So. As it stands everyone here knows the origins of Dante's hair color, don't pretend that you don't. There has been plenty of discussion on the subject since 2011, I'm sure you all get it by now. In case I'm sure there are many members who'd gladly let you know. Anyway, story time: A long while back I was talking asian dramas with a Korean girl at Old Navy and I brought up a show that I was going to try to watch called Faith- The Great Doctor. In the show's cast there was a character with white hair and so I asked her about it. She only said that in Korea it's romantic. White hair on a young person has a sense of romance to it (not amorous romance, I take it, rather 'idealized' romance). It seems as though this is not something that is in itself spoken of out loud, it's simply one of those things that everyone knows but never spoken of or written about. You will find more non-asian people than anyone else writing about it, mostly because they are asking 'what's with the white hair in anime.' It doesn't seem taboo just something that no one talks about like why we Mexicans have sombreros and why they look the way they do; I'm sure there is a root to the origin of the cultural staples but the reality is the only people who question them are those who don't share the similar prospects in their culture. My step-father, for example is Columbian and can't for the life of him understand why we eat hot sauce so he questions it, he raises his eyebrow at it, and sometimes he mockes it. Obviously I was doing some research into the matter but I was never planning on post those findings on this forum, there was just too much malice here for it to go without more than one person making unsolicited comments about me just been mad about the white hair. So, I kept it to myself and eventually deleted it. Fast forward to a few days ago and I found some of the research links that I didn't delete in my bookmarks and here we are. I remember doing all that reading and googling and then I remembered why I didn't post it. However it seems that all that is over now and I can tell you all about it without a bunch of twats derailing the discussion by been twats. Unfortunately this is only going to be part of what I found since some of the sites are either gone or I just don't know where they are. Hopefully, though, it'll be the majority of it that I present than what I can't show you any more because I either forgot what it was or just don't know how I found it. I'll start with the oldest record I can find of any significance of white hair. Hitomaro, an oral poet from the late 8th century, recited a poem at the funeral pyre of an unidentified young woman who had drowned. Whether accidental, suicidal, or murdered it was commonly believed that any one who died in similar manner, whether unnatural, accidental, or in a state of great passion, anger, jealousy, or fear would become evil spirits who would cause disease or even death. Now you know where the myth of Ju-on and the Grudge comes from. In these situations a ritual called a tama-shizume, or chinkon-sai, would be performed to appease the spirit. This process was referred to as shizume (to appease, pacify). A funeral lament called a banka would be recited and the body cremated. The symbolism was that by burning the body the hair, which was black and indicative of fertility, would turn to smoke and become white, which meant that the person had gone through the lifecycle that they were denied. In other words the implication is that black hair means not just youth but fertility while white hair indicates an end to that time. Also, unlike in most cultures we're familiar with, black is not the color associated with death in Japan, white is. This could be related to the principal of the hair color on a person since there is only black and white hair in Japan and black hair is representative of youth, vibrancy and fertility and white means and end to that (Japanese people of other hair color are excruciatingly rare, from what I know). I have no evidence to back that up, simply an observation I make. Hitomaro also wanted to give the woman another symbolic return to fertility by burning her body so as to turn her into clouds and the clouds to rain where it would fall to the earth and give life to the land. A symbolism he hoped would appease the spirit. Moving on to something else: It is in Japan where we see most of the characters that fit the criteria of been both young and having white hair, at least in terms of what we see imported, Korea and China might have just as many that we never see. Most forms of media seem to have examples of this, whether anime, manga, tv dramas, music, literature, blah, blah, blah. Even in Kabuki there is a work called Ren Jishi, The Father and Son Shishi Lions. Tekken fans should know this one. In it there are two lion like creatures called Shishi who are father and son. The son is portrait with vibrant red hair and the father with white. Now, the reason you Tekken fans should know this one is because the tribe of the Shishi demands only the strong survive and so they throw their young to the precipice to test their strength and courage by climbing back up. Though not a young man it is an example of it's presence in the folklore of Japan. There is also other places here and there where you see it's presence across the folklore. We are all mostly in agreement that this is something that Japan sees as a sign of the supernatural. It's what we have been told from those that know the culture better than us. Just the same, Japan is also where I had the hardest time finding concrete