|“||In ancient Chinese imperial courts, the emperor had a dietician who provided him with medicinal cooking. In my case, the Emperor is Erina-sama.||”|
—Hisako Arato, to Nao Sadatsuka
Hisako has short pink hair with bangs that reach to the length of her chin. In junior high, her hair had a rounder appearance. In the early parts of the series, she has a normal fringe reaching the length of the eyebrows. Later on, her fringe parts to the left. In her second year, her hair is a slightly shorter bob.
She normally wears the standard Tōtsuki seasonal uniforms, even when not in school. She wears a plain white chef's uniform when she cooks. Hisako has been shown wearing glasses when working behind a computer.
Her measurements are: bust 80cm, waist 56cm and hip 79cm (31-22-31).
Hisako is a loyal friend to Erina and is almost never seen away from her. As her secretary, she helps organize Erina's tasks and assignments to allow her to focus on her work, showing an impressive amount of time management and secretarial skills, even more so considering that she is only a high school student. Much of Hisako's ambitions are to help out Erina and make sure that she stays at the top of the class, with Erina standing above her as her "Empress". This means that she tends to care more for Erina than she does herself, which has been the case since they were kids. Hisako is always fine following behind Erina and was fine being that way since childhood. She also helps introduce some modern things to Erina such as Shōjo manga, which she buys for her upon request. Much like Erina, Hisako is generally stubborn and prideful, often belittling others, usually in Erina's stead.
However, her pride as Erina's closest ally was severely damaged when she lost her Quarterfinal match in the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election main tournament against Akira Hayama. Since then, she sulked much more, believing that she was no longer worthy to be Erina's secretary, let alone her friend, despite Erina's personal protests. However, thanks to Sōma's advice, her resolve has changed. Now she wants to stand beside Erina rather than following behind. She has become much more friendly and even befriended Sōma during their week together, despite previous feelings towards him.
Hisako was born into the famed Arato Family, hailed for their mastery in Zhōng Yī, or Chinese Medicine. From a young age, she was well acquainted with Erina and the two became friends. Hisako decided to study her family's Chinese medicine as an influence for her cooking and with that dedication, she pledged to use that knowledge and skill to serve Erina who she views as her "Empress". Through her dedication and skill, Erina made Hisako her secretary for all of her jobs.
Hisako was accepted into Tōtsuki along with Erina. In her second year in Tōtsuki's middle school division, Hisako was challenged by Nao Sadatsuka for the right to be Erina's secretary. Hisako won the Shokugeki, thus she maintained her position as Erina's secretary while Sadatsuka was forced to stay at least 50 meters away from Erina at all times. However, this did not stop Nao from sending 30 love letters daily to Erina, which Hisako would readily dispose of.
Entrance Exam and Orientation Ceremony
Main article: Introduction Arc
Hisako continued to assist Erina, who became the 10th seat of the Elite Ten Council within her first year of Tōtsuki. As a member of the council, Erina was tasked with proctoring an entrance examination for the High School Section of Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. Upon their arrival, Erina tasked the applicants to create a dish of their choice using eggs as the basis, but also added that they had one minute to withdraw. Without a moment's hesitation, the room was quickly vacated. Erina told Hisako to prepare for the next job, thinking that all the applicants had backed out. However a lone boy remained: Sōma Yukihira, much to Hisako and Erina's surprise. She told Sōma that he was not going to be able to impress Erina due to her fame, but Sōma ignored her taunts and proceeded to take the test. Like Erina, Hisako became increasingly infuriated with Sōma's simplistic dish choice and presentation. However she was amazed by the final product and watched as Erina enjoyed Sōma's dish. However, a combination of Erina's pride and Sōma's cockiness caused him to fail the exam and the two left the room.
Later at the Orientation ceremony, Hisako watched as Erina was welcomed as the current top prospect of the 92nd Tōtsuki Generation. However, much to Hisako and Erina's surprise, Sōma had somehow entered the academy. After he declared that he would stand on top of the class at the end of high school, Hisako vowed to eliminate Sōma from the school for Erina's sake.
