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Japanese Hairstyles

Hair styles are closely linked to Japanese Culture. When donning a kimono, spending enormous amounts of money on fixing the hair is not unheard of. In Sumo, the wrestler's hairstyle expresses his ranking. Let's take a look at some words relating to hairstyles.

hageoichouchonmagebouzumeririokabbamohikan kattobenpatsu


hage はげ Hage - Bald
  • We'll start with the simplest hair style -- none at all!
  • This can also be seen as an insult, so be careful!

jissai, hage te iru no wa suzushii desu.
Actually, being bald is very cool (temperature)!

実際 jisai - actually...        
はげ hage - bald        
でいる de iru - being bald
涼しい suzushii - cool; refreshing

oichou 大いちょう o-ichou - High Ranking Sumo's Doo
  • A ichou is a Gingko tree. Evidently the Gingko tree's leaf is shaped like the Sumo's topknot. (or the other way around)
  • The o means 'great' or 'big.'

( 理髪店で ) 私の夢はお相撲さんになることですので 大いちょう にしましょう。
(rihatsuten de) watashi no yume wa o-sumou-san ni naru koto desu node
o-ichou ni shimashou.

(At a barber shop) My dream is to be a Sumo wrestler, so please give me a Sumo-doo.

理髪店 rihatsuten - barber shop        
de - at        
私の watashi no - my (NO is possessive)        
yume - dream (both sleeping dream and future dream)        
wa - topic marker, particle        
お相撲さん o-sumou-san - polite 'nickname' for a Sumo wrestler        
になる ni naru - become        
こと koto - thing (in this case, the whole idea of having a dream of becoming a Sumo wrestler)        
ので node - because        
おおいちょうにしましょう o-ichou ni shimashou - to do a o-ichou (to go for that hairstyle)

chonmage ちょんまげ chonmage - Topknot
  • During the Edo Period this was the hairstyle of choice among the samurai. I have heard this style was chosen to make wearing a helmet easier.

sessha no chonmage wa totemo kakkoii de gozairu.
(Using Samurai style words) My chonmage is very cool (styling).

拙者 sessha - I (Samurai word - you will notice that Japanese has many, many personal pronouns.  This really flavors the language. 
no - possessive marker (sessha no = my)        
とても totemo - very        
かっこい kakkoi - cool, styling        
でございる de gozairu - another samurai-like word that means 'desu' (to be)

bouzumeriri ぼうず bouzu - Close-cropped Hair
  • A common cut for school boys in the more traditional schools.
  • In English is this called a 'buzz-cut'? I am not sure, but the sounds are very similar
okappa おかっぱ okappa - Bobbed Hairstyle
  • And this is the common cut for school girls
mohikan katto モヒカン カット mohikan katto - A Mohawk
  • I don't see too many of these here in Fukui-ken, but maybe in Tokyo...
  • Needless-to-say, this isn't a traditional Japanese style cut

    EXAMPLE: 校長先生は急にオレンジのモヒカンカットで学校に現れました。
kouchou-sensei wa kyuuni orenji no mohikan katto de gakkou ni arawaremashita.
The principal suddenly appeared at school with an orange Mohawk.

校長先生 kouchou-sensei - principal        
急に kyuuni - suddenly,        
オレンジ orenji - orange color        
no - possessive (orange's mohawk)        
モヒカンカット mohikan katto - mohawk        
de - with (a mohawk)        
学校 gakkou - school        
ni - at (school)        
現れました arawaremashita - past tense of arawareru (to appear; to come into sight)

benpatsu べんぱつ benpatsu - Chinese Style Pigtail

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