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.

Grammar[edit]

Kasa is the correct way to pronounce the word - if standing 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 傘).

Styles[edit]

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 a rice farmer's 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 footsoldiers (ashigaru), used several types of jingasa made from iron, copper, wood, paper, bamboo, or leather.[2][3]

Types[edit]

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

Some types of kasa include:

  • Ajirogasa
  • Amigasa
  • Fukaamigasa
  • Jingasa ("war hat", a type of kasa commonly worn by samurai and ashigaru)
  • Roningasa
  • Sandogasa
  • Sugegasa (see Asian conical hat)
  • Takuhatsugasa
  • Tengai (see Komusō Monk)
  • Torioigasa
  • Yagyūgasa

See also[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]