Sōma's First Shokugeki
Since the first day of school, Hisako kept tabs on everything that Sōma had done in the academy including his first class in which he passed Roland Chapelle's lecture with the highest grade and caused him to smile for the first time on record. After Erina's Shokugeki against Kiyoshi Gōdabayashi, Hisako reported to Erina about Sōma's record. Immediately upon hearing his name, Erina, seething with anger, told Hisako to never mention his name around her. However, soon after this event, the first opportunity to possibly expel Sōma had arrived.
One of Erina's champions, Ikumi Mito was challenged by Sōma, on behalf of the Don RS, to a Shokugeki to protect the club from Erina's kitchen expansion project. Hisako accompanied Erina to watch the Mito Vs. Don RS Shokugeki go down. Though Erina was confident in Ikumi's abilities, she lost the Shokugeki despite her best efforts. Immediately upon her loss, Erina told Hisako to take away the kitchen she had given to Ikumi and essentially cut ties from her.
Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp
Main article: Training Camp Arc
The First Day
At the end of her first day, Hisako had made it through her task and returned to the villa. Upon her return, Hisako and her classmates were tasked with making 50 meals for the hotel guests. Hisako was among the first to finish and quickly left the kitchen to find Erina, who was the first to complete the task. She found Erina in a hallway arguing with Sōma. Hisako immediately confronted Sōma, who told her that he pushed down Erina. Hisako immediately misinterpreted his meaning, though Erina explained what happened to her. Though Erina previously was looking forward to playing cards with Hisako, thanks to Sōma's unfortunate meeting with her, Erina told her that they will not play something so "happy-go-lucky".
The Fourth Day & Breakfast Buffet Challenge
Hisako made it through the next two days without getting expelled. On the third night, Hisako and the rest of the remaining students were summoned to the Main Hall for a surprise announcement from Gin Dōjima. Their task for the next day was to create a breakfast buffet dish for the hotel guests. He also added that the challenge will begin at 6 AM the next morning, meaning that the students did not have time to sleep. After Hisako and Erina headed to the kitchens, they bumped into Erina's Danish cousin, Alice Nakiri and her assistant Ryō Kurokiba. The Nakiri cousins exchanged a few insults at each other before they separate ways. As they left, Hisako shot a glare at Alice.
Arriving at the kitchen area, Hisako and Erina immediately set to work, choosing and preparing their intended dishes. Erina picked her dish quickly and headed to bed, leaving Hisako to finalize her choice. Hisako was assigned to a different hall from Erina, but nevertheless passed the challenge.
The Final Day
At the end of the fifth day, many of Hisako's fellow classmates were beyond the brink of exhaustion. After Gin summoned them once more to the main hall, he gave some inspiring words to the students there for their journey from then on at Tōtsuki. He announced that 628 students present had completed the camp and their final assignment was a lavish feast prepared by the Tōtsuki Academy Alumni and the hotel staff. Hisako joined Erina for the banquet. The next day, Hisako packed her things to return to Tōtsuki. However, when Hisako and Erina got onto the bus, Erina had forgotten something important in the hotel and told her that she will arrange for a Tōtsuki car to return her to the academy. Hisako stayed on the bus and returned to Tōtsuki by herself.
The 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
Main article: Tōtsuki Autumn Election Arc
After the spring term concluded, Hisako gathered with her fellow 92nd Generation students to see who was chosen to participate in the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election. Unsurprisingly, Hisako was among the 60 students chosen. Erina congratulated her on her selection and Hisako promised to use the election to demoralize Sōma. However, mentioning Sōma's name caused Erina to comically sulk in embarrassment after failing to see Sōma's expulsion. Hisako told herself that she would take Sōma down for Erina's sake. Using the month prior to the election, Hisako began to craft her dish around the preliminary round's theme: Curry Dishes.
