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 Post subject: Hair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:13 pm 
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Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:11 am
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**I'm sorry if I'm posting all these weird topics, okamisan... :cry: Please dont ban me!!!**

Okay.  

Did geisha shave?  Like, their legs, arm pits, etc?  Now I'm sure they do, since they're so influenced by Western standards of beauty.  But for the geisha of old, did they remove their hair as often as women in the west?  Or was it not uncommon to be checking out a geisha, and then when her kimono comes up, "Look at those hairy legs!  I think it's hairy than mine!!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:55 pm 
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Geiko-san
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We do know that Japanese women of the court classes shaved or plucked  their natural eyebrows completely out and painted in new ones higher on their foreheads. This practice goes back at least as far as the Heian period.
http://noh-mask.up.seesaa.net/image/1016.JPG shows this effect on a traditional Noh mask.

In Japanese erotic art, pubic hair is considered normal, healthy and worth looking at - it is not only shown prominently but is exaggerated in its depiction on both male and female figures. None of the men ever appear to have chest hair and my admittedly limited search did not turn up any armpit hair for the simple fact that figures are either partially clothed or their arms are around each other. I am not going to post examples here as there are minors on the board.

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=122411
discusses some hair removal customs in a variety of cultures.

http://beauty.about.com/gi/dynamic/offs ... meline.htm
hints that the craze for shaving in the US was a clever ploy by a razor manufacturer around 1915.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:03 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Thanks for the link Kugepoet.  That was a very intereting read on the history of shaving.

And the reason most people are depicted hairless?

Japanese people arent very hairy.  My mother has only one hair on her leg, and I think it died from lonliness.  :dead serious:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:18 pm 
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Geiko-san
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Quote:
Japanese people arent very hairy.


I tended to think that might be the case, but didn't have enough documentary information to go on.  :D

I will, however, remark that body or facial hair which has not been shaved is not as objectionably bristly as that which has. I used to dread when my old boyfriend would trim his beard and moustache. Sure, it looked much neater, but until the cut edges of the hair softened back up again it was like kissing a wire brush.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:26 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:52 am
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Location: The Satellite of Love
Oddly enough, this crossed my mind over the past week....

I tried a little experiment this winter, since I've managed to stay single the whole season....I haven't shaved my legs. Now, my typical everyday dress is either jeans or long skirts, so no one would be the wiser, except maybe my parents, who I live with. And I *did* get a few interesting comments from them...mostly "don't you have the money to buy a razor? If you don't *I* will buy you one so you can shave those ugly legs!" And I did on Friday, after not shaving since New Year's Eve. (I kept having dreams of wonderful men coming to call on me and catching my hair legs :P )

I know the only reason it made me feel uncomfortable was because I've been conditioned to see body hair as "unpleasent". It would be interesting to know if Geisha held that belief too. Not that you really see legs (or armpits) in your standard kitsuke. So it's not like it would even be seen except for when they bathed...or maybe at night, though I'm unsure of what they wore for night clothes. MOAG mentions a "sleeping robe", but does anyone knwo the length?

Anyways...to the OP...I don't think it's a gross topic, I think it's quite interesting! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:13 am 
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Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:11 am
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Location: Hawaii
kugepoet wrote:
Quote:
Japanese people arent very hairy.


I tended to think that might be the case, but didn't have enough documentary information to go on. Â :D



Actually, Okinawins are really hairy.  Where I live, we have a Okinawans, and a local joke goes as follows:

Why do Okinawans wear a gold chain?
So they know where to stop shaving!

Just an interesting tidbit.  


And thanks WhimsicalGypsy.  I know I'm not alone in this world.  It is interesting to note that hair growth on the legs (or anywhere really) is permissible to a certain extent for men, whereas women must shave every bit of hair from their skin except for their head.  How strange the double standard goes!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:54 am 
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First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)
First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)

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I can't speak for geisha, but I have seen women shaving their faces in the onsen. Yes, their faces, with little straight razors. They often shave their eyebrows too, and draw in new ones (that way they control the shape completely). Boys often shave off lots of their eyebrows too (at least, among my students they do).

I've seen women shave their legs and armpits, but they're not that hairy to begin with.

I *wish* I didn't have to shave. Ugh.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:38 am 
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Jimae Geiko
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Iyolin wrote:
I can't speak for geisha, but I have seen women shaving their faces in the onsen. Yes, their faces, with little straight razors.


