Kasa (hat)

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This display case at Gifu Castle shows many kasa of the type known as jingasa.

A kasa (?) is any of several sorts of traditional hats of Japan. When preceded by a word specifying the type of hat, the word becomes gasa as in the jingasa (war hat).

One kind of kasa for Buddhist monks is made overlarge, in a bowl or mushroom shape and is made from woven rice straw. It does not come to a point like a rice farmer's hat, nor ride high on the head like a samurai's traveling hat. It is just a big hat covering the upper half to two thirds of the face. Thus, it helps mask the identity of the monk and allows him to travel undistracted by sights around him on his journey.

The samurai class of feudal Japan as well as their retainers and footsoldiers (ashigaru) used several types of jingasa made from iron, copper or leather.[1][2]

Kasa shares its etymology with the Japanese word for "umbrella" (which is also pronounced "kasa", but written 傘).


Antique Japanese samurai leather jingasa (war hat) in the nirayama style.

Here is a list of several types of kasa:

See also



External links