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Haku is the deuteragonist in Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli.

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

Look

Haku appears to be around 12 years of age in physical age. He has straight dark green hair in a bob haircut and slanted dark green eyes when he is human. Haku wears blue short hakama, white kariginu with blue kimono underneath and beige sandals. When he transforms into his dragon form, he has a mint green mane and a white scaly body.

Plot

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.

After Chihiro succeeds in getting a job, Haku then hands her off to Lin. The next morning, he takes her to her parents who have turned into pigs. Haku then warns Chihiro that if she forgets her real name like he forgot his, then she will be trapped in the spirit world forever. Then, Haku leaves and comes back days later gravely injured by paper birds and blood dripping from his body. Now, Haku ends up in Yubaba's office bleeding and close to death. Having Chihiro on his back, they end up falling down a mine shaft and into the boiler room with Kamaji.

Then, while Chihiro is off returning the seal that Haku allegedly stole, he then tells Yubaba that he will get her son back and flies off to Zeniba's (Yubaba's twin sister). Flying in the night with Chihiro on his back, Chihiro tells him that when she was little she fell into a river to retrieve a little pink shoe and that she thought she would drown, but, he saved her. She then tells him the river's name was the Kohaku river and thus revealing his real name. 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

Haku Dragon For

Haku is a lean-built twelve year old boy and, as Yubaba’s apprentice, he is second in command at the spiritual bathhouse. Haku is not an ordinary human. He is a spirit being who has the ability to transform into a dragon. He is able to fly all around the spirit realm, running multiple errands for Yubaba. He also shares great spiritual knowledge. Haku has sharp green eyes, along with a black, traditional Japanese bob cut. He wears blue pants, called a monpe, a white Japanese kimono and a blue sash tied along his waist. His dragon consists of a snake-like body, with antlers and long whiskers. It has silver scales, and a turquoise mane. He is able to interchange between dragon form and human form at will. 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 something important from her. In the end, Chihiro puts her faith in Haku.

Abilities

Chihiro-haku-zauber
Hakus-spelling-small

Transformation - Like other River Spirits he can transform into a dragon. His dragon form is called Ryū in Japanese.

Magical Power - He can moves atoms without casting a spell and he can flies. He uses his magical power to enable Chihiro to stand on her feets. One of his remarkable power is to reset someone's short-term memory. He uses that power on Aogaeru.

Name

Haku means Master or Foreman that indicate his position in the Bathhouse as Yubaba's right hand.

Haku also means white like the color of his dragon and his clothing. He wears a hakama, a clothing of the Shinto priest. He speaks very polite and noble that indicate his origin as a deity. He calls himself watashi instead of boku.

Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi is his real name. In the film he just call himself Kohaku river for short. He forgot his real name long times ago, because the Kohaku river got shut down.[2]

  1. Nigihayami implies his noble lineage nigi haya hi no mikot.
  2. Kohaku means river. So Kohaku river is a pleonasm.
  3. Nushi means spirit.

Trivia

  • Yubaba threaten Chihiro by killing Haku, if she won't find her parents under pigs. In the English translation Yubaba said instead Chihiro have to stay at the Bathhouse forever.
  • In the clos-up of Haku, you see his shining eyes. This idea come from Hideaki Anno, because he refuses Hayao Miyazaki's offer to draw Haku transparent.

Quotes

  • "You shouldn't be here."
  • "Get out of here now!"
  • "It's almost night."
  • "They're lighting the lamps."
  • "Leave before it gets dark."
  • "Don't be afraid."
  • "In the name of the wind and water within thee, unbind her."
  • "Get up."
  • "I'm back from my mission."
  • "Three days of our food and her smell will go away."
  • "It's about my mission, right?"

References

  1. The Art of Spirited Away, page 84
  2. Cf. Kojiki, trans. Donald L. Philippi (University of Tokyo Press, 1995 [1968] ), page 531.