“Gatekeeper of Kenko-kan”, c. 1920.

1920sArts & CultureReligious
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“Gatekeeper of Kenko-kan”, c. 1920. A young adherent of the Shisa-ba jyunbutsu [‘lion dog’ school] of kenbu.

See also:
Japanese master swordsman Hibino “Raifu” Masayoshi, c. 1910.

Kenbu (lit. ‘sword dance’) is performed in hakama [a type of trouser] and kimono, wearing tabi, a type of divided-toe socks. Various other items may be used in the costume, including hachimaki (a headband used to keep the dancer’s hair pulled back) and tasuki (a white cloth strip which ties the kimono sleeves out of the way).

“When these other items are used, a white cloth belt is traditionally worn over the hakama ties. This white belt was originally worn by samurai preparing to go into battle and served to reinforce the hakama ties so that, in the event they were cut, the samurai would not find himself with his pants suddenly heaped around his ankles.”


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