Kanzashi are hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Kanzashi came into wide use during the Edo period when hairstyles became larger and more complicated, using a larger number of ornaments. Artisans began to produce more finely crafted products.
During the latter part of the Edo period, the craftsmanship reached a high point. Many different styles and designs were created. The most common use today is at Shinto weddings and use by maiko (apprentice geisha). The way in which a geisha wears it indicates her status immediately to an informed audience.
Kogai – A two piece kanzashi made of Bekko (tortoiseshell or artificial) or other materials such as ceramics or metals. They feature a design on each end. Kogai means sword and refers to the shape of two pieces (a sword and its sheath). They are often sold as a set with an accompanying kushi comb.
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