Close Window

Old Japanese Bachimakura Geisha Pillow
Handmade Wooden Base with kanzashi (hair ornaments) drawer
Attached to the tip of the urushi wood base is a small indigo fabric pillow filled with sobagara (buckwheat hulls or chaff)
Hand loomed, homespun kasuri cotton fabric
Handmade cotton indigo tie cord
Early 1900s
9 in length, 7 in high, 4 in wide
23 cm length, 18 cm high, 10 cn wide
See last photo, Tape in Inches
Overall Good Condition
Black lacquer finish on bottom (urushi), Some chipping along edges
Comment Geishas became accustomed to sleeping with their necks on small takamakura or bachimakura (like this one) instead of ordinary pillows, so that their full hairstyle might remain unspoiled for the next evening’s work.
The geisha who owned this bachimakura wrote her name in kanji on the bottom of the drawer (Himira Endo). See 9th photo

The bottom of this bachimakura is curved,
providing a slight rocking motion, allowing
for some head movement while sleeping.