Heian period children's hair

Post Reply
User avatar
IG Team
Administration Team
Administration Team
Posts: 3290
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Heian period children's hair

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:13 pm

Tamafue

I'm trying to build up an image of how an aristocratic young girl of 9-11 yrs would have looked in the Heian period.

Children (as well as husbands and marriage) are mentioned briefly if at all by the court diaries of Heian.

I know tooth blackening and nagabakama/trouser colour were indicators of a girl's age (Liza Dalby's Murasaki blackens her teeth at age 18), but does anyone know if the hairstyles of young Heian girls differed from the trailing, uncut tresses of adult women - such as fringes or sidelocks, and at what age young girls would start to pluck and paint their brows?

Or where I can learn about the robes worn by Heian girl children?

User avatar
IG Team
Administration Team
Administration Team
Posts: 3290
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Re: Heian period children's hair

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:13 pm

Kikuyo

Hmmmm.... Children at that time were considered "adult" from a very young age, around 12-14 years old, so I can only assume that in the years up to that they grew their hair out, so as to prepare it for an adult hair style? As for the dressing, maybe the young girls were expected to grow into the robes? I mean, they were still large even on adults, and being court children they were probably not doing any serious physical labor that would require more fitting garment. I'm sorry that I can't offer more factual advice :/

You may find this website helpful. If you click that funny looking "explanation" button above the first photo, it gives a more detailed explanation about the construction and wear of the garments.

User avatar
IG Team
Administration Team
Administration Team
Posts: 3290
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Re: Heian period children's hair

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:14 pm

Fuyou

You should get this version of The Pillow Book. I have it, and the appendixes filled me in on what women, men, and children wore in the Heian period (I actually need to go find my book so I can re-read it). It's not very expensive, it's in most major bookstores, and it's both useful and entertaining :).

Children wore simplified versions of what adults wore. It would have been similar to this, you can also find examples in the Costume Museum. For hair, I remember in The Tale of Genji that adult women actually had side fringes of hair, while little girls didn't. Adult women also plucked their eyebrows, while little girls didn't. But like Kikuyo said, people became adults much earlier back then. The average lifespan of the nobility was only to their mid-thirties, so childhood didn't last very long.

User avatar
IG Team
Administration Team
Administration Team
Posts: 3290
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Re: Heian period children's hair

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:14 pm

Kuronya

I've found only something about coming-of-age cerimony ( genpuku), but maybe it's a good point to start
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genpuku

User avatar
IG Team
Administration Team
Administration Team
Posts: 3290
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Re: Heian period children's hair

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:15 pm

SuperGrouper

There's a shot from Onmoyji with a girl's hair here. (Backed up here in case it gets deleted.)

I think I've seen- in a lot of artistic depictions, etc.- girls' hair tied on both sides with red cords or ribbons. similar to this, but I've seen it on much younger children- like, 8 to 10. Sometimes the ties seem to be tied in basic "shoelace" bows.

User avatar
IG Team
Administration Team
Administration Team
Posts: 3290
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Re: Heian period children's hair

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:15 pm

yumehime

I recalled looking this up once because of an old superstition. boys and girls were all dressed as little girls till coming of age because it was believed that evil spirits wanted to steal the boy children. This would make it easy to find a girls hair style since they all had the same one.

Image

This painting is later then you are looking, after the layers drop down to 2-3, but shows children clearly, and you can see that the bows are tied in the back, a sensible practice if you are trying to keep a small child from taking the bow apart and what will later evolve into the elaborate obi bows of today because of an actor playing a girl who used an exaggerated back bow, making him look smaller in comparison.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mboogiedow ... 464900773/

The style in this photo is also used in the anime version of Prince Genji for Genji's hair style before he comes of age and get's a hair cut. I want to say it's ep one or 2.

I think Super Grouper's photo shows a girl just after coming of age since the robes look so close to adult. My guess would be that like modern kimono, when there is to much cloth, the seams get moved in, then let out as a girl grows. Since it's all running stitch and rectangles, quick reshaping for growth spurts would be no worse then a new garment, but cheaper, and it stands to reason that it would take a while to get all the robes in the right seasonal colors for the layering.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest