Chihiro Ogino (荻野 千尋, Ogino Chihiro) referred through most of the film by her nickname Sen (Sen, lit. one thousand) is the ten year old core protagonist of the Japanese animated film Spirited Away.
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.
In the beginning of the movie, Chihiro is shown to be a childish, crybaby and whiny girl. But, after her experiences at the Bathouse, she matures into a capable young adult.
Chihiro has brown hair and rosy cheeks. She has a childlish appearance, and a quite pudgy face. Her attire includes a white T-shirt with green stripes, pink shorts, white socks and yellowish sneakers. While working in the bath house, she wears a pink and white dress and is barefoot.
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 death and transformation into a spirit, so it may not be true. However, Zeniba's quote, "memories are never forgotten, they are just difficult to recall" suggests that Chihiro will eventually remember her experiences at the Bathhouse. Regardless, the fate of Chihiro and Haku relationship remains unknown and up to audience interpretation.
- 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 created based on a ten-year old girl, a Miyazaki friend's daughter. This girl also made Miyazaki continue working after promising retiring from filmmaking after Mononoke Hime (1997).
- Chi and Sen both use the same Japanese Kanji, which means 1,000 but are different readings of the same character. The name Sen is also a play on the name Chihiiro.