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Forehead Protector

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Forehead Protector

Forehead Protector
Name
Kanji 額当て
Rōmaji Hitai-ate
Literal English Forehead Protector
English TV Headband
Debut
Manga Chapter #1
Anime Naruto Episode #1
Movie Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Game Naruto: Clash of Ninja
OVA Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Game and Movie

A forehead protector (額当て, Hitai-ate) is a headband composed of a metal plate and a band of cloth. Forehead protectors are worn by most shinobi and are engraved with the symbol of their Hidden Village. Forehead protectors have been worn since at least the time of Asura Ōtsutsuki, though there was no engraving then.[1]

Meaning

Forehead protectors are usually worn as a sign of pride and fealty for one's village. Ninja consider it an honourable, important part of their tradition, and make a point of wearing it at all times, especially when sparring with a comrade from the same village. Although not wearing a forehead protector is frequently viewed as disrespectful to one's village and peers,[2] a ninja who does not wear one may still be loyal to their village.

UchihaItachi

A scratched forehead protector.

Some missing-nin, such as Zabuza Momochi, do not stop wearing their forehead protector while others. Akatsuki members who retain their forehead protectors carve a long, horizontal scratch across the symbol, to show they have rescinded their allegiances and rejected their villages. Villagers of Amegakure aligned with Pain bear the same scratches across their forehead protectors, but remain loyal to the village; it symbolises their victory during the civil war against Hanzō.

Joint shinobi forehead protectors

The Allied Shinobi Forces' forehead protector.

In preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War, Mifune designs a new forehead protector to be worn by members of the Allied Shinobi Forces. Engraved with the kanji for shinobi (忍), it symbolises that, whereas once each ninja fought for their villages separately, they now stand united under one banner for the same cause. The members of the Alliance wear this in place of their original forehead protector.

Variations

Placement

Despite being called a "forehead protector", it is not necessary for a ninja to wear it on their forehead or even on their head at all.

  • Sakura Haruno wears hers as a hair-band.
  • Genma Shiranui wears his like a bandanna with the village symbol facing backwards.
  • Kankurō wears his on his hood.
  • Kakashi Hatake wears his as a makeshift eye-patch.
  • Hinata Hyūga wears hers as a choker.
  • Shikamaru Nara wears his on his upper left arm.
  • Chōjūrō uses it like a badge on his chest.
  • Yagura uses a undershirt in which the protector is in the middle.
  • Gaara wraps his on his sand gourd.
  • Might Guy wears his as a belt.
  • Konan's is not ordinarily visible; she wears it underneath her cloak on her right hip.

Colour

Design

There have been some cases where the design of the metal plate or cloth has been modified in some way, beyond mere cloth colour.

Trivia

  • On the cover for chapter 567, each jinchūriki is shown with a white forehead protector with the kanji for the number of tails of their respective tailed beasts.
  • Masashi Kishimoto, in an interview, noted that he created forehead protectors because he found it too cumbersome to draw Naruto's goggles every week.

References

  1. Chapter 462
  2. Chapter 175

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