Hachimaki – Traditional Japanese headbands

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Do you know Japanese bandanas? In this article, we are going to talk about hachimaki [鉢巻]. Chances are, you've seen in a movie or anime a person tying a long white and red cloth around their head.

The word hachimaki literally means "to wrap around the head". It is usually made of white and red fabric, can be considered a bandana or headband, and is used in Japan for a variety of reasons and reasons.

The word hachi It can also mean “container”, perhaps because of the old barrels made entirely of braided bamboo, whose rim it held was called a hachimaki. Hachi it is also the name of the famous dog and means lucky number.

Situations when using a Hachimaki

The hachimaki can symbolize perseverance, effort and courage. They are used on many occasions as traditional events in the country, sports fans, students and even by women who give birth in order to increase motivation and show determination.

Here is a list of situations in which a motivational Japanese bandana is used:

  • Cultural Festivals;
  • Sports and friendly competitions;
  • During childbirth;
  • Used by motorcycle gangs bosozoku;
  • Used in pre-university courses;
  • Used by office workers;
  • Used by sports practitioners;
  • Unionists during political campaigns;
  • Used to strengthen the spirit;
  • Used at decisive moments;
  • Used to get courage and perseverance;
  • Used by fighters Karate and other martial arts;
Hachimaki - the traditional Japanese bandanas

THE Origin of Hachimaki

The origin of hachimaki is somewhat uncertain. One theory links to religious ascetics in Japan. Others say that the emergence was in the time of the samurai. For those put the cloth on the head because of the heavy helmets.

The cloth would have protected many users, as the helmet held on to the head, absorbed sweat and prevented hair from getting in the eyes. Others link the emergence of the hachimaki to the first religious mentors in Japan.

Hachimaki - the traditional Japanese bandanas

Regardless of origin, the hachimaki ended up becoming a Japanese symbol. An interesting fact is that at the time of the Second World War, kamikaze pilots wore this cloth on their heads written seven lives or hisshou [必勝] which means certain victory.

During all battles, they wore the hachimaki, as a symbol of war spirit. It was also used as protection, as the helmet used by them was uncomfortable and even hurt when used directly on the head.

Because of the war the bandana ended up gaining worldwide fame. The samurai also wore the bandana for the same reason, in addition to comfort, it may be able to suck sweat. Bandanas can also be found with other writings.

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The Hachimaki Used Today

These bands are also often used twisted (nejirihachimaki) or tied with a knot at the front (mukouhachimaki) that are often used by sushimen, carpenters, fishmongers and other professions. The purpose of this use is also to show confidence in the activity performed.

Hachimaki - the traditional Japanese bandanas

Today, hachimaki is mainly used by athletes and people who exercise, to absorb sweat. In movies and in Western POP culture the bandana is used a little out of context.

For it is generally used and related to people who practice martial arts. Even though many of these fighters use the hachimaki, they are far from the only ones to use.

Anything can be written or drawn on the hachimaki. But, there are typical phrases and slogans, always associated with something motivational. Some of these bandanas can completely cover the head (kengakafuri).

It is also very common to have drawn the red circle of the japanese flag. Always demonstrating the effort that the user demonstrates and nationalist or sporting pride.

Have you ever seen these bandanas somewhere? Did you know they had that name? I hope you enjoyed this little article. We appreciate the comments and shares.

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