Nakiri Cousins' Holiday
Main article: Natsuyasumi no Erina
During that time, Erina did her best to help Hisako out, but soon, Erina began to put too much input. Feeling the need to show her true prowess in the election, Hisako told Erina to let her work alone by her own accord. Later that day, Hisako was worried when Erina told her she went to a public pool with Alice and insisted she should take a long holiday.
Tōtsuki Autumn Election: Preliminary Round
See also: 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
After a month of preparation, Hisako arrived at the tournament along with the 59 other participants. After listening to Senzaemon Nakiri give some inspiring words to the participants, the preliminary round began and Hisako headed to the "B" Block.
As the preliminary cooking round began, the head judge of the "B" Block, Orie Sendawara began searching for some of the more notable chefs in the kitchen areas. Hisako was among the few who caught her attention. At the time, Hisako was adding a mysterious powder and spice blend into a pot of water, much to the wonder of the crowd. Meanwhile in a neighboring kitchen was Alice. Alice smugly told her that she was happy to see Hisako cooking at full strength, using her signature technique. Hisako retorted that she felt that she shouldn't hold back against anyone with Erina watching.
After the cooking time concluded, Hisako put the finishing touches on her dish and joined the other "B" Block participants for the judging round. Almost all of the initial first dishes were graded with scores as low as only 6 points. However, this low scoring trend ended with Nao Sadatsuka, whose Jet Black Curry Laksa earned the first satisfactory score of 84 points. As Nao mused over her high score, Hisako stepped up next. Nao confronted Hisako, telling her that if she earned a higher score than her in the preliminary rounds, she hoped that Erina would eventually notice her. However, Hisako presented her dish to the judges undeterred and confident. Though the judges were still reveling from Nao's dish, a single bite of Hisako's Mutton Meat Shimotsu-to Curry completely removed the judges' thoughts about Nao's dish. Nao was unable to comprehend that Hisako's dish was better so she handed her a sample of her dish. As Nao ate her dish, she realized the difference in their dish's impact. As Nao submitted in defeat, Hisako was given a score of 92, claiming the top score for the "B" Block. As Hisako walked away from her defeated rival, she told Nao that her cooking was shallow and self-centered while her cooking focused around serving others, especially for her "empress", Erina. Unfortunately for Hisako, Nao developed a crush on her.
For the rest of the judging round, Hisako firmly remained the highest scoring student of the "B" Block until Alice presented her dish, claiming the top score of the "B" Block. However, though Hisako finished in 2nd place, she qualified to move on to the main tournament.
Tōtsuki Autumn Election: Main Tournament
Hisako was present at the Arena for the first day of the Main Tournament. However, her match was not until the second day so she watched from the stands. After the first two quarterfinal matches concluded, Hisako left the arena and walked past Sōma and Takumi. Later that day she was summoned to Tōtsuki HQ to learn about her match's theme as well as her opponent: Akira Hayama. That night, Hisako vowed to Erina that she would deliver her a win in her match.
On the second day of Main Tournament Quarterfinals, Hisako's match was the first of the day. As she and Akira walked into the arena, their theme, hamburgers, was announced to the audience. While they walked to their stations, Akira told Hisako to make sure that Erina was ready to give her Elite Ten Council seat and Tōtsuki's top to him. Unimpressed, Hisako responds to Akira's boast by saying that she will join the Elite Ten first to be with Erina. As their match began, Hisako brought out her secret weapon: a pot with a soft-shelled turtle. Though most of the crowd responded squeamishly, Hisako mercilessly butchered the live turtle and drained the blood. The judges however, watched Hisako with great interest, looking forward to her final product. Hisako presented her dish first, a Soft-Shelled Turtle Hamburger. Most of the crowd was disappointed by the normal appearance of the burger despite her rather shocking preparation of the dish. As the judges began to eat her dish, the audience noticed that the aged judges looked more youthful after a single bite. Hisako explained that she ground up the turtle shell into a powder as her Medicinal basis for her patty. Though the crowd seemed to understand her impressive work, Senzaemon Nakiri informed the crowd that only the judges who had eaten the burger itself could understand its power. The "stickiness" of the burger's contents was to stimulate the soft palate, a key organ in the mouth for physical stimuli, thus creating a dish that not only stimulates the eater's taste, but also their sense of touch. The flavor was enough to make Senzaemon strip his top, however, Akira, who was cooking throughout her presentation, started to cook his burger. As the aroma filled the air, all of the attention in the arena shifted to him, including Hisako.
