shance: It is so often said that hair is a symbol of a woman’s beauty. It can be styled in a thousand ways, and can captivate men with all but a single touch. That being said, it is no wonder that a lot of us love certain hairstyles, as well as the personalities that wear them. A good example of this is a hairstyle that I hold dearly close to my heart: the Hime cut hairstyle.

ichihara_yuuko kimono xxxholic

Yi: A supposed favorite among noble Japanese women in the imperial courts during the Heian Period—hence the “princess” cut (姫カット)—the style consists of a very structured look: symmetrical frontal fringe, side locks, and long remaining hair. These parts are all straightened, uniformly cut to various lengths. The cuts create a layered, but very organized and maintained look. Today, though it may have lost its high society associations somewhat, Hime cut is still a popular look among women, who sport either the original or some sort of variations.

Shance: In anime or manga, it is often believed that any girl with notable status or importance to the story will sport the Hime cut, mostly because of its origins. From student council presidents to miko to even the rare Yamato Nadeshiko, the Hime cut never fails to denote elegance, grace, beauty, and purity in the Japanese sense. If sex hair catches attention because it is asymmetrical, then the Hime cut can do the same and a lot more, all by just being the sex hair’s opposite.

Taketori Monogatari hime cut

The best and most prominent examples of a person wearing the Hime cut are those of the legendary bamboo princess, Kaguya-hime. Being a well-known story both in Japan and in other countries, it is through the legend’s depiction of the princess that lets the Hime cut stand above the rest of other character hairstyles. Therefore, we can say that the usage of Hime cut in anime and manga isn’t really something to be trifled with.

To further understand, let’s take an example from one of the recently finished shows: Rise Matsumoto of Yuruyuri.

Matsumoto Rise Yuru Yuri Fuyouchu

For one with a keen eye for hairstyles, it is obvious that Rise sports the Hime cut, and by common standards will hold some sort of significance in the show, whether major or minor. And it is true, because Rise Matsumoto is the student council president, and is seen as an icon by her teachers, peers and fellow students, all while sporting the basic traits of a Yamato Nadeshiko. That’s enough reputation for a very silent side character, don’t you think?

Kuronuma Sawako Kimi ni Todoke uni gurugurutan

Yi: Indeed, the Hime cut is so iconic that its wearers automatically give the audience certain expectations. The character may not fit all the stereotypes, but more often than not, she has certain traits common to the Yamato Nadeshiko. Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke, in terms of personality, perfectly embodies the ideal Japanese woman in traditional beliefs: kind, soft-spoken, gentle, and reserved. Yomi from Ga-Rei Zero takes on a different aspect of the yamato nadeshiko—she is the daughter of a well-respected noble house. In both cases, the girls fit part of our expectations that come with Hime cuts.

Conversely, even parts and variations of the Hime cut can give a similar effect. The very original Hime cut refers to a style with symmetrical frontal fringe and side locks, and all the locks of the hair must be as straightened; neatly worn, luscious, black hair is highly desired. However, today, we much more often see something resembling the essence of the Hime cut without having all these elements.

shionji yuuko kami-sama no memo-chou kishida mel hime cut zettai ryouiki

Shance: What you said is very true, Yi. There are a lot of variations for the Hime cut, most of them achieving the same effects as the original. A common one is the varying of lengths for the fringe, sidelocks and the actual length of the hair. Shionji Yuuko of Kamisama no Memochou is an example, having a symmetrical front fringe and asymmetrical sidelocks and hair length. Another interesting variation is the hairstyle of Victorique de Blois from Gosick , whose wavy blond hair gives an attractive and unnatural feel. Lastly, fashionable trinkets such as ribbons and laces gives a refreshing effect, like the hairstyle of Patchouli Knowledge from Touhou. Speaking of which, it’s quite interesting that Hime cut hairstyles compliment traditional eastern clothing, as well as gothic lolita and, on a more extreme note, sexy bedroom attire such as oversized shirts and underwear.

Yi:  Mixing up fashion and styling can really create its own gorgeous look. On runways and in photoshoots, styling—that is, hair, make-up, accessories, and all that jazz—have to come together with fashion to complete a model. In the above cases, we see very fresh, unique takes on both aspects of the looks. Unlikely, but pretty combinations. Hime cut does not always have to go with traditional clothing, nor does it always have to have that set structure.

A recent issue of Vogue China shows just how adorable mixing things up can be.

