Here we offer an very lovely Kanzashi set with a beautiful design of birds. flowing streams and maple leaves. It is quite detailed in its design - more so than most. The Kogai (hair stick) is 6" long and the ends are 1/2" square - - the Kushi (comb) is 3 3/8" long by 1 1/2" high at the middle by 1/4" thick at the top. They are both in excellent condition - the Kushis has one tiny frit at the bottom of one end - the frit can be seen in photo number 6. We date the set to the late Edo to early Meiji period, circa 1850-1890.
Kanzashi (簪?) are hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Kanzashi came into wide use during the Edo period, when hairstyles became larger and more complicated, using a larger number of ornaments. Artisans began to produce more finely crafted products, including some hair ornaments that could be used as defensive weapons. During the latter part of the Edo period, the craftsmanship of kanzashi reached a high point, with many styles and designs being created.
Kogai - A two piece kanzashi made of Bekko (tortoiseshell or artificial) or other materials such as ceramics or metals that feature a design on each end. Kogai means sword and refers to the shape of two pieces make up this kanzashi (a sword and its sheath). They are often sold as a set with an accompanying kushi comb. Kushi are comb kanzashi. These are usually rounded or rectangular combs made of tortoiseshell or lacquered wood that are often inlaid with mother of pearl or gilding and placed into a mage (bun-style hairdo). The spine of the comb is often wide in order to allow maximum space for a design, and in many cases, the design will extend into the teeth.