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Chihiro Ashihara

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Chihiro Ashihara
Chihiro-haruka4artwork
Character Information
Birthday:
Varies (input by player)
Age:
17
Height:
155 cm (5'1")
Family:
The Queen (mother)
Ichinohime (elder sister)
Iwanagahime (aunt)
Nagi (cousin)
Occupation:
Successor for the Nakatsu Kuni throne; originally second in line (二ノ姫, Ninohime)
Innate Element:
Varies (determined by birthday)
Weapon(s):
Ame-no-Makakoyumi (legendary long bow)
Ame-no-Habaya (legendary arrow)
Dominate Hand:
Right
Habit(s):
Tends to stare at people
Voice Actor(s):
Tomoko Kawakami
First Appearance: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4

Chihiro Ashihara (葦原千尋, Ashihara Chihiro, literally "Chihiro of Ashihara") is the main protagonist in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4. She is the player's character for the story. Her name and birthday can be changed to the player's preferences in the game, but she will be known by her default name in official media. If the player uses her default name in the game, it will be audibly spoken by characters.

Throughout the game's script, Chihiro may be alternatively known under one of her titles: Second Lady (二ノ姫, Ninohime), Princess (姫, Hime), General (将軍, Shougun), or Priestess of the Dragon (龍の神子, Ryuu no Miko).

Role in GameEdit

Background StoryEdit

Chihiro is the second and youngest daughter of the Queen of Nakatsu Kuni. She is the reincarnation of the first priestess, and she shares the same hair and eye coloring as her predecessor. Chihiro possesses the mystical power to momentarily glimpse into the minds of living beings, which allows her a very limited perspective of their true thoughts and feelings.

Although she was the princess of the royal family, Chihiro was bullied and ostracized frequently during her youth due to her peculiar hair and eye coloring. Nobles despised her as an ominous member of the royal family and would call her the "accursed child". When she was unable to stand their disapproval, Chihiro would flee to the reed fields near the palace grounds to cry by herself. During one of her crying fits she met a wounded beast and selflessly tried her best to tend to its wounds. Soon after the incident, a young man appeared within Nakatsu Kuni's military to offer his service to her.

The Queen decided to test the spiritual capabilities of her daughters when Chihiro was seven-years-old. She wanted to know if one of her daughters could hear and communicate with the dragon god who protected their kingdom, an ability which she herself lacked. The Queen held high expectations for Chihiro due to her resemblance to the first priestess. Once the Queen learned Chihiro was nearly powerless, she immediately shunned her daughter in disappointment. In her mother's eyes, she was princess in name only. Chihiro felt as though she had failed her mother with her ineptitude ever since the incident. She was able to persevere thanks to her older sister's encouragements and the small group of vassals who supported her.

When Chihiro was eleven-years-old, her sister suddenly left the kingdom. On the night of her departure, her sister gave Chihiro the legendary bow, Ama-no-Makakoyumi. Ichinohime entrusted her to use the bow to guard Nakatsu Kuni in her absence, earnestly believing in her younger sister's strengths. The bow remained in her safe keeping, although her sister never returned.

Nakatsu Kuni's capital, Kashihara, fell to Tokoyo no Kuni's forces one year later. Chihiro was frightened by the massacre which took place in her home and tried to search for an escape. As her home burned in the flames, she encountered Nasatya. She mistook him as a person endangered by the flames and pleaded him to escape with her. Moved by compassion, the general decided to spare her. He used his powers to crystallize the flames blocking her escape and erased her memories.

Collapsing afterwards, the princess was eventually rescued by Kazahaya. He joined with Nagi, and they escaped the destruction of their homeland by fleeing through the Loophole of Time. They arrived in the modern world at Kashihara, Nara in the year 2003. Chihiro considered Kazahaya and Nagi to be her foster family since childhood and lived as a normal girl for five years. She had no idea who her parents were or how long she had lived with her two caretakers.

