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September 17, 2015

A hachimaki (鉢巻, “helmet-scarf”) is a Japanese cotton headband or bandana, usually made of red or white cloth, worn as a symbol of perseverance or courage. These scarves are worn on many occasions, during sports and festivals, and by laborers, farmers and tradespeople, and can be decorated with writing, symbols or even pictures, depending on the wearer and the occasion. The origins of these headscarves are unclear but they may derive from the scarves worn by religious ascetics. More likely, they come from the headscarves samurai warriors wore to hold their helmets firmly in place, absorb perspiration and keep hair out of their eyes when in battle.

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