Fashion accessories will have you ready to turn heads, defeat foes.
Back in Japan’s feudal Sengoku and Edo periods, elegant ladies followed the somewhat contradictory norm of growing their hair long but customarily wearing it up. This meant that a fashionable woman needed a selection of hairpins, or kanzashi, as they’re called in Japanese, around which to style her hair.
Nowadays, convenient clips, scrunchies, and barrettes are all more common hair accessories than the more labor-intensive kanzashi. One notable exception, though, is when women dress in kimono, especially the lightweight summer version called a yukata that’s often worn at summer festivals and fireworks show. Traditional garb paired with traditional hairstyling makes for a striking combination, and for those looking for something that’ll stand out even in the kanzashi realm, accessory maker Wargo Nippon has three designs based on weaponry of the samurai era.
Obviously, a sword is part of the arsenal. For 13,176 yen (US$120), this brass katana comes with chrysanthemums (the symbol of Japan’s imperial family) made of silver adorning the scabbard.
If edged weapons aren’t your thing, you can instead opt for a 6,048-yen jitte kanzashi, styled after the pronged instruments Japan’s law enforcement officers used to catch and snap the blades of lawbreaker’ swords. Made of brass coated in gold or rhodium, the jitte is decorated with rayon tassels and a replica lantern letting the townspeople know that you’re on patrol.
Finally, even if you’re the sort of cultured type who eschews melee combat altogether, for 9,612 yen, this matchlock rifle kanzashi could be yours.
Believe it or not, the butterfly-shaped charm dangling from the butt of the rifle isn’t just an attempt to show that this is a firearm (but for girls!). It’s actually a reference to the historical figure Nohime, wife of samurai warlord Oda Nobunaga, one of the first military commanders in Japan to make effective use of rifles. Nohime was also known as Kicho, written with kanji characters meaning “returning butterfly,” and so the gold-coated silver butterfly seen here is in her honor.
▼ The Oda clan’s floral crest is also part of the hairpin’s design.
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