Story EventsEdit

One afternoon after school, Chihiro hears thunder and worries that Kazahaya will be caught within an impending rainstorm. As she hurries back to her school to hand him an umbrella, she meets Hiiragi. He introduces himself before he breaks the magic spell placed on her memories. Although the experience is painful for her, Chihiro remembers fragments of her past. The seal on her bow is unleashed and she uses it to defend herself against the Tsuchigumo attacking her. Kazahaya and Nagi hurry to her side, but the trio are sent through space-time by Hiiragi to return to Nakatsu Kuni.

Despite her confusion with her new surroundings at Takachiho, Chihiro seeks to help whoever she can from Tokoyo no Kuni. She first encounters Iwanagahime and some Nakatsu Kuni soldiers struggling against a berserk corrupted deity. The princess momentarily gains access to the dragon god's power to purify it, granting the soul peace and saving the group. Onlookers are amazed by her purifying powers and immediately don her the Priestess of the Dragon God. Though she fails to replicate the act a second time, her kindness is enough to gain their support. After a series of quick introductions, Chihiro realizes her country is in a miserable state after their defeat to Tokoyo no Kuni.

When Chihiro learns that her people live in fear of the residing tyrant Levanta, she decides to fight for them. The princess first acts on brash impulse rather than strategy, leading to her swift defeat. Even so, her courage to face the enemy general and compassion for her people inspires the Nakatsu Kuni troops to rally underneath her. Iwanagahime, who is impressed by her resolve and the positive morale it has on the survivors, promptly dumps the title of Lead General on the young princess's shoulders.

Taking her responsibilities from then on seriously and with careful consideration, Chihiro decides to help those in need during her journey and gradually diminishes Tokoyo no Kuni's control on her home. Having no emotional attachment to her country's dated beliefs, the princess eventually assembles an unprecedented army consisting of members from a variety of clans, including the Himuka Clan and the Tsuchigumo. As she visits various sections of her homeland, Chihiro additionally cleanses the spiritual corruption which had seeped into the Four Gods' respective domains.

Chihiro learns through her experiences that the defilements and destruction spread throughout her realm were mainly erected by the "Bloodied Serpent", a being which wishes to absorb her into himself to complete his resurrection. The serpent destroys or corrupts anything within his path in his desire to devour her. The "Bloodied Serpent" eventually catches her off guard during a dramatic battle with the Black Lightning's army by grasping her long hair. Rather than give in to the deity's wishes, Chihiro slices her hair and declares her will to defeat him.

The princess's efforts leads to her reclaiming her homeland and beating the Black Dragon. Her peaceful reign is solidified with Raja's defeat. In an attempt to see if humanity would ever abandon their love for war, however, the White Dragon destroys the world and each timeline she creates to build it anew.

Several reset timelines later, Chihiro and company become aware of the White Dragon's transgressions and confront him directly in the Loophole of Time. The princess swears that she will be a true sovereign of peace and prosperity, an ideal which the White Dragon initially dismisses. She and her allies prove to him the true value of the human heart by showing it to him in combat. Convinced by their determination, the White Dragon leaves the last timeline intact. As promised, Chihiro rules a reign of peace. It is forgotten by later generations of the parallel world and exists only in legends.

Her Aizouban extra event occurs after the game's default ending in spring and before she is dubbed queen. Chihiro has to prepare for the enthronement ceremony with proper decorum and has been receiving strict etiquette and history lessons from Sainokimi for several days straight. Although she is advancing with her studies, it seems there is no end in sight. The princess hasn't seen her friends for days and wonders how they're doing without her.

A messenger enters with an inquiry for Sainokimi. The elder dismisses it at first, but his lingering presence over the complicated scroll forces her hand to read it. Chihiro brightens at the chance to be left alone as she can use it to see her friends on the flying ship. Sainokimi squashes her hopes by asking her to wait for her return within locked quarters. She decides to at least try practicing by herself and struggles with the next step. Kazahaya opens the door to fill in the gap. Chihiro is overjoyed to see him and runs into his arms for an embrace. Hiiragi joins them and explains that the elderly woman will not return for sometime. He had asked Iwanagahime for a favor and sent her away on a deceptive errand so they could see her. Oshihito patronizes his seniors for actually resorting to trickery for their meeting before bashfully admitting that he wanted to see Chihiro again too.