I've seen them use this same razor to shave their arms, too. Among my junior high girls, it was really important to shave the hair in front of your ear (Japanese women's "sideburns" seem to be longer than white women's for some reason.), or else your classmates teased you.  :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:37 am 
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Shikomi-san
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[quote="Iyolin"]I can't speak for geisha, but I have seen women shaving their faces in the onsen.quote]

8O  8O  8O

AHHH!  I'm going to an onsen!  I dont want somebody's hair floating while I take a soak!!  That's just gross!  I hope they dont do that in the mens side... :x  :x  :x

I think we need a thread about how the Japanese are just so damn open about this.  Is it a show of how unimportant sex is in their society, or is it just a show of how Westerners should just relax?   8O  :?  :hrm:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:48 am 
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Geiko-san
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I wouldn't say that the Japanese don't have hangups about sex. They have DIFFERENT hangups about sex.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:41 am 
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First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)
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Haruo wrote:
AHHH!  I'm going to an onsen!  I dont want somebody's hair floating while I take a soak!!  That's just gross!  I hope they dont do that in the mens side... :x  :x  :x


Oh, no worries about that! There's a lot of onsen etiquette - like you do all your washing and shaving and whatever else BEFORE you go in the tub. Since everyone shares the same water, it has to be very clean. If you aren't clean, it's really rude to the other patrons.

Onsenning is one of the things I am going to miss the most after I leave Japan. I LOVE them. Â :lovelove


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:49 pm 
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Maiko-san
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This is really very interesting! I never thought of girls shaving their "sideburns"....I guess it's the Japanese equivalent of not shaving your legs once in middle school? :?

Man, I CANNOT go without shaving. I hate it. I have Italian blood in me so I have thick think leg hair (excapt on my head, which is very fine...why? WHY?). It iches if I let it grow too long.  :oops: I do have nice thick eyebrows though, and I love them.  :lovelove

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:25 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Quote:
This is really very interesting! I never thought of girls shaving their "sideburns"....I guess it's the Japanese equivalent of not shaving your legs once in middle school?  

Man, I CANNOT go without shaving. I hate it. I have Italian blood in me so I have thick think leg hair (excapt on my head, which is very fine...why? WHY?). It iches if I let it grow too long.   I do have nice thick eyebrows though, and I love them.  

I thought about if geisha and maiko shaved their legs and so, it's really interesting! I have problems with my legs, too... :oops:  <-- my father gave me that beautiful fact of the body... :mad:  ...not like other girls, but I have to shave it a lot because it grows in a short period of time! Argh! And there are a lot of them... I'll try to shave it definetly with LASER method, haha. Men have it easier, they can walk in shorts without shaving and anyone sees it, though I see men are beginning to do it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:14 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Quote:
Men have it easier, they can walk in shorts without shaving and anyone sees it, though I see men are beginning to do it.



One of my friends does that.  Dont quite know why...maybe it's because of his girlfriend?  hah![/quote]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:33 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Iyolin wrote:
I can't speak for geisha, but I have seen women shaving their faces in the onsen. Yes, their faces, with little straight razors. They often shave their eyebrows too, and draw in new ones (that way they control the shape completely).


I think I remember Iwasaki Mineko mentioning getting her face shaved as a child by her father in her book.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:04 pm
Posts: 35
Location: NH, USA
kugepoet wrote:
We do know that Japanese women of the court classes shaved or plucked  their natural eyebrows completely out and painted in new ones higher on their foreheads. This practice goes back at least as far as the Heian period.
http://noh-mask.up.seesaa.net/image/1016.JPG shows this effect on a traditional Noh mask.

In Japanese erotic art, pubic hair is considered normal, healthy and worth looking at - it is not only shown prominently but is exaggerated in its depiction on both male and female figures. None of the men ever appear to have chest hair and my admittedly limited search did not turn up any armpit hair for the simple fact that figures are either partially clothed or their arms are around each other. I am not going to post examples here as there are minors on the board.

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=122411
discusses some hair removal customs in a variety of cultures.

http://beauty.about.com/gi/dynamic/offs ... meline.htm
hints that the craze for shaving in the US was a clever ploy by a razor manufacturer around 1915.



When I went to India five years ago, I got my head shaved at the temple there as well. It goes for a good cause to, they make wigs and sell them for charity and kimo patients.


Indians get the worst. It was like God was playing around with us. We live in the hottest climate, and we have hair. Indian women don't shave their legs, they shave their arms. Its true!

