The seasons are symbolized by Kanzashi flowers?

We took up a topic about “History of Kanzashi” before <HERE>

But these days, how “Kanzashi” are recognized among people who are not so interested in Japanese traditions?

Do you know that Ninja did usually utilize the small concealed weapons? Apparently, “Kanzashi” were one of these things because it can be hidden in hair. By being manipulated by Ninjas, it would be changed from traditional hair ornaments into the weapons attacking crucial spots of enemies!
They seemed to make Kanzashi solid (looks a needle) for attacking and self-protection, and soaked with poisons to use as a killing tool! (Surely, they are legendary stories though.)

Apart from it, there is the other unexpected cool role of Kanzashi actually in Kyoto.
Apprentice geishas (Maikos) put on a monthly seasonal Kanzashi in order to represent atmosphere of each months. Namely, in Kyoto, the changes of Kanzashi on Apprentice geisha let us know the sense of the season.

Representive examples of seasonal designed Kanzashi are as follows:

January: pine, bamboo and plum
January Kanzashi motif with flowers which awake the atmosphere of traditional Japanese New year’s days.

February: Japanese Apricot107
In February, there is a event called “Obake”. As it, apprentice geishas tend to have exceptional appearances to an exorcism.

March: Canola flowers

April: Sakura(Cherry blossom)
008The light pink colour lets us feel “Japanese spring”

May: Iris


June: Willow, Hydrangea
The color of vivid green would have chemistry with the gloomy weather (rainy season) in a good way.

July: Gion Fes design

August: Japanese pampas grass(Susuki)

September: Chinese bellflowers (Kikyo)

October: chrysamthemum (Kiku)
092The young apprentice geishas put on Kanzashi having a large amount of small chrysamthemum like an alpine meadow.

November: Red leaves (Momizi)
The prettiness of the real apprentice geishas with red leave might deserve amazing scenery of Autumn Kyoto!

December: Mameki
Maneki is a name board appearing on the wall of Minami-Za (Kabuki theater) in Kyoto only in December. It is one of the “winter feather” in Kyoto.

When it comes to the designs with Kanzashi, there are trivial differences between young apprentice geishas and experienced mature apprentice geishas. Newcomers should put on Kanzashi with a lot of hanging leaves, in the meantime, matured apprentice geishas are allowed to have simple ones.

Other than those, there are a varieties of Kanzashi based on the motifs of season.
If you visit central area of Kyoto, why don’t we reckon the smell and sense of season by “head” of Geisha around?
Recently Kanzashi are started to attract considerable attentions not only as a hair ornament but also fashionable items even among young women. Let’s take note it 

We ran the shop handling some exclusive Kanzashi. If you are interest in, please check these out.

Japanese Kimono online shop from Kyoto Japan