Re: Eyebrows

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Posted by John Fiorillo on September 16, 2002 at 07:16:57:

In Reply to: Eyebrows posted by Marc Kahn on September 16, 2002 at 02:32:06:

Hi, Marc,

They are called 'kurai-boshi' (“class dot” or “rank mark”). In the historical past the natural eyebrows of nobility were shaved off, and so 'kurai-boshi' indicated a high ranking in society. Another term for these artificial eyebrows was 'tsukuri-mayu' (“made eyebrows”), associated with the higher classes in general, and in particular with attendants at court or in the homes of Kyoto nobility.

In kabuki, dotted eyebrows were often applied above the unshaved natural eyebrows of actors, thus using both simultaneously.

In your print the woman on the left was meant to be a contemporary beauty from Sukenobu's world in Kyoto, whereas the women on the right were meant to represent Heian-period noble women.


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