My mother does the threading method to remove facial hair. Its painless and removes it quite efficiently.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:26 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:31 pm
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Haruo wrote:
And thanks WhimsicalGypsy.  I know I'm not alone in this world.  It is interesting to note that hair growth on the legs (or anywhere really) is permissible to a certain extent for men, whereas women must shave every bit of hair from their skin except for their head.  How strange the double standard goes!


Not to go off-topic, but that reminds me of something that happened to me when I worked at a Girl Scout summer camp back in '98.  I should add that I'm a nerdy-pale Anglo-Saxon.  This African-American girl sat on my lap during some activity or sing-along or something, and she touched my leg and asked me why I had "cut all the hair off my legs."  I felt awkward, and told her that when girls get older (she was six; I was seventeen), they like to shave their legs.  She promptly responded that her mother didn't shave her legs, nor did her aunt or any other female relatives.  I then had to backtrack and say that some girls do, and others don't, and it's every girls' choice.

When I took Women's Studies later on, the instructor said that women who shave their legs only perpetuate the whole Lolita-complex/wanting-to-look-like-a-little-girl-forever phenomena, but I don't take too much stock in that and instead just attribute shaving to personal style and cultural beliefs.

Iyolin wrote:
I can't speak for geisha, but I have seen women shaving their faces in the onsen. Yes, their faces, with little straight razors.


I've done that off and on for more than ten years since Nair and wax don't seem to work.  It gets the job done of eliminating unwanted upper lip hair, but once you start, you can't stop because the hair'll just keep growing back.  Someday I will get electrolysis  :oops:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:57 am 
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Shikomi-san
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[quote="Hoshi
I've done that off and on for more than ten years since Nair and wax don't seem to work.[/quote]

ZOMG!!  Nair doesnt work!  We did product testing in my science class this year, and we found out that shaved and Nair'd hair grows back at about the same rate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:06 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Hoshi wrote:

When I took Women's Studies later on, the instructor said that women who shave their legs only perpetuate the whole Lolita-complex/wanting-to-look-like-a-little-girl-forever phenomena, but I don't take too much stock in that and instead just attribute shaving to personal style and cultural beliefs.


Huh. I NEVER looked at it that way! Lolita-whatever. I agree with your thoughts!  :P

Hoshi wrote:

I've done that off and on for more than ten years since Nair and wax don't seem to work.  It gets the job done of eliminating unwanted upper lip hair, but once you start, you can't stop because the hair'll just keep growing back.  Someday I will get electrolysis  :oops:


I find that those face trimmers that you can get at Bed, Bath and Beyond work well.  :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:01 pm 
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Geiko-san
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:coy:  I was an exchange student in Osaka a two years ago, and noticed that most women (and some men!) keep their arms shaved. In the Discovery Channel documentary, it appears that all the women have smooth arms.

Mineko Iwasaki did mention having her face shaved, and I believe that many of the older women I saw shaved their faces as well. Interestingly, some of the girls in my school did not seem to have shaved legs- they didn't really need it, as the hair was extremely fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:57 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Maybe the straight razor facial hair method is something to look into. I'm also anglo-saxon, but a quite hairy specimen. :P Doesn't help I'm a natural brunette, I guess. And I find it funny that Indian and Japanese women shave their arms, because my mothr always has and now I do too. I have a little ovary problem, and after someone in the factory I worked at several years ago was able to "diagnose" me because of the hair on my arms, and then told me as much in front of about a half dozen of our other colleages. The next day, they were smooth as a baby's butt, lol.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:00 am 
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Maiko-san
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Tokis-Phoenix wrote:
Well, they definately plucked their eyebrows;

Image

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/a-Post-Card-Book- ... dZViewItem

:] .


LOL!!!

:lovelove  :lovelove  :lovelove

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 Post subject: sleeping robe length
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:44 am 
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Shikomi-san
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WhimsicalGypsy wrote:
Oddly enough, this crossed my mind over the past week....

MOAG mentions a "sleeping robe", but does anyone know the length?

Anyways...to the OP...I don't think it's a gross topic, I think it's quite interesting! :)


Full length is most likely, small stoves were not found in sleeping areas with all the wood, rice straw, and paper in the houses. I've slept in a yukata when on vacation with Japanese friends in the summer.  I do have a men's sleeping kimono and it is full length (if you're a guy from Edo era) and padded throughout for warmth.  It has the sweat stains to prove that it was warm.

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 Post subject: Re: sleeping robe length
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:21 am 
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Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

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Sam wrote:
It has the sweat stains to prove that it was warm.


One word:  EW.   :x  :x  :x


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