And kanji with manga
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Peace Sign, ピース (Hand Gesture, Types: Double Peace, Ura Peace, Ago Peace, Yoko Peace, Tate Peace, & Others)

In Japan, a peace sign (piisu ピース) is often used when posing for photos, and so it also often happens in anime. We're talking about the V-shaped hand sign, the V-sign, that also means "V for victory" (✌), not the nuclear disarmament symbol (☮) that was used to promote peace.

Ichinose Hajime 一ノ瀬はじめ doing a peace sign.
Character: Ichinose Hajime 一ノ瀬はじめ
Anime: GATCHAMAN CROWDS insight (Episode 11)

In Japanese

There are various ways to say "peace sign" in Japanese:

  • piisu sain
    ピースサイン
    "Peace sign."
    (katakanization.)
  • piisu
    ピース
    "Peace."
    (abbreviation of the above.)
  • vi-sain
    ヴィサイン
    "V sign."
    (katakanized letter.)

Normally, the term used is just "peace," piisu.

  • piisu wo suru
    ピースをする
    To do a "peace."
    To make a peace sign.

Sometimes, a character will say vi or piisu as they make the sign.

To say just "peace" in Japanese, as in peaceful, the term would be:

  • heiwa
    平和
    Peace.
    • heiwa da
      平和だ
      [It] is peaceful.
    • {heiwa na} kuni
      平和な国
      A {peaceful} country.
    • {heiwa ni} kurasu
      平和に暮らす
      To live {peacefully}.

The disarmament symbol in Japanese would be:

  • piisu maaku
    ピースマーク
    Peace mark.
Higashikata Jōsuke 東方仗助 wears a campaign for nuclear disarmament peace symbol and a heart symbol as pins on his jacket.
Character: Higashikata Jōsuke 東方仗助
Anime: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 - Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable (Episode 2)
  • Context: Jōsuke wears a peace symbol and a heart symbol on his jacket.

Usage

Peace signs carry almost no meaning. They're simply used because they look cool or cute when doing a pose. Since you "do a pose" in reaction to certain things, they end up being used more in certain situations, but they don't mean anything in particular by themselves.

Victory

Sometimes, the V-sign is used for a victory pose, or rather, used when striking a cool pose after succeeding in something, completing a feat, beating a fight, pulling something off, etc. It pretty much says "yeah, check this out, I did it."

  • kime-poosu
    決めポース
    A pose done when you're kimeru'ing.
  • kimeru
    決める
    To decide. To determine. To settle.
    To score a goal.
    To finish something well.

If someone makes after finishing something well, that's a kime-poosu, e.g. someone scores a goal, does a pose, that's a kime-poosu. Naturally, this would be a cool-looking pose.

Alternatively, doing the pose is how you finish something by complete.

  • kime-serifu
    決め台詞
    A cool line said when you do something.
    A catchphrase of a character, which they often say as they do something. Without this phrase, it wouldn't be complete, so this is the phrase that completes it.
    • .e.g. "objection!," igi ari! 異議あり!.
Son Gokū 孫悟空 doing a peace sign.
Character: Son Gokū 孫悟空
Anime: Dragon Ball, ドラゴンボール (Episode 98)
  • Context: Goku does a peace sign after avoiding an attack successfully.

Approval

Sometimes, a peace sign is used like a thumbs up, to show approval or acknowledgement of something.

Mizuki Natsumi 水木なつみ doing a peace sign.
Character: Mizuki Natsumi 水木なつみ
Anime: Mama wa Shougaku Yon'nensei ママは小学4年生 (Episode 1)
  • Context: Natsumi does a peace sign as she leaves a task to someone else and goes away.

Photography

Peace signs are sometimes used when posing for a photo.

  • shashin
    写真
    Photo.
  • kinen-shashin
    記念写真
    Commemorative photo. A photo taken to remember an occasion.

Selfie

Peace signs are also used in "selfies," jidori 自撮り, "self-taken photo."

Minami Yume 南夢芽, Mei 鳴衣 doing a "peace" sign, piisu ピース for a selfie.
Left: Minami Yume 南夢芽
Right: Mei 鳴衣
Anime: SSSS.DYNAZENON (Episode 1)
Phichit Chulanont ピチット・チュラノン doing a "double" sign, peace ピース for a selfie.
Character: Phichit Chulanont ピチット・チュラノン
Anime: Yuri!!! on Ice, ユーリ!!! on ICE (Episode 10)
  • jidori-bou
    自撮り棒
    Selfie-stick. (literally.)