The trio explain that it isn't a complete lie that Iwanagahime wants to see Sainokimi, and they estimate they can have two or three hours to spend with the princess. Hiiragi opens the door further to allow her other visitors inside. Futsuhiko inquires for her health and Tooya teleports in to offer her fruits. The soldier mistakes the Tsuchigumo's gestures to mean that Chihiro is ill and both are relieved to see her well. Sazaki flies in through the window to announce the preparations for their banquet are ready, earning him an insult from Nagi on the ground below him. Asvin, the Raja of Tokoyo no Kuni, tells him to cheer up as they lug in the food and table for the party.

The party gets going and everyone is enjoying themselves. Hiiragi relishes Futsuhiko's praise for his strategy and casually states they'll accept punishment together if Sainokimi finds out. Sazaki is goaded by his peers to tell a story to brighten the mood and bumps into Sainokimi in his excitement. She looks at them with a feigned smile and deems they must be ready for their next jobs she has assigned for them. Yet the elderly woman turns and announces that she will retire for the day since she is tired from being dragged around by Iwanagahime. Chihiro is surprised by her kindness, although Hiiragi observes that everyone will pay dearly for it tomorrow. For now, they are happy to celebrate Nakatsu Kuni's future queen.

Alternate FatesEdit

The player may choose to alter the game's ending by interacting with other characters. If Chihiro has high ties with them and successfully finished their events, she will unlock a character's respective story route. Her reasons for cutting her hair may also change in a character's scenario. Players can see additional events with these characters in the game's epilogue chapter.

Character InformationEdit

PersonalityEdit

In spite of her royal heritage, Chihiro speaks without a noble tone and voices her thoughts with practical honesty. Her words are very direct and clearly reflect her emotions for her listeners. The player can alter her personality to an extent through the conversation options throughout the game. She is often ignorant of people's feelings within the alternate story routes and shrugs away her dedication for the throne or her people, either due to anxiety or laziness. At her worst, she is a self-centered young girl who never forgives her enemies or betrayals. She wouldn't hesitate to kill or lay blame on any who offended her.

Canonically, Chihiro is a good Samaritan who always places her worries for others first. Often benevolent and amicable to others, Chihiro also speaks up for the defenseless and never forgives prejudice. She enjoys creating and keeping her friendships and never expects a reward for her generosity. As long as the other party is happier with her assistance, she is content and fulfilled. She is unbiased with her kindness as she wants to grant respite to any living being she encounters. Her selfless nature is her subconscious reaction to the shunning she received in her childhood. If she couldn't be a worthy successor for the throne, she thought she could at least help whenever she could as compensation for her mother's demands. While she never would gain her mother's acceptance, Chihiro's magnanimous tendencies remained within her heart. She even kept them in the modern world when her memories were sealed from her.

As she experiences the parallel world's war, Chihiro's naivety gradually breaks when she witnesses its grim reality firsthand. Even with her best efforts she realizes she can't save her home without someone dying, whether it be one of her followers or those within the enemy army. With her fairytale delusions faded, Chihiro gains a stronger belief in her peaceful convictions and becomes vigilant. At all times, she aims to end battles with the least amount of bloodshed. She considers her military conduct to be a testament of her intentions as future Queen: protect life, end the war. Her determination fuels her defiance towards the Black Dragon, as she desires to save both lands from its corruptive influence. She may not have the White Dragon's blessings to repel its attempts to absorb her, but Chihiro would rather fight to the bitter end than sacrifice herself to it.

