The word breaks down into the seven hiragana characters: he (へ), no (の), he (へ), no (の), mo (も), he (へ), and ji (じ). The first two he are the eyebrows, the two no are the eyes, the mo is a nose, and the last he is the mouth. The outline of the face is made by the character shi, its two short strokes (dakuten) forming the ear. Children use the henohenomoheji as the faces of kakashi (scarecrows).
This icon has been likened culturally to North America's popular graffiti doodle of "Kilroy" (or in Britain "Chad", in Canada "Clem," and in Australia "Mr. Foo"), in that it often appears in comic books, movies and other media.
Other versions may have been current in other epochs and places. Japanese-Brazilians who learned hiragana in the 1950s, in the State of São Paulo, report that they were not taught to draw the ji, and thus left the face unframed, as in the henohenomohe shown at right.
Other people from the same epoch but from other towns in São Paulo report that they learned to draw a big no around the face, instead of the ji (not shown).
Others have drawn the henohenomoheji with an extra i (い) at the end, which is drawn under the ji to form a neck or an ear.
- In the opening sequence of the 1967 TV drama Comet San, the main character (played by Yumiko Kokonoe) uses her magic to draw a henohenomohe on the surface of the moon.
- In Naruto, the face of the character Kakashi Hatake, whose given name Kakashi means "scarecrow", is the subject of an entire episode (no. 101) in which his students try to remove his mask. Against one of them he uses a scarecrow as a decoy, with the henohenomoheji drawn on the face. Later he summons eight dogs which have the henohenomoheji on their backs.
- In the anime One Piece, Igaram makes dummies with the henohenomoheji face to impersonate Luffy, Zoro, and Nami.
- In the MSX game Parodius, one of the bosses is based on this.
- In the Sega Genesis game Crusader of Centy, a puppet controlled by a boss has this for a face.
- Henohenomoheji has been drawn twice by schoolchildren on Ojamajo Doremi.
On the 15th episode of Ojamajo Doremi #, Masaru Yada painted a large henohenomoheji on a piece of paper with red paint when he was meant to paint a portrait of his mother. On the 15th episode of Motto Ojamajo Doremi, Hesebe drew a henohenomoheji on a piece of paper with red crayon when he was meant to draw a portrait of his mother.
- In Digimon, the Digimon Nohemon, a scarecrow Digimon, has henohenomoheji on its face.
- In the Nintendo DS game Animal Crossing: Wild World, the visitor Blanca's face is that of a henohenomoheji, and can be altered to the player's own design.
- In the PlayStation 2 video game Ōkami, characters are represented with a henohenomoheji icon floating above their heads whenever they are too far to be seen.
- In the PlayStation 2 video game Chulip, the generic factory workers all have henohenomohe faces.
- In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a brief scene in episode 11 ("The Day of Sagittarius") showed Koizumi's fleet with a crew full of henohenomoheji.
- In the manga Ranma ½, the title character Ranma Saotome often wears the henohenomoheji face.
- Mangaka Yuu Watase is often portrayed in a henohenomoheji mask.
- In the anime Mononoke, the Medicine Seller briefly wears a henohenomoheji on his blank face during the Noppera-bō arc before restoring his own.
- In the anime Samurai Champloo, the baseball catcher doll in episode 23 "Baseball Blues" has a henohenomeheji on its face.
- In the video game Terranigma, in Matis's final gallery, he features a henohenomoheji.
- In episode 3 of the anime Hyakko, a slightly different henohenomoheji can be seen drawn on a cardboard box: it has no ji, a shi for its nose and another shi for its ear, which reads out "henohenoshiheshi". Later on in the same episode, a more classical version can be seen painted on a robot's face, with only the eyes and the nose (henohenomo) and a speaker for its mouth.
- In the anime "Toradora", Ryūji is seen hanging a home-made henohenomoheji out of cloth.
- In chapter 25 of the anime Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z the monster Penna draws the Henohenomoheji on every wall in Tokyo.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Let's Learn Hiragana with Japanese Culture: Henohenomoheji at japanese.about.com. Accessed on 2009-08-11.
- ↑ Henohenomohe in "Comet San" Intro