Katsura Test Runs

So, today I decided I’d try on my traditional Japanese-style wigs (katsura) to see how they fit. They are in the style that geisha/geiko and apprentice maiko wear. I didn’t wear kimono or makeup, as these were just test runs, but I thought I’d share some pictures anyway. 😉

First-up, Taka Shimada-style Geiko Katsura:

Fashion shot:

I found that this katsura is a little too big for me in the back. A rolled-up nylon stocking helped keep it from slipping everywhere on my head like it wanted to. At first it sat horribly on my head, and since I also possess a fairly large forehead and a “Roman” nose (which by the way, is a nice way of saying “big”), I felt that the katsura just emphasized all of that lol. I kept trying to get the hairline to come down in the front, but….I think my super humongous forehead is just too large haha. Nevertheless, I think I am okay with how it turned out.

Next up is my Sakkou-style Maiko Katsura:

Wow…I am so white that it kind of looks like I am wearing oshiroi against the skin tone of the wig netting lol!

This one fits very well! I still need several resin kanzashi as well as the sakkou crane kanzashi for this wig, which I am currently on the look-out for! I am not sure if Ikuokaya carries the sakkou crane kanzashi….but if they do, they are probably way to expensive for me to buy. (When I asked about their maiko fuji kanzashi set, the price was $500 USD before service fees and shipping….O.o. I so badly wish that I could go to their store in person and just buy things from there without the hassle and expense of living halfway across the world…)

My Wareshinobu-style Maiko Katsura is the one on the left (the one on the right is the sakkou wig I wore above), but I found out today that it is too small for my head to fit. 😦 It’s almost wearable….if only it was even a half inch bigger I’d be able to wear it! Some katsura have screws in them so that the size can be adjusted, but I couldn’t find any screws to loosen it up. Then again, I couldn’t find screws in any of the other katsura….so I’m not sure if I am just missing them under some tape or something, or if I really do have such bad luck. I will keep trying to find out if I can get it to fit though, because it is beautiful.

Well, that’s it! The next time you see me wear these wigs, it will probably be in full-out geiko or maiko outfit. ❤


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful! The taka shimada really suits you very well!

    1. Thank you! I am going to try to get it to sit lower on my head next time lol.

  2. Eva says:

    Looks so cool!
    I love the effect katsura have upon a western face. You look nice with the geiko katsura!

    And myyyy god! I tried to wear my katsura (marumage style) today! It’s so heavy and uncomfortable, because mine is a little to big, so it ‘leans’ upon my cheekbones. Auuwww! I have a very tiny head…

    Looking forward to see you in full outfit! 🙂

    1. Thanks! 🙂 Oh I know, my geiko katsura was so heavy too! I felt like it was going to fall off my head lol. It’s a bit big in the back, so I think that maybe if I place it further down my forehead it will look and fit better. Wish I had a smaller head like you though….because then I could wear the wareshinbou one lol!

      I hope to look as good as you do in your maiko outfit! (Wish me luck!)

  3. Sara says:

    I’ve always been curious about how katsura fit. How does it actually stay on your head? I’ve seen photos and video of geiko doing all sorts of dances in them without incident but I know they’re nothing like other wigs on the inside. I hope you can satisfy my curiosity! By the way your sakkou style wig has me drooling! Very beautiful.

    1. The hair is styled on a partial base, which itself rests on top of a series of wide metal reinforcing strips….you are in effect, wearing a sort of metal “cap” with hair. The katsura stays put mainly by griping the sides of your head and weight distribution. Some katsura have adjustable tabs on the inside so you can expand or contract the metal side strips to provide a better fit around your temples (unfortunately mine don’t have the feature!) Of course, this can lead to having a headache from wearing them too long, especially if they are not a perfect fit.

      here is a picture of the inside of a katsura:

      Geiko have their katsura custom-made for their head, so it fits perfectly even when they are performing dance. They also have them custom styled to suit their individual facial features. (For example, a geiko with a thinner face might have a katsura which is slightly wider to balance out the look of her face and the wig)

      You also wear a special kind of silk wig cap known as a habutae under the katsura, which helps the katsura to grip onto your head. Applying the traditional wax to the cloth bands of the habutae also has the benefit of lifting up your facial features:

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