Hime (姫?) is the Japanese word for princess or a lady of higher birth. Although "princess" is usually given as the translation, daughters of a monarch are actually referred to by other terms, e.g. Ōjo (王女?), literally king's daughter, even though Hime can be used to address Ōjyo. The word Hime initially referred to any beautiful female. The antonym of Hime is Shikome (醜女), literally ugly female, though it is archaic and rarely used. Hime may also indicate feminine or simply small when used together with other words, such as Hime-gaki (a low line of hedge).
Hime is commonly seen as part of the Japanese female divinity's name such as Toyotama-hime. The Kanji applied to transliterate Hime are 比売 or 毘売 rather than 姫. The masculine counterpart of Hime is Hiko (彦, 比古 or 毘古,) which is seen as part of the Japanese male gods' name such as Saruta-hiko. Unlike Hime, Hiko is neutral, non-archaic and still commonly applied in modern Japanese male given name, for example Nobuhiko Takada.
- Ichi hime ni taro "First baby, a girl. Second baby, a boy": It originally meant that having a girl first, and a boy second was easier on the mother as she gained experience before nurturing a boy. However, with each household having less children, this is commonly confused as having "one girl and two boys", or three children. This is because "ichi" means "one" in Japanese and "ni" means "two" in Japanese, therefore could be read as, "One girl, two boys."
While many use the name Hime to address those of a higher or more noble birth, there are a few who use it as a girl's name. Thus some names either incorporate the word Hime or the giver simply will name said girl Hime.
- Himiko Some believe that Himiko is a transliteration from Japanese to Chinese of Himemiko or female shaman.
- Soga no Kitashihime (daughter of Emperor Kimmei)
- Nohime (wife of Oda Nobunaga)
- Ichi Hime (市姫) (younger sister of Oda Nobunaga)
- Koma Hime (駒姫) (daughter of Mogami Yoshiaki)
- Gotoku Hime (五徳姫) (daughter of Oda Nobunaga)
- Iroha Hime (五郎八姫) (daughter of Date Masamune)
- Toku Hime （督姫） (second daughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu)
- Hosokawa Gracia (daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide)
- Sen Hime (Princess Sen, eldest daughter Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada)
- Komatsuhime (daughter of Honda Tadakatsu)
- Yodo-dono (daughter of Ichi Hime (市姫))
- Hatsu Hime (初姫) (daughter of Ichi Hime (市姫))
- Oeyo (daughter of Ichi Hime (市姫), wife of Tokugawa HIdetada)
- Tachibana Ginchiyo (daughter of Tachibana Dosetsu)
- Mah Hime (摩阿姫) (daughter of Maeda Toshiie)
- Go hime (豪姫) (daughter of Maeda Toshiie)
- Kaguya-hime (The Moon-Princess, folk tale)
- Tsubaki-hime (椿姫, a common Japanese translation of the French work The Lady of the Camellias)
In popular culture
- Shikabane Hime is a Japanese manga series and a TV anime series
- Anmitsu Hime (The Sugar Princess, anime and manga series)
- Mai-Hime (anime series; here, "HiME" is actually an acronym, standing for "Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment")
- Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke, film)
- Orihime Inoue is often referred to by her last name, or occasionally 'Hime-chan' by other characters.
- Hime-sama Goyoujin (Please Protect the Princess)
- Hime (rapper), Japanese female hip hop artist born in 1979
- Hime, the lead character in the anime and manga series Princess Resurrection.
- Sakura Hime Kaden, a manga by Arina Tanemura
- Fushigi Hoshi no Futago Hime, a Japanese anime