Kasa (hat)

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This display case at Gifu Castle shows many kasa of the type known as jingasa.

A kasa () is a term used for any one of several traditional Japanese hats.[1] These include amigasa and jingasa.


Kasa is the correct way to pronounce the word when it stands alone. Note that rendaku causes kasa to change to gasa when it is preceded by another word specifying the type of hat: thus, jingasa.

Kasa shares its etymology with the Japanese word for "umbrella" (which is also pronounced "kasa", but written ).


There are several different styles of kasa.

Almost all hats were painted. Mostly, this color was black. It was used for low ranking samurai.

Jingasa almost always had mon marks on them.

An amigasa is a straw hat of the type traditionally worn in some Japanese folk dances. Another kind of kasa, the woven rice-straw takuhatsugasa worn by mendicant Buddhist monks, is made overlarge and in a bowl or mushroom shape. Unlike an Asian conical hat, it does not come to a point, nor does it ride high on the head like a samurai's traveling hat. It is simply a big hat that covers the upper half to two thirds of the face, thereby helping to mask the identity of the monk and allowing him to travel undistracted by sights around him on his journey.

The samurai class in feudal Japan, as well as their retainers and ashigaru "footsoldiers", used several types of jingasa made from iron, copper, wood, paper, bamboo, or leather.[2][3]


Antique Japanese samurai leather jingasa (war hat) in the nirayama style.

Some types of kasa include:

  • Ajirogasa (a wickerwork kasa made of shaven bamboo or wood)
  • Amigasa (a wickerwork kasa)
  • Fukaamigasa (a deep wickerwork kasa)
  • Jingasa ("war hat", a type of kasa commonly worn by samurai and ashigaru)
  • Roningasa (typically a conical amigasa with a flat top, often worn by ronin)
  • Sandogasa (a kasa for traveling)
  • Sugegasa (see Asian conical hat)
  • Takuhatsugasa (a Buddhist mendicant kasa)
  • Tengai (see Komusō Monk)
  • Torioigasa (a folded kasa, famous for Awa Dance Festival)
  • Yagyūgasa (the family crest of Yagyū clan, not a kind of actual kasa)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kasa hat Retrieved 03-19-2016
  2. ^ Tanaka, Fumon (2003). Samurai Fighting Arts: The Spirit and the Practice. Kodansha International. p. 46. ISBN 978-4-7700-2898-3.
  3. ^ Ratti, Oscar; Westbrook, Adele (1991). Secrets of the Samurai; A Survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. C. E. Tuttle. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8048-1684-7.

External links[edit]