Tokoyama

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A tokoyama (床山) is a hairdresser employed by the Japan Sumo Association to cut and prepare sumo wrestlers' hair, which is done in a chonmage style. The Sumo Association ranks them according to experience and ability and only the most senior tokoyama are entitled to prepare the more ornate oicho, or ginkgo leaf form of topknot, which sekitori ranked wrestlers wear in their bouts and on other formal occasions.

The term tokoyama can also be used in its original form, which was for specialists who worked in hairstyling in the Japanese form of theatre called kabuki. The sumo combs to be used to make the topknot are handmade by Shingo Mori. Each comb can take up to 8 years to create. The size (length) of the comb is by the age of the bush the wood is taken from. A short comb is a 50 year old bush and the long comb can be a 150 year old bush.