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unknown maker
Takamura (High Pillow)
unknown date

Takamura, also known as “punishment pillows,” are a type of neck cradle intended to allow one to sleep without messing up their intricate coiffure. Takamura vary greatly in style, material, and intricacy and can be anywhere from three to seven inches tall. The most common style features a wooden (often lacquered) base with a pillow (traditionally filled with wheat-chaff) for additional comfort and cooling. Some have a curved bottom in order to allow small head movements whilst sleeping. They were and are commonly used by Geisha (traditional Japanese entertainers) and Maiko (apprentice Geisha), as their coiffures are so intricate as to take anywhere from an hour to a day to achieve. The hair needs to be pressed, set, teased, tied, and waxed (with traditional tools). This takamura has Japanese script on the bottom and symbols that are most likely family crests. The pillow appears to be made of a rough-textured linen and is stuffed with wheat-chaff.

 
unknown maker
Takamura (High Pillow)
unknown date
wood, cotton, straw, cord
22.0 x 9.5 cm (length x width)
unknown source
M77-272

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