Miko

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: shrine maiden
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See Also: Miko on Wikipedia
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In Japan, a miko is a woman, usually young, who participates in a variety of religious activities. Many miko are associated with shrines. They tend to wear distinctive red hakama and white haori. They originate in the ancient past and are mentioned in such works as the Tale of Genji.

Miko are popular characters in pop culture. For example, Hino Rei of Sailor Moon is a miko because her family runs a shrine. Kotani Nobuta of Nobuta wo Produce works as a miko for a little while, trying to earn money. Kikyou of InuYasha was a miko in her original life. In Kannazuki no Miko, both of the main characters were once miko. Quite famously, Kishuu Arashi in X/1999 by CLAMP is a miko whose powers, like her mother's before her, are tied up in her remaining a virgin.

In fandom, miko are sometimes cosplayed in their traditional clothing (especially Kannazuki no Miko characters, whose outfits are changed from traditional). Female characters who are not miko are sometimes drawn in miko clothing.