Hyoni Kang Lincoln Pilcher Vogue China

Hyoni Kang’s styling is not just vaguely reminiscent of the classic Asian beauty, but her hair is also a variation of the Hime cut. Yet it does not feel out of place with the modern, edgy fashion. The tailored, manly top and those loose pants may be contrary to the yamato nadeshiko ideal, but under different lenses, the model is a gorgeous blend of femininity and masculinity.

As an aside, Hyoni Kang is stunning! I really, really love her on this cover.

Shance: Nice picture, Yi! That picture is a testament that no matter how you wear it, the Hime cut will always be a prominent hairstyle, whether in anime, manga, or reality. It’s not just because Japanese have straight, black hair. It’s also not just because it’s an ancient and historical hairstyle either. It’s simply because you can wear the hairstyle that makes it iconic, elegant, beautiful. For a very oriental country like Japan, Hime cut will always be supreme, no matter what people think or say about it. You can count me in on this one.

Yi: Haha, your passion I feel. Although I still prefer voluminous, wavy locks, I certainly understand the classy appeal of Hime cuts; I have my favorite princesses. And just maybe, maybe… I will even rock the style one day.

Shance: I’ll certainly be one to anticipate that! And with that, I bid you adieu and good night, madesmoiselle. It’s been a nice chat, this blog post.

__________________________________________________
About the Guest Author:
Shance is a fun blogger who writes on a wide variety of anime related topics. Together, we put forth our ideas about a common fascination. It was a super, super fun colloquium, our having approached the topic with very different (yet similar) ideas. Shance blogs over at Rainbowsphere. Be sure to visit!

This entry was posted in Anime/ Manga, Editorial, Fashion, Guest Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Beauty in Symmetry: The Everlasting Allure of the Hime Cut

  1. 2DT says:

    You should’ve called this a colloquium. 😉

    Another thing about hime cuts: They’re surprisingly labor-intensive, and probably require a good salon to do properly. So “princess” isn’t so far off the mark even today, really.

    • Shance says:

      I wouldn’t even want to imagine the amount of labor for the Hime cut in the ancient times, where princesses tend to keep the length of their for life. That means they don’t cut it, ever. To maintain that kind of hair would be very, very hard, indeed.

    • Yi says:

      Yes, they are, although once the hair has been cut, maintaining the hime cut isn’t as difficult as, say, maintaining a huge volume or some other styles. (Assuming of course, that the girl has the luxury to cut it whenever, the length is not ridiculously long, and she has naturally straight hair–I can’t imagine keeping the original Hime cut without that.) Still, getting the perfect cut is incredibly hard, and it does indeed play into the princess feel.

      Also, good points on both accounts, 2DT. Thanks for the reminder.

      Credit where credit is due. For all those reading the post and the comments, the conversational style is inspired by and modeled after Emily and vuc’s blog, which is incredibly ingenious, fun, and presentable.

  2. Overlord-G says:

    I’ve basically considered women with long black hair as being undeniably attractive. The hime cut was just another example to strengthen that fact in my mind. I don’t know what it is about the color and the way long hair sways in the wind with all its majestic beauty. I’m not saying I ONLY fall for women with long black flwoing hair but I certainly won’t deny being turned on by one.

    • Shance says:

      I’m glad that our post strengthened your resolve in loving long, black hair more. I’ll be more glad if it was the Hime cut, but everyone has their preferences, so I guess I’ll have to leave it at that.

      I’d have you give me some other examples of hairstyles for long, black hair, though!

      • Overlord-G says:

        talesofvesperia.net/

        Ume Shiraume from Ben-To. Yet another proud graduate from the island of Lesbos and unsurprisingly the most beautiful woman on the show.

        I’ll think of other examples of sexy women with long, black hair when I think of them.

        Back to Ben-To:
        I learned that there are not 3, but 4 graduates from the island of Lesbos (Sad analogy but bear with me just this once). Anyway this show’s graduate is Ume Shiraume, who I like for morethan just being a lesbian:
        1: She’s the most attractive woman on the show imo.
        2: She destroys the male protagonist in a much more amusing manner than the ever so hateful Seraphim from the Zombie Show.
        3: Her oh so wonderful rage.
        Her target is Hana Oshiroi.

        Unfortunately she falls under the sad and cliched “I love her but she’s too dense to notice my feelings” type lesbian. Then again based on her actions in episode, I think she wants to keep it that way for a while.

