Various maiko kanzashi for special occasions


Kanzashi decorates a maiko’s traditionally-Japanese hairstyle. They always put on a hana kanzashi which uses seasonal flowers from January to December as a motif. The type of kanzashi to be worn by maiko is designated monthly. For example, in January, they wear a hana kanzashi with “rice stalk” as a motif; this means that they “will hang low like rice stalk and be modest for the year to come”. In February, they wear a kanzashi with “plum blossoms” as a motif, the first flower to bloom in spring in Japan. And in March, a beautiful “field mustard” motif is used…there are symbols used for each season, and it is said that people walking on hanamachi can feel the change of the season by looking at kanzashi worn by maiko.

However, there are kanzashi worn on special occasions too; they are so beautiful and exquisite that we cannot help introducing them to you in this article!


Tsuru (crane) kanzashi


One look and you can tell how delicate this tsuru kanzashi is. This hairstyle is only worn by girls who are changing their status from maiko to geiko, and only during 10 to 14 days. Since the hairstyle is different from usual maikos’, the kanzashi to be worn is special too.


A kanzashi decorated only with a crane motif is different from other kanzashi yet gorgeous! The hairstyle is only allowed for girls who are transforming from maiko (under training) to geiko. It makes them look a bit more mature compared to usual hana kanzashi.


The maiko in the above picture wears the special hairstyle for those who change their status from maiko to geiko and wears a tsuru kanzashi too.

The maiko in this picture has a kanzashi, which looks like a crane flying on a pine tree, on. It makes her look calm and mature.

You can tell how different kanzashi for geiko and those for maiko are! The girls who are becoming geiko wear simple and mature kanzshi.

Click here to see the kanzashi for maiko.



Sho chiku bai (pine, bamboo and plum) ni tsuru (crane)


The maiko in this picture is wearing her hair the maiko way (before she becomes a geiko), and on her kanzashi, you can see “pine, bamboo, plum and crane on a ship”.


The ship is made by small-folded cloth, and inside it, you can see pine, bamboo and plum. On them, cranes made by cloth are flying elegantly. Pine, bamboo and plum are the auspicious symbols in Japan, and cranes are also worshipped as the sign for longevity. The ship filled with auspicious symbols can be called a treasure ship. This kanzashi is only worn on special occasions!  


Uchide no kozuchi (mallet of luck)


This is a rare kanzashi of uchide no kozuchi. You can see a golden mallet on pine leaves. This hairstyle is worn by maiko who just started her apprenticeship. The kanzashi itself is small, and the kanoko (red) part is big; this shows that a maiko is young.


This kanzashi is very rare and must be very special! A big golden kozuchi (mallet) stands out on a small face of a maiko.


Cho cho (butterflies)


The kanzashi worn by a maiko in this picture is very small! She does not wear her usual maiko makeup and looks very natural. This is a maiko’s “karage sugata (everyday clothes)” look, and when she doesn’t wear her maiko makeup and kimono, she wears a small and lovely kanzashi instead of a gorgeous one often seen on maiko in formal clothes.

Butterflies made by folded pink, red and blue cloths are very cute! It is probably worn in spring.

The kanzashi worn by the maiko in the picture above uses butterflies as a motif too. But this is not a tsumami zaiku (folded cloth) kanzashi; it is made of stones.


This is a photo of a maiko in karage sugata (everyday clothes). She wears a snowflake kanzashi, which means that the season when the photo was taken must have been winter.

This kanzashi is not “tsumami zaiku (folded cloth)” but made of shiny crystals. The seasonal motif is beautifully recreated, and this lovely kanzashi makes the elegance of a maiko stand out!


Before you go…

Did you enjoy looking at various kanzashi for maiko?  

There are many kanzashi worn on special occasions and kanzashi for karage sugata (everyday clothes), other than seasonal kanzashi. And each and every one of them is a traditional craft of Kyoto; these are made by shops which have been making kanzashi for geisha since old times.


Why not wear a kanzashi for maiko in Kyoto yourself? You can purchase kanzashi made by the shop which makes kanzashi for maiko from here!!

→Click here to see the kanzashi page