Oharame (大原女)

Oharame refers to the women who came from Ohara, Yamashiro Province (Kyoto City) (Ohara, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture) to sell firewood in the capital Kyoto by placing the firewood on their heads. Oharame is a kind of hisame (a woman peddler).

Originally, oharame sold charcoals (this we know from the "Honchomudaishi" (a collection of Chinese poems)). This is because the land of Ohara was a production area for charcoals. However, after the Kamakura period, Onosato, Yamashiro Province, became famous for producing charcoals near Kyoto. Ohara became known for its firewood, and thus oharame came to peddle firewood.

As a custom, oharame did the hair in Shimada-mage (a Japanese hairstyle with a knot for a woman in olden times) style and covered it with tenugui cotton towel, placed firewood on the head, had Ohaguro teeth (black painted teeth), and wore dark-blue Tsutsusode (kimono with tubular style of sleeve) with white habaki (cloth to wrap around one's shins), along with zori (Japanese footwear sandals) having double-cloth straps.

Since oharame is well known as fubutsushi (a poetic expression for certain events or things) of Kyoto, it is mentioned in works of contests of craftspeople in the medieval period such as ''Tohokuin Shokunin Zukushi Uta-awase" (Poetry Contest of Craftspeople of Tohokuin Temple)' and "Shichiju-ichi-ban Shokunin Uta-awase" (Poetory Contest Among People of Various Occupations in Seventy-one Rounds), and it also appears in Kyogen (farce played during a Noh cycle) and dance performances.

[Original Japanese]