Akira presented his Kofta Kebab Burger, which Hisako initially saw as a poor choice as the Kebab on top of a heavy hamburger would create a heavy flavor and is not easily justified by a strong aroma. However, much to her surprise, the judges finished his burger without even noticing it. Akira explained that a burger has 4 important elements: the buns, the patty, the sauce, and pickles. Since pickles create a contrast with the burger, enhancing its flavor, Akira deemed her choice for pickles, needle ginger, a poor choice, while he explained that he used achar to achieve not only the strong aroma, but the strong contrast needed to balance out the burger and kebab's heavy flavor, making it too irresistible to eat slowly. Akira told her that someone like her who was fine with being "No. 2" would never be a worthy opponent. As he called her will and world of cooking limited, Hisako did not admit it out loud, but she realized the difference between them the minute his dish's aroma hit her. Without a single doubt in their minds, the judges declared Akira as the winner of the match as Hisako slowly walked out of the Arena in defeat.
Following her defeat, Hisako could not bear to face Erina and decided to take a leave of absence to improve herself.
Main article: Stagiaire Arc
Western Cuisine Mitamura
Sometime after her self-imposed leave, Hisako eventually returned to campus in time for the Stagiaire event. Hisako had yet to face Erina since her defeat since she continued to sulk from her loss. On her way to her location for the event, Hisako encountered Sōma who was also assigned to the same location, much to her displeasure. Upon arrival at their location, Hisako and Sōma saw a crowd of angry patrons storming out of the restaurant. The two met the owner of Western Cuisine Mitamura, Mamoru Mitamura and they immediately began to prepare for their first day. After changing, Hisako told Sōma that her loss in the Autumn Election made her unworthy to be with Erina, fearing that her loss will taint Erina's reputation.
Just as they finished preparing, Sōma attempted to establish some order for the upcoming meal rush, but Hisako confidentially informed him that she had no trouble during the training camp and that she has not failed a single course. Unfortunately, Hisako underestimated the sheer number of customers that rushed in and the restaurant was quickly crowded within minutes. With great difficulty, the customers' orders were filled and the restaurant was quickly vacated. Still, there was no time to rest as the next wave of patrons stormed the restaurant. Much to Hisako and the restaurant staff's surprise, Sōma was already taking orders from the customers and relayed the orders without a single delay. Hisako steeled herself and followed Sōma's orders and by the end of the day, the restaurant managed to fulfill every order without a single meal cancellation. The restaurant staff thanked the two for their hard work. Though Hisako felt that Sōma did most of the work since he was used to working in a restaurant, the staff commended her for quick learning and efficient cooking. Finally, Hisako received a sudden slap on the back as Sōma commended her on a job well done as he could not wait for the next day, much to Hisako's embarrassment.Over the course of the first three days, thanks to Hisako and Sōma's hard work, Western Cuisine Mitamura was operating smoothly. Mamoru confided with Hisako and Sōma that he hopes that the restaurant will one day regain its former glory. Although Hisako believed that they were doing just fine, Sōma felt that they had yet to make a "visible" result at the restaurant. Sōma asked her if Western Cuisine Mitamura was a place she would want to work at. Hisako did not answer immediately, however a few days later, she realized that although the restaurant had seen a drop in customer complaints since they arrived, once Hisako and Sōma left, the restaurant would most likely return to the way it was. To deal with the meal rush that floods the restaurant but still keep the food quality, Sōma suggested that they should only admit customers who make a prior reservation. Hisako agreed and convinced the hesitant workers to give it a try. By the next day, their idea was implemented and was largely successful. With the crowd under control and the food quality still the same, Hisako and Sōma passed the first stage of their Stagiaire and was confirmed by Kazune Nishizono. Before leaving the restaurant, Sōma asked if she was going to return to Erina soon. Hisako still felt that she was unworthy to return to her, but Sōma offered to listen to her troubles. She admitted that she was always fine standing behind Erina and Akira's words to her made her reflect on that thought. Sōma recommended that she should try and stand beside Erina rather than behind as he handed her a bag of shojo manga that Erina had requested from him. Touched by Sōma's kind words, she thanked him as she departed to reunite with Erina.
