A hachimaki (鉢巻, "helmet-scarf") is a stylized headband in Japanese culture, usually made of red or white cloth. They are worn as a symbol of effort or courage by the wearer, or to simply keep sweat off of one's face.
The origin of hachimaki is uncertain. The most common theory states that they originated as headbands worn by samurai to line their heads with cloth. This was to stop cuts from the helmet and make wearing the helmet more comfortable.
Kamikaze pilots wore hachimaki before flying to their deaths.
Hachimaki are typically decorated with inspirational slogans, such as (see be
low) "Nippon Ichi" (日本一, "the best of Japan"), and with the rising sun motif in between the kanji.
Here are some common slogans:
- Ichiban (一番, number one)
- Gokaku（ごかく, success)
- Hissho(必勝, determined to win)
- Nihon/Nippon(日本, Japan)
- Kamikaze(神風, divine wind)
- To-o-kon(とおこん, fighting spirit)
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