Hinoe (ヒノエ) is a recurring character from the series, Natsume's Book of Friends. She is a powerful youkai in the form of a human.
Hinoe is a beautiful woman. She has long, dark-blue hair that is tied with golden ornaments and a silver hairpin, ghostly pale skin and willowy body.
She wears a traditional michiyuki coat with vivid colors and flowers over her kimono. Hinoe also wears purple lipstick and eyeshadow while also having long, purple fingernails. She has red eyes.
Hinoe can float in the air and is sometimes seen sitting in trees. She smokes tobacco from a long pipe.
She is proud and looks down on others, although she is secretly kind-hearted. She also has a twisted sense of humor.
Like most ayakashi, she gets bored rather easily and would help Takashi out if he asked and if she feels like doing so. She seems to hate men, though the reasoning behind this has not been disclosed.
However, she has a grudging affection for Takashi because of his uncanny resemblance to his grandmother Reiko. She gradually learns to like Takashi as an individual. This affection grows to the point of strong attachment and deep fondness such that she openly worries for Natsume’s safety, gives him advice and information about yokai, protects him, acts as a sort of mentor, displaying strong affection and cuddling him, and threatening anyone who harms him.
She seems like an ordinary youkai although it is hinted many times that she is possibly one of the stronger youkai, perhaps on the same level as Misuzu and Madara. She possess several magic scrolls and has a lot of knowledge about youkai (Karu episode), has a lot of strong acquaintances, and is respected by both Madara and Misuzu.
Hinoe had first met Reiko in a forest who had stated that she was lost and asked if Hinoe could guide her back to a place where there were humans. Hinoe had accepted Reiko's request, only because she was beautiful and wanted to see a human girl crying when she realised she was lost.
However, Reiko saw through her ploy while they were walking, asking her when Hinoe is actually going to tae her back home. As they speak, a crow swoops downwards and steals Hinoe's hairpin, devastating her. Reiko takes immediate action and gets something to throw at the crow, resulting in it dropping the hairpin into a lake. Without hesitation, Reiko jumps into the lake and searches for her hairpin, leaving an astonished and 'lovestruck' Hinoe. She asks why Reiko had searched for her hairpin even though she had purposely led her astray, Reiko comments on how the hairpin must've been important to Hinoe.
Reiko never called Hinoe's name, leaving her absolutely ecstatic when she had been summoned by Natsume, believing she had finally been called by Reiko.
Throughout the series, after she gets to know Natsume, she would often come to Natsume's room for a drinking session with the other middle-rank youkai from The Dog's Circle.
She'd come if Natsume was in trouble. For example, taking care of Nyanko-sensei when he was hurt.
- Main article: Reiko Natsume
She loved Reiko Natsume, as she was a powerful and beautiful person.
- Main article: Takashi Natsume
- Main article: Madara
- Her name is spelled phonetically using katakana, ヒノエ, and has no particular meaning.
- Overall, she finds humans repulsive. Her weapon of choice is sometimes a scythe.
- She is a member of The Dog's Circle.
- She has extensive knowledge of curses.