        The show itself is okay, nothing special but I’ll watch it anyway since I enjoy watching male leads suffer in certain ways. (Outside of shounen, non comedies and SoLs, anime male leads are purely created to suffer physically and mentally for my amusement.)

        So there you go. Another yuri character for those who are somewhat interested. As for the show itself: Think “A Mom Cartoon” with a convoluted plot and housewives replaced with high school students.

        • Overlord-G says:

          Oops, my apologies. The above link is wrong. Here’s the real pic:

          Ume Shiraume

          Isn’t her cold stare that tells you “Stay away from my girlfriend or I’ll break you!” lovely?

        • Yi says:

          Link is fixed. Also, I’d personally be more careful with using a kind of language that equates yuri and lesbian.

    • Yi says:

      Long black flowing hair really are nice. I love my fingers through them~

  3. I’ve always found it quite interesting that the Hime-cut can often be seen as representative of both the classic nobility inspired Yamato Nadeshiko mentality, and of Gothic-Lolita subculture. It’s almost as though the cold, grim and stoic stereotype of the later has somewhat blended with the quiet, modest humility of the former. Is this a coincidence; purely fashion-orientated, or has it arisen from the two being rather indistinguishable, when being observed from a distance?

    What is interesting is how the look, despite branching out in recent times, has still kept its high-class roots. While you could never successfully get away with the hairstyle wearing tracksuit bottoms and hoodie, in my opinion it does lend itself particularly well to the modern professional suit-wearing businesswoman. I suppose to some that would go against its Yamato Nadeshiko origins, but in a way the Hime-cut almost appears to have adapted to what is increasingly seen as the desired attributes for many women in modern Japan. Not being either Japanese or a woman, it’s not something I can claim with any certainty, but is something I’ve noticed, at least on a superficial level.

    Oh, and curly bedraggled sex-hair is still the best! ^ ^

    • Shance says:

      Gothic Lolita culture deeply finds meaning in almost everything that is monochromatic (that is, black and white). This preference for ebony and ivory embedded itself as a prominent characteristic for its couture, which of course, includes hairstyles and hair color. And by understanding the textbook description of a Gothic Lolita (a doll-like prepubescent girl that is considered a being of untouchable purity and chastity), it’s quite understandable why the Hime cut is a popular fashion statement.

    • Yi says:

      Ooh, interesting discussion about Hime cut and Goth Loli subculture. I actually have a slightly different take on Goth Loli from Shance’s. I don’t necessarily agree that monochromatic color schemes is a defining characteristic of Goth Loli nor find the connection of black and white to Hime cut especially noteworthy, especially today. To be fair, there is an emphasis on darker themes–mostly due to a limited interpretation of its Victorian and Rococo influences, as well as a cross over with “Goth” subculture. In any case, the introduction of Hime cut to it, I hypothesize, stems from Gothic Lolita’s original focus on the prim, proper, and modest aspects of Victorian culture. In that sense, I’m more inclined to agree with fathomlessblue. On an aesthetics note, it’s also noteworthy that the straight bangs make a nice complement and contrast to the frills and curves.

      In anime, Hime cut certainly still holds that flavor, but in real life, I’m not so sure. The style has become a much more commonplace thing; I see it so often walking about the streets. I don’t mind though~

  4. Marina says:

    Like 2DT notes, hime cuts are pretty difficult to maintain for it to look the way it should, since I have very rarely seen someone who honestly has such stick straight hair without some help of additional product or a flat iron. Especially so with bangs; I just recently added some side-swept bangs to my look which stick in all directions every morning and must be flat ironed to look good.

    I also think this look only works well for girls with medium to thin hair, since thicker hair tends to start creating a pyramid look the longer it gets. The minimal layering helps a bit, but it still looks a bit funny.

    And great find for a photo! I, too, love mixing feminine and masculine looks–say…dolled up features and perfect hair along with military-esque boots and coats. 🙂

    • Shance says:

      I guess it really does apply to girls with thin, style-friendly hair. I know some people prefer ironing their hair mainly because it makes hair thin and kind of malleable for styling. They also use special shampoos that keep hair voluminous even after styling. I guess when it comes to wearing such a hairstyle, the amount of care and preparation really counts a lot.

    • Yi says:

      2DT does have a point, but it’s not impossible to maintain Hime cut in real life. Of course, it also depends on hair length. But for, say, shoulder hair length, it’s a little extra work, but not much more than applying make-up or nightly skin-care regimen. Personally though, I don’t keep Hime cut because I’m a little too lazy to want to worry about that extra thing. Haha.