Due to her faith and trust in other people, Chihiro has a habit of overworking herself for those in need. Her immediate reaction upon hearing a call of distress is to come to their aid, sometimes in disregard of current circumstances or the consequences of her actions. She may be completely ignorant of her injuries or health if she is driven to help another. Even her time of brooding is spent mulling over ways to help someone else. Occasionally her predictable reactions causes her friends to tease her, which embarrasses her to no end. Wanting to avoid troubling those closest to her, Chihiro also tries to hide her moments of sorrow or anxiety from them.

Character SymbolismEdit

Chihiro is symbolized by the ecru color, which is called kinari in Japanese. It is not a traditional Japanese color and was introduced to the country during the Meiji Period. Its name in either language means "raw" or "unbleached".

Her symbolic item is the bamboo lily, a flower native to Japan. It is also called sasayuri or sayuri, the latter of which means fast growing lily. It obtained its name due to its leaves bearing a resemblance to the ones found on bamboo. The lily has been known to exist in Japan since ancient times as a seasonal decoration, and its bulbs were used as a source of food. Tenjinbara is particularly famous for its expansive lily garden. Within the flower language, it symbolizes purity or elegance. Her flower is referenced in the game's title screen as floating white flower petals.

Her weapon, Ame-no-Makakoyumi, is a legendary bow found within Japanese mythology. Paired with the legendary arrow, Ame-no-Habaya, they were used by Amenowakahiko. Given to him by Takamimusubi, Amenowakahiko was supposed to use them in the pacification of Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni. Instead, he became irritated by the constant chirping of a pheasant and used the divine bow and arrow to shoot it down. The shot held enormous power, killing several innocent bird maidens and other beings that happened to be in its path. Ame-no-Habaya even pierced through the heavens and reached its creator, Takamimusubi. Angered by the spoiled shot and the blood drenched arrow, Takamimusubi declared that Amenowakahiko should pay for his folly. The god threw Ame-no-Habaya back down and it struck and killed Amenowakahiko. If Amenowakahiko had used the weapons as they were intended, they would have been obvious candidates for the Three Sacred Treasures.

QuotesEdit

  • "If you've got the guts, come and get me!"
  • "I'll back you up."
  • "Let me fight too."
  • "I'm here for you. We can end this together."
  • "Don't take me lightly!"
  • "This arrow will do it!"
  • "I'm glad you're safe."
  • "Everyone, please lend me your strength."
  • "I-uh-didn't mean it like that. I just meant that it's safer if we stay close to one another."
  • "What's the situation? Report."
  • "If we go, we might not be able to come back. But we've come this far. We have to press onward."
  • "Even if you're a god far beyond our reach in the sky, it doesn't give you the right to just kill people! This won't happen again. Someday, I will have to the power to prevail against you and win. I swear it!"
  • "What a terrible wound... We can't leave it be. I know this cloth might not be enough, but please try to make do with this."
"Don't waste time on someone like me... I am not worthy of receiving anything from the princess."
"What are you saying? Please take better care of yourself. Clothes can be changed anytime, but no one can hope to find a replacement for you."
"...Thank you, Princess."
"That's better. Now, who else is injured?"
~~Chihiro and villager

Fighting StyleEdit

Chihiro starts as a below-average fighter with a basic attack and simple elemental attack magic. Once her abilities are maximized, however, Chihiro becomes the most balanced character in the party. Her healing abilities lets her become self-sufficient, allowing her to endure many battles in the game by herself. If she builds bonds with other characters, she and her comrades can cast powerful magic. Character bonds also boosts the strength of her Oath attack, which has the potential to be the strongest physical attack in the game. Her weakest stat is her defense, but her supportive abilities and high dodge rate can help her overcome her flaw.

Throughout the majority of the game's scenario, the player cannot remove her from battle and her defeat signals the party's defeat.

Chihiro can boost her vitality, defense, magic power, speed, and will power to Level 5 within the menu screen. Here are her optimized stats:

Attack - 82
Defense - 79
Magic - 83
Speed - 84

Special AbilitiesEdit

The following lists other abilities Chihiro can learn by using the Five Elements the party gathers. Please see the game page for her possible commands in battle.

