Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Tenugui Roots of the Hokkamuri and Hokkaburi.

About a week ago I got an inquiry about a Japanese gardening cap by Mel on my Furoshiki post. Since my reply was going to be a bit long I thought I'd write it as a quick post.

The item in question was this cute polka dotted head gear shown in the foreground of the photo (source unknown).



Since my grandparents (Japanese side) were farmers and the fact that I had many passionate Zakka loving friends at my disposal, I was determined to find the answer. A few days and a few exchange of emails later I had it. (Thanks R.A. and Y.U., I knew I can count on you guys!)

It seems to be called either a Hokkamuri (ほっかむり) or Hokkaburi (ほっかぶり) depending on the region. A Hokkaburi is a simple Japanese gardening bonnet of sorts that according to my friends originated from the Tenugui (てぬぐい), a Japanese multi-purpose handkerchief/cloth/towel (hence many with cute patterns). There are many Hokkaburi versions now including ones with brims. To me the image's seems to have a very minimal one.

A link with more of the brimmed Hokkaburi types here and a how-to Miffy Hokkamuri here. Sorry Mel, that's as far as I got finding a "how-to"..

Like a mini Furoshiki, Tenugui's are also perfect for wrapping your Bento Box as much as it is at keeping sun rays off your head. I just love how they come in so many modern designs, many with a clever twist and witty. A few more on Flickr here where I managed to find my shock suspended mountain bicycle patterned one that I bought during a trip to Kanazawa, and check out these retro/modern Star Wars prints. So neat.
I'm jealous when I think how the people in Japan get to picnic and wipe beads of sweat off their forehead in such style. ;)

3 comments:

Lantana said...

Hi Dennis,I am impressed by your kind response to my questions about Hokkamuri (ほっかむり) or Hokkaburi (ほっかぶり). There is no doubt,you have expanded my knowledge and perspective of Japan. In fact, I'd studied Japanese for long time ago in University but never used it. (so I forgot Kanji!!!!! Sorry, sensei)I'd learnt the language and also culture. Anyhow I could read & write Japanese accept Kanji (just skip). ^^

I explore the links you gave to me, they are very interesting. Please pass my thanks to your friends.

Have a good one!
Mel ^^

P.S. I wish I good luck to find 'how to'

Thai cooking: http://www.thaitable.com/

Dennis K. said...

It was fun Mel. Now rereading my friend's email, I think the third pronunciation is "Houkamuri". I'm only part Japanese so I have a lot to learn myself. Thanks for the Thai food link! Cheers

Dennis K. said...

Sorry I meant "Houkaburi"... So confusing..