Moon Banquet Festival
Main article: Moon Banquet Festival Arc
After completing the Stagiare, Hisako attended the Autumn Leaf Viewing, along with the other Autumn Election finalists. She told Erina that she should properly thank Sōma for the Shōjo manga he lend to her. However, Erina refuted that it was remuneration instead. Hisako was then greeted by Sōma, who noted that her demeanor improved since they last met, to which she thanked him. As the Elite Ten Council settled down, she watched as the event unfolded on both sides. However, Hisako and her fellow classmates' fighting spirits was kindled when Terunori Kuga explained the true power of an Elite Ten's seat and stated that the current first years did not give them any sort of reason to challenge them yet.
An Unexpected Visitor
As the final day of the festival wrapped up, an unannounced guest arrived at Erina's booth. Hisako was shocked to see that it was Azami Nakiri, Erina's father who was excommunicated from Tōtsuki. Terrified to speak, Hisako watched in horror as Erina encountered her father and immediately took control of his daughter. Azami caused a stir in Erina's booth by insulting their patrons, prompting Hisako to try and make Azami leave the premise as he had no reservations. Azami promptly ignored her and seated himself. Though he later left when Sōma arrived at the booth, Azami was stopped outside of the booth by Senzaemon. After a heated argument between father-in-law and son-in-law, Azami brandished a letter, appointing himself as the new Director of Tōtsuki.
Main article: Central Arc
Several days after the decision to appoint Azami as the new director of the academy, Azami approached Hisako in the Nakiri mansion. Although he stated that he was grateful for Hisako's duties as Erina's secretary, he stated that she was no longer needed as he would be the only one to choose Erina's clientele from then on. Hisako did her best to object, but was ultimately unable to change his mind as both his firm stance as well as Erina's fear of her father preventing her from opposing gave no opportunities for Hisako to reverse his decision. Hisako afterwards walked around aimlessly in a slump across campus until she was spotted by Alice and Ryō. Informing them of the situation, Hisako, Alice, and Ryō decided to smuggle Erina out of the Mansion. Running to a thicket a good distance from the Mansion, the trio tried to decided a good place to hide Erina, but all options they could think of were ultimately fruitless. Though Erina nearly decided to return to the Mansion to prevent any consequences to the trio, Megumi appeared as she had heard voices behind the Polar Star Dormitory and invited them inside from the rain. While Erina washed herself off, Hisako revealed Erina's childhood under her father to the Polar Star Residents. Much to her happiness, the residents were touched by Erina's plight and warmly welcomed her into the dorm.
As Hisako left, she thanked Sōma for taking Erina in, but warned him that this runaway incident will not stop Azami's plans, as Erina will play a key role in them.
Much later, she returns and bears witness to Erina's father Azami Nakiri visiting the dorm and talking to her about her choice. She follows after Erina once she is prompted to go outside by the dorm, while outside Hisako learns that Soma is the son of Jōichirō Yukihira, the former second seat of the Elite Ten Council at the academy. Along with Aldini brothers, Hisako is very shocked to learn that Sōma's father was really such an amazing person but worries for Erina's well-being when she nearly faints from the shock of this news.
