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The Ox

Hatsuharu Sohma, aged 15–17, often called Haru, is the ox of the Chinese zodiac. Hatsuharu is depicted as having something of a Yin and Yang personality related to the ox's traditional personality:He is usually calm, placid, and otherwise an all-around nice guy, but can be goaded into "stampeding," a state in which he is edgy and mean. The Sohmas call these two sides of his personality his "white" and "black" sides; his hair is white with black roots, and his zodiac form is a black-and-white spotted cow.Because of the story of how the first rat tricked the first ox to become first in the zodiac, when Hatsuharu was a child he blamed Yuki Sohma, the current rat, for his reputation of stupidity, but Yuki helped him realize that Haru was not at fault for the ox's actions. Since then, Haru has claimed that Yuki was his first love. Hatsuharu is in love with Rin Sohma and has an on-again/off-again secret relationship with her. He is protective of those he cares about, especially Rin, Yuki, and Kisa, and once confronts and almost strikes Akito for confining Rin,and looked for Kisa when she ran away from home. Hatsuharu has a bad sense of direction, and once becomes lost for three days in another town while looking for Kyo in order to challenge him.He likes to tease Kyo in a dead-pan way. He is usually shown wearing various accessories, which, according to an author's note, he makes himself.He is referred to by Kyo as "downright lewd" when he says that Momiji should wear the girls uniform. Natsuki Takaya derived his name from the first month, hatsuharu meaning "new year" or "early spring," which is the month of the ox, of the traditional Japanese calendar,though his name is written with different kanji than the month.

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