Aug 28, 2019



The Japanese are keen on not only what they wear but also the accessories they choose to accompany different garments. Since the head is the most crucial part of the body, they put on ornamental hairpins as part of their hairstyle. This is what is called kanzashi. Though this is a common trend in Japan, people from other countries also mimic it. You can match different kinds of fashion with these hair ornaments. People from other regions use them alongside some western clothes. Find out more!

The origin of the kanzashi

Kanzashi is an ornamental hairpiece that is used for decorative purposes. In the past, the Japanese considered kanzashi as charms. They believed that it had some magical spell and could fend off some evil spirits when worn on the head. People started putting on this ornament during the Jomon period. This is the same period when the modern hair combs made their first appearance.

A lot of women in Japan preferred tieing their hair back low and therefore used kanzashi to hold it in place while at the same time accessorizing it. By the Edo period, many complicated hairstyles had come up, leading to the popularity of the kanzashi. Artisans started making beautiful hair ornaments which sometimes served as defensive weapons.

People still consider kanzashi as valuable items to decorate their hair. Today, many brides both in Japan and other regions put on the kanzashi on their hair. Different kimono wearers such as tayu, geisha, and yujo also accompany the outfit with kanzashi. It is common to find these ornamental pieces on people attending events such as the tea ceremony. The young women in Japanese add a touch of elegance to their business suits using the kanzashi.

Types of kanzashi

Today, the authentic kanzashi comes in a variety of shapes, materials, and design. Some of the materials that are used to make the kanzashi include gold, wood, silver, plastic, silk, and tortoiseshell. You can, therefore, find a cheap or expensive kanzashi depending on its quality and construction. The different shapes of kanzashi also make them stand out. Some of the popular forms available include the following:

· Hana kanzashi

Squares of silk are used to create this form of kanzashi. The designer utilizes tweezers to come up with different squares and form a single petal. You can wear Hana kanzashi as a pair on either side of your head. A Kushi and some individual flowers can also accompany the Hana kanzashi on the hair. Geisha are known to wear Hana kanzashi each month.

· Bira-Bira

This form consists of metal strips which come with rings on its body. They are designed to move with the movement of the head. You can accentuate this kanzashi with some silk flowers or extra bells.

· Kogai

Tortoiseshell kanzashi are some of the unique pieces that women in Japan like to put on their hair. Kogai is one of the forms of kanzashi that comes in the form of a two-piece. These pieces come in the shape of a sword. Kogai can also be made from other materials such as metals or ceramics.

· Kushi

When attending a formal event, some people also accessorize their hair with the Kushi. This is a comb kanzashi that is either rectangular or rounded. It is made of lacquered wood and contains a wide spine. The design of this piece often extends into its teeth. Alternatively, you can choose flower combs for casual wear.

Final thoughts

When attending a traditional event, you must look the part. Everything, including your hair, should help you express your taste. You can achieve this with the help of kanzashi, which are elegant decorative pieces.