The "Hashihime" or "Bridge Princesses," are characters in the novel The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari 源氏物語）. They are daughters of a disgraced prince, living alone with him in a small house at Uji, outside Kyoto. They are important characters in the last ten chapters of the novel.
The Genji can be considered the first real novel in the history of the world. It was written around 1000 AD by a Japanese court lady known as Lady Murasaki, or Murasaki Shikibu.
I think contemporary Japanese literature, including anime and manga, continues to preserve aspects of the Genji, among them sensitive psychological observation, a general passion for romance, and romantic interest in young girls. The main hero of the thousand-page novel, Prince Genji, had a number of present and former girlfriends living in his palace, and basically abducted his principal wife Murasaki when she was ten, marrying her when she was around 15.
-- all Japanese names are written in Japanese order: surname first, given name second -- I claim no copyright on anything in this blog, unless otherwise stated