Seasonal Kanzashi – Maiko Hair Ornaments by Month

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Seasonal Kanzashi – Maiko Hair Ornaments by Month

Kanzashi (簪) are hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Kanzashi were first used in Japan during the Jōmon period. During that time, a single thin rod or stick was considered to have mystical powers which could ward off evil spirits, so people would wear them in their hair. This is also when some of the first predecessors of the modern Japanese hair comb began to appear.

Here are the common Kanzashi for each month:

January: Shōchikubai is a popular choice, a combination of pine (shō), bamboo (chiku) and ume (bai) plum blossoms, (green, red and white) which are usually associated with celebrations

February: Usually trailing deep pink, or sometimes red, ume plum blossoms, which are to be seen everywhere in Japan at this time and symbolize young love and the approach of spring.

March: Trailing yellow and white rapeseed flowers (nanohana) and butterflies, as well as peach blossoms (momo), narcissus(suisen), camellia (tsubaki) and peonies (botan).

April: Trailing soft pink cherry blossom (sakura) mixed with butterflies and bonbori lanterns, signaling the approach of summer. Cherry blossom viewing at this time of year is a major cultural event in Japan.

May:  Trailing purple wisteria (fuji) and flag irises (ayame), usually in blue or pink. Irises denote the height of spring while wisteria is a flower often associated with the imperial court (wisteria viewing parties have been celebrated by Japanese nobles since the Heian Period).

June: Trailing green willow (yanagi) leaves with carnations/pinks (nadeshiko), or less commonly hydrangea (ajisai) flowers.

July: Kanzashi featuring a display of fans.

August: Large morning glory (asagao) or susuki grass.

September:  Japanese bellflower (kikyo). The purple tones are traditionally associated with autumn. Often these will be mixed with bush clover.

October: Chrysanthemum (kiku)

November: Trailing autumnal leaves that are usually composed of the very popular Japanese maple.

December: It is thought to be good luck to wear kanzashi featuring mochibana, or rice-cake flowers.


Kanzashi. (2017, December 05). Retrieved December 12, 2017, from

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