      But yea, bangs are very difficult to maintain, but they can be super cute, as I’m sure your side-swept bangs are. ^ ^

      “I also think this look only works well for girls with medium to thin hair, since thicker hair tends to start creating a pyramid look the longer it gets. The minimal layering helps a bit, but it still looks a bit funny.”
      Yes, very very good point! I totally agree.

      Anyway, glad you liked the Vogue cover. I loved it too. ^ ^

  5. jreding says:

    @ Shance and Yi: Thanks for this nice post! Personally, I prefer characters where the bangs are not cut in such a straight line and with such short sidelocks as in your first two pictures. It pretty much frames the face and to me it makes a character look distinguished and, well, grown-up (which may just be what you describe in your post). Hyoni is a point in case given how she looked not that long ago (cf. one of my favourite pictures:
    Hyoni Kang
    !

    @fathomlessblue: When I read hime-cut and hoodie this –
    Mio Hime Cut K-On
    – just came to my mind! But it only proves your point since the K-ON!! ED makes fun by portraying the rather well-behaved girls as delinquents. I doubt that Mio in “reality” would ever as much as touch a spray can.

    • Shance says:

      There are cases of characters wearing the Hime cut hairstyle that are a bit “wild”. I good example of this I think is Motoko Aoyama of Love Hina, who after falling in love with Keitaro because pretty much open to a lot of things, including cosplay, stalking people, and being a hopeless ronin who would do anything to pass the Tokyo University entrance exams.

    • Yi says:

      @jreding: Ooh lovely shot of Hyoni. I really do like her look a lot for some reason. Anyway, agreed that the short sidelocks do frame the face. In the case of someone like Yune, it actually gives her a very cute little helmet cap thingy.

      Also, about Mio, yep yep. I like to imagine that underneath that shy, straight-laced facade lies a wild streak though. Hehe.

  6. hoshiko says:

    Hime cut! I just saw Princess Aiko sporting that look in the papers.

    It’s interesting to know that Hime cut has a high class origins, but from where I come from this hairstyle usually associates with cute school girls. And once they graduate from school, most of them will grow out their bangs and try wearing different looks such as wavy hair or pixie cut. That was before Eastern fashion culture started to gain popularity here anyway.

    • Shance says:

      That only means the girls in your country start to develop preferences for hairstyles as they grow up. In the country where I live in, the Hime cut is considered a common and practical hairstyle. They don’t really maintain their hair really well, though.

      I guess it’s a rare sight to still be able to find someone who sports the Hime cut in your country.

    • Yi says:

      Nowadays, I think Hime cut in real life has kind of lost that high society feel, mainly because it is a fairly common style worn by young girls and women. In fact, I see myriads of the haircut (and related variations) every day. In anime though, Hime cut seems to still hold some significance.

      Anyway, thanks for bringing that up. ^ ^

  7. gozieson says:

    I particularly like this hairstyle when it’s used on anime characters. As I said the character and personality can change completely based on those little tiny touches. You can see it happen in the Sono Hanabira series when Kaede is asked by Sara to let her hair down.

    This hairstyle does play on the notion that these are the people you can trust and look forward to. They’re trustworthy and smart yet it exudes elegance in all the right places.

    P.S. I also I like to dream of these girls in these hairstyles, really gives me great ideas for new fanfics. BTW, thanks for liking my story, really looking forward to hear how I can improve on it.😀

    • Shance says:

      We totally forgot that Sono Hanabira has a resident Yamato Nadeshiko wearing a Hime cut hairstyle. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Yi says:

      Yes, that’s a very relevant example on how hair can have such a significant impact on our perception of a character. Kaede went from a pushover to a princely idol with a mere hair change.

      p.s. Yes, thank you for the email. Forgive me, but I most take some time for my busy life first before I can get to the story. I really look forward to it!

  8. Casshie says:

    Looking back, i realized that in anime which have characters who have Hime cut, i would love them a lot more so than the other characters even if they are just side characters. It’s true that they give you the feeling that they are from royalty and exudes elegance but i think in the end, they just show you that they are more feminine than all the other female characters and that really appeals to me. And also, sex hair in my opinion shows that a girl is quite wild in a way(Ohana anyone?) but for Hime cut it shows that a girl is very shy and quiet, so it’s just the way it’s meant to be =)

    • Shance says:

      It’s a case of a hairstyle that speaks for itself, mostly due to its association with the Yamato Nadeshiko, the Japanese epitome for a woman; a woman with grace, elegance, and an aura that tells people that she’s a cut above the rest. It is no doubt that the Hime cut will always strike awe and admiration into people’s hearts, just like how it has struck you and me.

