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Haku – Spirited Away

Chihiro: Will we meet again sometime?
Haku: Sure we will.
Chihiro: Promise?
Haku: Promise.

Haku

Appearance

Haku is a boy with dark hair in a perfectly shaped bob haircut and green-greyish almond-shaped eyes. He seems to be slightly skinny. He has thin eyebrows and sharp-pointed nose. He wears a white kimono over a blue shirt and blue trousers. The sash that ties his kimono closed is purple.

Background and role in the film

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He is a young boy who is a river spirit in the form of a human, who helps Chihiro after her parents have transformed into pigs. Haku first appears when Chihiro Ogino is on the bridge to the Bathhouse. At this, he quickly yells to her to Get out and get across the river before nightfall. But, when Chihiro fails to do this, she runs off. Then, in a panic, he goes to search for her and tells her that she is becoming invisible, he then gives her something to eat so she won’t disappear. Haku then unbinds her when her legs become stuck and takes her to the bath house. Then, he helps her cross the bridge and in the garden outback, he tells her that she needs to get a job to survive from Kamajī, the boiler man.

Spirited AwayOver the course of the movie his relationship with Chihiro becomes stronger, especially after she learns he is a dragon. This bond eventually leads to them falling in love, for it was their love for each other that broke Zeniba’s spell on Haku. Haku was originally the spirit of the Kohaku River and knows Chihiro because he once saved her from drowning.

Haku was originally the spirit of the Kohaku River and knows Chihiro because he once saved her from drowning. When the river was destroyed and filled in with apartments, he no longer had a home and went to the spirit world, where he became Yubaba’s apprentice. Toward the end of the story Chihiro recalls her memory of falling into the Kohaku (コハク, Japanese for, “amber”) river, of which Haku was the spirit; she thus frees him from Yubaba’s service by helping him remember his real name and past, which he had forgotten due to the name change and the curse which Yubaba has placed on him. When Yubaba is nearby, Haku is as sharp-voiced and stern to Chihiro as to anyone else.

Both of them return to the bath house, and they say their good-byes at the river which has now been filled in.

Haku promises, however, that he and Chihiro would one day meet again as he lets go of her hand and watches her leave to go find her parents.

Personality 

Original

Haku has multiple personalities. He can be kindhearted and supportive at times, strict and high strung at other times. He is wise, and is able to act accordingly to the situation. He is more than willing to stick his neck out when he cares about someone. From the beginning of the story, through to the end, he does everything within his power to keep Chihiro unharmed and to help her leave safely. His steadfast resolve helps Chihiro finally trust him, amidst contradictory information from other Spirited Away characters.

Of course, Haku always said she could trust him. Lin, however was not sure of Haku’s intentions. Yubaba’s twin sister, Zeniba insisted that Haku is a greedy thief, who had stolen her seal. In the end, Chihiro puts her faith in Haku. Later on, it is revealed Haku is Yubaba’s slave, who control him by a black worm.

[in Japanese]
Chihiro : Listen, Haku. I don’t remember it, but my mom told me… Once, when I was little, I fell into a river. She said they’d drained it and built things on top. But I’ve just remembered. The river was called… Its name was the Kohaku River. Your real name is Kohaku.
[Haku slowly changes into a boy again, permanently shedding away his white dragon skin. The two are falling from the sky, holding each other’s hands]
Haku : Chihiro, thank you. My real name is Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi.
Chihiro : Nigihayami?
Haku : Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi.
Chihiro : [starts to cry] What a name. Sounds like a god.
Haku : I remember too, how you fell into me as a child. You had dropped your shoe.
Chihiro : Yes, you carried me to shallow water, Kohaku.
[they put their faces close together, close enough to kiss]
Chihiro : I’m so grateful!

[in Japanese]
Haku : Kamaji.
Kamajii : [wakes up] Oh, Haku, you’re awake.
Haku : Where’s Sen? What happened? Please, tell me.
Kamajii : Don’t you remember anything?
Haku : Just little pieces. Chihiro kept calling my name in the darkness. I followed her voice and woke up lying here.
Kamajii : Chihiro, huh? Her real name’s Chihiro? Can’t beat the power of love.

Read more : Who Inspired The Movie “Spirited Away” Of Studio Ghibli

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