What are Those Dots?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
Post Reply
dballred
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu 06.23.2005 6:42 pm
Contact:

What are Those Dots?

Post by dballred » Sun 06.26.2005 1:56 pm

On old Heian-period woodcuts, females have what appear to be dots over their eyes--like tiny eyebrows. Does anybody know what they are called and whet their significance is?

User avatar
Mukade
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri 02.18.2005 3:30 am
Native language: English
Gender: Male
Location: Osaka

RE: What are Those Dots?

Post by Mukade » Mon 06.27.2005 12:10 am

They are eyebrows.

Fashion in the Heian period had women plucking out their eyebrows and repainting them back on in a higher position. They would also blacken their teeth. The overall effect is quite hideous if you see it on a real person, but it was considered extremely chic at that time.

Of course, it was only the upper crust that engaged in these practices. Ordinary peasants wouldn't do these sorts of things. Because of this, if a court woman didn't blacken her teeth or pluck her eyebrows, she would be considered a hick by her peers.

I seem to remember Sei Shonagon in her Pillow Book writing about a few court ladies from the countryside who didn't blacken their teeth. Shonagon referred to their white teeth as disgusting and low class.

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

dballred
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu 06.23.2005 6:42 pm
Contact:

RE: What are Those Dots?

Post by dballred » Mon 06.27.2005 7:25 pm

Mukade wrote:
They are eyebrows.

Fashion in the Heian period had women plucking out their eyebrows and repainting them back on in a higher position. They would also blacken their teeth. The overall effect is quite hideous if you see it on a real person, but it was considered extremely chic at that time.

Of course, it was only the upper crust that engaged in these practices. Ordinary peasants wouldn't do these sorts of things. Because of this, if a court woman didn't blacken her teeth or pluck her eyebrows, she would be considered a hick by her peers.

I seem to remember Sei Shonagon in her Pillow Book writing about a few court ladies from the countryside who didn't blacken their teeth. Shonagon referred to their white teeth as disgusting and low class.

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
Thanks for the information! Hideous appearance among Japanese females must come and go occasionally--like that black-face "ganguro" style that made a brief appearance about five years ago.
Image
Last edited by dballred on Mon 06.27.2005 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Spaztick
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue 01.25.2005 7:04 pm
Contact:

RE: What are Those Dots?

Post by Spaztick » Tue 06.28.2005 10:37 pm

ゴシークはかっこいよいよ!ね!。。。ね?
XD At this sig.
Number of people that have: 13
SaiaiKenja
Daisuke
Kodi
dreamingxashley
redfoxer
ben
Elumi
LordDisa
Kates
AaRoN
Rezeyu
Hideiko_san
roosh
ParanoiaK3

Post Reply