    • Yi says:

      While we shouldn’t necessarily stereotype characters based solely on looks, I’m inclined to agree that Hime cut does often imply a marked femininity in the female characters, which does appeal to many, including me. So yea, agreed!

  9. foshizzel says:

    Oooooh the famous Hime cut! I really do enjoy that style of hair and most of the girls on this list are all so damn cute because of it..I do always try to and attempt to draw that style but I always fail ahaha guess I need more practice, anyway nice team post by the way!

  10. blacksun88 says:

    very interesting opinion indeed. nothing much from me, i personally like hime cut a lot due to the very feminine impression left by it.

  11. Pingback: Beauty in Symmetry: The Everlasting Allure of the Hime Cut (On Listless Ink) « Rainbowsphere

  12. Tis all part of the allure of the traditional beauty.Although as stated above, the Hime cut does take a lot of time and labor to maintain, thus a symbolic representation of the labor of beauty and its equal half to balance/order. All women (proper women) are to exhibit this idea both in mind and physical appearance to be virtuous; if I can remember Utamaro’s words from a painting made.

    • Shance says:

      I concur. It’s good to see someone who associates symmetry with hair as much as I do. Thanks for reading!

    • Yi says:

      “All women (proper women) are to exhibit this idea both in mind and physical appearance to be virtuous”

      That’s a fascinating quotation in so many ways. Time for some serious digestion. ^ ^

      Thanks, tsurugiarashix~

  13. glothelegend says:

    The Hime cut is good…..sometimes. Sometimes I really just don’t like how it looks. Enma Ai probbaly has the best Hime cut. Just….awesome.

    In real life I would not like a girl with a Hime cut. I like girls who have crazy hair. Short hair is cool spiked hair (as long as it’s not too crazy….like conservatively styled not really spiked) is awesome. Anything different from the norm is awesome to me (though that doesn’t mean I hate normal hair).

    I feel like Uma Thurman’s wig was kind of Hime haircut like in Pulp Fiction:

    I assume it was a wig.

    • Shance says:

      I like traditional haircuts. I tend to be an oldschool person with really outdated interests (interests that are already considered impractical, traditional, or too old to recognise), so liking Hime cuts is a given for me. I’ve seen spiked hair, but I never liked it. I mean, I have a lesbian relative who always sports a short-haired, spiky, gel-heavy hairstyle, and it totally turns me off for some reason. To top it off, I see it everyday when we meet by chance on the mall we always visit. I guess it really just rubs me the wrong way.

    • Yi says:

      Agreed that Enma Ai probably has the best one, although I think there are plenty of other characters who sport the Hime cut well (along with some who sport it not so well…).

      In any case, I can kind of understand how it might not necessarily have the same effect in real life. It really depends on the facial structures… And not all girls are comfortable rocking it I suppose.

      Again agreed on Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. ^ ^

      Anyway, thanks for the thoughts, glo~

  14. MyHatsOffToYou says:

    I only like Hime-cut when it’s strickly restricted to anime/manga/VN and such. It’s cute most of the times

    They just don’t ring with me in real life……

    • Shance says:

      A 2D complex for character haircut preferences? Surely, you jest! I mean, it’s not bad to look at real life pictures of girls and their fashion statements, right?

      • MyHatsOffToYou says:

        Well I like other cuts in 2D and in reality, but I only like the Hime style cut when it’s in anime/manga/VN …..etc.

        I’m still a MAN, real life girls still turns me on

        Well only when they’re beautiful…….

        When the girls fit my wide range of exquisite fetishes, it turns me waaaaaay on xD

        • Shance says:

          Well, if I can’t change your thoughts about it then I guess I’ll have to leave it at that. If something changes your mind about it though, then I’m free to lend an open ear as to why.

    • Yi says:

      Perhaps you just haven’t met someone who wears it to your tastes. In any case, to each her own. ^ ^

  15. Yellowfruit says:

    I rather like long hair, I’m not really sure why. If it’s in a ponytail, or just hanging loose, unkempt or obsessively groomed, I don’t care too much, I just think long hair is rather beautiful.