Photo Booth

Sometimes a peace sign is done when posing in a photo booth, called a purikura プリクラ, from purinto karabu プリント倶楽部, "print club."

Ogasawara Yuunosuke 小笠原勇之助, and Noyama Azusa 野山あずさ taking photos in a photo booth, purikura プリクラ, posing with peace signs.
Left: Ogasawara Yuunosuke 小笠原勇之助
Right: Noyama Azusa 野山あずさ
Anime: Azuki-chan あずきちゃん (Episode 11, Collage)
Mejiro McQueen, メジロマックイーン, and Toukai Teiou, トウカイテイオー, taking photos in a photo booth, purikura プリクラ, posing with peace signs.
Left: Mejiro McQueen, メジロマックイーン
Right: Toukai Teiou, トウカイテイオー
Anime: Uma Musume: Pretty Derby, ウマ娘 プリティーダービー (Season 2) (Episode 11, Collage)

Types

For reference, some types of peace sign as seen in anime:

Tehepero

The peace sign is sometimes used with the tehepero てへぺろ, which is a silly pose sticking one's tongue out.

Kaizaki Nao 貝崎名緒, example of tehepero てへぺろ.
Character: Sexy Jaguar, セクシージャガー (Kaizaki Nao 貝崎名緒)
Anime: Hisone to Maso-tan ひそねとまそたん (Episode 4)
Lilith リリス striking a  tehe pero てへぺろ pose.
Character: Lilith リリス
Anime: Machikado Mazoku まちカドまぞく (Episode 8)

Double Peace

A "double peace," daburu piisu ダブルピース, is a pose with not one, but two peace signs. This is also spelled with a W prefix instead, as W-peace Wピース.:

Hirasawa Yui 平沢唯 doing a "double peace" sign, daburu piisu ダブルピース next to Akiyama Mio 秋山澪.
Left: Hirasawa Yui 平沢唯
Right: Akiyama Mio 秋山澪
Anime: K-On!, Keion! けいおん! (Episode 3)
Hanako 花子 doing a "double peace" sign, daburu piisu ダブルピース.
Character: Hanako 花子
Anime: Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun 地縛少年花子くん (Episode 5)
Oozora Tsubasa 大空翼 doing a "double peace" sign, daburu piisu ダブルピース.
Character: Oozora Tsubasa 大空翼
Anime: Captain Tsubasa, キャプテン翼 (Episode 1)

This gesture is sometimes associated with a (sexual) panting face called ahegao アヘ顔, probably because of photos taken during sex, to the point it's become a meme parodied in works for general audiences. Some examples:

Aioi Yuuko 相生祐子, example of ahegao アヘ顔 plus daburu piisu ダブルピース, "double peace" signs.
Character: Aioi Yuuko 相生祐子
Anime: Nichijou 日常 (Episode 8)
Hibana 火華 stepping on a guy doing a "double peace" sign, daburu piisu ダブルピース.
Top: Hibana 火華
Anime: En'en no Shouboutai 炎炎ノ消防隊 (Episode 12)

スリーピース

A three peace, スリーピース, is a type of peace sign done by raising three fingers instead of two.

Kisaragi Nanao 如月七雄, doing a "three peace [sign]," surii piisu スリーピース.
Character: Kisaragi Nanao 如月七雄
Anime: Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu ツルネ ―風舞高校弓道部― (Episode 1)

The katakanization of the English number "three" is surii スリー, and of "peace," piisu ピース, but the latter is homonymous with "piece," piisu ピース, so this phrase can mean something else:

A three piece, スリーピース, is a suit with jacket, vest, and pants of same material, color and pattern, also called mitsu-zoroi 三つ揃い in Japanese.(suit-select.jp)

うさちゃんピース

An usa-chan peace, うさちゃんピース, meaning "bunny peace [sign]," is a double peace sign made by putting one's hands over their head like a pair of "bunny ears," usamimi うさみみ. It's also called usa-peace, うさピース.

