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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Japanese Wigs

Japanese wigs are well-known throughout the world for their quality and styling.

Wigs in a store in Asakusa.

Japanese wig-making techniques date back to seventeenth century kabuki theater when men, who traditionally shaved the top of their heads, had to play the roles of women and thus a theatrical wig-making industry grew up to serve the onnagata kabuki actors (men portraying women).
Wigs are also worn by geisha and other traditional and contemporary Japanese dancers and performers.

Japanese wigs do not come cheap. The wigs (pictured) in a speciality store in Asakusa can cost between US$1400-2500 for a full head wig. Interestingly, the mannequins have western features. Hair to make the wigs must be at least 10cm long and as well as domestic supply, Japanese wigmakers import hair from as far away as India.

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