    Too bad ankle length hair is impractical, even just looking at a woman with beautiful waist length is calming to me…. That doesn’t make a weird, does it? =P

    • Shance says:

      I have to admit, long hair IS alluring. GIrls with long hair have this uncanny way of captivating people by just letting their hair sway in the wind, which gives off a very mature, calming and awe-inspiring feel. This applies to the Hime cut, as well, so I understand where you’re coming from.

    • Yi says:

      You’re both totally right. I love running my fingers through a girl’s long hair. It’s such a comforting yet exciting feeling. I love it.

      Although personally, I find long hair a pain to deal with. haha.

  16. lostty says:

    I never really thought much about this haircut before this post, but I see the beauty in it now. It also made me realize that it really is a common style used in anime. I never really realized it till now. If I remember correctly, both of the goddesses in Kannagi had this hairstyle (or at least something inspired form it) and I guess it would make sense that they would!
    I love the hairstyle as I am a sucker for fringes, but my hair grows out way to quickly so I usually go with an asymmetrical cut over symmetrical because it looks more normal when it grows out.The hime-cut is definitely a cut that needs to be maintained often!

    • Shance says:

      I’m glad that I’m able to make you realize the power of the Hime cut! I mean, like you said, it’s quite common in anime and manga, but very few people find actual meaning as to why the characters wear the hairstyle (like Nagi and Zange in Kannagi, as you’ve noted out).

      Also, my hair also grows way too fast as well, so I feel for you in thinking of way in styling hair.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, it’s really interesting how often this style is shown in anime, and especially among certain archetypes. This is a good thing for those of us who enjoy it I guess.

      Anyway, I’m a sucker for fringes too, but I rarely (if ever if I recall correctly) had a Hime cut going on for a similar reason. My hair grows pretty fast too, and it’s annoying to keep having to get it trimmed.

  17. I found your blog from 2DT, just so you know. ^_^

    But this is the first time I’ve felt inclined to post. What I find interesting about this one is that the “modern” variations that you noted at the end look a lot like the “hipster” bangs that have been popularized by Zooey Deschanel (I would provide a link, but seriously a google image search would cover it). What’s interesting THERE is that in the west, we associate the style with “magical pixie” which is a completely different trope and, to be honest, without the additional layering on the sides, that’s what i see in Sawako (although. she suffers a little from the fact that we’re MAINLY supposed to pay attention to the fact that her hair is long, straight, and black).

    I would argue that the more basic straight bangs fit with the image of a precise hairstyle that doesn’t take much time (Zooey is no “try-hard”), which contrasts the intricate Hime cut more than a little (hence 2D’s comment at the top).

    • Yi says:

      So glad to see you here!

      Great point on Zooey Deschanel. She’s one of my favorite celebrities, and I do agree, the modern western style does not quite give the same feel as the traditional eastern take. Very good insight there!

      And per this point. I mentioned above in a comment that most variations of the Hime cut today aren’t too super difficult to maintain.

      Anyway, things are a little different in anime though, so yea. ^ ^

  18. CainHyde says:

    Thanks for the nice read.
    I don’t particularly care about symmetrical frontal fringe part but overall I like this hair style.
    Those long and black silky almost always looks fabulous.😀

  19. wieselhead says:

    that was a quite insightful post for me.
    I must admit that I never give much thought to such things, for me it was just a normal hairstyle under many. But after I learned that anime characters with such a hairstyle have certain characteristics of a princess, it all makes sense now😉

    My favorite characters with an himecut are Nagi from Kannagi(snotty princess) and Sawako(kind princess). In general I only like this hairstyle because of it’s length, but I rather see that combined with a livelier styled fringe.

  20. Persocom says:

    Quite interesting, for some reason I’ve always been a fan of the hime cut. Now I know more about it’s origins and such🙂 Though I do like bed hair as much as any, the elegance of the hime cut is very attractive.

  21. Ryan A says:

    Mmhm.. I like. Well, I like many ojou-related attributes; classy girls, usually carry either an attitude or prowess, I love that. Anyway, the hime-cut is an interesting style, and I definitely feel it’s traditional roots have allowed it such keen focus in modern visual culture (among other areas). Princess Kaguya is undoubtedly the forerunner, but you know who I really enjoy is Tomoyo (CLAMP).

