Japan has a long-time love affair with pigtails. This is better termed as “twin tail (ツインテール)” in the country and is definitely not a new hairdo. However, in the last few years, it has become more popular than ever. You can see many endless characters in video games, manga, and animations sporting this kind of cute hairstyle. It is also used by popular idol groups such as AKB48 as it symbolizes innocence. To give more significance to the hairstyle, TwinTail Association Japan (日本ツインテール協会) was established in 2012 to promote and celebrate the world’s first pigtail idol group.
Twin tail was originally known as “futatsu yui (二つ結ひ)” in Japanese. It literally means “two braids” or “hair done up twice.” Most people know that it is a popular hairstyle worn by children thus it became synonymous with innocence. Anyone sporting this look immediately transforms into a young-looking lady. Japanese people are known for loving anything cute and the twin tail hairstyle is definitely one that fits in. Twin tail is a cute and comfy style which is loved by both the young and young-at-heart.
One of the popular images was Akko-chan (アッコちゃん) from the manga and anime Himitsu no Akko-chan (ひみつのアッコちゃん). It is all about a girl named Atsuko Kagami (加賀美あつ子) who comes into possession of a magical mirror that lets her transform into anything she wishes. Most of the time, she is seen sporting the twin tail hairstyle in the series. She was followed by different animated characters also having the same hairstyle.
In 1992, twin tails started appearing in amazing animations such as Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン). Japanese pop groups such as Puffy AmiYumi (a Japanese pop/rock duo singing in Japanese and English) and AKB48 (a Japanese idol girl group) also embraced the look. Since then, it has entered the mainstream culture. It became so popular in the manga and anime fandom and Japanese geek culture that many people became attached to it.
There are three basic twin tail styles according to position: rabbit style, regular style, and country style. One example of a popular character sporting rabbit style is Hatsune Miku (初音ミク), the first Vocaloid developed by Crypton Future Media, with her hair tied near the top of the head. In regular style, the hair is tied right behind the ears, while in country style, the hair is tied below the ears. If you really want to follow the traditional type of sporting the twin tail, then you should adhere to the rabbit style. There are also three different classifications of the tail to make the look even nicer and cuter: hose tail, shrimp, and bird tail. It solely depends on you.
In order to promote and celebrate the hairstyle, TwinTail Association Japan was created in 2012. It is a pro-cute organization which is dedicated to anything cute and related to pigtails and is run by a chairman named Kan Furuya (古谷完). It has also released a photo spread of different models sporting the dual tails.
There’s even an official day to recognize the existence of this hairstyle and it is called “Twin Tails Day (ツインテールの日)” which is held every 2nd of February. This date was chosen because 2-2 has a numerical connection with the two bunches of hair seen in the hairstyle. The proper way to celebrate this is for a guy to present the girl he has feelings for with two hair bands. If the girl reciprocates his feelings, she will accept the bands and do her hair up in twin tail style.
Some of the popular figures in society brighten their fans’ day by posting twin tail selfies on social networking sites and sharing it with their fans. Some of these figures include voice actresses Sumire Uesaka (上坂すみれ) and Maaya Uchida (内田真礼), and singer Luna Haruna (春奈るな). The celebration has officially been recognized by Japan Anniversary Association who keeps track of such events. Twin Tails Day is an opportunity for shy men to express their feelings to the girls they truly love and admire.
TwinTail Association Japan has so many members that it is quite hard to keep track of them all. However, an idol group named “drop (ドロップ)” was formed in 2014 which started with 3 members. This group is based in Tokyo and is lead by Misaki Misato (三嵜みさと), an anime otaku and illustrator who is also a fashion model. Other original members are Sugino Shizuka (杉野静香 – studied piano at a music school and also did voice acting) and Takiguchi Hikari (滝口ひかり – a popular gravure idol who was featured in Weekly Playboy Magazine of 2014). Ooba Haruka (大場はるか – former junior gravure idol who appeared in dramas, movies, and stage plays) joined the group in August 2014; Shizuka graduated in August 2015; Koizumi Runa (小泉留菜) and Kohinata Mai (小日向麻衣) joined in May 2016.
drop started promoting the pigtail hairstyle across the country by having their first live performance in July 2014. However, among them all, it is said that Hikari Takiguchi is attracting more attention because of her doe eyes and pigtail-wearing skills. She comes from Chiba Prefecture (千葉県) and was featured on a Japanese variety show. She has been dubbed as the “once-in-2000-years idol (2000年に1人の美少女)” because she is quite rare as a kind and beautiful woman who only comes once every two millennia. Some people took a digital protest on this claiming that their idols are better, but still, Hikari thanked her fans for supporting her all throughout. As a group deeply connected with the association, some people are actually quite curious why the members are not really sporting twin tail looks very often.
There are so many Japanese people who are enthusiastic about TwinTail Association Japan that post their own twin tail looks on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. There are so many twin tail styling ideas that you can check out on their website here (Japanese only). You can also find out more about the members and what they’ve got to say on there.
Get a new look and try this hairstyle now! It is surely an ultimate head turner that’ll cut off some years in your age.
TwinTail Association Japan Website *Japanese only