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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

THE DOOS: FOR SOUND FILES CLICK ON THE FACE!

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!

EXAMPLE:
実際、はげているのは涼しいです。
jissai, hage te iru no wa suzushii desu.
Actually, being bald is very cool (temperature)!

WORDS:
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.’

EXAMPLE:
( 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.

WORDS:
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.

EXAMPLE:
拙者のちょんまげはとてもかっこいいでございる。
sessha no chonmage wa totemo kakkoii de gozairu.
(Using Samurai style words) My chonmage is very cool (styling).

WORDS:
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.

WORDS:
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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