  • usagi
    うさぎ
    Bunny. Rabbit.
  • ~chan
    ~ちゃん
    Diminutive honorific suffix. Affixed to anything to refer to it cutely, like saying lil' bunny instead of just bunny.
Maeda Kanon 前田果音 making bunny ears with her hands, example of usa piisu うさピース, "bunny peace [sign]."
Character: Maeda Kanon 前田果音
Anime: Photokano, フォトカノ (Episode 1)

裏ピース

An ura peace, 裏ピース, meaning "back peace [sign]," is a type of peace sign with the palm facing toward the gesturer, so that the back of the hand facing forward, toward someone, perhaps.

This sign can look like a provocation if it looks like you're pointing to your own eyes.

Tainaka Ritsu 田井中律 does an ura peace, 裏ピース, a peace hand sign with the palm facing herslef.
Middle: Tainaka Ritsu 田井中律
Anime: K-On!!, Keion!! けいおん!! (Season 2) (Episode 24)
  • Context: Ritsu does an ura peace while everyone else does a normal peace.
    • "Look at me, I'm the captain now," she says, taking over the band.

あごピース

An ago peace, あごピース, meaning "chin peace [sign]," is a type of peace sign done by placing your hand on your chin, such that the index finger and the middle finger are on each side of your mouth.

This is a sort of ura peace.

In some cultures, the ago peace is associated oral sex, specifically evoking the image of cunnilingus.(vice.com)

Naturally, not everybody who does an ago peace would know this.(whynotjapan.com)

In other words, if you see a Japanese girl doing an ago peace, it's likely they're just striking a random pose for a photo and aren't attempting to express anything more than that.

Millaarc ミラアルク doing a "chin peace" sign, ago piisu 顎ピース.
Character: Millaarc ミラアルク
Manga: Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV, 戦姫絶唱シンフォギアXV (Episode 3)
  • Context: you can't say this character is lesbian just because of how she puts her hand on her face.

That said, someone out there probably knows of the connotation.

縦ピース

A tate peace, 縦ピース, meaning "vertical peace [sign]," is a pose done by making two peace signs in front of your head, one above pointing downwards, and one below pointing upwards.

Kanamori Maria 金森まりあ, Moegi Emo 萌黄えも doing a "vertical peace" signs, tate piisu 縦ピース.
Top: Kanamori Maria 金森まりあ
Bottom: Moegi Emo 萌黄えも
Anime: Kiratto Pri☆chan, キラッとプリ☆チャン (Season 2) (Episode 2, Collage)
  • Context: a tate peace composed of two ura peace.

横ピース

A yoko peace, 横ピース, meaning "horizontal peace [sign]," or "side peace [sign]," is a type of peace sign with fingers pointing sideways, rather than upwards. This term also refers horizontal ura peace and double peace.

Negishi Saburouta 根岸三郎太 doing a "horizontal peace [sign]," yoko piisu 横ピース, with flowers coming out of a wink.
Character: Negishi Saburouta 根岸三郎太
Anime: Kuragehime 海月姫 (Episode 6)

マンバピース

A manba peace, マンバピース, is a type of peace sign associated with manba マンバ makeup. Instead of making a peace sign using index and middle finger, you make one using ring and little finger.

See also: gyaru ギャル.

Cover of magazine egg featuring manba マンバ makeup.
Magazine: "egg," eggu エッグ (Volume 22, from 2004-07)
  • Context: the cover of a fashion magazine, with someone in manba makeup making the manba peace sign.

Forced

Apparently, there are ways to force someone to do a a peace sign for a photo. For the sake of reference—I mean, come on, why in the world would anyone need a reference of this thing?—for the sake of sharing what I witnessed, here it is:

Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん, forced to do a "peace" sign, piisu ピース, by Tachibana Mei 橘芽依 for a selfie.
Left: Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん
Right: Tachibana Mei 橘芽依
Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick, 邪神ちゃんドロップキック (Episode 5)
  • Context: is this... HAND HOLDING???
    • Lewd.
Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん, forced to do a "double peace" sign, daburu piisu ダブルピース, by Tachibana Mei 橘芽依 for a selfie.
Left: Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん
Right: Tachibana Mei 橘芽依
Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick, 邪神ちゃんドロップキック (Episode 5)
  • shirome wo muku
    白目をむく
    To bare sclera. (literally.)
    To roll one's eyes up, e.g. when fainting, such that the white part of the eye, called the sclera, becomes visible.

Disambiguation

For reference, some hand gestures that aren't peace signs, but that may be used like peace signs when posing, or may be mistaken for such.

