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Kansashi or Kanzashi - The Deadly Hairpin of the Samurai

Another of the multi-purpose weapons used in feudal Japan was the kansashi. Again, like many other Japanese weapons, the kansashi (kanzashi) or long hairpin could be used as an everyday tool and, in times of danger, as a deadly weapon!

Used mainly by the women of the Samurai families, the kansashi was a long pin, about 6 inches in length that was easily concealed in its entirety in a woman's long hair. This pin, as a hair accessory, helped women keep their long hair up, to suit a style of dressing employed on formal occasions.

As a means of protection from assault, either in times of war or from street thugs, women were trained to use the kansashi as a weapon. The long, sharp pin could be easily and swiftly removed her bundle of hair and employed to pierce an enemy's throat or other vital organ in an emergency.


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Other women in other societies have also used the hairpin as a protective device. The hairpin allows its wearer to be armed during occassions when more recognized weapons would not be permitted. And given an element of surprise and a moment to act, the kansashi could be effective. Sometimes elaborately ornamental, hairpins such as the kansashi might have simple beads or jewels attached to the top end, or enamaled tops, but, rest assured, they were always kept sharp enough to pierce clothing and skin.

In Japan today, the kansashi or more usually spelled kanzashi refers to any traditional hair ornament that would adorn a woman's hair while wearing a Kimono.

While more typically used by women, a samurai with long hair might also employ the kansashi to hold his hair in place, at times. A warrior who is prepared provides another possibility of survival...

About the Author:  Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: Sherlock Holmes Pastiches, Gardening, and Path To God Blog.


Samurai Kansashi Related Items For Sale

Japanese Handmade silver-tone "Sensu" Fan Kanzashi Wood Stick Hair Accessories
Posted on Wednesday March 01, 2017

$13.95
End Date: Tuesday May-30-2017 22:29:35 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.95
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Japanese Handcraft Silk Fabric Tsumami Kanzashi Gesha Hair Accessory/Prong 79
Posted on Wednesday October 29, 2014

$19.95
End Date: Thursday Jun-15-2017 9:53:08 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.95
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Japanese Handmade Gold-tone "Sensu" Fan Kanzashi Wood Stick Hair Accessories
Posted on Friday October 23, 2015

$12.50
End Date: Wednesday Jun-14-2017 20:39:35 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12.50
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Japanese Kanzashi Hair Stick, Blue Tensha Bead w/ Dangle Design Hair Accessory
Posted on Monday December 12, 2016

$17.50
End Date: Saturday Jun-10-2017 16:40:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $17.50
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Japanese Kanzashi Hair Stick w/ Black Beads Dangle Design Ornament
Posted on Sunday March 05, 2017

$15.50
End Date: Saturday Jun-3-2017 21:55:25 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.50
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Japanese Hair Ornament Kanzashi Red Ball Stick Golden Chrysanthemum Flower
Posted on Wednesday May 03, 2017

$23.50
End Date: Friday Jun-2-2017 20:13:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $23.50
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Japanese KANZASHI Opaque Plastic 4" Hair Comb w/ GOLD & BROWN PEONY FLOWER Lqqk
Posted on Friday May 19, 2017

$14.99
End Date: Sunday Jun-18-2017 7:41:39 PDT
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Asian hair pin kanzashi Japanese hair pin
Posted on Sunday May 21, 2017

$5.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday May-28-2017 19:42:26 PDT
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Japanese Kanzashi Hair Stick w/ Pink Tassel & Tensha Bead Design Hair Accessory
Posted on Friday May 05, 2017

$15.50
End Date: Sunday Jun-4-2017 20:08:56 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.50
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Japanese Geisha Hand Made Tsumami Kanzashi Pink Flower Hair Ornament/ Pink/ 095
Posted on Thursday December 17, 2015

$35.50
End Date: Friday Jun-9-2017 10:52:17 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $35.50
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Japanese Kanzashi Hair Clip With Rhinestone/ Chain Design Accessories
Posted on Sunday December 11, 2016

$17.50
End Date: Friday Jun-9-2017 21:05:35 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $17.50
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Japanese Kanzashi Hair Stick Green Bead w/ Flower Design Hair Accessory
Posted on Friday December 16, 2016

