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Japanese Hairstyles

Japanese Hairstyles.jpg The shimada and ‘rounded chignon.’ThumbnailsThe reformed dressThe shimada and ‘rounded chignon.’ThumbnailsThe reformed dress

Troublesome as was the man’s queue in the old days, it was a trifle compared with the woman’s coiffure. In the early days of the present regime when men began to cut their hair, many women followed suit and cropped theirs as short. The government, however, interfered and prohibited the cutting of the hair by women other than widows and grandames with whom it was a time-honoured custom. In 1887 when the pro-European craze was at its height, many women tied their hair in European style; but it was subsequently abandoned by those who found that by tying the hair in this manner, they spoilt it for the Japanese coiffure; for having been accustomed to oil it well for their native style, they discovered that the hair, when bound without any pomade, became very brittle and snapped short. Still, the European style is now largely adopted because it does not require expert assistance and the services of the professional hair-dresser can be dispensed with. Various styles are in vogue. Soon after the fall of Port Arthur in 1905, a high knot came into fashion under the formidable title of “203-metre hill knot,” in celebration of the capture of that famous hill which was practically the key to the great fortress. The favourite at present with our women is a low pompadour known as the “penthouse style.” But though the European way of dressing the hair has become very popular, it is not likely so long as the kimono remains unchanged that the Japanese coiffure, awkward as it is compared with the European, will be entirely superseded by the other.

Home Life in Tokyo
Author: Jukichi Inouye
Published: 1910
Available from gutenberg.org