suihotsu 垂髪
CATEGORY: art history / sculptures
 
Also suihatsu. Lit. hanging hair. Long hair gathered into two sections which hang down behind the ears. The hairstyle is found on *bosatsu 菩薩 and *ten 天 images. Forms differed according to the period: in the Asuka period (late 6-early 7c) strands of hair hung down symmetrically in line with the shoulders and curled at the tips (see *warabidegata 蕨手形 ); in the early Nara period (7-early 8c), the bunches of hair were divided at the shoulders, and fell in a soft, wavy pattern, as in the Kumen Kannon 九面観音(wood), Houryuuji Houzouden 法隆寺宝蔵殿, Nara. There was a general trend in each period to adopt shorter hairstyles: Asuka period hair reached the elbows; in the Nara period, it tended to fall to the upper arm; and by the late Heian period (11c) it was just shoulder-length. On wooden statues, long hair was sometimes carved from the same block as the main figure, and sometimes separate pieces were fixed with glue. Other techniques included attaching bronze strips of hair to a statue, or simply painting it onto the figure. In the Kamakura period (13-14c), hanging hair was usually carved separately and attached. In the Juuichimen Senju Kannon 十一面千手観音, Renge-ouin 蓮華王院 (Sanjusangendou 三十三間堂), Kyoto, two horizontal bands of hair are wound around the vertical strands. This achieved a decorative effect, and was also used as a technical device to strengthen the hanging strands, as separate pieces were liable to break.
 
 

 
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