March 8 2014, 3am
Oiran, high-class Japanese courtesan-prostitutes of old, had the most striking hair of anyone in Japan. While normal women or geisha (who were not prostitutes) wore a hairpin or two, oiran would wear a ton, including a few types specific to them.
Here’s a general breakdown of their style, thanks to shop Nagomiya on Rakuten. They sell both a full set and individual pins for costumers and reenactors.
Top left on the graphic: 2 Tama-kanzashi 玉かんざし (also called aka-dama-kan 赤玉かん) - “ball pins” “red ball pins”
Middle left: 2 Toku-dai-yoshi-chou 特大芳丁 - “extra-large perfume stick”
Bottom left: 2 Yoshi-chou 芳丁- “perfume stick”
Top right: 2 Matsu-ba-kanzashi 松葉かんざし - “pine needle hairpin”
Middle right: 3 Muji-kushi 無地櫛 – “plain/unpatterned comb”
Bottom right: 1 Kougai 笄 – “hair stick” (also called nobe-bou のべ棒 / 延べ棒 – “bar”)
Edit: Since the source appears to be getting lost in reblogs, here’s the site you can buy them from.
(I kind of wonder why some of the hairpins were called perfume sticks - that wouldn’t have been literal, would it? That they were made of fragrant wood or something?)
(Oh, and those tama kanzashi might be related to the ones geisha wear?)
All of these hairpins were traditionally made of tortoise shell: like the “pine needle” name, I believe the “perfume stick” one is just poetic.
"Tama kanzashi" is a general name for that type of hair pin, so yes, it’s the same type geisha and normal women wear. :)