    An almost purely mechanical observation on this hairstyle is the way the bangs/fringe and sidelocks are intently around the facial structure, with much of the forehead covered as well as the ears. What I gauge from this look is that the hair is meant to portrait the face, or more specifically, the most recognizable features of the face; eyes, nose, lips, etc. This enables a rather strong focus on the face itself, yielding distinct memory and recognition to those who are allowed to see (assuming socially and/or culturally such permission is selective).

    As gozieson mentioned above:

    This hairstyle does play on the notion that these are the people you can trust and look forward to.

    A fine observation, and perhaps in-tune with the idea that a face we see and recognize, can be a face we trust. The hime-cut allows the face to be seen, though I am not aware if this was an original intent of the style, but it is quite interesting to ponder from the perspective of “utility.”

    An enjoyable read. ^ ^

    • Yi says:

      Oh Ryan, you and your ojou love. ^ ^ I definitely understand your feelings though. (I’m a big fan of ojou myself~ ♥)
      Yes, especially in anime, the traditional roots definitely keep the Hime cut around as this very fascinating ideal. Tomoyo is super lovely too! She’s actually a perfect early example of that archetype.

      “An almost purely mechanical observation on this hairstyle is the way the bangs/fringe and sidelocks are intently around the facial structure, with much of the forehead covered as well as the ears. What I gauge from this look is that the hair is meant to portrait the face, or more specifically, the most recognizable features of the face; eyes, nose, lips, etc. This enables a rather strong focus on the face itself, yielding distinct memory and recognition to those who are allowed to see (assuming socially and/or culturally such permission is selective).”
      Oh my gosh! ♥ I could not have said this better! And I didn’t even think about some of the more structurally relevant points. The portrait–framing so to speak–of the face is a beautiful insight. ^ ^

      In fact, now I think about it, perhaps part of Hime-cuts’ massive appeal is that it really highlights the face, which can be the most expressive thing if allowed.

      Anyway, thank you so much for the comment!! I really loved it~

      p.s. We should collaborate on a fashion post, either colloquium style, or simply allow me to host something of yours if that’s OK. ^ ^

      • Ryan A says:

        There is always more under the surface when we step back to analyze fundamental aspects. I think that’s where intuition arises from, at least. Time-tested, if we can understand intuition or musing, we can formulate to the general perception, perhaps without their awareness. The hime-cut is objectively simple; it is symmetric, beautiful, and keeps the hair out of one’s eyes, but perhaps engineered to the awareness of others.

        And I would have loved to collaborate with you, especially in colloquium format. I had in mind a post on Angel Sanctuary, and the intriguing designs/styles of the characters, boundaries, but I’m afraid that won’t do.

  22. w_t says:

    This might be off topic, but this looked cool. http://goo.gl/rUjjx

  23. Swordwind says:

    “However, today, we much more often see something resembling the essence of the hime cut without having all these elements.”

    What do you think the first element dropped tends to be? I’d say the “symmetrical frontal fringe and side locks” tend to be replaced by something a bit more free-spirited before anything else is, though that cold just be wishful thinking on my part….I dislike that aspect of the hime cut the most.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Yi says:

      I think you nailed it exactly. Those were the elements that popped into my mind first, especially the side locks. I don’t necessarily dislike those parts, although I don’t mind the variations either.

      Anyway, hope you enjoyed the post, and thanks for reading!

  24. Xine says:

    I think I once had a semi-hime cut, somewhat similar to Jigoku Shōjo but I wasn’t able to keep it as nice as it should be. You need a good hairstylist to get the variation that you like and it sure is difficult to maintain but I love the hime cut. Now I miss my long hair more T_T

    • Yi says:

      Agreed! But good hairstylists are expensive!! Anyway, while I love long hair, I rarely miss it. They’re kind of a pain haha. ^ ^

      p.s. I imagine you must’ve looked lovely with your long hair Hime cut~

  25. FoundOnWeb says:

    Of course, it’s not just the living. The status of ghosts can also be shown a la hime

    Onryo Hime cut

  26. Nopy says:

    I’ve always liked long straight hair so naturally, I love the hime cut. My favourite variation is with two side bangs that end before the shoulders, with the back hair flowing down the back. The closest example I can think of right now is Kanna from AIR.

    • Yi says:

      Ooh I think I know exactly the style you’re talking about. Agreed! Super cute. And personally, I definitely prefer long hair too. There’s something about having hair brush against your face as you lean in~

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