- Medicinal Cooking - Hisako specializes in medicinal cooking, infusing traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients such as Dong Dang Sui, a variant of ginseng, into her cooking. This knowledge stems from the Arato family, renowned for their extensive research and knowledge of Chinese medicine. She studied this craft extensively so that she could serve Erina. Aside from this, Hisako seems to have a Chinese slant to her food, employing other ingredients typical of Chinese cuisine, such as steamed buns and soft-shelled turtle.
- Mutton Meat Shimotsu-to Curry - Hisako's curry dish during the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election. Hisako blended her family's Chinese medicine technique: The Four Substance Decoction into a spice blend, creating a dish that can turn the weakest of men into people who can star in kung fu movies. It immediately followed Nao Sadatsuka's Jet Black Curry Laksa and completely overpowered her dish's evil flavor. Her efforts allowed her to earn a higher score than Nao and temporarily held the highest score of the "B" Block. It was only beaten by Alice's Thermal Sense Curry.
- Soft-Shelled Turtle Hamburger - Hisako's Chinese Hamburger dish for her Tōtsuki Autumn Election Main Tournament quarterfinal match. Hisako Arato sought to create a hamburger that "vehemently rocks human instinct" by creating a dish that was both richly infused with the flavors of the soft-shelled turtle and that strongly emphasized the gelatinous nature of the meat to stimulate the soft palate.
- The patty was made with the boiled meat and innards of a freshly slaughtered soft-shelled turtle mixed with the turtle's blood, ground pork, and turtle shell powder and was wrapped in pork crepiné and pan fried. The patty was also smothered with a sauce made from the thickened turtle dashi, schisandra fruit, kinshinsai, ginger and shaoxing wine. The patty and sauce were served on a buttered steamed bun topped with korean lettuce and shredded ginger.
- Spirulina and Šaltibarščiai Medicinal Soup - Hisako's dish during the BLUE preliminaries.
Cooking Duel Records
|Nao Sadatsuka||Unknown||Unknown||Win: Sadatsuka has to stay at least 50 meters away from Erina Nakiri
||Win - Hisako retains her position as Erina's secretary and Nao must stay at least 50 meters away from Erina.||1-0-0|
The 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
|Quarterfinals||Akira Hayama||Hamburger||Soft-Shelled Turtle Hamburger||Loss - Hisako is eliminated from the Main Tournament.|
Misc. Cooking Duels
|Sōmei Saitō||Unknown||Unknown||Win: Hisako will pass the third assignment of the Promotion Exams.
||Loss - Hisako is expelled.|
- The name Hisako means "scarlet" (緋) (hi), "sand" (沙) (sa) and "child" (子) (ko).
- It can also mean "Eternal Child", "Child of an Old Story" (when written with a different kanji), "Everlasting Child" or "Auspicious Child".
- Hisako's surname Arato means "fresh, new" (新) (ara) and "door" (戸) (to).
- Hisako ranked 14th in the first popularity poll. She ranked 5th in the second popularity poll with 1901 votes.
- Hisako debuted in Chapter 2, but her name was not revealed until Chapter 52. Prior to this, she was addressed as Erina's Secretary.
- According to the extras from Volume 23, Hisako's favorite movie is Roman Holiday, and her hobby is shopping for rare teas.
- Hisako's voice actress, Saori Ōnishi, also voices Madoka Enomoto in the anime.
|Isami Aldini • Takumi Aldini • Daigo Aoki • Hisako Arato • Ken Dakekanba • Madoka Enomoto • Akira Hayama • Miyoko Hōjō • Shun Ibusaki • Takumi Ishiwatari • Urara Kawashima • Ryō Kurokiba • Zenji Marui • Subaru Mimasaka • Ikumi Mito • Alice Nakiri • Erina Nakiri • Nao Sadatsuka • Ryōko Sakaki • Yua Sasaki • Shōji Satō • Megumi Tadokoro • Yūki Yoshino • Sōma Yukihira|