In Honey and Clover the character Hagumi Hanamoto often goes by the abbreviation of her name, Hagu. I just noticed this is spelled similarly to The Hague, a city and municipality in the Netherlands. In the story, Hagu is a genius artist, and a precursory internet search shows that The Hague does have connections to art. For example, from wikipedia:

The Hague has its share of museums, most notably the Mauritshuis, located next to the Binnenhof, which exhibits many paintings by Dutch masters, such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Paulus Potter. Other museums include the science museum Museon, the modern art museum Kunstmuseum, the historic museum Haags Historisch Museum, the national postal museum Museum voor Communicatie, the Museum Bredius, the Louis Couperus Museum, the museum Beelden aan Zee in Scheveningen, and the Gevangenpoort, a former prison housed in a 15th-century gatehouse.

It might just be coincidence, as Hagu and Hague aren't pronounced similarly. On the other hand, checking the Japanese wikipedia page for The Hague, it seems the pronunciations are more similar in Japanese, at least (ハグ vs ハーグ). It would be interesting if the author had this connection in mind. Is there any evidence for this being a reference?


While it is difficult to prove this with any certainty, we can try to analyse the facts around it to make an educated guess.

First, as far as I can find, the author of the manga has never said anything proving or disproving this relation, which unfortunately does rule out any definitive answer in either direction. Do note that she has mentioned that the title of Honey and Clover comes from the album titles of the musicians Shikao Suga and Spitz, which can be seen as indication that she does make references.

However, the name Hagumi, and in turn the nickname Hagu, is common enough that inferring any significance from this alone is difficult.

A prime example from anime would be Hagumi Kitazawa from Bang Dream!, who is referred quite frequently as Hagu externally (and within the source material IIRC)

This is personal opinion, but if the author wanted to make a reference via character name, it seems much more likely that she would have used the name of a famous artist (perhaps a Japanese one, to avoid any finagling to form a plausible Japanese name) than The Hague, whose claim to international fame as an artistic city is frankly debatable.

The combination of a commonplace Japanese name and a tenuous artistic association to "reference" makes it, in my view, much more likely that this is a simple coincidence due to the sheer volume of names with some artistic significance.

Of course, without a clear statement from the author, all this is necessarily mere speculation.

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