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Takeru Kobayashi wearing a hachimaki, 2010

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, especially by those in the military, or to simply keep sweat off of one's face.


The origin of hachimaki is uncertain. The most common theory[citation needed] 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 below) "Nippon Ichi" (日本一, "the best of Japan"), and with the rising sun motif in between the kanji.

Common slogans[edit]

Some common slogans include:

  • Ichiban (一番, number one)
  • Goukaku (ごうかく,合格 success)
  • Hisshō (必勝, determined to win)
  • Nihon/Nippon (日本, Japan)
  • Kamikaze (神風, divine wind)
  • Toukon (とうこん,闘魂 fighting spirit)

[1] [2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary". jisho.org.
  2. ^ "Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary". jisho.org.