01 June 2014

Kanzashi month

Today I’m starting a month of posts that are dedicated to the beautiful art of kanzashi – Japanese hair ornaments. As you can see from the photos I took on my two visits to Kyoto, maiko and geiko wear many different forms of kanzashi, and they change depending on the month of the year. Most of these photos were taken in November, when the kanzashi are based on autumn leaves in shades of yellow and red, but you can also see some kanzashi from May, when they are based on flag irises and trailing purple wisteria.

There are many different types of kanzashi, including:
Bira-bira: dangling metal strips

Ogi: fan shaped on a long pin with dangling metal strips
Kogai: a long rod
Kushi: comb
Tama: stick with a red or green bead, depending on the time of year
Kanoko dome: jewelled shape that sits at the middle of the mage (bun)
Tsumami kanzashi (or hana kanzashi): flowers made of folded fabric
Kanoko: ribbon woven through the mage (bun)
Chirimen tegarami: triangular shape pinned to bottom of mage (bun)

As the month goes on, I'll be telling you a bit more about kanzashi, showing you my collection, and giving you a few tutorials on how you can make some of your own. 

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