Corna Sign

The "corna," koruna コルナ, meaning "horns," is a hand sign associated with the devil, made by lifting the index and little finger and bending the middle and ring fingers, forming a pair of horns.

Shinra Kusakabe 森羅日下部 doing a "corna" hand sign, koruna コルナ.
Character: Shinra Kusakabe 森羅日下部
Anime: En'en no Shouboutai 炎炎ノ消防隊 (Episode 18)
  • Context:
    • rokku-n-rooru!!
      ロックンロール!!
      Rock 'n' roll!!

Fox Sign

A "fox sign," kitsune sain キツネサイン, is a corna-like sign that has a muzzle like a fox.

Howan ほわん doing a double "fox sign," kitsune sain キツネサイン.
Character: Howan ほわん
Anime: SHOW BY ROCK!! Mashumairesh!!, ましゅまいれっしゅ!! (Episode 1)
  • Context: a fox sign with fox ears making a double fox sign.

ILY Sign

The ILY sign means "I love you" in American Sign Language. It looks like a corna, with index and little finger up, except the thumb is also extended, forming an L with index and thumb.

  • ai eru wai sain
    ILYアイ・エル・ワイサイン
    ILV sign.
    • The little finger forms an I.
    • The index and thumb forms an L.
    • The corna forms a V.
Kikuchi Makoto 菊地真 doing a pose with a double "corna" sign, koruna コルナ.
Character: Kikuchi Makoto 菊地真
Anime: The iDOLM@STER, アイドルマスター (Episode 15, Stitch)
  • Context: a double ILY sign.
  • kawaiku kaizou saretai!
    かわいく改造されたい
    [I] want to be modified cutely. (literally.)
    • In the sense of being transformed into a more cuter version of oneself.

Since ILY and the corna look very similar, it's possible for someone to mistake one for the other, and it's sometimes impossible to tell them apart.

Character: Grell Sutcliff, グレル・サトクリフ
Anime: Black Butler, Kuroshitsuji 黒執事 (Episode 11)
  • Context: Grell, who is a shinigami 死神, "grim reaper," strikes a tehe-pero pose complete with a star coming out of the wink but using the corna (ILY?) sign instead of a peace sign.
  • kore demo shitsuji desu☆
    これでも執事デス☆
    Even [like] this, [I] am a butler.
Yazawa Niko 矢澤にこ striking a pose as she says her catchphrase: nikko nikko nii にっこにっこにー.
Character: Yazawa Niko 矢澤にこ
Anime: Love Live! School Idol Project (Episode 5)

For the record, someone making the letter L on their chin isn't some weird ago peace but just a pose done while thinking.

Saiki Kusuo 斉木楠雄 with his hand placed on his chin like the letter L.
Character: Saiki Kusuo 斉木楠雄
Anime: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難 (Episode 10)
  • Context: *thinking.*

Rumic Sign

A rumic sign るーみっくサイン is a hand gesture like the ILY sign that's seen in manga and anime when a character is surprised or attacked. It doesn't mean anything. It's just a silly pose.

Makoto マコト doing a Rumic hand sign in surprised reaction.
Character: Makoto マコト
Anime: Minami-ke みなみけ (Episode 2)

Finger Binary

You're probably never going to encounter this, but it's possible to count up to 31 (=25- 1) on your fingers in one hand using the binary system. This is called finger binary, or nishin-yuubi-kazoe-hou 二進指数え法, "binary-finger-counting-method."

Character: Spiller スピラー
Anime: Karigurashi no Arrietty, 借りぐらしのアリエッティ
  • Context: Spiller counts a number of people using finger binary.
  • 01011 = 11.
  • 01100 = 12 (he added 1.)
  • 01101 = 13 (+1 again.)
  • 10000 = 16 (+3.)
  • 10101 = 21 (+5.)
  • 10110 = 22 (+1.)
  • The final number shown is 22 people.
    • A lot of people have mistaken it for "13" people, which would be 01101, due to simply comparing which fingers are up and down to images showing how to count in finger binary.
    • In such images, the little finger is the most significant digit (10000), but Spiller uses it as the least significant (00001).
    • If it was the most significant, he'd be counting down from 11010=26 to 13.

Why do I feel like a pleb for being able to count only up to five in one hand...

By the way, if you use both hands, you can count up to 1023 (=210 - 1).

Why do I feel like a pleb for being able to count only up to ten in both hands...

References

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