|KEY WORD : art history / crafts|
| A stick type of hair ornament. It may be a
single stick or fork-shaped stick. The handle end usually has decoration.
Materials are metal, tortoise shell and wood. Types include the mimikakitsuki
耳掻付 (with earpick), matsuba 松葉 (pine needle), tama 玉 (ball
or gem), hirauchi 平打 (flat), hana 花 (flower), kawarigata
変わり形 (hybrid) and shikake 仕掛 (contrived). Kanzashi have designs
of plants, flowers, animals, butterflies, or bells and other dangling elements.
Pictures reveal that kanzashi were popular since the Houreki 宝暦 era
(1751-64) when women started to wear their hair in the mage 髷 (chignon)
style. Previously noble ladies wore kazashi 挿頭華 (called sashi
釵子) on ceremonial occasions. At the end of the Edo period, unmarried women
wore multiple hana kanzashi, sometimes called birabira 歩揺
(swinging) kanzashi. When put in the front of a chignon, they were
also called maezashi 前挿 (front picks). Atozashi 後挿 (back picks)
consist of hirauchi kanzashi 平打簪 and tamakanzashi 玉簪. The
use of kanzashi declined with the rise of western hair styles. More
than merely decorative, the kanzashi's sharp edge could also be used
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