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Haguma (left) and shaguma (right) headdress
Shaguma troops in the Battle of Ueno, at Ueno Park temple
Duel between a Shogitai and Shaguma-wearing Tosa Jinshotai(迅衝隊) soldier in the Battle of Ueno

Shaguma (赤熊 "Red Bear"?) was a type of headgear worn by the officers of the Japanese Imperial troops in the Boshin War (1868-69). The headgear was quite peculiar, involving the used of long, colored, "bear" hair.

Jinshotai(From the left in the bottom row: Ban Gondayu, Itagaki Taisuke, Tani Otoi(young boy), Yamaji Motoharu. From the left in the middle row: Tani Shigeki(Sinbei), Tani Tateki(Moribe), Yamada Kiyokado(Heizaemon), Yoshimoto Sukekatsu(Heinosuke). From the left in the top row: Kataoka Masumitsu(Kenkichi), Manabe Masayoshi(Kaisaku), Nishiyama Sakae, Kitamura Shigeyori(Chobei), Beppu Hikokuro.)

The "Red bear" (赤熊, Shaguma) wigs indicate officers from Tosa Jinshotai (迅衝隊), the "White bear" (白熊, Haguma) wigs officers from Chōshū, and the "Black bear" (黒熊, Koguma) wigs officers from Satsuma.

The Shaguma is also worn during processions such as the Gion Festival. It is sometimes thought to have been inspired by the "red hair" of the Dutch during their presence in Nagasaki.[1]


  1. ^ "Shaguma are characters who appear annually in the Gion Matsuri procession. ... The red hair of the shaguma and their grandiose mannerisms are thought to have originally been inspired by the Dutch traders who arrived in Nagasaki" in Matsuri! Japanese festival arts by Gloria Gonick - 2002, p.25