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 for self-protection.


(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.