Name Maximum Level Cost Description
Oath
(誓約, ukei)
5 15 Will Can only use with another party member present. Attack power increases based on the success of a quick-time event which begins once the attack is selected. Timer for the sequence shortens based on mistakes the player makes. Successful shots deals massive damage to a single target and has a party member congratulate the player.
Counter
(反撃, hangeki)
5 none (passive) If Chihiro dodges an attack, she may counterattack with a normal strike. Higher levels increases the likelihood of her counter. Only activated against physical attacks.
Same Attribute Smite
(同属性強撃, douzokusei kyougeki)
5 none (passive) If Chihiro performs a normal attack against a foe sharing the same elemental properties as her, her attack will deal greater damage. Higher levels increases the damage of her strike.
Opposite Element Tolerance
(相克耐性, soukoku taisei)
5 none (passive) Lessens damage from an opposing elemental attack in battle. In other words if Chihiro has an innate Water element, she will have better defense against Earth elementals.
Darkness Resistance
(暗闇耐性, kurayami taisei)
5 none (passive) Increases tolerance to darkness (blinding) status ailment. Dissipates at quicker rate at early levels, completely removes the ailment when maximized.
Kirin's Blessing
(麒麟の加護, kirin no kago)
5 none (passive) Automatically restores a fixed amount of Chihiro's Will before her turn begins. Maximum of 15 Will can be restored per turn.
Insurmountable
(不屈, fukutsu)
5 none (passive) Restores lost Will when she is hit by an enemy's attack. The amount of Will restored depends on the level of the ability.
Heal
(回復, kaifuku)
4 10 Will Restores selected character's health. Efficiency increases based on the battle command and her ability's level.
Awakening
(覚醒, kakusei)
3 none (passive) Strengthens her battle commands.
Summon
(召喚, shoukan)
5 10 Will Asks a sub-character to use their special ability in battle. Can only call on characters who are present via storyline reasons.
Oath button combinations

Chihiro can use this ability as long as one of the main characters are in the current battle party with her. If the player fails to input the combination before the timer runs out, her attack will not hit the enemy.

Character Button Input
Kazahaya ↑, Tri, ←, Square, ↓, X
Asvin ←, →, Square, Circle, Tri, X
Sazaki ↑, ↓, ←, →, Square, Tri
Nagi X, Square, Tri, ↓, →, ↑
Futsuhiko ↓, X, →, Circle, ↑, Tri
Hiiragi ←, →, Square, Circle, ↓, X
Tooya ←, ↑, →, Circle, Tri, Square
Oshihito ↑, ↓, Tri, X, →, Square

MagicEdit

This section will only list the basic spells that Chihiro can perform without needing to build relations with other characters. Solo spells use 5 Will, while her team spells use 10 Will for each participating character. Each spell targets a single enemy.

  • Shippuu Jin (疾風陣) - Moderate Wood magic.
  • Retsuka Shou (烈火掌) - Moderate Fire magic.
  • Rekishin Geki (礫震撃) - Moderate Earth magic.
  • Kouha Zan (光破斬) - Moderate Metal magic.
  • Reisui Bu (蓮水舞) - Moderate Water magic.
  • Koufu Jinrai (吼風迅雷) - Stronger Wood magic. Requires a partner with the Wood attribute to be in the party.
  • Kouki Endan (紅輝炎弾) - Stronger Fire magic. Requires a partner with the Fire attribute to be in the party.
  • Housa Soujin (崩砂双陣) - Stronger Earth magic. Requires a partner with the Earth attribute to be in the party.
  • Kaiei Kyouha (界映鏡破) - Stronger Metal magic. Requires a partner with the Metal attribute to be in the party.
  • Kousui Zanei (湖水残映) - Stronger Water magic. Requires a partner with the Water attribute to be in the party.

GalleryEdit

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