$15.50
End Date: Wednesday Jun-14-2017 22:58:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.50
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GAISHA's Antique "Kanzashi" Head w/Ume & SAMURAI's R680
Posted on Thursday October 14, 2010

$48.00
End Date: Friday Jun-9-2017 5:41:52 PDT
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FREE SHIPPING! Antiques Kushi Inro Kanzashi Kimono Samurai Accessory Tool Book
Posted on Wednesday January 28, 2015

$38.00
End Date: Friday Jun-16-2017 2:35:37 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $38.00
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News About Japanese Hair Ornaments

samuri weapons

4300+ exhibitors: World's largest Gifts & Premium Fair opens in Hong Kong - eTurboNews
Posted on Thursday April 27, 2017


eTurboNews

4300+ exhibitors: World's largest Gifts & Premium Fair opens in Hong Kong
eTurboNews
To help buyers easily locate items, various product zones are set up including those for Corporate Gifts, Green Gifts, Tech Gifts, Luggage & Travel Goods, Figurines & Decorations, and this year's new additions, Licensed Gifts and Hair Ornament ...

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Tales from the driver's seat of a 1983 Toyota in the Detroit Gambler 500 - MLive.com
Posted on Wednesday May 03, 2017


MLive.com

Tales from the driver's seat of a 1983 Toyota in the Detroit Gambler 500
MLive.com
We reversed on the dirt two-tracks of an off-road vehicle trail in a northern Michigan forest, needing speed to conquer the bog in our 34-year-old, four-cylinder Japanese car designed for sensible commuting. ... aircraft complete with wings attached ...

The Top 15 Things to Do This Week - Seattle Weekly
Posted on Wednesday May 10, 2017


Seattle Weekly

The Top 15 Things to Do This Week
Seattle Weekly
Acid Mothers Temple It's almost comical how much music this Japanese group puts out. ... During a pizza lunch, your morning trash haul will be judged for a chance to win these fabulous awards: Most Romantic; Most Fashionable; Best Mother's Day Gift ...

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Geisha Culture in Kyoto, Japan: An Inside Look - Vogue.com
Posted on Tuesday March 21, 2017


Vogue.com

Geisha Culture in Kyoto, Japan: An Inside Look
Vogue.com
Her impressively symmetrical hair, which is done every week and takes about two hours to do, is adorned with a number of pins and an elaborate floral ornament known as hana kanzashi (another sign of her first year in training), while the back of her ...

Transform your hairdo in the name of the moon with these Sailor Moon kanzashi! - RocketNews24
Posted on Wednesday July 27, 2016


RocketNews24

Transform your hairdo in the name of the moon with these Sailor Moon kanzashi!
RocketNews24
Attending such events while dressed in a yukata is a popular way to experience Japan's unique summer conventions, enjoyed by both locals and tourists. And if you're looking for the perfect complement to your yukata, you need look no further than Wargo ...

The History Of Hair Accessories, Summed Up With The 7 Most Important Moments - Bustle
Posted on Wednesday June 24, 2015


Bustle

The History Of Hair Accessories, Summed Up With The 7 Most Important Moments
Bustle
For just about as long as the human race has had hair, we've been coming up with accessories to adorn it with. The history of hair accessories spans a diverse range of styles on both women and men, from bobby pins to brightly colored beads and ...

Japanese kimono gets a modern makeover - Prothom Alo (English)
Posted on Sunday June 19, 2016


Prothom Alo (English)

Japanese kimono gets a modern makeover
Prothom Alo (English)
... prompted Park to come up with contemporary designs that could be worn in daily life, leaving aside what constitutes the paraphernalia accompanying the kimono, even the simplest version of which includes two types of undergarments and a hair ornament.

and more »

Modern Japan'skansashi or kanzashi - Hair Ornaments

Thriftycrafts: How to make Kanzashi Japanese flower

Use left over mesh, fabric or any materials from a wedding party and make kanzashi flowers! Cut 2 or 3 sets of squares (any preferred size) and second and th...



These are the modern Tsumami Kanzashi for anybody to be able to wear, even when you are not wearing a Kimono.

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