Fukiwa (吹輪)

Fukiwa is a mage (chignon) which was tied on the head of Himegimi (daughter of a person of high rank) of a samurai since the early Edo period.

As it resembles Katsuyama mage (a hair style with combs and pins) in its rounded ending, some people say that it is the original of Katsuyama mage.

The himegimis of samurais wore Fukiwa while court ladies normally wore a flat mage called tabo (a part of hair extended backward from the back of the head) no tsubuichi (apprentice court lady's hair style) and participated in big events wearing the osuberakashi (a traditional coiffure for Shinto priestesses, with the hair gathered so as to hang down from the back of the head).

Also, the mage called 'Katsuyama' which is worn by Maiko (Japanese dancing girls in and around Kyoto) during the fixed period (around July 10 to 24) of Gion Festival is almost in the same shape as this 'fukiwa' except the absence of loose hair.


The hair style itself is the same as that of Katsuyama mage with the widened ring except the tussocks of loose hair purposely hung right and left and called 'aikyo ke' (winsome hair), but its characteristics are a wide variety of hair ornamentations with a flavor of Mankanshoku (be fully dressed; be dressed overall) and their varietyand gorgeousness..

A metal kanzashi (an ornamental hairpin) with elaborate workmanship called 'ryoten kanzashi' was inserted into the mage, and an ornament shaped like a musical instrument called 'Tsuzumi' (hand drum) was put inside the mage to be combined for forming a shape (this may not be used) and red nishiki (brocade) was attached at the base.

Attached to maegami (cornered forelocks) are somegami (dyed paper) containing gold leaf, etc., a kanzashi, which hangs tiny metal pieces with chains, called birabira-kanzasi (kanzashi with ornament hanging) on the both sides, and a hair ornament decorated with large metal artificial flowers called 'hime-sashi' which princesses wear in dramas.

However, it is said that the gorgeous decoration and 'loose hair' are arrangements for plays and dramas, and actual ladies of samurai families were modest, wearing only silverwork/tortoiseshell work combs and Kogai (one of hair ornaments for women in the Edo period).

Even today a role of princess in a period drama, Kabuki and Jidai Gyoretsu (a procession of people in historical costumes) in a festival wears a fukiwa wig and so we can see something which is comparatively close to the real one.

[Original Japanese]