Zettai Ryouiki - The absolute territory between skirts and stockings

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It may seem strange, but there is a Japanese word called Zettai Ryouiki [絶対領域] used to refer to the exposed thighs and legs that appear between the miniskirt and the stockings or other combinations of clothing.

The translation of the word Zettai Ryouiki is Absolute Territory where zettai [絶対] means territory and [領域] means area, domain, territory, field and region. Why do the Japanese consider this area to be absolute?

Zettai ryouiki – o território absoluto entre saias e meias

As always, it all started in anime and manga where this combination of words became an otaku slang for assigning characters kawaii and moe of Japanese works. Nowadays this term is recognized by the population of Japan as a fashion style.

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How does Zettai Ryouiki fashion work?

There are 5 levels that define Zettai Ryouiki, everything depends on the length of the socks and the skirts. The image below can better explain how this classification works:

Zettai ryouiki – o território absoluto entre saias e meias

4: 1: 2.5 is the ideal measure of the exposed thigh portion and the knee part, with a tolerance of 25%. The ratings are from E that shows more leg to A that shows less legs. Some put on hairstyle and deredere personality as criteria for creating an S ranking.

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How did the term Zettai Ryouiki come about?

That term came up in Anime Neon Genesis Evangelion with the name of Zettai Kyoufu Ryouiki [絶対恐怖領域] or Absolute Terror Field. A type of protective energy shield dubbed the sacred area where no one can invade privacy.

This simple influence of Anime Evangelion created this term Zettai Ryouiki. The term was first used to compliment the legs of Mayura (on the left), a character created as Ukagaka, a kind of computer software.

Zettai ryouiki – o território absoluto entre saias e meias

The term appeared around 2001 and became popular over the years, becoming a common word to refer to this area of the body. It is not an otaku word, even girls usually use this expression after popularizing it.

Formerly the word was used only to refer to the combination of miniskirts and stockings, nowadays the term has become popular for the thighs and other combinations such as swimsuit.

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Curiosities involving Zettai Ryouiki

In 2009 an online survey was conducted on men's favorite fetishes and Zettai Ryouiki won first place in the survey. Several advertising agencies conduct research and promote events or advertisements involving this style.

November 28th became the day of high socks, a special date for those who appreciate Zettai Ryouiki fashion. Although not an official holiday, since 2013 this has been an annual event celebrated by a gigantic internet community.

Zettai ryouiki – o território absoluto entre saias e meias

There are thousands of fanart and showing perfectly the application of this Japanese fashion and the exposure of the absolute area. Some companies have even gone so far as to tattoo girls on their thighs to advertise in the absolute area.


If you found this term a little heavy, know that the Japanese have also created another term to refer to the glimpse of women's panties known as panchira.

Even some members of the otaku community consider this term to be offensive, while others do not consider it too much, and many girls still use it. What do you think about this subject? I hope you enjoyed the article and thank you for the comments and shares.