Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 32

32. The Honseki’s Topknot

The fact that the Honseki kept his topknot throughout his life despite the Meiji-era edict that banned the traditional hairstyle is a tale that has been told many times over. This may give the impression that he was old-fashioned, but there was a good reason why the Honseki did so.

One time Oyasama said:

“Izo-san, there is no need to cut your topknot. Do not cut it off.”

He promised, “I will never cut it off,” and strictly kept his word.

In later years, he said: “It may seem strange that I am the only one left who has kept his topknot. But I didn’t cut it off because I made a promise with Oyasama.”

The Honseki’s reason why he kept his topknot is ample proof of his strong faith in Oyasama. He always went to a hairstylist known as Tokotane.

(Adapted from Shinpan Izo Iburi den p. 134 and Ten no jogi pp. 149–150)

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.