Sunday, October 25, 2009

Featured Mori Girl: Hagumi Hanamoto from Honey and Clover manga

Hagumi Hanamoto (花本 はぐみ) from the Japanese manga Honey and Clover (ハチミツとクローバー) has often been cited as the archetypal mori girl. Although she is 18 years old at the start of the manga, her appearance is extremely childlike, often leading to her being mistaken for a middle school student.



Hagu is usually depicted in the manga as wearing long, rather baggy looking dresses, sometimes layered with long-sleeved tops or cardigans, and flat shoes. The whole mori girl aesthetic seems to have been modelled on this extremely comfortable, feminine yet childlike style.




 Hagu's hair appears long, wavy and rather unkempt, and is sometimes left loose and adorned with hairpins or flowers. At other times, she adopts cute hairstyles such as two high buns perched on either side of her head, or wearing half her hair in two small knobs with the rest of the hair left loose.




Appearance aside, Hagu's character and personality possess qualities that make her a mori girl through and through. A first year student at an art college at the start of the manga, she is an extremely talented artist who has already had works exhibited despite her young age. In the D-I-Y spirit of the mori girls, her enjoys making clothes both for herself and her dolls, and she also enjoys playing with clay. She keeps a scrapbook in which she sticks pictures of clothing and accessories she wishes she could afford.


 
 Hagu has an extremely curious and childlike personality, often delighting in things adults show little interest in such as Christmas parties. While she is painfully shy at the start of the series, she starts to open up later on and becomes more independent. She is often seen doing comical things like drinking non-alcoholic champagne meant for kids while the other characters are drinking beer.

However, the quality that is most inspiring to mori girls is Hagu's commitment to her passion for art. She is extremely motivated and never tires of creating things, finding inspiration in everything in her environment.



I think we can all learn something from Hagu's boundless curiosity and endless inspiration. One of the things I remember most is a part where Hagu is asked how she bought snacks or clothes in high school without earning extra money through a part-time job. She responds that she picked berries, fruits and nuts from the surrounding greenery and sewed her own clothes.

On top of all that, her behaviour is super cute and funny! You have to read the manga before you realise this.

If you want to read this manga (one of the best and most genuine in my opinion), getting it from my affiliate links will help me continue contributing this site, for which I will be very, very grateful!



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