Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday Photo (a bit late): Sakkou Kanzashi

Folks who follow the maiko world got a couple of eyefuls of this kanzashi back in late 2009-early 2010, since this was the kanzashi worn by several of the maiko who debuted as geiko during that time -- including the famous Kikuyu and my personal favorite, Mamechiho.

For folks who don't follow the maiko and geiko world, sakkou is a special hairstyle worn by young maiko in the weeks leading up to their change from maiko to full geiko (geisha). Maiko typically wear kanzashi that vary according to season, with a new kanzashi set each month. But with sakkou they typically wear special kanzashi that aren't in a particularly seasonal design. Many sakkou kanzashi feature one or more cranes.

This particular kanzashi was on sale at Kazurasei when I went to Kyoto with my parents in December 2009. I had seen pictures of Kikuyu and Mamechiho wearing it and really wanted to get a look at one up close, maybe even buy one...and I did! The lady in the shop that day was pretty surprised that I recognized the kanzashi and knew the names of some of the people who had worn that style. Sadly, this particular kanzashi never got worn by a maiko, but it is still one of the style in use that year. I don't suppose anyone knows the name of any other maiko who wore this style?


  1. Wow, this is really gorgeous! I've been looking for a kanzashi like this for my sakkou katsura, but sadly, no luck it seems. I don't think Ikuokaya carries it...and I seem to for some reason be unable to navigate Kazurasei's website (which is really gorgeous design-wise, but as I cannot read Japanese, not very helpful when it comes to naviagting lol) Ah well, at least I get to admire yours! :)

  2. There may be some kind of division of labor when it comes to special kanzashi in the districts. I had a friend once who asked me to go looking for the green bead kanzashi the Gion Kobu maiko wear when they're under 18, and Kazurasei doesn't have it...but Ikuokaya does (incidentally, it's a special-order item). Likewise I have never seen evidence that any shop other than Ikuokaya carries tayuu items, though I suppose the other shops could just be keeping them all in the back. On the flip side, I have only ever seen the sakkou kanzashi for sale at Kazurasei. But it could be that I didn't notice them at the other places because I wasn't looking. It wouldn't hurt to drop a line to Ikuokaya and ask if they ever sell them. Not all of the girls making their erikae at a particular time wear the same sakkou kanzashi so it's possible they don't all get them from Kazurasei. I've noticed that Ikuokaya doesn't list their tayuu kanzashi on their website either, but they definitely sell those :p