Geta are Japanese wooden sandals that have been around for about a thousand years and are still worn today. A hallmark of geta are the telltale “Clop Clop” sound they make as the wearer strolls down the street. Much like the sounds of cicadas buzzing, geta are a common sound of Summer in Japan. Geta are actually just one of the three traditional Japanese sandals: Geta, Zori, and Waraji. Geta are wooden sandals with two short wooden posts on the bottom. Zori are sandals woven from dried grass. Waraji are woven sandals with soft fabric toe straps.
These charming sandals can be seen in most Summer story arcs particularly worn by yukata clad female characters attending Summer festivals. A classic shojo trope is for the main character’s toe strap on their geta to break, so the love interest has to help the main character. Some times that means carrying the damsel in distress all the way home, some times it’s just sitting with the MC or tying the strap back onto the sandal. One way or another, these wooden sandals get plenty of hearts pitter patting! Want to see these historic flip-flops in action? Check out these anime characters that love sporting their geta!
Princess Mononoke is about a young man from the Emishi tribe (Ashitaka) who becomes cursed after a hunt. No one in his village knows how to break the curse, so he leaves to try to find a cure. Ashitaka travels on his red deer to a forest with a great forest spirit living in it, but when he gets farther into the forest he finds a fort populated by women and patients inflicted with leprosy. It doesn’t take long for Ashitaka to get tangle up in a power struggle between the humans in the fort that want to harvest the natural resources of the forest, and the spirits of the forest that want to protect the natural environment.
The chubby and troublesome monk Jigo clip clops onto the scene on his ultra high single post geta, and without a doubt it’s his remarkable footwear that helps to make this character so unforgettable. In the beginning of this studio Ghibli film, Jigo seems to be nothing more than a helpful traveling monk. In fact, Jigo gives Ashitaka a lot of very useful information. But, as the story progresses and Ashitaka learns more about the power struggle in the forest, Jigo’s character appears more and more greedy and manipulative.
The anime Natsume Yujincho is about a high school boy that can see spirits and monsters. His life has been rather hard because his parents passed away and the family members that he has been passed between didn’t really understand his abilities and were kind of afraid of his weirdness. Eventually he is sent to live with his kind elderly cousins and the anime picks up when he is trying to build a quiet life in the countryside with them.
Not only does the main character Natsume often don these ancient Crocs, there are quite a few yokai characters that wear geta in this series too. Besides the featured yokai of each episode who often are sporting traditional foot wear, the reoccurring yokai are also fans of the sandals. This ragtag band of helpers that Natsume calls Middle Level (chukyuu) monsters (though they usually call themselves The Dog’s Circle) can be seen in most episodes of the series working as messengers bringing problems from other yokai to Natsume to help solve, or helping Natsume find a magical item or lost yokai, or just having a random drinking party with Nyanko Sensei. And while they are enthusiastically bringing a little chaos to Natsume’s otherwise quiet life, they are of course wearing their geta!
Ouran High School Host Club
Ouran High School Host Club is an anime about Haruhi Fujioka and the many boys of her elite high school’s host club. She first stumbles into her school’s host club as she was looking for a quiet place to study. Unfortunately for Haruhi she was clutzy enough to break a rather expensive (and precariously placed) vase
and soon after was being pressured into working off the debt from that broken vase by being a goffer for the club. It didn’t take long for the clever Haruhi to be promoted to be one of the hosts though according to the King of the club (Tamaki Suoh) she had a lot to learn. Too bad Haruhi learned a little too well, because it didn’t take long for poor Tamaki to be under her charms!
In episode four of the series, the host club is dressed in traditional Japanese kimono, and not surprisingly they are also sporting some ye’ old footwear too. Of course in an anime that is full to over flowing with wonderful shojo anime tropes, the geta trope isn’t lost here, but it does have a little twist. Though one of the characters does need a little help with their geta, it’s not the clubs leading lady Haruhi needs some assistance, it’s instead the super sweet loli character Honey that has lost his sandal and needs the stoic Mori to find it and place it on Honey’s dainty foot. Much to the glee of the host club customers!