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Chihiro (荻野 千尋 , Ogino Chihiro), referred throughout most of the film by Sen (千 lit. "one-thousand"), is the ten-year-old core protagonist of the Japanese animated film Spirited Away.

Appearance

Chihiro is a ten-year-old girl who has brown hair, brown eyes, and rosy cheeks. She is very petite and has a childish appearance, and a pudgy face. Her attire includes a white medium-sleeved T-shirt with bright green stripes, bright red shorts, white socks and sunshine yellow velcro sneakers. While working in the bath house, she is barefoot and wears a coral coloured kariginu robe with a white hitoe underneath and short sashinuki trousers, as well as a tasuki cord for tying her sleeves up.

Personality

Chihiro's growth into a capable individual is a core factor to the movement of Spirited Away's plot. During her adventure in the Spirit World, she matures from an easily scared girl with a childlike personality to match her age to a hard-working, responsible, and brave young girl who has learned to put her fears aside for those she cares for. To protect her friends and rescue her parents from a spell that has turned them into livestock, Chihiro sheds her former personality and adapts to her environment to become a courageous, quick-witted and reliable girl.

The strength of her bond with Haku as the story progresses eventually evolves into a very sincere form of love that dispelled Yubaba and Zeniba's respective curses on Haku.

Speculation

Chihiro ponders her experience after returning to the real world.

It is mentioned by director and creator Hayao Miyazaki that Chihiro has 'lost' all her memories of the Spirit World following her exiting of the tunnel. However, according to Haku's promise, he and Chihiro will meet again someday. This may or may not be referring to Chihiro's eventual death and transformation into a spirit. However, Zeniba's quote, "memories are never forgotten, they are just difficult to recall", suggests that Chihiro could, potentially, remember her experiences at The Bathhouse and the Spirit Realm. Regardless, the fate of Chihiro and Haku's relationship remains unknown and is up to audience interpretation.

Etymology

  • The name Chihiro means "thousand" (千) (chi) and "search, seek" (尋) (hiro).
    • Part of the name Chi (in Chihiro) and Sen both use the same Japanese kanji (千), which means '1,000', but are different readings of the same character.
  • Chihiro's surname Ogino means "reed, rush" (荻) (ogi) and "field, wilderness" (野) (no).
    • In some countries, Chihiro's surname Ogino was changed to Senko, so that viewers who do not have a deeper knowledge about the Japanese language wouldn't be confused when her name in the bathhouse was changed to "Sen".

Trivia

  • In an interview regarding Chihiro's character design, Hayao Miyazaki informs the audience that "[He] created a heroine who is an ordinary girl, someone with whom the audience can sympathize. It's not a story in which the characters grow up, but a story in which they draw on something already inside them, brought out by the particular circumstances. [He] wants [his] young friends to live like that, and [he] thinks they, too, have such a wish."
  • Chihiro was based on a real-life girl: the then-ten-year-old daughter of a friend of Miyazaki's. This girl also made Miyazaki continue working after promising retirement from filmmaking after Princess Mononoke (1997).

Quotes

"I want you to know my real name. It's Chihiro."
—Chihiro to Zeniba
  • "The wind's pulling us in."
  • "I'm not going in there! It gives me the creeps!"
  • "Wait for me!"
  • "Wait a minute."
  • "What's up with him?"
  • "I'm dreaming! I'm dreaming!"
  • "I'm see-through!"
  • "It's just a really bad dream."
  • "They did turn into pigs. I wasn't dreaming."
  • "Kamajī?"
  • "Yubaba?"
  • "Please! I gotta get a job here!"
  • "Yes, ma'am."
  • "Just a minute, sir."
  • "He's a good person."
  • "I knew you were good!"
  • "We would like to go to Swamp Bottom, please."
  • "Wow, you're a big baby."
  • "Staying in this room will make you sick!"
  • "Germs! I got germs! See?"
  • "Haku!"
  • "Shut your mouth!"
  • "Lin, you know Haku?!"
  • "There aren't two him, aren't there?"
  • "I don't feel so good."
  • "Which ones are you?"
  • "Mommy!"
  • "Water?"
  • "Bad dream."
  • "Don't you worry, I promise I'll get you out of here! So just don't get any fatter or they'll eat you!"
  • "No, you can't!"
  • "Haku, we're falling!"
  • "What are those weird buildings?"
  • "What are those stones?"
  • "My flowers are dying!"
  • "Kamajī lit the boiler already?"
  • "How long was I asleep?"
  • "I hope Dad hasn't gotten too fat."
  • "I'm going to go look for Haku!"
  • "Where is Haku?"
  • "Are birds chasing him?"
  • "Haku!"
  • "Fight 'em!"
  • "Come on!"
  • "Haku, you're bleeding."
  • "It's just paper."
  • "Thank you, Mr. Boiler Man."
  • "Please, I just want to work!"
  • "Please, can't you just give me a job?"
  • "Everyone, I need my shoes and my clothes, please."
  • "I think I can handle it."
  • "I guess my parents will have to wait."
  • (To Yubaba) "Thank you for everything, Granny."
  • (To Zeniba) "Granny, I can't remember anything at all. Haku could be dead already, and I'm just sitting around here. My mom and dad could've been eaten for dinner."

Gallery


References

  1. The Art of Spirited Away, page 54
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