evidence of this outside their popular media. Yes, it can imply divinity, yes it can imply demonic nature, and yes, it can mean the character has an other worldly quality to them, a preternatural essence, as with Celtic mythology, I'll get back to this, but why they are given to these characters is a bit ambiguous, mostly because their pop culture has taken over the internet making it harder to find more traditional sources. For example, when I was doing the research a while back and I read once that Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter had hair the color of the moon. In most cases she looks very traditionally Japanese, with long black hair, but it was also not rare for her to be portrait with white here and there do to her connection to the moon. Google Kaguya now and all you get is Naruto images of the character from the manga. F*%#ing jolly. Anyway. Implying divinity with white hair is easy to correlate, white is the color of light so when a character has white hair do to divinity, well, it's kinda obvious. Even Buddha was said to have a single strand of white hair in his forehead that irradiated light and spread enlightenment to the world. Japan isn't the only place that assigned white hair as a sign of divinity, ether. The deer goddess in celtic myth, Sadv, and the goddess Fódla both sport the color, and in celtic myth the white hair also represents a connection to the supernatural. Chuma is the Slavic Goddess of Death. Khen-Pa, a buddhist figure who rides a white dog and controls heavenly demons. There is, of course, the Chinese and Korean examples here and there, and others in asia, I'm sure, but I did lose a lot of that research. There was one dude who rode a tiger but I don't remember where he was from, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't Chang Tao-ling, though. Demonic or supernatural were a bit harder to find. Yes, white implies death. Death, supernatural, there is a connection, sure, but rarely outside of popular media do you find any stories of people like that fit the bill and to simply make connections with no evidence, well, not the most reliable way of examining things. However, I did find one article where the writer claimed that the gods of death (called shinigami) have been present figures in Japanese folklore and are represented as having red eyes and white hair. This has lead to their representation as such for a long time are are continued so in modern media. I think the implication is that if you ever come across a man or woman with white hair and red eyes you should probably be nice to them since they might be the one guiding your soul when you kick the bucket. This one, however, turned out to be hard to prove since this is the only instance I could find of this even been mentioned and nether games, anime, nor manga count. That's something that I've found to be vague and varied depending on the source, by the way, that some renditions have different details. For example, the illustration in the books of Toriyama Sekien depicts a great deal of creatures like the Nure-Onna, the Jorōgumo, and the Yuki-Onna and all other Japanese folk creatures. In all the illustrations the beings are all represented with dark hair, if any. Move forward some time and look at the illustrations of Goujin Ishihara (God, I wish we could post pictures); Alot of the same creatures are illustrated with white hair in their heads, like the Nure-Onna and the Tenjou-sagari. That probably means that there isn't always a set appearance for all of these mythic figures, that they are often left to the artist to describe. Yes, the snake woman looks like a snake and a woman combined, but smaller details like hair color are often varied from artist to artist. Yuki-Onna is a good example of this. The snow woman is white from head to toe, from her dress to her extremely pale skin and with long black hair in a very traditional Japanese hair style fitting of the period. However, every now and then someone takes it a step further and makes her hair just as white as her skin and kimino and so often times it is the artist who determines this. Of course there are a great deal of instances where this isn't the case and the creature has been specified to look a certain way, like that Ibaraki-doji from Watanabe no Tsuna who, for the most part, is always portrait with white hair. And just like the Ibaraki there are creatures in Japanese myth that have specifically white hair, like the Sojobo, who is known as the Tengu king, the Kyonshi/jiangshi, the Goblin Of Oyeyama, the goblin king, the mountain woman (wife to the Mountain man who has black hair as oppose to his wife), and sometimes foxes and dragons. They are all over the place, so, as we all know, when a character has white hair they share a connection to these creatures, whether because they are of similar in origin or related to them. Often times you will hear that if a fox is posing as a human they will have white hair or it could also be a sign of possession by a fox or other evil spirits (no source on this. Again, all lost to deletion). All this is indicative of the white hair and why we see characters with it but we all know what Japanese folk creature has the most significant correlation to this myth and how it associated to the supernatural so I won't bother going into it. I'll move on from Japan for now and start with other places. Also, I ain't no expert. If you have something to add, something to correct from what I'm saying, or have other examples or just something to add in general feel free. Also, any idea when we'll get image positing up?